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Sunday, January 06, 2008

We Give You Our Hearts

As missionaries we often ask ourselves if we are really having an impact with the work we do. Traditional ways of measuring effectiveness include people expressing faith in Christ, water baptisms or churches started.

How we touch people’s lives in other ways is often difficult to measure. This month we have had opportunity to see that we are impacting lives here in Russia.

December 30th was Michael’s birthday. In Russian churches if you have a birthday you are asked to come to the front of the church and everyone prays for you and you might also receive a gift. For Michael’s birthday he was presented this balloon sculpture. The large center balloon is filled with smaller heart balloons.

When the gift was presented he was told, “Michael, we didn’t know what to give you, so we decided to give you our hearts.” We received this gift as evidence of how we have been received here in Russia and how our work has impacted this church.

Another fun gift that Michael received was his own Banya hat and a bunch of oak branches which he will dip into hot water and use to beat himself and someone else with while in the banya.

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