April 3 Lenten Devotion: Jesus Lives in Russia
Apr 03, 2012
Jesus Lives in Russia
Luke 6:20-25 (Click here to Read)
My first overseas mission trip was to Ivanovo, Russia many years ago, to an orphanage for disabled children. I went on the trip mostly because I had spent many years studying the Russian language and working as a Soviet affairs analyst. I was excited about the work we were doing at the orphanage and renewing my acquaintance with the language. I was intrigued by the wonderfully energetic and hospitable Russian college students who were our hosts, escorts and translators. But it was in the children themselves that I saw the light of Christ. It was in their faces, their gestures, and their love. These young ones were disabled, had no families, and lived in a place that lacked so many comforts, yet the love of Jesus
Christ shined through them.
One of the boys, Vitya, stayed close to me for much of the time we were there. Although his speech skills were severely limited, he lifted my spirits whenever I saw him. As we were leaving, Vitya gave me a little car he had made from pine wood. Years later, the car still sits on my shelf. It is a gift that touches me still. Our team worked hard that week painting, repairing, and scrubbing the facilities. That work was intended as our gift of God to the children. We thought we were bringing Christ to that place, but it turns out He was already living there.
Lord God our Father: bless all of us, your children, in the ways we share your love. You send us out into the world to share your love and we are amazed
to find that, wherever we go, you are already there. Continue to send us where
you will and use us for your purposes. In Jesus’ name. we pray. Amen.
~The Rev. Jeffrey J. Roberts