It has been a whirlwind tour since arriving in the States almost 3 weeks ago. Upon arrival I was able to drive 6 hours to see my mom and spend some time with her (I think she was more interested in my kids 🙂 ) Then I was back in St. Louis to preach at Cornerstone on Sunday at the Russian service. It was great to see old friends there and worship together.
After that service, the next day, I got word that my grandfather passed away and I was to preach the funeral. I was honored. Before leaving for the funeral, Elena and I led a marriage and family seminar at Bayless Baptist Church in St. Louis. We taught “Building a marriage that really works“. After the seminar, I packed up the kids and we made the 6 hour drive again. It was an emotional roller coaster. I had seen my grandfather the week before and he was able to speak to us. We said our goodbyes then and knew that he was going home to be with the Lord. Emmanuel, our 2 year old son, sang the B-i-b-l-e song to Papaw about 6 times while we visited. I did not even know that he knew the song but he did a great job. God gave me the words and the strength to stand before the large crowd at the funeral and preach the Gospel. It was a real blessing to be able to honor a life well lived, preach the Gospel, and see old friends and family members that I had not seen in a long time. The next day, we loaded up and traveled back to St. Louis where Elena remained because it was impossible for her to travel that much being 8 months pregnant.
Then we started our small group Bible study meetings that we hold every Thursday night in our host family’s home. We are studying the 40 minute study, “How to make choices that you will not regret“, produced by Precept Ministries International. The first lesson was amazing and we pray to have many, many more people come to the next meetings. On Saturday we finished up the 2nd part of the marriage and family seminar. It was an absolute amazing time in God’s Word. All of the families who attended were greatly blessed and now we want to see application in the church.
On Saturday evening, I was invited to a banquet where we learned how to reach out to Muslims living in the St. Louis area (250,000 Muslims in St. Louis, 22 mosques and training centers). David Arthur was the guest speaker. One of my friends from Moldova was also there to explain how they disciple Muslims through sports’ ministries. It was great to meet David and get to know him. He had a wonderful message and challenge for us all. The next day he preached at Cornerstone so I was there to hear him preach out of Joshua about responding to God’s call to leadership. It was a real blessing. After that service, I was able to attend Bayless and see many great friends who pray for us all throughout the year. While the pastor was preaching, he asked me if I could get my friend from Moldova to come and share his testimony at the evening service. I called after the service and he came. Our host family invited many local relatives to come and hear this mysterious missionary speak. They came and were greatly encouraged. After the service, we all met up for some good fellowship at our host family’s house and continued to share. Some of the relatives are not following Christ so we were able to befriend them and share the Gospel. All of them accepted an invitation to come to the next Thursday night Bible study. Praise the Lord.
Now I am getting ready to take my friend on a tour of St. Louis and then tomorrow night we are going to try to evangelize the many Muslims who live around the Bayless area who will be out for Halloween.
On Sunday, I will have the privilege of speaking at Bayless and sharing about the ministry in Moldova over the past year since we have been away on the mission field.
How have you last couple of weeks been? Have they been productive for the kingdom of God? What about this week, will you make it a productive one for the kingdom? It all depends on YOU. Have a great day.