I just returned from Florida where I spent a relaxing two weeks with my sister and brother-in-law, Joyce and Jim. As I prayed about this newsletter, I knew it was time for me to share a vision God gave me in January concerning Pastor Ura. I fully planned to write this letter from Florida where I had plenty of time to relax and seek God's direction. Each time I began to write, something didn't seem right and I continued to put it off for another day.
The day before I left to come home, I received a letter from Pastor Ura, translated by my dear friend, Andrey. As I read Ura's letter, I knew why I couldn't write. Ura's message was vital to complete the vision I am about to share with you.
Most of you know how God blessed me through the gentle guidance of Pastor Ura during my time in Khabarovsk. Joyce and I met Ura soon after our arrival and we were privileged to be filled with God's Spirit as we worshipped with the warm, loving people of his church each week. As I wrote about these experiences I knew that words could not express the special Spirit that filled the tiny church each week. God began to fill my heart with a desire to connect Pastor Ura with American Christians. This desire was constant during my time in Khabarovsk and when I returned home, the thought of bringing Ura to America intensified and I began to pray about my thoughts.
In January, God gave me complete assurance that the desire of my heart concerning Ura's witness to Americans was His will and not just my own dream. As I began to read the Word, thoughts came quickly and clearly concerning Ura's mission to America. God began to show me how Ura would be welcomed to witness in many churches and Christian groups here. It seemed so simple as the thoughts kept coming. He would arrive in Seattle and God would prepare a group of Christians to greet him there. From Seattle, God would direct his path to those already chosen to participate in God's plan for uniting Russian and American Christians. My role was simple; I was to be the messenger.
I wrote my friend Andrey and asked him to tell Ura about the vision God had given me concerning Ura's mission in America. It was important for me that Ura pray about what God was telling me. I knew that God would reveal His plan to Ura and that Ura would share this plan with me. Andrey wrote on Sunday, May 16th to tell me that God had answered Ura's prayers concerning the vision given to me. I want to share that vision with you as I received it. I know your hearts will be touched.
Here's Ura's letter:
Dear Charlene, Hello,
I am very grateful to you for everything you are doing for us. Thank you that your love toward us is not finished with words only.
Today, the 10th of May, the Christian Clowns from America with the team of missionaries here gave a performance in our church. More than 160 children came! I believe that this is only the beginning for growth in our church.
Recently, I went to a conference in Moscow and God spoke strongly in my heart. Now I know that He has a plan to use me not only in Russia, but in all the World. This is hard to believe and imagine, but I know now that this is God's plan.
For several nights the Holy Spirit touched me strongly and He showed me
conditions of things and what I must speak about in the churches of your
country. I believe that God wants me to tell about the vision I received
concerning His church here and the personal experience that He leads me
through each day. Finally, He told me that I should use verses from the
Book of Acts concerning the donations given by Americans. (
There will be a strong sermon appealing to the needs of the people in our
country. The title will be taken from
God has also told me that I should develop two ministries with the gifts
I receive for the poor in Khabarovsk. First, I must minister to the
children without parents and second, I must minister to the homeless
people. I believe we will have the money to build the home for the
homeless and the home for the children who are wandering in the railway
stations. This will be the beginning of the growing membership for the
Church of the Living God in Khabarovsk.
Charlene, thank you very much for everything. The money we receive is directed in many ways. Some is for the service of the infant orphans and the hungry people. One time there was almost no food in the seminary and we helped them a little bit. We also help the church in Naikhin where we minister to the Ninian orphans and others. Some goes to help with the rent and many other everyday needs. I can't recall everything right now - you know how it is here - the money just evaporates in your hands.
Today God began specifically to work and tell me what is necessary for the beginning of our work with homeless and abandoned people and with children who were left by their parents. I believe that during the next month or two we will start to provide food for people living at the city's junkyard and on the streets.
At the hospital where Olga and Elena work, all work was stopped for three weeks because there was a medical control inspection. The babies became sick with dysentery and one child died. Our girls were checked also. Elena began working again about one week ago and Olga is completing preparation of the documents she needs to be suitable for work again in this hospital. Janice gave me the money sent from Americans and we could pay for everything needed so the girls can continue to work with the infants. I think Olga will begin working again in three or four days.
This year our Losha, the piano player in our church, is graduating from high school and he wants to enter the musical college for the piano department. Thanks to the gifts from America we are able to hire a good teacher for him who promised that he will be prepared so well that he will successfully enter the college. Losha has already studied in the Musical School.
Also, our rent was increased and we were able to pay everything. We don't have any debts.
Charlene, please pass a big thanks from all of us to those who
participate in donations and prayers as written in
As I mentioned before, God is using me as a messenger to connect Ura with American Christians. I don't know what God has in mind, but it is exciting to be working where God is leading. Please pray about this vision and as God gives you guidance, please share His plans with me. I know that God wishes to use each of you to fulfill his plan for this union of American and Russian Christians.
As God leads you, please share this vision with other Christians and churches in order to prepare the way for the witness God is planning for America through his servant, Pastor Ura. God has not given me a time table concerning Ura's visit. Please pray about this and let me know where God leads you. As God opens doors and reveals his plans, I will continue to keep you informed.
Thank you again for your continued support through prayer and gifts for Ura's vision and the infant orphans. I would like to give you a quick up-date of the orphans as reported by Jan and Lena. Thanks to the gifts you have sent, the babies have had good formula and vitamins. Jan and Lena are budgeting the money knowing that there is a limit to what they can afford to supply. Please pray for a miracle concerning Russia's economy; there doesn't seem to be an earthly answer to the suffering there.
Russian Christians such as Ura and his congregation are being led by God to establish organizations of charity that we take for granted here. American Christians have been involved with the needs of others for so long that it is impossible to imagine a culture where there is nothing in place to help those who cannot help themselves. I know God is directing your hearts and your prayers as you continue to care for the children and the homeless of Khabarovsk, Russia.
Please write me at the address below. If you are led to support any of the ministries in Khabarovsk, please make your checks payable to Fishburn U.M.C. and tell us how you want your gift to be used.
I am happy to continue to tell the story of Khabarovsk, Russia and will be happy to visit you and/or speak with any church or group.
You can write me at:
Fishburn United Methodist Church
Attention: Charlene Reitz
1215 Fishburn Rd.
Hershey, PA 17033
Telephone: (717) 534-1087
In His Love,