Since arriving back in Kiev, one of my focuses has been to recruit Ukrainians to serve as missionaries in Kazakhstan. The very first recruit kind of fell in my lap as a contact from one of the Baptist Union vice presidents. That, of course, was Ivan.
Over the last couple of months, I have met with, prayed with, ate with and tried to get to know him and his heart. When I left for America on September 1, I thought that the next time I would see him would be in Kstan. He was well on the way to having all the paperwork done for a visa, etc.
Well, needless to say, his visa wasnâ€™t ready and he was still here when I arrived on October 1. Over the course of the last few weeks, we have met, prayed, planned and ate together on a couple of occasions. So, I have gotten to know him even better.
Well, this past Thursday was his big day, the day for him to leave for Kstan. I had dinner with him, his mother and sister on Tuesday. They are supportive of him going. So, I decided I should see him off on Thursday. It was an emotional day. I tried to encourage his mother and sister (both are believers) of his decision.
I have to admit that I was a little teary-eyed when I left him at the train station. I left about 15 minutes before the train left so that his mother and sister could say goodbye without an audience. Nevertheless, it was emotional for me as well. It was almost like having your child leave home for the first time (although I donâ€™t know what that is like since I donâ€™t have children).