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!