Friday, March 21, 2014

I don't want to go back to Russia...

It sure has been great being here in the good ole’ USA! This month is flying by and I wish I could slow down time! Our flight leaves for Russia Wednesday, April 2. 
And I have to admit a part of me would like to stay here and not go back to Russia. 

I’ll pause to let you gasp. 
A missionary who doesn’t want to go back to the field?! 

Okay now that you’ve got that out of your system, allow me to explain. 

I didn’t realize how hard it was to live in Russia until I came back to the States and realized how easy life is here. I can understand people, and they understand me. I can talk to anyone I want to, I can go almost anywhere that I want to. In Russia, I’m dependent on others to help me understand and communicate. I can get around, go shopping and order my lunch and cup of coffee- but I don’t understand much more than that. And to be honest, it’s hard. 

I don’t feel like myself because I can’t be myself. I want to talk to the Russians and build relationships but there’s a barrier. Yes, I can communicate with things other than words. I have them over for tea and have teen girls nights where I paint their nails and bake them cookies and rely heavily on Google Translate, and it’s fine. I wish that barrier wasn’t there. I wish I knew the language. I wish Russia felt like home. 

I'm not trying to complain or seem negative, I’m simply sharing my heart. I have been so thankful for the preaching of God’s Word since we have been back. In my devotions, through the song services and specials, God has been speaking to me. Drawing me closer to His side. He knows my innermost thoughts and fears, and He is working on me. There have been songs like 
“Who will go and answer to the call? Who will share the news of Christ to a lost and dying world? I will answer to the call. I will go and tell the world untold.” 
(I’m probably butchering the words to the song but that was the heart of the message. )

I have answered to that call already. I have surrendered my will to go wherever God leads me. And that is Russia whether easy or hard. Russia needs the gospel and needs someone to show them the love of Christ. 

In America, we are rapidly taking God out of our country. But there is still a presence of God. Many Americans believe in some way or another. Russia is not that way at all. Christianity isn’t a popular thing, it’s not the overall mindset past or present. It’s hard to live in a country where God seems so foreign. At least here, they knowingly and openly reject God and His commandments. There they have no former foundation to turn from. Imagine trying to explain who God is and a relationship with him to someone who can’t even comprehend what you mean. They only understand God as taught in the Russian Orthodox church, and it’s more like a story. 

I admit, I don’t know everything about Russia and how they view God. I can only share what I’ve experienced from my short time there. God has been making me realize my many weaknesses so I can cling to Him. 

I can honestly say after many tears and prayers, I am looking forward to going back to Russia. There are many good things that will come! We will have our own place and be working on building a youth group for the church in the city, (plus we live across from the mall and our favorite coffee shop is just around the corner!) And my favorite---a new baby!!!!!! So many good things are coming, I can’t dwell or look on the negative. And God has blessed us greatly since we have been back this month. We have had many needs and God has been meeting them right when we need them. And I know He is waiting to pour out His blessing when we return to Russia. If we stayed here, we would be out of God's will for our lives. It may be easy for us at first but I know it would soon be the most miserable place because we wouldn't be where God wants us. 
Here are some verses the Lord has given me to help strengthen my weak spirit. 

Philippians 4:13
“I can do all things through Christ which strengtheth me.” 
 I can’t but God can. Not my strength but His strength. 

2 Corinthians 12:9,10
“And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: 
for when I am weak, then am I strong.

It’s through the difficult times, that God makes us stronger. If life was always easy, we wouldn’t depend on God. We would live to our own accord and have some satisfaction. But friend, let me tell you there is no greater joy or satisfaction then living a life lived completely for God. Although the way may be hard at times, there is nothing better. God’s goodness far outweighs any trial or hardship. For me, I will be climbing this mountain for a little while, but I won’t be doing it alone. God will be my strength. And I know that He will take care of me each step of the way. He didn’t promise an easy road, but He promised never to leave me nor forsake me. I’ve been through some hardships before and God always sees me through and blesses more than I deserve. I find peace in knowing He will do just the same as we go back to Russia. As long as I keep my mind focused on Christ, I will have perfect peace and everlasting strength. 

    Isaiah 26:3,4 “Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee. Trust ye in the Lord forever, for in the LORD JEHOVAH is everlasting strength.”

to depend; to be confident:hope
to commit or place in one’s care
to permit to stay or go or to do something without fear
to rely on the truthfulness or accuracy of
to hope or expect confidently

Lastly, I leave you with this encouragement to simply trust God. You may not understand the path you’re on but if God has called you there, there is no greater safer place to be then in the center of God’s will. Trust is to confidently hope in the truthfulness of someone without fear. We as children of God can place our trust confidently in God. What’s holding you back from trusting Him? Give your all to Christ and trust Him each day, each moment at a time. 

Until next time, Have a great weekend!! And 7 days until we find out if we are having another prince or a princess!! 

"And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them that are the called according to His purpose." Romans 8:28