The following is an excerpt from a newsletter to sent to our church from a missionary in the Ukraine.
Unfortunately Belarus still goes by the old Soviet Spirit. At the borders they check everything in the car. But God, by His grace has given us two connections to get the Russian translation of the AV (Authorized Version of the King James Bible) into that country. One brother now lives in Belarus. He visited our church and took with him ten copies. Another brother (in Christ) visited our church and took with him fifty copies. They both got through border customs with no difficulty. How did that happen? It was a miracle.
Aleta Kay’s note: Many many years ago, a preacher named Andrew Murray smuggled Bibles into a Communist country, the back seat of his vehicle piled high with Bibles, too numerous to hide. God blinded the eyes of the border guards so they were unable to see what was in the back seat. Seems God is still doing that. God answers prayer when He wants people to read His word and be saved.
An elderly widow lives about a half hour from Belarus so if anything backfires at the border they can take whatever is rejected to her house (the men mentioned in the first paragraph). The printed page is getting out; 100 copies to Minnesota, 20 to Pensacola, 100 to Belarus, 30 to Kazakhstan, and to various parts of Ukraine.
Not only that. There are two army chaplains who minister to soldiers on the front lines where war is still going on between Russia and Ukraine. Russia is trying to eat up more territory from Ukraine. One of the chaplains already took 30 copies of the Russian New Testament of the AV.
These missionaries really want to see people saved from the awful slavery of sin. Have you ever tried to change yourself: your behavior, your attitude, turn over a new leaf? Did you figure out that it doesn’t last, that you can’t really change yourself? That’s because only God can change an unclean, unpure, defiled, deceitful heart into a new, clean, pure, honest heart. When God changes us, it lasts. I’m not saying we don’t fall back into old habits. We will always struggle with sin as long as we live on this earth. But when we mess up, when we fall back, God is there waiting to pick us up, dust us off, forgive us and help us start over again. Each time we start over we get a little stronger, more aware of Satan’s tactics and our own weaknesses.
Anyway, these missionaries, preachers, love God AND people so much that they stand out in the freezing temperatures, preaching, passing out gospel tracts that tell people how to receive God’s love, His perfect free gift of salvation, by simply acknowledging (admitting to God who already knows) that they are sinners, that they cannot save themselves, and that Jesus took the punishment for their sins (and ours), was crucified, dead, buried, and coming again to receive us into heaven. They stand there in the cold, frigid temperatures singing God’s praises and talking to people about the love of God in Christ Jesus.
They don’t do it because they are crazy. They don’t do it because they are getting a big salary (they get no payment for doing this). They do it out of love, mercy, grace, and compassion for lost people who are dying (even though they may not know it), and doomed for hell unless they ask Jesus to save them.
In this country we get to sit all comfy cozy in our nice warm homes and keep Jesus to ourselves. Or if we do share Him, most of us do it on the fly: “Smile; God loves you.” I hand out gospel tracts when I go to the grocery store but rarely have the opportunity to get into a conversation with someone about the Lord. Is it because I’m timid? Or am I in too big of a hurry? Or am I afraid that someone won’t like it?
I don’t understand why people don’t want to hear that God loves them. Don’t we all need love? Don’t we all need compassion? Grace? Mercy? Jesus promised His followers an abundant life. That doesn’t mean riches, fame, and glory. It means deep down joy that can’t be stolen by moments of frustration, depression, physical pain, grief and loss. He is my comforter, my source of strength, my healer, my deliverer, my Creator. Even on my worst days, when I have a migraine that won’t quit; when I’ve only been able to get three to four hours sleep; when restless leg syndrome has my whole body trembling; when I suffered a broken ankle in three places and had to have metal parts put in–God has been my strength, my source that helps me keep going, that held my marriage together when my husband had given up and was ready to quit. God’s mighty hand pulled us through the fiery furnace of emotional agony and despair, and made us stronger and better than we ever could have been had we not gone through the struggle. Had we given up our children would not know to persevere. They would not know that struggle combined with God’s determination, hope and power will ALWAYS see us through if we just let it.
Please pray for the people in Ukraine, Russia, and other countries around the world, that God’s missionaries will see fruit for their labors, that many souls will be saved, so they don’t spend eternity in hell. (No, hell is not on earth. Hell is thousands of times worse than anything on this earth.)