Missions Minded

I want to tell you about some friends of mine. Rusty and Lori Hart and their family are missionaries in Ekaterinburg, Russia. They have lived in Ekaterinburg for two years, working with the children who live in and around the city. I've known the Harts since I was in high school. Rusty was my choir director, and led our Senior Ensemble on a mission trip to Novgorod, Russia in 1998. I know you probably don't know much about Ekaterinburg...I definitely didn't before the Harts moved there. If you want more info on the city before you read on, click here.

One of their outreach tools has been the Jesus Film, which they've shown several times in their church and various other places. A few weeks ago they showed the film at two separate orphanages around the city. Here is one of the stories, in Rusty's words, of their experience with the video (I know it looks long, but I didn't want to edit it...its worth reading!):

"On Tuesday night, we took two car loads of workers to the small village of Loseeny, where we have been working. When we first went to this orphanage over a year ago, we could easily see that the children had no base of knowlege whatsoever about God. But as we have worked with them and groups have been able to go and share, they have come to trust us more and more and have begun to open their hearts to the Gospel. When we arrived on Tuesday, we were able to show the film to 60 children and numerous teachers and care givers. The room was crowded. I have to tell you that from the minute the film started, I have never in my life seen a group of children give such undivided attention to a film. For over an hour, the room was silent except for the dialogue from the film and the children hardly moved a muscle. As the film began to depict the crucifixion of Jesus, the children began to weep, tears slowly rolling down many of their cheeks. At the conclusion, many prayed to receive Christ. They thanked us over and over again for showing the film and we spent a good deal of time just talking with them. One little boy asked me, "Why did it get dark when Jesus died?" As I shared with him that God was very sad and hurt to watch His only Son die on the cross and that the darkness was just showing us the pain that God felt, the little boy, with big tears in his eyes, said that he was sad too. Their attention to the detail of the film just amazed me! The director told us several times how much he appreciated the film and our willingness to brave the cold snowy weather to show it to them. We told him it was our pleasure and presented him with a video cassette of the film. As the children followed us out into the snow to say goodbye, there was no doubt that many lives were changed in those few brief hours. How we praise God for the power of the Gospel and how we thank you for faithfully lifting us up in your prayers!"

Satan is trying to keep them from showing the story of Jesus. Orthodox protesters have been present at almost every viewing, trying to keep people from hearing about the Good News. But...many people in Ekaterinburg are coming to know the Lord. Will you join me in praying for the Harts ministry to the children of this city? :)

Do you have missionary friends we can pray for? I was challenged by Kent's talk last night over Matthew 4:12-25. I want a missions mindset, and I want to know and be encouraged by what God is doing here in Fayetteville, and around the world.


jlo 26/1/05 7:37 AM  

Wow, that is pretty powerful. I will join you in praying for your friends and the people of that city (sp?).

I have a friend in Mexico who we will be working with this summer named Aaron Claar. He just needs prayer in general as he is our age living in the mountains of Mexico with the Mixteco Indians. You have inspired me to post something about him soon.

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