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Friday, January 01, 2010

We celebrated New Year’s last night with our church. What a blast! Because of Communism, New Year’s rather than Christmas is the big celebration and Russians know how to have fun.

The church rented and decorated a large hall and about 300 people participated.

The party started at 10:30 PM Dec 31 and ended . . . we don’t know when because we left around 4 AM on January 1 and the party was still going strong.

There was lots of good food laid out beautifully;

there were skits and songs and rap;

there was time to mingle with friends or sit and relax.

People were dressed up, dressed down, and dressed out in masks and silly costumes. Everyone there was ready to P-A-R-T-E-E!!!!!

But, the reason that I am even writing this is not because of how awesome this particular party was. It wasn't because of the decorations or the music or the program, but because of the people who were there.

Almost every person at that party, including our beloved pastor who is a visionary man of God, was a drug addict or a homeless person. The dregs of society, broken people living lives of destruction, now, redeemed by the blood of the Lamb, worshiping and praising God and having fun while doing it. I (Karen) had a few people look at me with worry because in the midst of the celebration my eyes kept filling up with tears at the wonder of what I was experiencing. I was in such awe watching everyone knowing that each life was an amazing miracle.

These folks are all from the social center for the homeless. They had written a poem that featured and celebrated each of them in their new life in Christ. We have watched these folks over the last 8 months and have witnessed their transformation socially, emotionally and spiritually.

After the organized program was completed we spent time in praise and worship and the presence of God filled the hall as these precious people gave thanks to their Savior, Jesus.

These two brothers are from the Social Center, ex homeless, society's cast off's bowing down to the King of kings. Words can not adequately express how moving this time was, worshiping together with people who were truly at the bottom and now were standing at the side of Jesus.