Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Waiting on the Lord

As soon as we both heard it, we looked at each other and Eric said to me, "You know what that sounds like?"  "Yeah, the Russians are bombing us..." I replied somewhat jokingly.  We both came up with different things it could be and tried to go through our days ignoring the rumbling, the noise and it lighting up the night skies at was just because we were hyped up about the situation that we were thinking like this, they must just be digging for gas. (The Wednesday night I wrote about when the fields were burning, we found out later was not actually burning fields but the military base near us training.)   We were seeing Ukrainian tanks and military on a constant basis and we knew that the Russians were gathering on the border only 30 kilometers from us.  We couldn't share this with friends and family because they were concerned enough.  But as the week went on, things only started to look worse.  People in our village were almost constantly drunk and some were starting to threaten to get rid of us.  Almost every time we called our church people, they thought we were going to say we were leaving.  When we met with different people and said see you later, they would reply with, if you are here.  They were very sweet to us and a few of them checked up on us during the weeks to make sure we were okay.  There were several times we looked at tickets back to the States, but after praying about it, felt peace about staying.  Thursday night, Eric talked to a few people and prayed all night.  Friday morning when we woke up he told me to pack my bags we were flying out the next morning. 

What changed our minds?  I can't really tell you.  We went from having perfect peace about staying to feeling a sense of urgency about getting out.  Before that day, there were a few things that we did not want to leave without finishing, like Gala's Bible lessons and putting a John and Roman on every door this year (past year) in the village, and we completed all of that just the week before.  Maybe God was just waiting for that to be finished...whatever it was, Eric now felt peace about leaving.  When I went to order the tickets, I kept asking, "Are you sure?"  As we shared that decision with others, it seemed like many of the Ukrainians were actually relieved.  I must admit, I felt like they would feel like we were betraying them, leaving them in their time of need - that's how I felt.  But they were concerned that the Russians were going to start the war in our front yard and how would we get out fast with five little ones?  Some have told us that they don't know if our house or the church will be standing when we get back.  I know it is in the Lord's hands and trust Him to bring us back to our home and to the people He has called us to.  The entire time our prayer was that the Lord would direct us what to do in His perfect timing.  On Sunday, we had a lady come up to us crying saying that she has felt an urgency to pray for us lately and has been praying for us to have wisdom concerning what to do.  I know many of you were praying the same way and we greatly appreciate it.  Thank you!

When we first told the children, they could tell we were upset and started to cry.  Since then, we have tried to make it out like a fun vacation and they will get to see Grammy and Grampy!  They still made sure to tell Vasily to give our dog back when we come home. hehe. 
The kids were pretty excited at finding smileys at the place where we are staying. :)
Our home and the church is being watched by Vasily.  He is staying in our home and checks the church twice a day.  I must admit I was a little apprehensive about this since we have had so many deceive us in the past.  He does truly appear sincere, yet there is always a little bit of nervousness.  I had hoped that Lina and her family could stay, but her husband moved their family to Western Ukraine.  I am glad that they will be safe, or at least are closer to the border if they need to escape the country.

We would truly appreciate your prayers for our people at this time and for us as we anxiously await going home.  We are keeping in close contact with them and Lina and her husband are keeping us up to date with any news they hear that we may not read from here.  Pray also that we may get the rest we need as it has been a long year and we have been running since furlough  Our church people are truly a blessing.  In all the years past, whenever we had to leave the country even for a short period to renew our visas, there was always a dreadful feeling that we would be coming home to a mess in the church and have to start from scratch.  It has been so exciting and encouraging to see those we have seen saved grow in their faith!  Vasily said it was a test for them and that God wanted them to grow more.  What a blessing it is!  It also seems like God may have answered my prayers concerning a Russian mama.  A few years ago, our dear Valentina, our Russian mama, left the church.  I had prayed that maybe God would bring us another one.  Over this past year, God has only drawn Gala closer to our family.  This past week, God brought her to salvation!  She has been very concerned about our family and has said she considers us family  It is exciting to think that God may have answered my prayers when I had almost given up hope.


  1. Praying for you all ~ I can't imagine how hard this has been, Jessica.

  2. Praise the Lord for Gala's salvation! I'm thankful to hear that your family is safe in the States right now. I have been praying for you.



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