On Saturday I posted the following on Facebook:
“Lost my voice and feeling terrible, tomorrow I’m supposed to preach twice, appreciate your prayers!”
Honestly I really was feeling terrible! Christina told me,
“You need to stay home!”
I wanted to stay home!
Sasha, who coordinates our ministry to the refugees called me.
“I can’t make it either, maybe we should cancel.”
For some strange reason I said,
“No, we can’t cancel, we’ll make it work!”
Thankfully Vadim, one of the pastors in our church agreed to fill in for me on Sunday morning while I stayed home and rested as much as I could.
I was supposed to meet our group at 3pm at the church before heading out to the refugees and at 2pm I was still seriously considering cancelling!
But I didn’t!
When I lose my voice I feel awkward and helpless, like a dancer who has sprained her ankle.
On the other hand I realize how much I depend upon God and how little really depends upon me or my ability to speak.
I’m thankful for brother Vadim who is continually improving in his ability to preach. I called him Saturday night and said,
“Vadim, have something ready for tomorrow”
He preached simply, honestly, and truthfully about the importance of humility when we come before God!
Our weaknesses often humble us and isn’t it true that we learn more about God, develop a deeper trust in God, and see Him working more clearly in our weaknesses than in our strengths?
Take for instance this precious girl who came and sang for our refugees.
She is an orphan and blind from birth. Doctors told her adoptive parents that she was deaf and dumb too!
You only have to listen to her amazing voice in the video above to understand how wrong the doctors were!
God is using a blind orphan, who no one thought could do any good for society, to communicate gospel truth in a beautiful and powerful way!
Or take for example our Gypsy friends!
Vladimir literally grew up in a family of crime. Drug dealing was the family business. As a result nearly all the members of his family were brutally murdered.
Except for Vladimir, Jesus saved his physically life, then he saved his soul!
Now he sings every chance he gets for Jesus!
Now let me tell you about Robert!
He’s from Armenia, he speaks Russian with a heavy accent.
He’s had a rocky past but recently God set his heart ablaze!
Robert is the most powerful prayer warrior I’ve ever met! He’ll pray for anyone at anytime.
We put him in charge of the prayer ministry and now our refugees are learning to pray by a great example!
I’m thankful for the brothers and sisters who come alongside in ministry. I don’t have time to tell you about all of them.
What I can tell you is that in my lack of faith I almost cancelled the service. But God restrained me and we went ahead even though it seemed like we didn’t have the ability or the means to do it!
Honestly it was one of the best services I remember!
The best part came after the service was over.
With tears one lady told me her story.
She told me how she fled Lugansk after narrowly escaping a mortar that exploded in the market killing a dozen people.
She also told me of the guilt she felt because of her sin and her desire for forgiveness.
“My worldview has completely changed!”
She said, referring to how the Bible teaching she received at our meetings helped her see her own sin and her need for the forgiveness that only Jesus Christ can give.
She humbly prayed and asked God to forgive her.
I prayed and thanked God for her repentance and asked him to give her a strong faith.
As we prayed together God brought to my mind that I almost cancelled the whole service.
God used my weakness as an opportunity to show his strength!