One Day To Give Celebration

Persecuted Church:

Thank you for taking the time and energy to do something good.

In a world, where bad often gets the attention, I find it exhilarating to be a part of a community where good prevails.
Our family brainstormed ideas for our One Day to Give project. We wanted our kids to help us decide.  And we came up with so many great ideas, we decided to set aside a day every month to give. I can’t wait!
But for this first one, we unanimously decided that since our hearts and attention have been so stirred by The Persecuted Church, that would be our focus.
Our sweet Russian friends are doing amazing things for God.  Our families sat down a couple of weeks ago and they shared the dream God had given them. 
And it included us.
My hubby and I were honored and overwhelmed with their vision. There are many details and exciting things I hope to share in the future.  But during the conversation, we talked about Igor’s next trip to the The Ukraine, which coincidentally is happening right now.  
He is teaching to more than 400 Christians many of whom are Pastors, and many who are risking their lives to attend such a conference. Igor teaches how to use sports to witness about Christ. Using sports as an avenue to lead people to Christ and ultimately into the underground church, is highly effective in these Muslim countries. Many of these people are traveling great distances through dangerous borders with very little money, to learn. About God.
After the conference, Igor is traveling to one of the countries (which borders his home country of Uzbekistan)  to meet with disciples he left behind from the persecuted, underground church in Uzbekistan (the country he was deported from and threatened with death, if he should return). I decided to be vague about details for his protection.
They are meeting together to pray, fellowship, and receive training. It is very dangerous and complicated for these Christians.  And for Igor. He has been arrested for teaching the Book of James by the KGB and was followed the last time he was there.
Please pray for him and these amazing Christians today. There are new laws going into effect right now that make it even more dangerous for Christians in these two countries. You can read about it here and here.
As Katerina was explaining the details of this trip to me, she mentioned that they were collecting items to take to their 40+ disciples that Igor is meeting. Supplies that are hard to come by and personal items that are very costly are at the top of the list: prenatal vitamins, dry erase markers, instant coffee, gum, socks, deodorant and clothes.
And that’s where our One Day to Give comes in. Immediately, I knew what our family could do. We made a list and sent it to some friends and family and our Pastor, and asked them to join with us.  Our church offered to pay for the baggage costs among other things, and we started filling duffle bags. (Sunday, our church took up an offering for supplies for the underground church and to help some pastors travel to Igor’s conference. $5,000 came in!)

As we stuffed the boxes of crayons we purchased and toys from my kid’s room into the bags, we prayed.  We each took a turn and prayed that the simple hygiene items we we tucked into the corner of the bag, would be a blessing. We prayed for the believers who would sip the treasured cups of coffee. And for the children who’s future is uncertain, we prayed safety and peace and joy, as we packed up small toys.
And we asked God to bless them, to protect them and to let them  know that they are heroes to this little family in America.
And Jesus replied, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself. All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.” (Matthew 22: 37-40)
Please pray for them today. And for Igor who is somehow managing to carry six stuffed bags across many borders!


Comments

  1. says

    Thank you for letting me know I could link up! I have posted your challenge on my blog and linked your name to it!

    Thanks for the challenge Kristen!

  2. Anonymous says

    I really want to keep my identity anonymous because some how to me that deminishes the gift (and fun) of giving if it’s told. Recently while eating out there was a large (about 12)family sitting near us and my husband and I decided to use our grocery money for the week and cover their tab then slip out secretly. I love to pay for the person behind me in the drive thru line, because by the time they realize what has happened I’m gone. Thanks for your uplifting blog…

  3. says

    Kristen, I really have a difficult time telling anyone about what I do for others that is good. This week we celebrated blog action day. Through my site, we raised over $5K for Angel Food Ministries, helping to feed people throughout the south. I love that you all are taking such good care of your “persecuted church”. I hope that people will continue to support your cause and mine and others like them, today and throughout the year.

  4. says

    Kristen, as I read your post it brought tears to my eyes. We don’t know what persecution is. We are very blessed in this country. Thank you for doing this today. I know it will bless all our hearts and many others too.

  5. Anonymous says

    Kristen, thanks so much for sharing these stories of the persecuted church. They’ve touched me deeply. We have NO IDEA what’s it like for these dear Christians.
    But I would like to say, that if we don’t PRAYERFULLY consider who we vote for, they could very easily become US!! And I don’t mean some long time from now, but as in the next few years! People are being blinded by a wolf in sheep’s clothing. Our VERY FREEDOM is at stake. SERIOUSLY!!

  6. debbie d. says

    what a great idea…and a little packing tip…don’t pack soap with any food items…gum, candy, coffee…everything picks up the soap smell and makes it taste funny…

  7. says

    Hi Kristen

    Your post and link are very timely ~ My daughter and I (so I just found out)are participating in an 8km pilgrimage to raise money for those in need. I love when you talk about your neighbours, my heart goes out to you and them. We do participate a lot in activies with our church and community but with that being said we always find people who are truly in need and thankful not those that are willing to sit-back with their hands out.
    God Bless you for sharing you love and caringness with this family.

  8. says

    I love what ya’ll did for them. I stopped and said a prayer for Igor as I was reading this. A hedge of protection for him while he is over there.

    I did not link up, because my event does not happen until tomorrow. We are doing something we just started this year with the youth. Its called “Serve Now” we are taking them to do missions in our community. Working at the rescue mission, helping to winterize homes, working with children. So tomorrow we will be doing that. :)

  9. Anonymous says

    I want to say thank you for what you do for their church. Speaking of curch , this past Sunday in our weekly update flyer( it has upcoming days to remember) it stated that Nov. 9th is International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church. I fit wasn’t for your blog I would have never knew what this meant and how important it is! I barely read these beingcaught up in my own THAT FAMILY lol I had time this morning and decided to read and found that so even here in OH we will be praying for your friends.
    Again Thanks for sharing,
    jenifferscheiderer@yahoo(dot)com

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