Sunday, July 7, 2013

Bogdan's Story

Do you remember Tamara?  We first came in contact with her in October 2009.  In January 2010, Eric started visiting her son, Ruselan, in prison and doing Bible lessons with him.  His wife and two sons were living with another man at the time.  This past year while we were in the States, he was let out of prison and reunited with his "wife" (they are technically divorced).  The Whites and Lina visited with them many times and the boys, Bogdan and Nikita, started coming to Sunday School and the Bible clubs they held.  Over the past year or so, he has heard the message clearly presented, but he never seemed to really pay attention.  I know Lina has wept for them and her desire (and ours) was that they would be saved.  As I mentioned, during our recent Bible Club, he raised his hand saying that he wanted to talk to Lina about being saved.  We were all bursting with excitement!  While everyone was busy with free time and pickup, Lina and Eric pulled him aside and talked to him.  They said he was very serious about it and readily admitted that he was a sinner and could not save himself.  About 30 minutes later, Bogdan bowed his head and asked Jesus to clean his heart!  When he came out, he was glowing, but definitely shy about all the attention.  We are praising God for this decision that he has made.

It is not going to be easy for him, though and we greatly covet your prayers for this young man and his family.  What does he have to go home to?  A father and mother who are hardly ever home...unless they are drunk.  It has also been gossiped that his mother sleeps around.  Please, please pray for them.  They have, on occasion, expressed a desire to change and even called this week wanting to meet with Eric and get their lives right...but they did not show up because they were drunk.  Bogdan is often called the "bad boy" in the family and is treated very harshly.  Pray that there will be an evident change in Bogdan that will draw the rest of his family to God.   

Bible Club

Women's Day, Men's fishing trip...the kids were begging and wondering when it was their turn.  So this past Wednesday we had a Bible Club or "Children's Day" for them.  We started inviting kids, planning (Lina did most of it...she is amazing.) and picking up supplies.  The kids were all very excited and it was looking like we would have close to 15!  Wednesday morning came and it started to look like it would only be our kids and Max.  Our neighbors, Nastia and Masha couldn't come because Nastia was grounded and about the only fun thing they can ground her from is church activities.  When Eric went to meet Tanya and David (who was bringing a friend), they weren't at the bus.  He called and found out that they had missed it.  The other kids who were supposed to come couldn't for different reasons.  We got to the church maybe a little discouraged but decided we'd have fun anyways.  We were thrilled when Bogdan and Nikita showed up and I think their excitement got us all excited again.  Lina started out with a lesson on salvation, something they had heard her present clearly many, many times.  When she gave the invitation asking those who would like to talk with her to raise their hand, Bogdan's hand came up shyly, then scratched his ear and rested on his hat.  As she continued the invitation, his hand slowly came out away from his face.  Lina acknowledged it and closed the lesson.
Next was craft time.  I have never seen kids who like to make crafts so much!  We helped them all to make "wordless book" bracelets.
Then on to the games.  First there was fishing.
After a few organized games, it was time to "get Pastor Eric!"  This was most likely the highlight of the day for them. hehe

The last game we played was volley ball, with water balloons of course.  I think the kids' goal was still "get Pastor!"

We ended the day with food, chips (boy, do these kids LOVE chips!), free-play and pickup for the evening service.  It was a great day and the kids were already asking when the next one will be.

What about Bogdan?  Well, I'm saving that for my next post. :)


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