Funeral in a different land

Living overseas introduces one to a whole new culture. When we lived in Chervonoarmeysk (also known as Pulin) we attended a funeral. One morning we heard that a woman and her son were hit and killed the night before while riding their bicycles home. The daughter of the woman came to the Widow’s House regularly for computer classes. We figured we needed to pay our respects so we went with Nadia the teacher of the computer classes. Continue reading

Music is the universal language part 2

I told you we had a miracle getting the guitars into Jericho. The next thing we did was go to the home groups and tell them we had guitars and Karen was willing to teach anyone who wanted to learn. We wanted at least one person from each home group. We also told them if they finished then we would give the home group a guitar. They were excited.

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guitar lessons

The next thing that had to be done was scheduling lessons. It seemed the people could not agree on a day that all of them were free. We set up several different lessons to accommodate the people. We had afternoon lessons most days of the week and we had evening lessons. There were some men who had guitars who wanted to come for lessons or just to play with someone else who knew the guitar. Those lessons had to be at night.

I don’t play an instrument so I just stayed in the room and prayed for those who were taking the lessons. There was a young girl who was about eleven or twelve. We had a mother and her two teen age daughters and we had a few older women who had raised their family.

One day toward the end of the lessons our friend Fotma and her sister were there for lessons. Karen had taught a simple song that had one chord change. They decided to play together and sing. The two students started playing and singing but Karen was the only one who changed chords. They just kept playing and singing and the smiles on their faces were amazing. This went on for a time and you could feel the Holy Spirit in our midst. I truly found out what it is to make a joyful noise to the Lord. When they finally quit playing we were all laughing with the joy of the Lord. When they left, Karen and I were still laughing and she told me the music was terrible but the joy of the Lord was amazing.

Fotma receiving a ribbon for completing the lessons
Fotma receiving a ribbon for completing the lessons

When the month was coming to an end we handed out ribbons to those who had completed lessons and gave a guitar to the person from that home group who had finished the lessons. They felt a sense of accomplishment and that was good.

Reham, the youngest student receiving her ribbon and guitar.
Reham, the youngest student receiving her ribbon and guitar.

There is more to this story but I will have to tell it next time.

Continue to Praise our Lord,
Jan

Rejoicing in Baptisms

One of the greatest joys of being a Christian is watching new believers being baptized. And we were blessed to rejoice in baptisms often.

Jericho has several springs so finding a place to baptize new believers is not a problem. After people accepted Jesus we began to explain to them about being baptized.

Some of them took quite awhile to decide to be baptized, and others said yes right away. When a person said he wanted to be baptized, we immediately made plans to go to a stream! We would tell the believers who was being baptized and where it would take place and invited anyone who wanted to come witness the event. Continue reading

Friendship has no language problem

Don’t Speak The Same Language? No Problem.

What did we do at the Jesus house of Prayer? We held Bible studies, gave food to the poor, told all of them about Jesus and made many friends. One friend was very different. His name was Hussein. He lived in Jericho, but was from Iraq. He spoke absolutely no English.

Hussein really liked Bob. He began coming by two or three times a week. He brought an Arabic newspaper. He never would come inside, but he and Bob sat out on the porch and talked. Keep in mind: Hussein spoke no English — Bob spoke no Arabic. Continue reading

The Day the Love of God Dawned on Her

There are many joys to being on the mission field. I like teaching people about Jesus. Watching their eyes light up as they come to the realization that God loves them and they don’t have to earn that love is amazing.

While in Jericho, I had the privilege of teaching a group of women every Saturday. Some of them had already accepted Jesus as their Savior, but many were still seeking answers. These were women who were Muslim by birth. By that, I mean they weren’t really religious, but Islam is all they knew. Continue reading

Bibles for Russia

When we first went to Russia, we had a lot of different reactions but no one ever rejected a copy of the New Testament. We handed them out in market places. Nothing is more humbling than having people kiss your hands as you handed them the Book. Many people looked at us with tears in their eyes and thanked us over and over. We enjoyed every thing we did, but the thing we enjoyed most was handing New Testaments to the people. Continue reading