By Julie Mosse
In the Friday morning quiet, the shimmering vista of Utah’s Wasatch Mountains is breathtaking. Sun’s just coming up, and its rays are flaming, bolts of joy. Sunrises are the absolute antithesis of sad or tired. The meeting of hearts and souls in good conversation with good friends is too. So begins our week with Dave and Terri Butts, our good friends in Salt Lake City.
Last week at a German Bible school, with 100+ of our fellow SEND Eurasia missionaries, we heard of God’s hand working in and through all of us in the former Soviet Union, and were encouraged in our spirits from II Corinthians. We were ministered to as we listened intently to Paul’s words about the deep pain he experienced as he labored to be salt and light, the deep enablement of God in ministry, and the messy interdependence of the minister and those ministered to. II Corinthians puts a poured-out life of ministry into the most sublime context of God’s joy filled sovereignty...even the broken, untied, perplexing loose ends which are the reality of serving in the cause of the Gospel. Consider...
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction so that we will be able to comfort those who are in any affliction with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God”
“Not that we are adequate in ourselves to consider anything as coming from ourselves, but our adequacy is from God, who made us adequate as servants of a new covenant, not of the letter but of the spirit.”
“But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, so that the surpassing greatness of the power will be of God and not from ourselves; we are afflicted in every way, but not crushed, perplexed, but not despairing, persecuted, but not forsaken, struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying about in the body the dying of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body.”
Ministry these last two years has cost us. But we are not alone. Sasha and Lyuba Abramov are counting the cost with us as they serve at Odessa Seminary. Andre Polylak is counting the cost as he begins fulltime village outreach after graduating from OTS. Ilina Podilok is counting the cost as she reaches out to her teaching colleagues with the good news. Svyetta Barabash is counting the cost as she raises her children to love Jesus without the support of a believing husband. We invite you too to count the cost with us and enter the joy of the poured-out life.
Monday, June 13, 2011
This will be a short entry this time. The first part of our summer journey was to spend three days with other SEND leaders at a leadership training conference in Germany. It was a fruitful time of excellent instruction, lively discussion, superb fellowship and the best of German food and hospitality. Many of these people joined SEND about the same time we did and we haven’t seen each other in four to five years. It was a great time of learning and reunion.
The next five days were spent at Brake Bible School at the SEND Eurasia Conference. Here, we enjoyed more reunions, challenging teaching from II Corinthians, more fellowship, reports about God’s work in different parts of the world, training, networking, dreaming, planning and of course again the best of German food and hospitality.
But now our good-byes are said again and we will leave tomorrow to spend on night with good friends and then start our odyssey to Utah.
Friday, June 3, 2011
Today we are packing, cleaning and doing last minute shopping. Tomorrow night we will get on an overnight train to Kiev then head for the airport to fly to Germany. In Germany we will attend two conferences. These conferences will be filled with worship, teaching, training, fellowship, presentations, prayer, mission business and perhaps some fun. This will start our short summer home service. We have done all the planning we dare to do and our schedule is set. When I say set, I mean it in the Ukrainian sense. There is a saying here, “Plans are written on water with a pitchfork.” That means that we have plans but who knows what will happen. We will try to regular entries on the blog.