I was going to make this part of the last post, but I realized it was getting REALLY long. So, go ahead and read that one first if you haven't already (it provides a background for something in this story).
Pictures From Ministry Day 2
We then headed back to the hotel. We ate dinner, had our debriefing meeting, then some of us went for a night out on the town. Some, meaning the single girls (Me, Sacha, Megan, Kristin, Jaye, and Faith, plus Ira, Masha, Olya, and her adopted daughter, Katya, who is 16) and Dima. If I'm not mistaken, that's 10 girls and 1 guy. But it was cool, we had so much fun. We walked and talked, got to the mall. Some got ice cream at Baskin Robbins (no kidding) while some opted for Coffee at the Coffee Bean (Basically a Russian Starbucks, but in my opinion much better, and less expensive). Being lactose intolerant, I had to go with lemonade, iceless. I later found out ice would have been okay since it's most likely been filtered! But it was so good, I didn't mind. We played Pyschiatrist. Dima got to be the pyschiatrist, while us girls had to pretend to be guys. It's no wonder we're all single, we made some great guys! We got kicked out when they closed at 10. Shocked us as we looked out the window and it looked like a 7 o' clock sky. We went outside and the scene looked much like an American mall scene. Groups of teens, smoking and drinking (some were probably drunk, but I didn't notice). Jaye was close behind me and I hear her say "I feel so out of place without a cigrette in my mouth." How sad, but at the same time, it was so true. The battle inside raged. Part of me wanted to judge them, as they wasted away their lives. Is this what their parents do? Don't they see how unfulfilling it is? Can't they see there is so much more to life? However, God intervened and those thoughts were so quickly replaced with compassion. Lord, we're serving literal orphans here, but these eternal orphans need you. They need an everlasting Father. They need a hope for their furure. They need to be loved more than they love their addiction. They need to be told there is more for them. I wish I could say I went up to a group and all of them got saved, then they began spreading the news to eveyrone else there, there was a huge revival, all of Vladmir got saved and instead of those immodest girls up on the big screen outside the mall, there was our American group, singing praises to God as the whole city joined in singing in their own language. Instead, we took pictures and headed back to the hotel.
This sounds like it would end the night (and I'm sure you wish it did!) but instead, something really cool happened. Not cool in a good sense, but in a God sense. Remember I said the group acted out the Good Samaritan that afternoon? Well, it was just like God to give us a real "Good Samaritan" opportunity. We were almost back to the hotel. We were talking and laughing, having a good old time when I hear a very loud "THUD!" I quickly saw that an extremly intoxicated man had fallen down and was in severe pain. He was moaning as he held his leg, it was so evident he was in extreme pain. It was a very unsettling moment. I felt helpless. The Russians prayed over him (as did Jaye) and called for an ambulance, but the rest of us were just left to watch, hoping he'd be okay. I hate seeing others in pain. I'd rather be the one in pain than to see someone else enduring it. Anyway, the ambo finally came, and since it was getting late, Dima walked the Americans back to the hotel, we said our goodbyes, and he went back to the scene. We found out the next day that the man refused the medical help, and I think was cussing to no end. While the ending isn't the way I prefered, it is the way God intended it to be. Maybe the prayers of the believers and the love of God will bring him to his knees someday. I believe that happened to build our faith. These things probably happen far too often, and I just don't see it in the saftety of my little bubble. I do thank God for what happened, and I hope I will always be aware and alert, looking for opportunities to serve the stranger in the street, whether it be at Walmart helping a lady push her second cart to her car, or whether it be a small child who can't find his mom.
Lord, keep my eyes open, my faith strong, and my heart compassionate, so that I may
serve you through serving others.