The last wall tile stuck to the rich mortar and clung to the new wall. 360 tiles per wall. With the absence of tile at the windows and doorway that made it just over 1200 tiles. The gravel floor was gone. The masonry walls that looked like Al Capone used them for target practice were gone as well. The bakery was over halfway complete and the new metal ceiling and tile floor were just a few days away. All part of Gods wonderful Love for a people who don't even know him. Or do they?
They come in at different times during the day- the curious and local laborers. Why are they doing this many ask? Also many officials who have heard of the "project" to build a bakery for the orphans of Tolbazy. A local reporter came and interviewed all involved and was in awe at the shining new construction that was transforming an old building. All part of the Lords plan. Or was it?
It is the same today as it was when the old serpent, the devil, spoke lies into ears of others. You will not make a difference here! They are just the same as they always were! Jesus will never be accepted by them! The lines are different but the lies are the same.
" But you have not told them emphatically about Jesus".
That is when the Holy Spirit gave me what I needed.
THOUGH I SPEAK WITH THE TONGUES OF MEN AND OF ANGELS, BUT HAVE NOT LOVE,
I HAVE BECOME SOUNDING BRASS OR A CLANGING CYMBAL. 1Cor 13:1 NKJV
(That's noise folks)
These people have heard enough noise. They have seen too many empty promises. I like the book of Acts. Know why? The Apostles took ACTION. Otherwise we would be reading from the famous prophet- Ho-Hum. The Book of Ho-Hum.
This is Love in Action. Bread to feed kids. Built by whom? Anointed hands from the Lover of our Souls. He has Blessed us to do this. He has Blessed us through you. And now the end of labor is in sight.
But the testimony of his Love will continue long after we are gone. His Words are written on the walls in back of the tiles. Scripture! Powerful! And just as he is invisible to us in the natural so is his Words invisible to those who are baking the Bread of Life. His Words will be in every batch. And his Word is established forever and forever.
It was a beautiful day as we headed into the countryside that led to the orphanage. It had been nearly six weeks (but only twenty-one days of labor) since we began the remodeling work, and now we were on a final journey. Today we would lay the floor tiles and complete phase one of the work on the bakery.
Colorful fields spread for miles with mountains and lush forest in the distance. The corn is tall and tasseled, sunflowers are turning their faces to the sun, and the bright green cabbages are round and full. As we drove past fields of crops ripe for harvest, I thought about how we had watched the fields change with each trip. When we first ventured out in early spring to make plans for the work the fields were but unturned fallow ground. A few weeks later there was an aroma in the air as farmers began tilling the fresh dirt. Then the time had come for seeds to be spread. Eventually we saw growth as plants sprouted from the soil. People of all ages tended the precious plants, fertilizing, watering, and protecting them from harmful weeds. They knew it was a matter of time before they would reap the harvest. The thought came to my mind of how our work here is much like the fields. When we first arrived, the building had sat dormant for a very long time. Though the structure was solid the needed repairs were numerous. The people, both staff and children, looked at us with blank uncertainty. There was a sense of the hardness of the life we knew they have here. I wondered if any had been touched by the Love of God. But I felt we were facing fallow ground, both in the building and in the people.
The next trip we came with tools and materials to begin the process of "tilling the ground" as the repairs begin. The people watch curiously as we work with joy, or pray together. They listen as we sing praises while working. They smile as we walk hand in hand across the path. At first they think this is because we are Americans then they realize our Russian teammates do the same. What is different? Each day as we are working, people stop and ask "why?" Why do you come? Why do you work like this? What do you receive? In all cases the answer is "Love".
Love is the tool that tills the fallow ground of the heart. We share that love in the form of gentle words, encouragement, smiles and hugs, and handing out blessings along the way. We share that love as we tell them how people in a foreign land gave from their hearts to make this possible. They are amazed to learn we are not the source of provision but just the hands that deliver.
Each day the building changes with transformation and so do the relationships and the hearts of the people. They are beginning to open up, laugh with us, and share their lives. We are learning the hardships they face in life. This often opens the door for sharing of how God has worked in our lives through similar times. They are amazed as they see the joy we have in spite of the hardships. They listen and seeds are planted. Seeds that say God is love and He offers hope to get you through.
Now we are seeing sprouts of hope as we learn some know the Love of God. Some have Bibles but do not really understand. Some have been baptized but seldom go to church. For these it is fertilizer and water to the dry soil. And some have come and asked how do we find this love of God in our lives.
Just as it is exciting to watch the crops of the fields come to full bloom so it is to watch the Love of God and a bakery come to fruition. The harvest will come when they receive not only bread for the body but for the soul. What an awesome blessing to be part of that garden. Prayers and love of many have helped till the soil. Actions are planting the seeds, watering and fertilizing. And God is creating the harvest.
I Corinthians 3:5-6 What after all is Apollos? And what is Paul? Only servants, through whom you came to believe.-as the Lord has assigned each his task. I have planted the seed, Apollos has watered it, but God made it grow.
Your ambassadors of love in Russia
Dale and Janice Spurgeon Marcum
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