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Friday, January 05, 2007

It once was lost but now is found

On December 19 Mike and I were riding home on a bus that was so crowded we could not move our arms. When you are that packed in together it’s no surprise to feel other people rubbing up against you as the bus is moving, but this time Mike said it felt different. He whispered to me that he thought he might be getting his pockets picked, but wasn’t sure. People were squished in too tightly to reach down. We literally could do nothing until the bus stopped and some of the people got off. Mike reached for his pocket and sure enough, his passport was gone. You feel so violated and helpless. That evening we sent out an anguished appeal for people to pray that it would be returned. A lost passport would mean multiple trips to officials here in the city and at least several trips to Moscow plus the expense of travel and a new passport.

The morning after I sent out the prayer request for the return of Michael’s passport I was reading John 9-11. Though possibly taken a bit out of context 2 of the verses leaped out at me. The first of the verses was John 10:10, "The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy.” When I read that I shook my head and said to myself, “Yah, isn’t that the truth!” Then as I read on, John 11:22 said, "Even now I know that whatever You ask of God, God will give You." My heart skipped a beat and I really felt my spirit quicken as if the Holy Spirit were speaking to me specifically to press in and have hope and to not be afraid to ask for the impossible. I believed in my gut that against all odds the passport was going to find us. Even as the days passed with no results I knew that it wasn’t too late until the moment that we finally had to board a train to go to the US embassy in Moscow to replace it. I knew that we weren’t to give up hope, but as the days passed we were pressured by people to go to Moscow without delay and to immediately replace it.

The Christmas and New Year holidays and the process of getting Michael legally re-registered in the city prevented us from going to Moscow immediately plus I felt no peace about going. The Holy Spirit would remind me, “did I or didn’t I speak to you about the passport?” I knew that the Lord had spoken, but the legal ramifications of not having legal identification papers in this country were huge and the pressure was building.

The US Embassy reopens on the 9th of January which is the end of the Russian holiday recess . We were planning on going to Moscow then if we didn't recover the lost passport. On the 29th of December I was just going to sit down and write an update to our prayer request telling people that we were planning to buy train tickets to go to Moscow when the phone rang. Someone had found the passport tossed into the snow. They did ask of us, would we pay a reward to get it back? So, for 1000 rubles or about $40 everything is as it should be once again! When we got the passport back it was intact and nothing was missing from inside. Thank you so much for holding us up in prayer for this. It is truly a miracle that the passport wasn’t tossed in a dumpster somewhere and that the person who picked it up out of the snow took the trouble to trace the ownership.


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