Friday, June 13, 2008

(Oleg, the man who speaks a little English, praying at night.)

My first day at the rehab center went well. We traveled to another rehab center to visit the people there and encourage them.

Anna, the woman in charge, tells me that our model is the first church as described in the book of Acts. We work very hard to ensure community - by praying together and reading the Bible every day. "Church isn't on Sunday, it's our life."

I had one of the best conversations of my life last night. It was one of the best because it was entirely in Russian and I understood almost everything, and I think that Ilya also understood. We talked about how we became Christians and that his brother isn't a Christian. We read the Bible together and talked about the verses. We prayed together. It was completely a "God moment" because my Russian is still barely passable.

(Me and a friend at one of the rehab centers.)

One of the men at the rehab center speaks a little english. He mispronounces almost every word, but he tries so hard and I'm quite good at guessing ... I can see it makes him so happy when he can communicate. I'm pretty sure that our language skills are on the same level, but people tell me that I speak quite well with very little accent ... and as long as people speak slowly, address me by name before asking questions, and use the forms of the words I know I can understand quite a bit.

At the end of the day I am so exhausted I can barely think, but I know that God has so much to teach me through these people and I don't want to miss out on it because I am lazy. I remind myself of the fact that if I wasn't lazy I could be communication much better by now ... it motivates me to work harder. I'm still lazy, but I'm doing better.

I have the slowest internet imaginable, so I probably will only post once a week, but keep coming back, I might suprise myself.

(the statue of Lenin on the grounds of one of the drug and alcohol rehab centers. Since the state still owns the grounds it can't be taken down.)

Pray that my Russian will improve and that my heart will grow. Love, Michael.

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