Sunday, March 19, 2006


March 13-19
St. Patrick's Day, 3rd Sunday of Lent, Hayden lost his 1st tooth, my back ached worse than it has since arriving here three years ago.
Pictures: I have just thrown a bunch of random pictures up this week- Hudson and Hayden's lost teeth, our cats taking a funny snooze, Colton is prime form, Hayden's tatoos, and so on...

This was a full week in which Jesus was present in so many ways. The biggest event was our day in court (Tuesday). We entered around 10:30 and finished a little after 4 (with a 3 hour lunch break). The lawyers made their cases, and we won. In the end I still have no idea what was really going on. Now we are praying that they will not appeal.

But the most significant part of the week in terms of my walk with Jesus concerned a 12-year-old boy named Elijah. He is a beggar. He has dropped out of school in order to beg for money to buy food for his mom and brother. His mom works as a cleaning lady at a local college and makes about $12 per month of which $10 goes to pay off a debt. I met his mom and brother this week and saw their home. His mom broke her wrist, and it was not set properly and now the doctors tell her it will never work again.

Elijah generally has a very wonderful smile. He is very responsible and honest, acting much older than his age, which unfortunately, he has to. They never eat meat, usually skip lunch, otherwise eat whatever they can get depending on how much Elijah gets through begging. They do have a house and a yard, complements of the former Soviet system, but homelessness is relatively non-existent except in the biggest cities. Most people are able to use their yard to grow some basic foods but Elijah's mom is not capable of doing any yard work with her broken wrist.

I prayed for them. I have a few ideas that may help, but mainly I was overwhelmed. The lack of a future, the lack of a present, the constant hunger, the fact that they are only three of millions here... The only thing that changed this week was that I saw them firsthand. I have hope that Jesus has brought all of this about for a reason. I am eager to see what He will do. It is amazing what happens when numbers become faces and names...
On another note:

* I was reading in 1 Samuel this week and was struck by the fact that even in Israel's disobedience God still made Himself known to the Philistines as the most powerful God. They took the Ark and put it in the temple of their god, Dagon. The next day Dagon is lying facedown in front of the Ark. They set him back up, but the next day he is there again except this time his hands and head have been chopped off. Also, all the people are getting sick. Amazingly, instead of dropping their god and worshipping the true God they send the Ark back to Israel. So even though the Philistines defeated the Israelites (a sign of whose god was stronger), Jehovah made it clear that, in this case, the stronger God allowed His people to lose to teach them a lesson. How often do people today still drive God away when He reveals Himself to them?
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