Hello everyone each day here brings new blessings. Some we are moved to write about. We thought you may enjoy a couple of these. I pray you also will be blessed by them.
God loves you and so do we Dale and Jan
The Change She suddenly was in my face.
No warning. She was just there.
I didn't even see where she came from.
Sitting in my hosts car waiting for his return and lost somewhere in a now forgotten thought. I rolled down the window wondering why it was up at all on this beautiful spring morning, She spoke in Russian and I comprehended none of it. My famous Russian language skills immediately came into play.
Nee pennymyyoo parooski. I don't speak Russian. Handy phrase to know here in Ufa.
But she never missed a beat. She pointed to her head and made a sorrowful face. Again she uttered what seemed like the same words as before. It was then that I seemed to understand. She wanted some "change".
I said the best "ahhh" that I could and reached into my pocket and plucked up several rubles.
She carefully noted how much I gave her which must have been enough because she smiled a big smile as I patted her shoulder and I said "God Bless you".
As she walked I thought of the "change". So many in her life and many most likely were not pleasant. She was old enough to be a grandma. Russian grandmas are so wonderful to see. The scarf on their heads, coat or jacket, and the faces that have true character etched into them. She walked away exhibiting all these things.
I kept thinking of the many different facets of "change" she had seen during her lifetime. Then I thought of the simple words I had spoken to her. "God bless you". Not spoken lightly or just thrown out to fill the breeze with some sounds.
I knew she didn't understand one of those three words. But she wasn't the only person I spoke them to.
She needed "change".
So I took her plight to the One who is the "change-maker". And he is always faithful and capable of making the "change" possible.
Thank you Lord. You are patient and always available when we seek you and ask in gratitude for the change people need.
Thank you for the lovely old woman you sent to me and for the change that is about to happen in her life.
In Jesus name-amen.
Jan wrote Through a Child's Eyes It was a beautiful day as we entered the courtyard of the home. From the outside it looked much like many others. Two large brick buildings one for schooling and one for sleeping. To the back of the building we could see the children busy working in the garden. They looked up curious as to who would come to see them. As much as they wanted to stop and come closer they knew they must first continue the task before them of spring planting.
As we neared the building some of the younger children were there and also starred in wonder at the visitors. We emerged from the small car after our six-hour drive. I know we looked somewhat frazzled from the trip, but our smiles showed we came in peace. The children listened in wonder to the foreign language they were hearing. It was not like any they knew. They stood back shy and uncertain. In their eyes you could almost see the question, who are these people that have come to visit us? It was those eyes that caught my attention. There was a sadness to them that was almost hopeless looking.
We joined the director in the customary teatime. She was familiar with our teammates and knew we came with provisions for the children. This trip, thanks to a donation from England, we were able to bring shoes for children. Now those eyes became wide with awe as we unloaded the many pairs of new white tennis shoes. The eyes began to show excitement as the children gathered in the large room. There were whispers of amazement as they looked upon shoes unlike any they had ever owned. Each sat anxiously as they waited for their turn to receive this gift. Smiles covered the faces as they slipped the treasures on their feet. It was as though they were Cinderella waiting for a chance at the glass slipper.
But then something happened.
Amongst the joyful smiles I spotted a young boy. He was almost lost in the midst of the excitement. He walked back to his seat with his head down. He lowered his face in his hands and began to cry. The shoes would not fit his large feet. My heart sank for him as he looked up at his friends showing off their new shoes. He then tried to hide his disappointment but it was there. I had seen it and my heart too was breaking for him. We were not the fairy God mother and had no magic wand to wave. There was no store nearby where we could "fix" the situation by buying a new pair. I felt helpless as I saw eyes filled with sadness and disappointment. His heart had been crushed. I approached him with a hug and acknowledged the problem. The best I could do was to make a promise to get some before school in the fall. Now, that seemed a long ways off and in his eyes I saw uncertainty it would happen.
That evening as we shared games, love and hugs with the children I watched the eyes. Some looked back with a desire for love. Or perhaps a spark of hope we had come to take them away. Some just stared as they sat shyly in the corner. I wonder what will become of the children of these homes. I long to make a difference and know the only thing I have to give is love. It is the love of Jesus. But how in such a short visit can we make a difference?
And I remembered "what did Jesus do?" He took the little children into his arms and blessed them. So with each hug I prayed God's blessings upon them. I pray they would know His love and that it would be started with a seed we were planting this day.
The next day as we said good byes, a young girl with short blonde hair came to me for a hug. She was about ten years old and wore a small cross around her neck. This was the cross people receive when baptized in the Orthodox church. Someone had shared with her about the Lord. As she hugged me she held ever so tightly. As she stepped back she still held my hand and starred into my eyes almost longingly. Then a big smile came on her face and she came into my arms again for another hug. It was filled with so much love. Again our eyes met and it was as if something special happened in that moment. It was as if she had hope and knew there was hope in this world.
She simply said, "Thank you." In those eyes I saw love.
And now these three remain faith, hope, and love, but the greatest of these is love. I Corinthians 13:13
We thank you for being there for without you we could not be here.
Remember God loves you and so do we.
Jan and Dale... Ambassadors of Love
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