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Every day we have meetings with individuals, families and small groups.  Their hunger for God, desire for growth and diligence in the Scriptures is really inspiring for me!  Sometimes I start to get a little weary and then I am with people who are so passionate about the Lord that my own spirit begins to soar!

  Now we are down to the last three days and there is not time left for everybody that wants to meet but they still built a hedge around today(Friday) and said your Sabbath is today, you must rest!  They also have become very interested in this 'day' and how it can be used by and for God (Isaiah 58 )!  It has been a great platform to speak from...

  Too many exciting meetings and so much that the Holy Spirit continues to do in each one that most of the reports will have to wait, sorry!  I thought maybe in this segment I would just tell a couple of the stories...

  Last Sunday the 17th, I was preaching in church and I used an illustration where I pick someone out in the audience and offer to buy them lunch and ask for money from someone else in the audience - it is funny how many people suddenly lose their wallet!

  So during this illustration I picked a young man I had just met that morning who was wearing all black, long black hair etc.  He was very quiet at our earlier meeting and when I gave him the 5000 rubles I took from someone else, he really didn't want it, pushed it away, looked embarrassed but finally would hold it...I went on with the illustration and later replaced the money I took from our kind semi-volunteers, and it turned out to be a wonderful morning!

  As the week went on my spirit got heavy and I kept thinking about this young man and how I might have pushed too far and embarrassed him- it was really troubling!

 On Wednesday I had lunch with a couple of the leaders and they said how did you come about picking that young man for your illustration? I felt like my heart was drawn to him when I saw how isolated and wounded he seemed. But I was afraid they were going to say that was a bad idea or hurtful to him. Instead they said it was so amazing, no one thought he would respond to my request to take the money- he has great needs but refuses to take anything from anybody.  He needs clothes but refuses and he just started living in the guys discipleship house, where all the young men have to pay 5000 rubles a month, but he has no money. He was also just turned down for a job at a Harley Davidson store because he has no experience... but he kept the money Sunday, payed his rent, and ended up at the young adult Bible Study this Wednesday where I was sharing.  He was completely tuned in the whole time and when it was over he waited around to give me a gift, one of his only possessions- a Harley Davidson patch.  Everyone was amazed at the breakthrough and I was really touched!

  Another night we were engaged in a pretty intense discussion with one of the home groups and kids were running all over- it was really fun, but one little guy kept trying to get his mom's attention while she was talking, finally she turned to him and he had a giant booger on his finger that he put in her hand!  Just keeping it real...

  One of the couples who is taking care of me here are long time friends who are so full of Christ's love and spirit that it is always a joy just to be around them!  They live in a small, old studio apartment with a tiny kitchen that has a small table in it that we gather around for their home group.  Attached to this is a small room that serves as living room, and bedroom for themselves and their 10 year old son.

  I bought two small, plain serving bowls that I knew the wife wanted and she was overwhelmed when I gave them to her later that day.  The next morning she told me she was washing the bowls that evening and couldn't help weeping...she said we have so much more than many people and I know that it is all from the Lord and now He gives me more!  I know these two bowls are from Him and I can't imagine why He is so generous with me!?  What a sweet spirit God has given her!

    I couldn't help wondering if most of us have so much that it is hard for us to be that thankful to God for anything we have...May He remind us to be simple and thankful every day as He teaches us how to use the days that remain and all that we have to be an encouragement to others as He has been to us...


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