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FSM 283 DO
From Russia with Love
{\b --Testimonies from Mama’s Ambassadors to Russia}
© January 1996, by The Family, Zurich, Switzerland

       In the prophecies which were published in “Say Not Ye There Are Yet Four Months” (ML #2997, GN 640), the Lord pled for more laborers to help reap the harvest in Russia. “The need is great, the time is short, and the time is now,” He said.
       In response to this urgent appeal and to help encourage and strengthen the dear Family there, Mama sent three members of her Home—David, Ana and Francis—to visit the Homes in Russia. As Mama explained, “What had started as an idea for some of our staff to go to Russia on a month’s low-profile witnessing excursion, with a minimum of contact with Family Homes for security’s sake, changed into a public mission!” That mission can be summed up by these excerpts from prophecies which were received for the team before they left for Russia:
{\i        “Send forth My missionaries, these apostles, these ones with the message—a message of love, a message of support, a message of unity, a message of concern. Send forth these ones to carry with them the love of the queen, and to pour forth her tears of concern upon the weary souls of these who do labor....}
       {\i “And as they do visit and as they do strengthen the brethren, they too shall put their hands under the load and lighten the load through their witnessing, through their working in the Home, through their helping and inspiration, through the lessons and the testimonies they will pass on, through their sample of love and prayerfulness and consideration, through their example of just being one of the Family, just like these front-line fighters. They will see that these ambassadors of Mine, these missionaries of love are not coming from some high place of sanctimonious perfection, but they are just like they are, and they have the same needs and desires and wants, the same NWOs, the same problems, and yet they are able to be used as My ambassadors, as My visiting servants, as My missionaries of love, as My beacons of light, because of their love for the queen and their love for Me, and because of their yieldedness and their willingness to say ‘yes’ to Me....}
{\i        “This is a continuation of the Love Story. This is the continuation of the Story of Love.—My queen’s love for the lost by sending forth her son; My queen’s love for her Family by publishing it abroad; ... her willingness to give and her obedience to My voice, and being willing to follow, to send forth her loved ones for the sake of reaching those that are in need, for encouraging those that need encouragement, giving love and help to those who cry out. What more could she do than give the ones that are precious to her?” (ML #2997:90,98,118,119).}
       Following are excerpts of the various notes that the team wrote home, outlining some of the testimonies, lessons and travel experiences of their three-month trip. We’re sure you will find this to be fascinating and informative reading!
       (Note: The exact location of the Homes they visited have been removed for the sake of our pioneer missionaries, some of whom face strong opposition while preaching the Gospel.)

The First Home!
July 8th through 17th, Mail Ministry Home in Eastern Europe:
       The day we arrived, the Home was doing a big clean-up of their grounds. After we settled in, we were taken on a tour of the property. The Home members are all very precious and cheerful, and seemed quite happy to see us. If they were nervous about meeting us, we didn’t notice because we were too nervous ourselves, ha!
       After the tour, we offered to help with different things around the Home. David did gardening, while Francis washed the cars and Ana helped in the kitchen. That was a good way to start off our visit, by just working alongside the rest of the Home just as we do when at home, so everyone could see that we weren’t spotlighting ourselves as ”the people from Mama’s Home!” Also, the same morning, just before we arrived, the Home read the Russia GN (GN 640), which explains our visit. That was a blessing, as it meant we didn’t have to explain it ourselves, ha!
       Nearly all of the ministries in the Home are fully manned by teens, YAs or EE nationals in their twenties. One day we helped out with the Mail Ministry work, stuffing envelopes and preparing mailings, which was fun. Since we were preparing for our trip into Russia, we also spent time with some of the CRO teamwork who were there at the time, reading, counseling, praying and hearing from the Lord about our visits to the Homes in Russia.
       We asked the Home members to write up any questions they would like to ask us, and explained that we would try to answer them in a united meeting. Later, when we met with the Home, we were able to share things about Dad, Mama and Peter, and what our Home is like. We certainly didn’t feel very eloquent, and were quite nervous. One of the questions directed to David was “What for you is the most difficult thing about this trip?” to which he promptly replied, “This meeting!”—Ha!
       David answered a question about whether he had any full-time ministries, and he explained that at home he does little jobs around the house and helps here and there; he’s never learned to shepherd teens or JETTs or adults, etc., and doesn’t have some big important ministry. After the meeting a few of the teens commented to one of the Home shepherds about how humble and unassuming David is. We tried to get across to everyone that we just feel like nobodies that the Lord happens to be using, and if anything good comes from this trip, it’s only Jesus and not us! None of us felt like we said anything very profound, but we just had to take it by faith that it was helpful!

Sharing Our Lessons with All!
       We attended a Home council meeting one evening. We were impressed at how tactfully people presented their opinions and proposals, even though the two main topics of discussion were “hot” ones. We were told that some of the earlier Home councils had not gone as smoothly, but it seemed that with time and prayer, everyone had learned the give and take that is vital for loving and fruitful meetings of this type.
       One morning at devotions David shared with the Home about Praise Time, as that Letter was about to be published and Mama asked us to share this with the Homes we visited. (See “Affection Time with Jesus,” ML #3013, GN 650.) After a brief discussion, we tried it all together, which was inspiring. Another morning at devotions David and Francis shared some of their personal lessons. David told about leaving Dad and Mama’s Home for another WS unit in search of a more “important” ministry. Things didn’t quite work out for him in that Home, as he blamed his discontent on his surroundings and the people he was with instead of his own unyieldedness to the Lord’s will in his life. He became quite difficult to work with and ended up being seriously tempted to leave the Family. Then he told how Dad invited him to come home and received him like the Prodigal Son, which was a tremendous sample to him of unconditional love and acceptance. He ended with his lessons on contentment and being happy to be a little person.
       After David finished, Francis read a prophecy about his need to be a sample of humility. He apologized for his poor sample when he was in this area before, and went on to share his lessons about trying to climb the ladder of success and “be somebody” in the Family, and about how he’s learning to slow down to love Jesus and others more. All his frantic activity and trying to be important or impress people with how “dedicated” he was hadn’t meant very much to the Lord. He explained how the Lord doesn’t judge us by how much we’re accomplishing, but by how much we’re loving Him and others—His two great commandments (Mat.22:37-40).
       David’s and Francis’ testimonies tied together quite well and brought out the same points, but from different angles and experiences. If it came out well, it certainly was the Lord, because they were both pretty nervous and didn’t really know what to say or how they were going to express themselves.
       We also visited two other Homes in this country, an outreach Home and a border base Home. We spent time talking with the different Home members, and in the evening we shared the same things about Dad, Mama and Peter and our Home. Francis had previously received some prophecies for someone in the Home who is on the Prayer List, which he was able to give to her personally.
       Later that evening, the shepherds thanked us for the visit and said that the timing was just perfect. Many Home members, themselves included, had been going through rough times and were feeling low, so they really appreciated the added inspiration. We didn’t feel like we did anything special. We just listened to them, tried to show them the Lord’s Love, and assure them of Mama and Peter’s love.

Getting Our Travel Plans from the Lord
July 18th through 25th, Moscow:
       Upon our arrival in Moscow, we took a morning off to rest, and in the afternoon we got together to seek the Lord about which Homes we should visit next, etc. We had many questions and the Lord answered them all, praise His Name! Each time we have asked, the Lord has been faithful to give us clear, direct answers. However, He doesn’t tell us things too far in advance, probably so that we will continue to ask Him each step of the way.
       The Lord spoke quite clearly about going to the “far reaches” and specifically that our first step should be to the “southern ridges.” When looking at the map, it was quite clear that this meant Kazakhstan, where we have a Home. We felt that the Lord wanted us to go there first, and from there visit the Homes in Siberia, working our way from East to West. We also felt that going to the eastern Homes first would be in line with the counsel that the Lord gave the Family through prophecy (see GN 640) about reaching the people beyond the Urals (the mountain range that runs southward from the Arctic Circle down to near the Aral Sea, which is generally considered to be one of the boundaries between Europe and Asia).
       When Francis went to take care of our registration and visa for Kazakhstan, it was a bit of a battle. No one in these offices seemed to really know what they were talking about, and we got conflicting information about how to proceed and whether we even needed a visa or not. The Lord helped us though, and taught us patience in the process! We were hoping that we could go on to Kazakhstan sooner, but it seemed the Lord wanted us to spend some additional days in Moscow while our paperwork was being processed. During our delay, about ten people who were on the road came back, and we were able to meet them too, which has been a blessing and inspiration.

The Russia Family in Action!
       One afternoon, we went with some of the folks here to do a show at a military hospital where soldiers recently wounded in Chechen (a war zone in south-western Russia) were being treated. Some of the Home members here have been visiting the hospital regularly and have quite a few sheep on the line whom they are feeding, but we believe this was the first time they actually did a show for everyone. Also included in the program was the video movie “The Gospel According to Saint Luke” in Russian, which has a powerful Salvation message. Karen, Eric and David sang some songs in Russian and English for the several hundred soldiers who had gathered. Even though the three of them had only a little time to practice the songs earlier that day, they sang very well together, and the soldiers really liked the songs!
       When we had trouble getting the VCR to work, Ela, one of our Polish sisters, gave a 30-minute Salvation class to the soldiers, which was quite anointed. Finally, by a miracle, we got the VCR and TV working and put on the movie. While the movie was playing, most of us went outside the room and personally witnessed to soldiers who gathered outside, or followed up on other soldiers who were bedridden.
       Another day we helped set up a new apartment for two couples who were about to arrive. Among other improvements, they were re-wallpapering the whole apartment. A big job, God bless them! It was fun, and they appreciated our help with the wallpapering.

Sharing Love and Encouragement
       We spent two evenings fellowshipping with Homes in the area, sharing inspiring stories about Dad and Mama and our Home, and spending personal time talking with different ones.
       During both of these visits, David and Francis shared their lessons, then various Home members began spontaneously offering their reactions to our visit and the things we had told them. It was a bit humbling to hear people say such encouraging things about us and our visit and sample, as we know if anything we do or say helps anybody, it’s only Jesus, and we don’t feel like we’re doing very much at all. We kept emphasizing how it’s just the Lord and His Love and Mama’s love, and nothing of us. We have done nothing that we can take the credit for.
       Luke, one of our Polish brothers, shared how when he first read in the GN about how we were coming “to comfort the battle-weary and give love and encouragement,” he thought, “I’m not that battle-weary or in need of encouragement. I’m pretty happy and fulfilled.” But after a few days he said that he realized just how much he was in need of encouragement, and that our visit had a renewing effect on his life.
       He also shared how he had been afraid that we were going to point out everything that was “wrong” in the Home. In fact, when he first heard we were going to have a meeting, he was real nervous because he thought, “Here it comes!” He said he was very relieved and inspired to find that we were only there to show love and encouragement. A couple of other people shared the same thing.
       Different ones also shared how much they could relate to David’s and Francis’ testimonies, and said that they were a real help. We realize, however, that our sample is even more important than our words, especially the love we pass on. People said they were inspired to see we’re just simple, relaxed and happy. Lord help us to be more that way!
       People especially commented on David’s sample of quiet humility and simplicity. As one person put it, they had been expecting a great flaming evangelist and Endtime prophet. It’s like the story of Elijah and how the Lord was not in the wind or earthquake or fire, but in the still small voice.
       After different ones shared their lessons and reactions, we all sang some songs to the Lord. We kept singing one song after another, and no one wanted to stop! It was a beautiful and refreshing time of fellowship and loving the Lord together, and very uniting. That evening was also our good-bye to the Moscow Family, which was hard because everyone there is so sweet and we really have enjoyed our time with them.

Witnessing, Witnessing, Witnessing!
July 26th through 31st, Kazakhstan Home:
       The Kazakhstan Home is still in the pioneering stages, but the Lord is blessing them and they’re quite inspired! They already have regular orphanage and prison ministries. At the prison, a group of about 80 teenage prisoners attend weekly classes and are now reading the Bible on their own and witnessing to others.
       The Home’s main ministry, however, seems to be to their Outside Witnessers, some of whom are now more like catacombers. They have a group of about eight young people, aged 13 to 26, who have been attending daily classes throughout the summer and are really growing. Several of them have even expressed a desire to join full time. Then there is another circle of kids who come to the classes less frequently. The Home is a five-minute walk from a park, so they have been doing most of their personal witnessing, as well as having daily meetings with their “regulars,” there.
       Most of our activities with this Home were centered around their witnessing and follow-up. We went to their daily afternoon meetings with their sheep, and talked with their closest Outside Witnessers, some of whom speak English. Our second day there, the person whose turn it was to teach the class asked David to give it. It was funny because David and Francis had just been talking about going to the afternoon class to meet the sheep, and David said, “I’d like to go, as long as I’m not asked to teach the class.” Just then that person came up and asked if he would like to teach it, ha! He prepared a class on prayerfulness and faith, using Bible stories from the Treasures.
       That afternoon Ana stayed home and cooked dinner, while Francis went with Russian Tim to check out a folk concert site before the Home sent a larger witnessing team there the next day. Each year, thousands of people from all over Kazakhstan and Russia go to this beautiful mountain site just outside the city, to listen to Asian folk and pop music. After scouting out the place and getting out some posters, Tim and Francis spent a couple of hours witnessing to the hundreds of young people who were just hanging around outside the concert stadium. Francis had never witnessed to Muslims before, so he asked Tim how he did it, and after he taught Francis how to present Salvation to them, Francis prayed with four Muslims to receive the Lord! (Kazakhstan is nominally a Muslim country, but most of the people actually know very little about their religion. They are easy to talk to and quite open to the Christian message and the Bible, including the message of Jesus’ Love and Salvation.)
       That evening, while Francis and Tim continued witnessing at the concert, David and Ana went personal witnessing with the Outside Witnessers. Each Home member teamed up with an Outside Witnesser. Ana teamed up with Rustam, a 13-year-old boy who attends daily classes and visits the Home faithfully. David won his first Russian to Jesus that night!
       The next morning we spent almost the whole morning together with the Home in united Word time, then praying and hearing from the Lord for different decisions the Home faced. We also asked the Lord for some words of encouragement or instruction for one of their closest sheep who is having some 10:36 problems. It was inspiring to see the Home going to the Lord for the answers to these questions, and seeking His direction through prophecy. They regularly take time after devotions to hear from the Lord for different things that come up. It was very inspiring to see everyone in the Home from JETT age on up participating in the major activities of the Home, hearing from the Lord in prophecy, and being very involved in witnessing, feeding the sheep and teaching classes. It was a beautiful example of a small, active witnessing Home where all were fulfilled, young and old alike! Everyone is involved with feeding the sheep because the whole Home revolves around that. That is undoubtedly one reason why the Home is so inspiring and the Lord is blessing them with lots of good fruit.
       We spent that afternoon and evening up in the mountains, personal witnessing at the pop concert. It was a blast! First we had a class with the sheep, and then we personal witnessed until about 11 p.m. Quite a few souls were won and lots of posters were distributed! It was lots of fun and very exciting witnessing, as the young people were wonderfully approachable and receptive.
       Another afternoon we went to the Home’s weekly GP meeting in the nearby park, where they invite new people they witness to during the week. About 15 people came. We had a fun inspiration and class on love, and then spent personal time with the sheep.
       The Outside Witnessers were all very sad when they heard that we were leaving the next day—and so were we! Four of them called the Home the next day to say good-bye again.
       Our last night there, we showed an excerpt from a “Garden of Eden” video that we’d brought with us. Everyone enjoyed getting to know Dad better through watching him tell part of his testimony on video.
       The day we left, Rustam, the 13-year-old catacomber who had gone witnessing with Ana, jumped on a bus to come over to the Home and say good-bye. He was sad to see us go, so since we had extra room in the taxi van we had hired to take us to the train station, we invited him to come along. It was a sweet, final parting. Praise the Lord!

Train Ride to Siberia
July 31st and August 1st:
       Our train trip to the first Home we visited in Siberia was quite an experience—36 hours! One of the Kazakhstan Home members who was moving to Siberia came with us. We took the time to relax, rest, sleep, have Word time, and do some witnessing. It was also interesting to look out the window at the countryside and see the little Kazakh villages, herds of cattle with their keepers, etc. The whole trip was through the steppes—which are not “steps” at all, but vast plains where the terrain is very flat and there is little vegetation. Both evenings on the train there was a gorgeous sunset which we enjoyed very much. The “down” side of the trip was that all the windows of the train wagon were sealed shut, and the temperature outside was very hot! Basically it was like traveling in a sauna. We tried to keep the blinds drawn when the sun was shining, to keep the heat out, but it was still very hot and stuffy since there was no air. Thank the Lord the temperature dropped to more bearable levels at night.
       The train was actually quite clean, kept so by our zealous conductor. Each wagon has their own, who is responsible to keep it tidy and in order. Ours was a gruff, husky, middle-aged Siberian woman—the kind you wouldn’t want to mess with! When a young man came on the train and began causing trouble, she promptly beat him up and threw him off! Although she was very gruff, we felt comfortable knowing that she would keep everything and everyone under control. She had a funny sense of humor too. For example, when we asked her if the blaring radio could be turned off at night so we could sleep (there is a speaker in each compartment, but no volume control in ours), she said, “It will be turned up even louder, but once you are snoring, you won’t hear it!” Well, we prayed and the Lord did a miracle! Not long after we got on the train, the music in our compartment shut off and stayed off during most of the trip. Sweet relief!
       The second evening on the train, Ana (who speaks Russian) got to witness to the folks in the next compartment, who were very sweet and receptive to the posters and the Gospels of John she gave them. Another man heard us singing and joined us in our compartment, talking to us for over two hours. He was a very interesting fellow from southern Russia, who turned out to be a Mafia boss of some sort. He had lived everywhere and done everything you can imagine! He was a Muslim, but he really liked us and our work, and a Home in Siberia will be following up on him.
       The first morning when we woke up, the train stopped at a little village where a woman was cooking shish kabobs next to the tracks. We bought some and had them for breakfast. The train stopped in small towns where the villagers stood next to the train peddling drinks and food, much of it prepared at home, such as cooked chicken, meat pies, rolls with jam, etc. They seem to know the schedule of the trains and make their living from selling food to the long-distance passengers. (There is a restaurant car on the train, but most people don’t eat there because it costs too much. We didn’t eat there either.)

More Witnessing, More Love!
August 2nd through 10th, Southern Siberia:
       In addition to their witnessing, this small Home in Siberia has four young children to take care of, as well as the Russian audio/video studio—which is a lot of work. The Lord has provided some very nice equipment for them, and they have been able to produce several KVs and TAs, as well as Fantastic Friends #1 and some audio tapes (such as “Fear Not”) in Russian. They are now working on the Endtime Scripture song tape!
       The Home members are either Polish or Russian, and all are very precious. They constantly have visitors, and catacombers are always coming over to help out and have Word time, so the Home is pretty busy. They explained that they have really struggled at times with so much to do, as well as some financial difficulties, and said that they were very touched and thankful for our visit—that they took it as a sign of the Lord’s Love for them.
       Ana went on a follow-up visit to some crew members from a West European airlines. The Home particularly wanted to follow up on one who is very sheepy. Ana talked with her for quite some time, and then she prayed to receive the Lord. Hallelujah! It was a beautiful miracle, as the Lord has been working in her life for the last three years. She kept hearing about the Lord from different people, and finally she got saved. Praise the Lord, another life changed!
       After the witnessing team got home, a road team of four (Daniel Mountain, his eleven-year-old daughter Jessica, and Meekness and Andrew, two young Russian nationals) who had been on a faith trip returned! They had a super fruitful trip, reaching parts of Russia that had never been touched before. Their testimonies were incredible! The thing that stood out to us the most was how often they sought the Lord and got specific direction through prophecy. Every time they followed through with what the Lord gave them, He blessed incredibly with sheep, lots of souls, contacts, provision, etc. During the one-month trip, they won over 1,300 souls through personal witnessing! (See their testimony in an upcoming Hope mag!)
       We also went with the Home to a meeting at the home of one of their Outside Witnessers, where they gave a class, sang some songs and had communion. This meeting was attended by several middle-aged women teachers and a few young catacombers. Jane, one of our young nationals, taught the class, which was quite inspiring! These middle-aged teachers are quite on-fire witnessers and have a deep love for the Lord and the Word. We read “Crystal Pyramid,” and they were eating up every word! It was also so sweet to see them bring their prayer requests for the week, which we all committed to the Lord together.
       When our visit with the Home was finished, we took a day off in a small town, situated in a lakeside forest—very pretty! We celebrated our first month on the road with a time of rest, prayer and hearing from the Lord. We also fellowshipped and assessed our trip so far. Thank You Jesus for our wonderful Family in Russia, and for this opportunity to visit them!

Our Very Special Front-line Family!
       In each Home we visited, we just fell in love with the Family members and with their sheep, then all too soon we had to leave. Then we had our before-battle blues of feeling inadequate to fulfill our commission as we traveled to our next situation! But as soon as we got involved with the dear Family in that city, it happened all over again! And now when we think of each precious one—not only in these Homes in Russia, but in our Family Homes all over the world—and how they give their hearts, their lives, their hopes, their desires, their everything to Jesus, just to be able to witness and feed the sheep, it makes us feel so very small! We just felt like such a mess and so unworthy to even visit them.
       The Family members we’ve visited look at us like we’re something special, when the truth of the matter is, they are the ones who are very very special! They don’t complain about what they eat or don’t eat, or if they don’t have a video, or a dance or anything. If a sheep calls at 3 a.m., as happened while we were in one Home, they’re there to talk to them and encourage them. Then they get up the next morning at 7 a.m. and keep going. If they have a headache, they just go witnessing and don’t even think about it (although we are encouraging them to rest up more and not overdo as it can be easy to “burn up” here with so much to do and so many people to reach).
       Their whole purpose in life is to witness! Every one whom we have met is so sold out to Jesus and the Family that despite the difficulties, they just shine with Jesus’ Love for the lost. It has been so convicting to see how little the material things of this life mean to them, and the only thing that seems to matter to them is just doing their best for Jesus! What a Family!

Catacomb Ministries Pay Off in Strong Disciples!
August 11th through 15th, Eastern Ural Mountains:
       Shortly after we arrived, the Home had an appointment to do a concert for about 500 children in a town one hour away. Francis and about half the Home made an overnight trip of it. That left David and Ana home with the others. Ana helped with cooking, doing laundry, and caring for one of the Russian sisters who had morning sickness. David, who had caught a cold, stayed home to help with a bit of handyman work around the Home, including assembling a new set of bunk beds. They had been without enough beds for some time.
       The Home members here are all Russian speakers (four Russians and three Polish brethren), which is a great advantage in their witnessing. During the summer months, they have spent most of their time on short road trips with teams of two or three, usually taking one or two of their catacombers along with them. These road trips to smaller towns in their province have proven to be very fruitful, not only in witnessing and souls won, but also in contacts for further follow-up.
       Francis went on a two-day faith trip with four members of the Home to a nearby city where some teachers were eager to have us witness to and put on shows for their holiday camp students. They won several hundred kids to the Lord and witnessed to the teachers. Praise the Lord! Some of the teachers love the Lord and are eager to help us spread the Good News.
       The Home also has a fruitful ministry with catacombers in a nearby city, where we had a Home for a couple of years. Some of those catacombers’ parents were quite antagonistic at first, but the Lord miraculously changed their hearts through visits from wise and winsome Family members.
       There are quite a few catacombers in different cities who are waiting and praying for the Lord to change their parents’ hearts to allow them to join full time. In this city and others, there are quite a few girls who have been catacombers for two to three years, some since they were 15 or 16. They are faithful witnesses and, when possible, come over to the Home daily.
       It is very inspiring to see how the catacomb ministry here in Russia has borne so much fruit. Many of our full-time nationals were catacombers for a year or two or three before they were able to join. The fact that they had to hold on during that time and keep doing their best to serve the Lord while living at home and going to school helped make them strong, sold-out disciples. During their time as catacombers, most of them had regular, almost daily contact with the Home in their city. Others, however, went for months without any fellowship with Family members after the Homes in their cities closed due to lack of personnel. Those times were quite difficult for many of them, but it bore good fruit in the lives of those who stuck through it; all they had to hold on to was the Lord and the Word, and that drew them closer to Him.
       With more teams coming into Russia and more Homes opening, hopefully there will once again be Homes in those cities. This will be a real blessing and strength to these dear catacombers, and should also make it easier for some of them to join, as the new local Homes will be able to do more follow-up with their parents.
       Having older brethren or couples following up on the catacombers’ parents seems to be a key, as the parents relate much better to people closer to their own age. The Home we are now visiting has one brother, Peter, who is over 40, and he has a real gift for witnessing to and following up on people of his generation, including parents.
       During our time of hearing from the Lord with the Home, the Lord gave some very sweet words for them, commending them for their good work here and also telling them not to feel discouraged if they can’t see the result of their labors right away. We typed up the prophecies and gave them to the Home before we left so they could refer to them.

A Day in the Life of a Russian Witnesser
       (From Ana:) The other day I went out witnessing with Russian Abner to an outlying town which is very typical of the smaller towns in Russia. It was quite a pretty place, very old and rustic. The main street was a simple little tree-lined road with no shops, just little wooden houses with wooden fences and almost nobody around.
       We went to follow up on someone who works in a bank which was at the end of the main street, in one of several large buildings around a little square where half a dozen cows grazed. Most of the public buildings in these small towns are old hospitals or institutional-type buildings from the Communist era. Their cement steps and walls are now cracking, and their once green or yellow paint is chipping and peeling. We entered the building through an unmarked door and climbed a dark, narrow stairway to the second floor. There we found a sign that said “Bank,” but it was closed. We went up one more flight, and came to a hotel where we followed up on a lady employee.
       Soon we were off again, down another almost deserted tree-lined street. Some of these are not paved. Chickens scurried around the streets. Some of the houses have electricity, but few of them have running water—just wells outside. Apartment blocks, complete with running water, are scattered among the houses. Beside each apartment building is a little park area.
       Next we visited a 65-year-old lady, at whose apartment a four-man team spent the night on a previous visit. She’s a precious jewel of a woman who lived nearly her whole life not knowing how much Jesus loved her, but now she’s saved and so thankful for Jesus! There was a beautiful light on her wrinkled face. She shone like an angel!
       She was an agronomist (agricultural scientist) in Communist times, and now lives on a small pension. Her home is very simple, with bare pipes in the bathroom, painted cement walls, and a very small kitchen with a tiny sink, etc. Though she has so little, she treated us royally! Her refrigerator was completely bare after she pulled out all the food she had and laid it before us. “Eat, eat!” she told us as she made tea for us.
       She had a tremendous vacuum for love and truth and she just lapped up everything we shared with her. Her main concern was for the Russian youth who desperately need Jesus. I had a hard time leaving her. We hugged and kissed, then she walked us all the way to the street, such love and thankfulness and meekness! We gave her some lit for herself and her daughter, who is also a real sheep.
       She has such joy in knowing Jesus that I cry just thinking about her. (I was typing this in the kitchen while keeping an eye on a simmering pot of lentils, when a Russian brother walked in and found me in tears!) Thank You Jesus for letting me meet these precious, precious people!
       Our next visit that day was with a doctor at the local hospital, which was located in another four-story building with the same greenish paint and cracking cement. There was no information desk or anything, so we just inquired of the different people we ran into. Some people said the man was in the operating room, while others said he wasn’t there that day.
       We decided to go upstairs and wait outside the operating room until we met someone who could tell us if our friend was in there. We sat down beside a woman whose husband was being operated on, and talked with her and gave her a poster. She’d been waiting there for five hours.
       Every few minutes a nurse would come out of the operating room, dash up the hall, and then run back. All would be quiet for a bit, but suddenly she’d come bursting out again and run off. This was repeated over and over. Others took metal pots with lids into the operating room. I think the pots were full of boiling water. The procedure looked very old-fashioned. The kitchen was right beside the operating room, and by-and-by they brought out dinner, which was bread and porridge.
       Then, of all things, the electricity went off! More running in and out of the operating room! This was apparently pretty typical of hospitals here, at least in small towns. We prayed for the lady beside us, for her husband and for the electricity to come back on. Obviously there was no generator or any sort of back-up system. After five or 10 minutes, the power came back on. God bless the doctors and staff who work under such difficult conditions!
       When we finally established that our friend wasn’t there, we tried to find someone to give us his address or phone number, but nobody we talked to could help. Maybe the Lord had us go there just to pray for this lady and her husband.
       Our next stop was a small orphanage, which we found was undergoing major reconstruction. The place was a wreck! Needy people are everywhere, so poor and yet so sweet. The children were precious! As we were told often happens, they quickly became very attached to us. Some asked us to adopt them, while others asked if we were their mommy and daddy. It was heart-breaking! The caretakers really need training. We sang a couple of action songs for the kids, then we had to leave to catch our bus home.
       On the main street, we helped a lady carry her suitcase. It turned out that she had received some of our lit before. She was quite broken over the recent death of her husband, from cancer. We prayed with her on the street to receive Jesus. Her husband was a Christian, so we assured her that she would see him in Heaven.
       Today was truly a life-changing experience for me, but my partner explained that it was very typical of visits to most of the towns in rural areas. Our teams can reach the whole town when they go to these places, and then return to feed the sheep and reap lasting fruit, etc. It’s very exciting!

{\b “Every Home Is Like StartingAll Over Again!”}
August 16th through 22nd, Far Eastern Siberia:
       We flew across several time zones to reach our next stop on the far eastern edge of Russia! After we arrived, we took some time to hear from the Lord and discuss what we should do in this Home. It’s amazing how each Home is so different that it was almost like starting our trip all over again with each new Home we visited. We couldn’t rely on our experiences in previous Homes.
       This Home had a lot of children, which made it quite different from any of the others we had visited thus far. It consists of one couple, a single mom, three Russian new disciples and 12 children! It’s quite a challenge to have a Home in a small Russian apartment with so many children, so it’s very commendable to see how these dear folks have stepped out by faith to reach the lost in this far-flung area. The children, however, all expressed how happy they were to be in Russia and how much they like it here, even though the living conditions are significantly different than what they had been used to in Japan, to say the least. They have picked up Russian quickly through their interaction and witnessing to the neighborhood children. A very sweet neighbor girl, who is 13, was coming over to spend most of the day with the OCs and JETTs.
       The Home has a number of precious live-outs and catacombers who come over to the Home daily. Also, a team of seven teens and YAs had just arrived from Japan, and a second team of the same size was to be coming in a few days. They were to stay with the families of catacombers, since there was no room in the Home. They were planning to go on the road soon with a couple of the Home’s nationals (since none of them speak any Russian), as that is their main purpose for coming. Exciting!
       The Home had been going through a rough time, so we tried to be as encouraging as possible to each person, and assure them that the Lord has solutions. We also shared with them what we’re learning from Mama, and that is to stop, take time to praise, sing to the Lord and hear from Him together in order to strengthen our personal walks with Him. One evening we all got together and had a beautiful time singing to Jesus and then hearing from Him. Grandpa spoke, and it was an exciting and fun spirit trip together. Thank You Jesus!

Answer to Prayer!
       (From Ana, who has been on the Worldwide Prayer List because of serious back problems:) I could hardly believe how well my back was doing! Considering that I have slept on the floor, lumpy mattresses, hard beds and train seats, and sat in all sorts of chairs or on the floor, etc., it was an absolute miracle that I didn’t have any problems. Jesus was so good to me! It was really an answer to all of your prayers. Thank you all so much!

Very Special Reunions!
August 23rd through September 1st, Northwestern Russia:
       We had planned to next go to the Black Sea area, but when we prayed to hear from the Lord about it, and get a confirmation from Him on our plans, He showed us something completely different, and told us we should go to a city in Northwestern Russia instead! We didn’t understand the reasons at the time, but as we obeyed, we later found out that this change in our planned itinerary resulted in perfect timing for the visit to subsequent Homes. It pays to follow the Lord, even if it’s contrary to our own plans!
After a long but smooth flight covering seven time zones, we arrived safely in Western Russia. Since we were all feeling pretty tired from our traveling and visitation, we decided to take a couple of days off for rest and Word. The Home provisioned a big discount at a nice hotel, which worked out quite cheaply. It was a wonderful break and we really appreciated it!
       (From Ana:) We were just about to go into the metro one evening when we saw a man whom I recognized. I had FFed him and prayed with him to receive the Lord nearly 20 years before! Actually, I had heard he was in this city and had asked the Home shepherd to phone him to arrange a meeting at the Home with “someone he used to know.” But before this worked out, the Lord put him right in my path! He was so surprised, and kept hugging me as tears came to his eyes! He’s an older man now, and a TSer, who has been living by faith for the last 19 years.
       He came to the Home one afternoon and we spent time talking. He loves Jesus deeply, which is beautiful to see! He has a burning desire to witness every day, and enjoys serving the Lord. He told me all about his sheep and his life. He reminds me in some ways of Grandpa, maybe because he’s of Dad’s generation. He loves Dad and tears up when talking about him! That evening we put on the video we have of Dad (the excerpt from the Garden of Eden series), and that meant a lot to him. Like everyone else, he loved seeing Dad’s love for souls, which is so evident on that video.
       The next day I wanted to give him a good-bye gift, so I asked David and Francis if we could take a little time to hear from the Lord for him. The Lord gave some very sweet encouragement and counsel to him, which we gave him. He really respects prophecy, so this meant a lot to him.
       He was leaving that evening for another country, so it was a miracle that I was able to see him. If the Lord hadn’t changed our travel plans for this leg of our journey, I would have missed him. This was a tremendous testimony of the Lord’s personal love for him. Imagine, first He had us change our travel plans, and then He engineered a “chance” meeting in this city of several million people! Talk about miracles! Thank You Jesus!
       Francis had an equally inspiring experience when he saw a new disciple who joined this Home several months ago. He was one of the first people to witness to her about 3-1/2 years before when she attended a seminar in the Ukraine after receiving some lit and writing to the GP address. Praise the Lord!

Witnessing Within theArctic Circle!
       The next Home we visited is one of the largest in Russia at present, with 11 adults (two couples, two older singles, four Russian nationals, and one YA) as well as five children. It’s an interesting cross-section of different types of people, and therefore different ministries and goals.
       During the summer they’ve been making a lot of faith trips to cities in northwestern Russia (many of them within the Arctic circle) where they put on shows in prisons and other institutions, and do follow-up. It’s a little difficult to witness or poster on the street in those places, because it’s so cold and wet, even in the summer. During our stay, a road team of four just returned from a city on Russia’s northern coast that was 3,000 kms away from their Home!
       In order to get the most out of their witness, their road teams first go to the main prison, orphanage or other institution, and arrange to do a musical program. Then they contact the local TV station and newspaper to explain who they are and that they will be doing a show at such-and-such institution. Reporters are invited to come and do a news article or film a spot for broadcast. With little else happening in these remote cities, TV stations often do a little news program on the event, or, in some cases, longer interviews with the Family team. In one city, they were able to give the Salvation message and prayer right on the air, praise the Lord! Following the TV shows or newspaper articles, people often call the station or paper and invite the team to do more shows or witnessing. This method seems to be working well, and the Lord has been blessing it with lots of open doors to witness and do “consider the poor” ministries, as well as to establish contacts in these towns so that the road team is welcome back any time.
       In other places in Russia, where the Family is trying to establish permanent Homes, doing such a splash with the media first thing is not usually the best approach, but in this situation it’s a fruitful way to reach these towns which the Family can only reach in the summer months. They only have a short time in each town, and need to get the most out of each visit. The road teams also do a lot of mailbox postering in these towns, since the streets are usually almost empty due to the weather.
       ({\ul \i Editor’s note}{\i : Regarding mailbox litnessing and some of the other “unorthodox” witnessing methods mentioned in this FSM, please bear in mind that Russia and the former Soviet Union is somewhat different from other fields. Two factors are especially important: the very short time that we have to reach that vast country, and of the Russian people’s exceptional receptivity to the Word. Also, please note that the Family in Russia does not mailbox litness in towns and cities where there are Homes, or where new Homes are likely to open. In this special situation, mailbox litnessing has been fruitful in winning mail ministry members and Outside Witnessers. Mailbox litnessing is still discouraged [EDITED: "and often illegal"] in other fields. [See “Warning to Mailbox Litnessers,” ML #895, Vol.7.])}
       Once school begins, they’ll focus on witnessing at the universities in their own city and winning a new set of catacombers and Outside Witnessers. Over the years, a lot of witnessing has been done to the youth in this city, but it is a large city and there is still a lot of potential here. A number of disciples have joined from this city, and the Home has three catacombers who are very close to joining. They go with full-time Family members on faith trips and other activities. They also help follow up on some other Outside Witnessers and take them witnessing. There’s a lot of potential for provisioning and fund-raising here.

He Cares for His Own!
       During our visit, we spent most of our time at the Home, helping around the apartment with cooking and shopping, etc., so that others could go out on follow-up appointments or take care of other business. As we’ve done in the other Homes we’ve visited, we also had Praise Times and meetings to share our testimonies and lessons, and we heard from the Lord with some encouragement and direction for their Home.
       Eva was about to have her second baby. (Her first is a year old.) She’s had some complications in her pregnancy resulting from a heart condition that acts up when she doesn’t get enough rest and overdoes (easy for young mothers in Russia to do, with so much to be done and an eagerness to participate in the Home’s activities as much as possible). She started dilating a month or so before her due date, and when she went for a check-up, the doctors wanted her to check into the hospital right away so they could put her on an intravenous (IV) drip and all kinds of drugs for the rest of her pregnancy. Thank the Lord, she found an American midwife who specializes in natural deliveries. This midwife helped Eva avoid being admitted to the hospital, and gave her some wise counsel. She also agreed to assist her in the birth, which is an answer to prayer, as most Russian doctors are very rough and don’t do natural deliveries.
       This sister was concerned whether she would be able to keep the baby until her due date, so the three of us had prayer with her and her mate, and asked the Lord to speak. The Lord gave some beautiful prophecies, not only about how He would keep the baby safe and help the delivery to go smoothly, but also about how important her ministry with her children is. These little ones are the Lord’s gifts of love for her, He assured her, and He has great plans to use them to witness to many. The Lord is so wonderful! (Late news flash: We just heard that she had a beautiful baby boy! PTL!)
       We were also able to spend time with Gideon and Claire who had just come from Western Europe to scout out the land and look for housing before bringing their spouses and children over. They were thrilled with all that the Lord did during the short time that they’ve been here, helping them get an apartment for one of their families at a miraculously low rent. Both teams plan to work together with the already established Home and complement their outreach in this city by concentrating on ministries other than the Home’s already existing ones.
       One of the incoming teams has a burden to minister to the parents of catacombers and national disciples, as well as use Family videos to reach other parents with children. There is tremendous potential for that type of ministry here! Both new families have quite a few children, but have good home support. They should be able to operate here without having to raise too much of their support from the field, which seems to be the ideal arrangement for families. We spent one evening with them at their new apartment, sharing our stories about Dad and Mama and Peter, and passing on Mama and Peter’s love.

More Witnessing Adventures!
       When Nat, one of the Home shepherds, and Ana went to pick up two of the girls who had been provisioning at a big farmer’s market, some men who sell melons invited them all to dinner. Next to their truck full of melons was a fire with a big pot of plo (rice, carrots, oil, onions and meat). This is an Uzbekh dish, from the republic that these men are from. They invited the four of them to have dinner, sitting on the ground, using the same spoons and a single tin plate they had all just eaten from. Real “down home!” It would have been very offensive for them to decline their offer, so they “ate that which was set before them” (1Co.10:27), while praying up a storm! They were precious Muslims who love God, and Ana was able to witness to them and explain about our work here. It was really fun!
       Later, they witnessed to two Russian members of the Unification Church of Reverend Moon, who were walking by and heard them speaking English. One of the girls had just returned from the U.S. where she’d been in training for the last seven months. She had actually received one of our posters about three years ago, which is what started her thinking about God. She was happy to meet us again and very thankful that we didn’t condemn her for being a member of the Unification Church. This surprised her, as papers here have printed lots about the “Moonies being brainwashed,” etc. When we told her that people say the same things about us, she was very relieved and encouraged. The Home will follow up on her.

{\b “Postcard” from a Black Sea Beach Resort}
September 2nd through 5th, Southwestern Russia:
       When we left the last Home we visited, the autumn chill was setting in. Now we’re by the Black Sea where the weather is warmer, and we’re in shorts again! This Home, which only opened a few months ago, is an on-fire team of five Russian nationals and one foreigner. We arrived just as the Home members were coming together for a few days of rest and fellowship before heading off on the road again, fund-raising and witnessing. The Lord timed our visit wonderfully, as we were able to spend a lot of time with them without interfering with their road trips or other plans.
       For the first two days of our visit, they had provisioned some bungalows in a Black Sea beach resort, a few hours from their Home. The setting was very rustic, with cute little cabins and outdoor toilets. The nearest phone was in a town a half-hour away by car. They have a number of contacts for places to stay and restaurants to eat at, as they have done much of their summer witnessing here and in neighboring coastal towns. There are lots of fresh fruits and vegetables available here, which is quite different from the north of Russia. The weather was very hot, and we were sure thankful to be on the beach where we could take a dip!
       Both of our evenings there we had fellowship on the beach. We built a fire, sang songs, and shared testimonies and lessons. It was a sweet time for us all—inspiring and relaxing.
       All the nationals on this team have joined full time within the last couple of years. The foreign brother, Joshua, has been in Russia for three-and-a-half years, and was one of our first pioneers to Siberia. We greatly admire him and the other older brethren who have been in this country for the past few years. They are true pioneers who are used to going into difficult situations and striking out by faith with only the Lord to back them up. They have a deep love for the Lord, a real heart for the lost and lots of perseverance—all very important qualities in this difficult field! They and the rest of our dear Family here have borne wonderful fruit, God bless them!
       Although this area of Russia seems fruitful from the testimonies the team has shared, pioneering has been difficult, as the people here are a bit harder than those in some other regions. It’s been a test for the Family, and they’ve had to pull together and go to the Lord for strength and help. They get a little outside support, but have to raise most of their support on the field. The Lord has blessed their video distribution, and they’re able to cover most of their food and transportation expenses through that, while their outside support goes toward their rent. They’ve spent a lot of time on the road, provisioning their needs, which has cut down on their expenses as well.
       Visa and registration policies vary quite a bit from city to city in Russia, depending on the people at the registration office. In this area, it’s tight and handled the way it used to be throughout Russia four or five years ago. The laws changed several years ago, but since this area is fairly backward, it seems they haven’t yet heard about the new laws, ha! Actually, it doesn’t seem to matter what the laws are, only what the local registration office or police think the laws are, or what their own policies are. In some cities it’s easy to register for up to a year when entering the country, whereas in other cities the maximum stay for foreigners is three months. If you have friends in the local registration office, anything is possible; but if they aren’t behind you, then there’s very little you can do about it but pray and hope for a miracle of some kind.
       Across the street from where we stayed was a restaurant owned by a friend of the Family, a sweet Armenian man named Sergei. He gave us a delicious Armenian dinner there one evening. We sang and witnessed to him, and he told us about Armenia and quoted some Armenian poetry—with lots of gusto! He was sweet and receptive, yet so fiery. They really are a special people, so friendly and warm, and with a deep respect for the Lord and the Bible. They’re also very proud of their country and culture, of course, and of the fact that Armenia was the first Christian nation.
       All the Family members we have met on our trip who have been to Armenia just absolutely love the field and people. Their hearts are there and they would be too, had there not been recent persecution by the church there. They are like people in love. In fact, all the Family we’ve met here in Russia have an overwhelming love for the people of their respective fields. God bless them!
       We left the coast and returned to the Home for the last night of our visit. As we took time in prayer together, the Lord had some beautiful words for their Home, commending them for their patience, fighting spirit and love for the lost. We all got close to this sweet team, and it was hard to leave them! It always is with every Home!

{\b Children: This Home’s Main Witness!}
September 6th through 12th, Central Russia:
       This Home consists of two couples, a single sister and five young children, all Russians and one Pole. Both of the mommies are pregnant, one with her sixth child. Most Russians (in the System) only have one or two children. Three children is rare, and more is virtually unheard of. So a young Russian couple with six kids is a shocker for most people. It is quite difficult for them, as you can imagine, mommies battling morning sickness while taking care of their children with one hand, and setting up a Home, establishing a work and witnessing with the other. They could use more personnel!
       The day after we arrived in the Home, the three of us were going to have prayer to ask the Lord for any specific instructions He had for us regarding our stay here. We have been doing this each time we arrive in a new Home, and it’s proven very helpful. The Home was just about to ask the Lord for His direction for the week, so we decided to combine our two prayer meetings and hear from the Lord all together.
       The Lord gave some beautiful things for their Home and ministry, mainly about their children being their main witness, and also about the need to make some home improvements in order to make their apartment more of a sample Home for the parents of the children that they would be ministering to through their children. The Lord indicated that He would then lead the sheep to them, rather than them having to go out to find the sheep, which is a little difficult with so many young children. These prophecies also set the tone of our stay, as they made it clear that David and Francis were to help fix up their Home, while the Home members concentrated on preparing their kids for some performances in the local neighborhood they had lined up for that weekend.

What to Expect on a Routine Shopping Trip
       The following day Russian Gabe and Francis went out to try to find the materials needed to fix up the Home: tiles for the bathroom, wallpaper, enamel paint, etc.
       Going out shopping for these things really makes us sympathize with the Family here and what they have to go through in order to fix up their apartments, which invariably need some repairs and improvements when first rented, since the Russian standard of living is often quite low. In addition, Homes can’t just go to a general hardware store and get everything they need, but they have to travel all over town from store to store, hoping to find one thing they need in one store, and one thing in another. They had to look in several stores just to find a paintbrush, and a very poor quality one at that—the kind that loses its bristles into the paint, leaving them all over the surface that’s just been painted! They couldn’t find a paint scraper or sandpaper anywhere, so we just had to do without those.
       However, the Lord did a miracle and they were able to provision nice tiles at the first place they went to. Finding what was needed to put them up on the wall was more of a challenge. The shops that sell tiles don’t sell tile adhesive, and the salespeople we talked to didn’t even know what kind of cement or adhesive was needed to put the tiles up. Neither did we! Neither David nor Francis had ever installed tiles before, and even if we had, whatever is used in other countries probably wouldn’t be available here. Finally they found a type of glue that was supposed to work when mixed with cement, but then they couldn’t find any stores that sold cement. Towards the end of the day, they passed a construction site and witnessed to the workers, who gave them some of the cement that they were using for their building. Hurrah!
       When they finally found a shop that had the brown paint needed, it was already closed! They could see someone inside, however, and knocked on the window. After explaining their situation, the owner agreed to sell the paint. Boy, were we thankful!
       Some Russian cities do have Western-style shops or supermarkets where you can find a good number of Western items, but the prices are higher than in Western Europe and the Homes here can’t afford to shop there. So shopping for things, especially household items and materials for home improvements, requires a lot of patience and lots of God’s little miracles. We would definitely suggest that any handyman coming to Russia bring his tools with him if possible, because there’s not much hope of getting good quality tools here.
       For the next two days, David and Francis stayed at home and worked on wallpapering, tiling the bathroom (which miraculously came out okay), and painting. Ana did some painting too. Meanwhile, the others went to two small concerts organized by the local kids club, where the kids sang and passed out posters. The audiences were not large, but the children were very well received. Ana went with them to one concert and got to do some witnessing and postering.

Lots to Be Done, but Few to Do It!
       Regarding the prophecies for this Home mentioned in the previous section, the Lord had already been laying the groundwork for what He shared that day. For example, He seemed to be leading them to establish an “open the door for the children” ministry, where they and their children could minister to the local children. A group of kids were already coming over a couple of times a week for Bible classes, including an 11-year-old who visited while we were there. He is very serious about the Lord and the Bible, and only wanted to talk about things that are related to the Word. He was bringing seven or eight other kids over for classes and to be with the Family kids. It seemed that the Lord could really use this ministry to reach not only these children, but their parents as well.
       The Lord was also opening doors for them to do shows, including two at the local children’s cultural center. Through the distribution of humanitarian aid (baby food and clothes that have come from the West via Moscow), they were able to make contacts with different people who also wanted them to do shows for young families. There were also possible openings to get the Kiddie Viddies on TV, which would put them in touch with lots of other parents.
       Realizing that their children are their main witness and greatest asset seemed to relieve much of the pressure they had been feeling in trying to establish a big, multi-faceted work in this city. They have many ideas and lots of enthusiasm and the Lord was beginning to open doors, but they are limited in what their very small Home can do.
       There seems to be a lot of potential in this large city, and it could easily absorb another Home or two. Perhaps other Homes could concentrate on some of the ministries that are now largely untouched. These include witnessing at the many universities, provisioning, ministering to the civic and business leaders, “consider the poor” ministries, etc. Although this city is both a Communist and Orthodox stronghold, so far the team has been well received.
       One prayer request for this Home is for the Lord to supply a phone. Their flat doesn’t have one, which is a major inconvenience. An older lady who lives in the next apartment block lets them use her phone for local calls (which are free in Russia), but they must go to the post office for long distance calls. Either is a time-consuming affair! They’ve been trying to get their own phone, but that can be very difficult here.
       Everyone in this Home is precious and dedicated to the Lord. Like the other Homes here in Russia, they are giving their lives to be in the Family and serve the Lord, and they are doing their best despite many difficulties. It is a very inspiring and fruitful field, but operating a Home here, and particularly setting up a Home or pioneering a work from scratch, is a challenge that requires a lot of faith, patience and perseverance. We admire them for sticking it out and doing so well, God bless them!

Wait, Rest, Refill and Hit the Road Again!
September 13th through 16th, Moscow:
       We traveled by train to Moscow, where we had to wait several days to get our visas for the Ukraine. The two Homes in that republic are the last ones we visited. At this point, we were almost at the end of our trip, and nearly three months on the road had taken a toll! No doubt the Lord knew we needed a rest and had engineered this delay. Miraculously, He worked it out that the same day we arrived, most of the personnel from one of the Homes was leaving on a one-month road trip. They offered us a room where we were able to catch up on sleep and Word time, which was just the boost we needed—both in the spirit and physically! While hearing from the Lord, He encouraged us that He would give us the strength that we needed to complete the task ahead of us, while admonishing us to spend time with Him and His Word. We also had more sweet fellowship with the brethren there, including one evening spent with a new team that had arrived since we had first passed through at the beginning of our trip.

September 17th through 21st, Central Ukraine:
       The Ukraine is similar to Russia in many ways, and coming here one might not notice much difference, other than a drop in the standard of living, particularly in smaller towns. Under Communism, the Ukraine was the “bread basket” of the Soviet Union, but since declaring independence, the economy has fallen into shambles. The local currency is virtually worthless (everyone is now a “millionaire” since a million “cupons”—as the local currency is called—is worth less than US $6). As a result of these difficulties, most people are desperate for help and open to the Gospel.
       In general it seems that the Orthodox Church is stronger in the Ukraine than in most parts of Russia. The Ukrainians are very traditional, particularly in the western part of the country, which is the only part where Russian, including our Russian-language posters and lit, is not well received. Elsewhere in the country, most people speak Russian, so it hasn’t been necessary for our members there to learn Ukrainian (which itself is very similar to Russian).
       Not only is this Home large by Russian standards (18 people), but there are four families who recently arrived from Western Europe, who are on their way to open up new Homes in this country. Altogether there are nearly 60 Family members here right now, including one TS Home. Three of the four families who have just arrived are mobile, temporarily staying in a campground while passing through this city. While being mobile has its advantages here, particularly during the summer, these teams will also be renting flats in the cities they are moving to. The cold winters here would make it very difficult to survive solely in a van and/or caravan, and having a flat also gives you a place to bring sheep to more easily, a phone, etc. So while some teams coming are bringing mobile units, it doesn’t look like anyone will actually be living mobile on a full-time basis.
       A YA girl who was previously in the Home pioneered a fruitful provisioning ministry in this city, and as a result, the Home has been able to fix up their flat nicely. It was run down when they first rented it, but the Lord has supplied beautiful carpeting, wallpaper, tiles for the bathroom and toilet, and a lovely living-room set. Thank the Lord for His wonderful provision!
       The Home has a beautiful puppet show and singing team, and they also do a lot of personal witnessing at the universities. In the past few months, they have put a lot into ministering to the parents of their catacombers and outside witnessers. The Lord has blessed their efforts, and as a result, four of their closest catacombers, who have been catacombers for about three years, have just been given permission to quit university and join the Family full time! This is a complete miracle, as for years their parents were deadset against their daughters joining. Education is of the utmost importance to Russians (and Ukrainians). In general the biggest obstacle to joining is not that the parents dislike the Family—often to the contrary—but that they want their son or daughter to get their college degree first.
       The fact that these four sets of parents finally let their daughters join, again highlighted the need for older couples in our Russian Homes, as well as young people. The miracle is of course a result of many desperate prayers and the catacombers themselves taking more of a stand with their parents. However, it was only when a Family couple in their 40’s recently arrived in this city and the parents of the nationals began to meet people their own age, people with children and grandchildren, who had been doing missionary work for over 20 years, did they feel comfortable entrusting them with the lives of their children. God bless this couple for their wise and loving follow-up of the parents, who have all become fairly favorable towards the Family. Their daughters were elated with the news of being able to join full time, and during our visit they were able to quit university and prepare to move in full time, praise the Lord!
       During our stay here we were not only able to spend time with the established Home, but we also met in another flat just occupied by a new team from Western Europe, with the mobile teams who were passing through. We packed nearly 25 people into this tiny flat, and had a beautiful time sharing testimonies from Mama’s Home and our time on the road here. Then they watched the “Garden of Eden” video while we took care of their little kids. We also spent one afternoon with the sweet TS Family here and their children, and they were very touched by our visit.
       As a special treat, the Lord worked it out to provision a conference hall in one of the nicest hotels in town, where we were able to have a fellowship with all the DO teams, as well as the catacombers and the TSers. We were over 60 people, and it was a very sweet time of fellowship, singing and performances by the children and young people, followed by a fun dance! It was the first such fellowship in the Ukraine, as never before had there been so many Family members at once in this city, so it was a special occasion indeed.
       (From Ana:) It was a crisp 8°C outside (4ºC earlier), but the sun was shining! The weather was getting colder during this part of our trip. There was a very sudden change from hot to cold, not a gradual tapering off. This is pretty common in Russia, and there is almost no autumn in much of the country. Summer quickly turns to winter.
       I cooked dinner for the 20 of us tonight—my specialty, cheese sauce! I’ve made it in many other Homes, as we seem to land just before shopping, when the Home is out of meat. So I end up making cheese sauce, ha! It’s always different though, depending on what kind of cheese they have. Never a dull moment in the kitchen! Tonight’s sauce was made from single-serving cheese spreads that they provisioned. For some reason there was no milk at the market today, so this was all by faith! Thank the Lord, He never fails!

September 22nd through 27th, Black Sea:
       We asked for prayer for our train ride to our next destination, as the train happened to be number 661. Generally, the higher the train number, the poorer the quality of the train. Number 1 is the nicest. We felt we would be in for another cultural experience, ha!
       But ... we made it! Actually, we had a pretty good train ride here, thank the Lord! We were really praying, as the last Family team that made this trip were in a train compartment that was overrun with cockroaches! Rats are also a problem. Our train was old and the bunks were uncomfortable, but there were no pests, thank the Lord.
       We shared a compartment with a very sweet lady who turned out to be saved. We had a fun breakfast and devotions together, read 1Corinthians 13, and talked and talked.
       After arriving here, we went with some members of the Home to visit some precious TSers. The TS Home consists of a couple from Western Europe, their children and three national disciples whom they have won to full-time service during the three to four years that they have been ministering in the Ukraine. They borrowed a rustic room used by fishermen to mend their nets for our get-together, which consisted of picnic lunch, inspiration, testimonies from the three of us, and an exceptional performance by their entire Home. They first came to the Ukraine nearly four years ago not knowing what to do or where to go, but because of their faithfulness to witness everywhere they go, the Lord has blessed this team with good support, good fruit in the way of national disciples and sheep whom they follow up on, and good relations with their local community and even the local KGB. Most of their supporters are people they met while singing on the streets of Western Europe. As a result of faithfully feeding these contacts, they have very good home support, as well as two nice mobile home units. The Lord has also done miracles in providing them with very good visas through some of their contacts.
       We stayed at the DO Home here for the next four days. It’s a very inspiring Home, very much in the pioneer stages. The Home consists of one adult and nine teens and YAs, including three YA Russians. So it’s a real youthful Home with lots of energy and excitement! The boy/girl ratio is 3 boys and 7 girls, which is pretty standard throughout Russia and the Ukraine, since most of our national disciples are girls.
       The Home actually started out as a road trip to the Black Sea, but after two months the Lord led them to set up shop in this city, open a Home and establish a lasting work. It was quite a struggle to find a place to live for all of them, but just a week before we arrived, the Lord provided them with a small apartment which has served as a good place to start, although they are praying that the Lord will provide them with a better flat.
       The folks on their team had joined up from different Homes in Western Europe and Russia, and hadn’t worked together before, so their first month or two on the road was quite a challenge, and quite difficult at times, as they learned to understand each other and work together as a united team. The field conditions were also difficult, particularly since they didn’t have a place they could all be together. But they stuck it out, God bless them, and it paid off!—The Lord provided a place, and the difficulties they faced have brought them together as a sweet and united team.
       Most of the non-national teens and YAs don’t speak Russian, but they do a lot of postering and witnessing to the young people who speak English. They are starting to meet some precious English-speaking sheep whom they are following up on.
       One of the teen girls (who is 16), together with one of the YA Russian nationals, is starting to pioneer a provisioning ministry, as they have so many needs to get set up as a Home. It’s really inspiring to see our young people in particular strike out by faith to pioneer these ministries under less-than-ideal conditions. God bless them!
       We were impressed with the wise and loving way the Home shepherdess oversees the teens and YAs on her team. She has a lot of conviction about keeping the standard and following the counsel in the Word, and the New Wine in particular, but at the same time she gives the young people on the team a lot of leeway and freedom to operate according to their own faith. She is faithful to shepherd them, but not coming down heavy on them and squelching their “teenhood.” Everyone is very much part of the decision-making in the Home, and seemed happy and inspired. Our stay there was very sweet, and we felt very much a part of this precious Home.
       We had a very good visit with the Home here. It was our last Home, and we were very tired after visiting Homes for three months, so their love and understanding were very much appreciated!

Hats Off to Our Pioneers!
       Being in these Homes that are pioneering new cities gives us a lot of admiration for the families with children who are coming to Russia to pioneer new Homes on their own, perhaps with the help of one or two nationals. Coming to Russia as a YA and joining an existing Home, while still a challenge, doesn’t require nearly as much faith, courage and vision as coming here with children does—especially small children. Like some Family movie blurbs caution, this is “not for the faint-hearted,” ha! At the same time, it is very rewarding, and the thrill of witnessing to such hungry and receptive sheep makes it worth it all!
       Despite the difficulties, the Lord is doing many miracles for these incoming families by raising up housing and contacts, etc. There are lots of obstacles and it takes a lot of perseverance, but they just keep pushing forward in prayer and desperation, knowing that the Lord will open the doors and do the miracles if they don’t give up! We were very inspired to hear later on in our travels that the Lord supplied a very nice, centrally-located house for one of the families that just arrived from Western Europe. I think it’s the first Home in Russia that has found an actual house in a city center, instead of a flat. That was very encouraging!

{\b Heading Home, We Won’t Be the Same!}
       We’ve been on the road visiting Homes for almost three months now. We feel like we’ve been running a marathon, but the Lord has done it.
       We have depended so much on your prayers! We never fully appreciated the power of others’ prayers until this trip. The Lord has done many miracles all along the way, and there’s no explanation other than “somebody prayed!” Everything has gone so smoothly, it’s been almost unreal. We have heard about difficulties others have had with travel, visas, food, tummy problems, sicknesses, etc., but miraculously the Lord has spared us and cared for us. Each day has been a miracle! It’s your prayers that have done it. Thank You Jesus!—And thank you!
       We dearly love our precious Family here on the field. Through this trip the Lord has deepened our love for them and given us an even better understanding of them and their needs. This, we believe, will make it possible for us to be better used of Him once we are back home, serving these dear ones and all of our wonderful Family through our behind-the-scenes jobs. Our Family is the greatest!
Love, Ana, David and Francis
* * *

Love and Thanks from the Family in Russia

{\b “It was almost like bringing you home with us!”}
From Marie Fighter:
Dear Precious Mama,
       I really can’t find words to express how overwhelmed I felt by the visit from David, Ana and Francis! My heart is still overflowing with the love that has been poured out to me through them, through you, which I know is Jesus’ Love. I just feel so blessed, yet so undeserving. It makes me cry to think about it!
       The first message we received about their planned visit mentioned how much we have sacrificed to be on this field. It went on to say all these nice things and I felt like, “Boy, that is so sweet, but I don’t feel that way at all! I don’t feel that being here is a sacrifice. I feel so blessed and so privileged to be on this precious fertile field!” Jesus has been so, so good to us! It’s almost like He hasn’t stopped blessing and encouraging us since He took us out of Western Europe. So having your precious team come and visit us, followed by a visit from our European shepherds, is filling our cup of love to overflowing!
       Thank you so, so much, dear Mama, for being willing to make that sacrifice. I probably can’t even comprehend the extent of it, but I can only imagine that you don’t have a super large Home, and that sending off three people must have cost you and everyone in your Home a lot.—Like the GN said, “Who will do the dishes?”—Ha! I’m sure they were doing a lot more than the dishes, and it’s made me pray more for you all! One verse I got was Mat.19:29, how you have not only forsaken brother and sister but also your own son, and Jesus is going to give you an hundredfold.
       You know, Mama, their visit has been just what the prophecies said it would be. It helped shorten the cord. You have been so honest with us via the Word, that I was already feeling a lot closer to you, especially since the Charter. But their visit brought us even closer. It was almost like bringing you home with us! It was an awesome feeling to have all three of them sitting with us, singing with us, eating with us and witnessing with us—yet it felt so natural. I am amazed how they became part of the Home so quickly! Usually it takes time for new folks to become part of a Home, but they fit right in. It was incredible! Even our sheep got very attached to them and had a hard time accepting the fact that they had to go so soon.
       These representatives from your Home were so “human” that I felt completely free to just be myself. There was no need to worry about this or that not being perfect, or about making mistakes (which I did anyway). I just felt so free, like I could share anything that was on my heart without being judged or feeling condemned. It was very liberating, and I believe a true reflection of you, dear Mama.
       I was also very impressed that David had already learned some Russian songs. God bless him! I have been working on one for the past few months and don’t have it down pat yet! Also, the lessons they all shared were precious. I admired the boys for doing that, as their lessons were deep and not the kind most people would easily share with people they don’t know well. God bless them for their humility.
       Another thing that impressed me when David shared his lessons was about the training that you and Dad have given him, how you firmly believe and practice what you preach about us all needing to be little people. To know that the king and queen’s son is just a little person speaks very loudly. I believe that is going to be a tremendous encouragement to us all.
       “Be ye an example of the things which ye have seen and heard and learned in the king and queen’s household by their sample of love and humility and simplicity. For My children yearn to be close to their queen, as their queen is so close to them. By your going you will accomplish this” (ML #2997:111, GN 640).
       I would like to testify that those from your Home truly accomplished that and fulfilled this prophecy; they radiated love, humility and simplicity. God bless them! I would also like to thank you and them so much for the gift they left with us! ({\ul \i Editor’s note}{\i : The team from Mama’s Home had been given funds to be able to fly between Homes in the far extremes of Russia—an area covering eight time zones—because of the great distances between most of the Homes, and also because of the amount of time it would take for them to visit all of the Homes in this vast country. However, upon seeing the need in the Homes, they decided that whenever possible they would travel by train instead of by plane, so they could give the money they saved to the Homes.)} We will be using these funds to send a road team to the Caspian Sea area where we have a little lost sheep. We were also touched by their gift of a beautiful song book which they took the time to put together, as well as a “Praise Box,” collection of verses on cards to use during Praise Time. We were particularly thankful for that, as our library is not complete and the “Prayer of Praise” GN is one of those we are missing. So this was a real answer to prayer! Thank you so, so much!
       I’d like to end by re-dedicating myself to you and to our new King Peter and this precious Family. I can never pay you back for all the love you have given me, but I pray I will be a blessing in any way that I can. I love you and thank Jesus for you!

{\b “An example of how to love!”}
From Jeremy (17):
       In the new mailings, the Lord has said a lot about how He cares for us in a personal way. Though I believe that and can see and feel it in many ways, it’s still something that I have to take by faith a lot of the time. But I’m amazed that Mama would sacrifice three of her own staff members, including David, her own son, to come and help us reap the harvest here, to show us how much the Lord and Mama love us, and to show us an example of how to love. This really made that lesson so easy for me to see!
       It was wonderful to have them here. One thing that really impressed me was how natural, loving, and humble they were. I could tell that they weren’t trying to be anything special or come across as “shining examples from Mama’s Home.” They were, but they were also very sweet and thoughtful and easy to talk to.
       Personally, I was especially impressed by David’s sample, because he is a YA and close to my age. I always kind of wondered what he would be like. I thought he would be some kind of “super YA” without any NWOs, something a rascal like me could never attain to. But meeting him personally was amazing. He was very natural and humble, and made it very easy for me to talk and open up. One thing that struck me was how thoughtful and loving he was in little ways. For example, a couple of times he asked me what I thought about this or that, or what my opinion was on some subject. It amazed me that David would care about the opinion of a little nobody like me, and really made me feel like a friend.
       All of their samples showed me that if even they, who have received so much training from Mama, would be so humble and concerned about us and how we feel, then how much more should I strive to be that way with others. Lord help me to be more like that!
       All of them poured the Lord’s Love on us in double measure. I got close to all of them, and their visit made me feel a lot closer to Mama as well. Also, like it said in one of the recent prophecies, it was such an encouragement just to know that David was here fighting by our sides, and of course the others too! Thank You Jesus! Now I want to recommit myself to the Lord, to Mama and the Family, to the new day of love and humility, to the high calling of Jesus, and to all the lost sheep here!

{\b “This visit made the New Wine come to life!”}
From Stephanie (14):
       I want to thank you, Mama, for sending David and the others from your Home to visit us and the work here. I feel so honored and privileged that I got to partake of the Love the Lord gave them to pass on to us.
       There really aren’t enough words to express how much it meant to me to get to meet them personally, talk with them, live with them, ask them questions, and hear testimonies about you and Dad and your Home. Their testimonies made me love you more, and helped me get to know you better. This visit made the Word, especially the New Wine, come to life.
       For example, “Mama’s Love Story, Part 6,” helped me see that I need to have that strong relationship with the Lord in whatever situation I am in. It also showed how we can praise the Lord more and have Him as the focus of our attention in whatever we do. But the sample of our visitors and the tips they passed on really helped me to see it even more clearly and put the Word into action. It also improved my praise times. I saw things differently, especially in our interactions with others, that we can be loving others and at the same time keep the Lord in the center of it.
       The prophecies received for the team from your Home said that their visit would be a continuation of your love story and your love for us and the lost; that your sending them here would be a great sample of love, yieldedness and obedience. I felt that the whole time. Their visit drew us closer together as a Family, even though our Home is so far away from everyone else.
       Their lessons encouraged me, especially David’s. What he shared also gave me a better perspective of how the Lord, you and Dad see us, and how you don’t judge us by our “good works” or our output, but by what kind of channel we’re being for His Love and Spirit to work through.
       Seeing how much they cared about the work here gave me a renewed vision for this ripe and ready field. The Lord’s Love shone on their faces, and they made us feel so important, that we are accomplishing an important part of the Family’s overall job. That they considered us a happy Home was beautiful, and helped me see how blessed we are. It was like the sun came out and helped me get my eyes off of all the problems. This was especially encouraging coming from your Home. They were such a sample of love.
       I really love you, Mama. I’m touched by the love you have for me. I don’t really understand how you can love me the way I am, or why the Lord chose me to be a part of this Family, but I pray that I can now give out to others the love I received from you, Mama, and the Lord, through them. I know I can’t do it, but the Lord promised to do it through me. I especially liked this one quote that you share, Mama, as it expresses how I feel, and what I want to do with the love that I received:
       “The Lord has given us so much and we are so richly blessed. We have been given all our hearts’ desires and exceeding abundantly above all that we have asked or thought! We have known every joy, every blessing from the hand of our wonderful Savior. What He asks from us is nothing compared to what He has given us! How can we deny sharing the love He has given us with others!?” (ML #2997:122).

{\b “Their visit lifted us all up in the Spirit!”}
From Matthew Fighter:
       I want to thank you so much, dear Mama and Peter, for sending David and the others from your Home. It was a very beautiful experience—so encouraging, so comforting, and so strengthening. It was a very different experience, because as you said, they did not come as leadership, yet I felt an anointing of love. Their visit lifted us all up in the Spirit. I felt that we were encompassed with a cloud of witnesses in the Spirit World, and that Dad and his helpers surely were here watching over everything.
       Francis, whom I had known previously, was a different person. God bless him, he is much more humble and the lessons he shared were beautiful. I could really relate.
       David’s lessons were especially good for our young people. Some of our nationals were a bit shocked by the fact that David, Mama’s son who lived with Grandpa all his life, had those kind of trials!—But it was good for them to see that our Family-born kids are not perfect, as they have a tendency to expect them to be. Our Family-born kids get attacked by the Enemy and have to fight just like the rest of us do.
       Their lessons on being little people, and David’s explanation of past trials because he did not have a “ministry,” but just did little jobs and stood in the gap, spoke very loudly to our teens and all of us. It reminded me of the Letter “The Magic Green Shirt” (ML #629), where David was going around in the Millennium opening his heart and being truthful with others, which in turn helped them to do the same.

{\b “Without any sermons, they’ve changed all of us!”}
From Joan (19), Russian national:
       God bless you, dear Mama, for sending the team from your Home to visit us! It’s amazing to see how many things changed in my life during the week that they spent here!
       When they came, I felt our house being filled with spirit helpers and holy spirits who were visiting the Homes with them! I had been feeling “weary in well doing,” due to the small size of our Home and the amount of work there is to do. Sometimes I’ve felt that there is no time to rest; we just need to work “while it is day” (Jn.9:4) and push through all the projects until they are done. I guess many times I was doing it in my own strength instead of the Lord’s. I felt that the load was too heavy to carry. But it is amazing the way things changed!
       Since we first came here, I had been looking at the work as a whole, rather than taking it one day at a time. As a result, I was overwhelmed by the amount of things there were to do. So I kind of wrapped all my personal battles and feelings in one bundle, and became somewhat hardened in my heart. I felt that if I’d be “soft and sweet,” the weights would be too much for me and I’d get crushed. So my “defense” was to make a wall between myself and others, become more business-like, and try to accomplish as much as possible.
       However, when the team came, I found that wall melting away and all my feelings being exposed. I couldn’t hide any more. I felt there had to be a change, and love was the key. When they were here, it was like time on the mountain for me. I felt like they came and made love to us in the Spirit! Every time I looked into their eyes, I saw the Lord’s Love and your love, Mama, shining through!
       One thing that stood out to me from their visit was that they had so much personal love for each of us. It wasn’t like, “Hello, Home! How much have you accomplished?” but, “Hi, Joan! How are you?” It made me want to be that way with others too. I felt that they came “to ease our pain and heal our hearts.” Without any sermons, they’ve changed all of us!
       Thank you so much, dear Mamochka! (I say it in Russian, because that sounds sweeter to a Russian girl like me). Thank you for coming here and loving us up!

“{\b Mama gave the best sample by sending a team from her own Home!”}
From Clare Trust, Russian national:
       There are a lot of things that stood out to me from “Say Not Ye There Are Yet Four Months!” (ML #2997, GN 640), but the main one is the Lord’s and Mama’s great love for the Russian people. It was very encouraging to read that the Lord wants more missionaries to come to this field. When I first met the Family three-and-a-half years ago, I was really worried that the Family would leave Russia soon, and I prayed for more people to come. It was always my heart’s desire to hear about more Family Homes opening in this country. So reading this Letter was one of the most joyful events for me.—And Mama gave the best sample by sending a team from her own Home.
       Their visit here was very special to everybody in our Home, and I won’t be the same again. The Lord said in one of the prophecies in the GN that they will not only shine forth His light unto the lost sheep, “but also unto the house of David, that they may look upon you. They will look upon you and they will draw strength from your strength, and faith from your faith. Ye shall renew those who are weary in battle, those who labored long in the field ... who need someone to lean upon.... They shall look upon you and they shall say, ‘Behold these from the queen’s house. Behold their love and their tenderness and their broken hearts. Behold their prayerfulness and their consideration. Behold their faith’” (para.53). Well, this is exactly how I felt when I saw them.
       We opened this Home about five months ago and are still pioneering a lot of things. Sometimes I’ve felt like I’ve failed in doing this or that, or things weren’t working out, or we didn’t get results as quickly as we would have liked to, etc. But Mama’s team was so encouraging and loving. They were not shocked at our apartment (which needs some repairs), they were just so happy for what we do here. I actually felt like I’d known them my whole life, they were so sweet and understanding. Just a little bit of love can go a long way, and the Lord really used them to encourage us and to show us so much love. Thank You Jesus!

{\b “I saw in them joy that comes from loving Him and others completely!”}
From Christia (22):
       So much has come my way this month, for which I am so thankful—most of all, the Lord’s Love and care, faith in me and all His encouragement which He manifested through the team that’s visiting. It’s such a special touch from Him!
       It’s been a rough last few months for me spiritually. I felt I had to take it one day at a time, and just hold on. The new mailings held the answers—the Lord’s Love, love for others, getting closer to Him, praising Him and thanking Him, loving and trusting Him more, and developing a real close relationship with Him that nothing can shake. The Word started me on the path to victory, thank the Lord! Then the sweet team came from Mama’s Home and conveyed her and the Lord’s Love. I saw in them the joy that comes from loving Him and others completely. That thrilled me and touched me deeply! I don’t deserve it at all, and that just further amazes me! How can the Lord love me so unconditionally and unselfishly!?
       I pray desperately that I can be more like that! I love you, Mama, and Peter and our whole Family deeply, and I hope to make you proud of me by learning the lessons the team showed us—lessons about being content and fulfilling the place the Lord has for me, whatever it is! It makes me want to be faithful unto death, and hear the Lord’s, “Well done, good and faithful servant. Enter thou into the joy of the Lord!” (Mat.25:21).

{\b “We felt like the Lord had taken a big vacuum cleaner and cleansed us all.”}
From Russian nationals Steven, Emma, Lisa and Angelica:
       The precious team from your Home got to our place a month after we read the GN about them coming. Honestly, we didn’t know what to expect, but all our fears and doubts disappeared as soon as we first saw David, Ana and Francis. They were shining with the Love of the Lord and it was so obvious, it was such a power that it had a great influence on us right away. We relaxed and felt like we had known each other for a long time. We were impressed to see how meek and humble they are. They were so sweet, so loving, so understanding, willing to do anything and go the extra mile to show the Lord’s Love to us. They may say that they didn’t do anything special, and it might seem like that in the flesh, but if you look with the eyes of the Spirit, they’ve given us so much. Their good sample, their faith in us, their encouragement and their uplifting spirits all had a great effect.
       We had all read the GNs about the “new day,” saying “yes” to Jesus and spending more time loving Him and others; those things sounded great in theory, but we hadn’t put them into practice. David, Ana and Francis are doers of the Word, they showed us how to love Jesus more and how to love each other more. We had been having different problems in our relations with each other (like familiarity, lack of love and patience, etc.), but after their visit we felt like the Lord had taken a big vacuum cleaner and cleansed us all. We began looking at each other in a new way, becoming more understanding, preferring one another, and sweetly working together in unity and love.
We want to say a special “thank you” for sending your son—such a great sample and testimony of your and Dad’s upbringing. He literally radiates the love he has been soaking up all of his life and is so full of the Word and just so sweet. He has had so much training and is successfully putting it into practice. But at the same time he is very simple and easy to be around, always smiling, moved with the desire to make others happy.
       Dear Mamochka, by the obedience of only one person, by your willingness to say “yes” to the Lord as He led you to send these precious ones here, so many lives were changed and a lot of good fruit has been borne. We understand that it wasn’t easy to send three people from your Home. It was a sacrifice for you and for the Work, because they had to leave their duties. Someone probably had to work extra time to fill the need, but it was worth it all! Through their visit we discovered you in a very special and new way, you became much closer to us and we now feel how dearly you love each one of us. It makes us more desperate with the Lord to fight for you in prayer because now we know you not only as our queen, but as our loving mommy and friend.¨

Copyright 1996 The Family