On Wednesday I had invited her over for a visit the next day. Valentina was also visiting (to help me) and thinking that Baba Maroosa wouldn't be over until a little later, decided to go for a walk. When we arrived back home, Baba Maroosa was sitting on the swing waiting for us. We fed the kids and put them down for naps, then I sat down with Baba Maroosa. There were some awkward moments as it sometimes takes more time for me to figure out how and what to say in the language, especially for a long period of time and she was with us all day. But this gave me a very good opportunity to get to know her and hear her story.
She grew up during the war and her parents were both killed during that time. Her mom was killed right in front of her, which is a memory which haunts her still. She talked about seeing a vision of Jesus and of Mary, relating that to salvation. I tried a few times to talk to her about salvation, but Russians talk very fast and aggressive and unless you are equally fast, they will cut you off. One of the times I started talking I could tell I was about ready to get cut off again, so I called in Valentina to help me witness. Together we were able to direct the conversation towards salvation and talked with her a good while about salvation coming through none other than Jesus Christ. She told us that she believes in Jesus and that she knows she is saved because how could she have survived all of that horror if God was not holding her? She then told us of many of her friends who were either alcoholics or had already drunk themselves to death. Please pray for this woman as she believes herself to be saved, but does not have an understanding of salvation. Pray also for all of these elder women as many of them are hardened to anything outside of Orthodoxy and are so lost and without hope. Their religion has not helped them, so they have turned to alcohol. We feel an urgency to reach them, knowing that their days are drawing to an end, yet their hearts are very hardened.
Anna, Sammy and Valentina on our walk home.
Baba Maroosa always walks with a stick. After she left, I started taking care of the laundry. When I turned around Sammy was almost outside the gate - walking with a stick.
Already the leader.
But SO adorable!