Getting away

I spent last week in the Carpathian Mountains. It was good to be able to “get away” from all the 24/7 news available.

I spent much of one whole day walking the streets of two small villages and praying with my pastor friend, Sasha. We probably walked around 10 kilometers in around freezing temps, but the cold that day reminded me of the cold in Kazakhstan. When there is little humidity, the temps just don’t feel as cold.

While I walked and prayed, I was reminded of a sweeter time that seemed so distant, but was only a year ago. I had just returned to Donetsk from 4 1/2 months in the US and I had so many dreams and ideas. All of that changed during the month of February 2014.

I haven’t openly written too much about what has transpired in my life in the last year. It still is too painful, but God has used a book and lots of family and friends to get me through this time.

While I may not understand it all, I do know that it is for a purpose. I believe that with all my heart.

I have lots of friends still in the midst of the war in Donbass. I pray for them daily. Some of them know of God, it is my desire that they may seek Him with all their heart.

That is why I haven’t written much on this blog in the last year. I didn’t know what to say. I still don’t really know what to say now. I love to write, however, it seems in the last year that desire has diminished.

I hope God will stir in my heart to tell you the stories of the people of this wonderful country I live in. There are so many stories waiting to be heard. (Now, maybe I’m beginning to ramble…)

Getting away with a group of people I care for was good. It reminded me of what I have always loved about this culture… people highly value their friends and spending time with them. Getting to walk the streets of a village and pour out my heart to the Father was just what I needed.

I taught one session at the retreat on our relationship with the Father, based on Psalm 139. There is an old Russian song based on this psalm and we sung it just before my teaching. Honestly, I do not know what I was thinking asking the musician to play this song before I taught because I was overwhelmed by the chorus:

If I ascend to heaven, you are there! If I make my bed in Sheol, you are there!
If I take the wings of the morning and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea,
even there your hand shall lead me, and your right hand shall hold me.

This is the Truth that I continue to hold on to dearly… God is there, no matter what I may be going through, walking through, God is there.