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12 September 2006

Unexpected realities

It is the little things that sneak up on you it seems.

The bountiful dinner with a refugee family, the laughter amidst different languages, the satisfaction of feeding over 400 individuals for a day, seeing God's hand in the midst of battle...these are the things that sneak up on me.

I can't say that I went to Greece with the expectation of seeing God work any more than I see Him work here in Russia. I didn't expect to be met in any specific way by Him, but just to be continually upheld in His presence.

And yet. And yet - I was surprised.

For those of you who have left their home environments for any other place for a short time, you know how often surrealistic it seems. The sky is brighter, the sun is warmer (well let's face it, if you leave Russia then the sun is indeed warmer!) and everything takes on a special glow. I knew that might happen in Greece. Yet I was surprised and calmed to realize that it was just like any other place with its pluses and minuses.

And yet. And yet - I was surprised.

My eyes were opened.

"The poor and needy search for water,
but there is none;
their tongues are parched with thirst.

But I the Lord will answer them;
I, the God of Israel, will not forsake them.
I will make rivers flow on barren heights,
and spring within the valleys.
I will turn the desert into pools of water,
and the parched ground into springs. that people may see and know,
may consider and understand,
that the hand of the Lord has done this,
that the Holy One of Israel has created it." Isaiah 41:17-20

I saw that God was working among those who are thirsty and parched, and that He was in the process of making rivers flow to them. What an amazing miracle! What a joy to behold! And how very amazing to be a participant!

We spent many hours with refugees and with prostitutes, both serving their needs and praying for their eternal lives. We spent hours encouraging those who work alongside the poor and needy daily. We spent time walking the streets and taking in the atmosphere. I can honestly say that this trip was a turning point in my life, and I was not even expecting it.

Isn't it amazing to see the little things sneak up on you?

1 comment:

susan said...

excellent, Stacie. We DO serve a God who LOVES to sneak up on us and say, "Gotcha!" I guess He got YOU this time around :) See you in November, I hope.