We have a wonderful chance to interact with Russians in an environment that doesn’t demand proficiency in the language. What is it? Well if you don’t have their language mastered, help them learn yours. We have been helping in an English club every other Sunday evening. It gives us opportunity to speak some Russian but the time is designed to help those who would like to learn English. The time is used as an evangelistic outreach; church members are encouraged to bring a friend. It is not a hard sell gospel presentation but as we use themes like Thanksgiving and talk about who we are it give a platform for talking about Christ. Since we meet in a church building it doesn’t surprise the newcomers that we are religious although they don’t really understand what Christians are, only that we are different. The time is a blessing to us and helps us feel a part of spreading the gospel in a way other than supporting the rest of the team.
We have also had the opportunity to help our friend Valerie work on his house in a nearby village. He is a church planter along with one of our teammates. The house will be for his family but also will serve as a meeting place as they gain enough interest and critical mass of believers to start services in the little town. Since it is already below zero (both Celsius and Fahrenheit) the time was cold. Adding to the fun, we were working on the second story without the floor in place; those of you who know me (Art) know that walking on rafter above the ground is not his strong point. However, there was a time during the day that two people were needed, so humbling myself(this is Art writing) I crawled like a little girl, no offense to little girls, on my hands and knees, heart pounding, adrenaline surging, across to the place I was needed and forced myself to stand long enough to get the job done.
Fear often keeps us paralyzed. Whether fear to speak in a different language, or fear of falling. But we must conquer the fear if we will accomplish anything worthwhile. I have my excuses, and I am sure you have yours, our neighbors are scary, our friends intimidate us. How can we share Jesus? If we stay on the ladder afraid to move the house doesn’t get built, if we don’t share Christ the price is higher, we miss the blessing and our friend waits for God to provide someone else to share. So pray for me and I will pray for you. Pray my Russian improves with use. Oh yeah, since we plan to go back a little climbing prayer wouldn’t hurt either.