On a flight to a conference today in Boston, I studied Russian. I try to study at least one hour every day. It truly is my most fun thing to do every day. Where in the world did that desire come from? I am no language student. Just ask an old college Spanish prof.
A year ago December, as part of the LAMb team, David and I were in Urkraine, working alongside Lynn and Ruby Johnston. It was then I was divinely ruined. I experienced such incredible joy as we worked with Ukrainian social workers. Shortly after we returned home, I sensed a real desire to be able to speak the language. It has become somewhat of a magnificant obsession.
It was February 2007 that through a mutual acquaintance, I met a young Russian speaking woman in our little tiny town of Lebanon. I just assumed that this young lady and her beautiful family were from Russia. Last fall, David took his first trip to Kyrgyzstan. We had been sensing that God was moving us in a whole new direction. One September evening while he was at home preparing to go, I was at a tutoring lesson with Tatyanna. That night I wanted to hear her story so I asked her what it was like to grow up in Russia.
She looked at me with a quizical look and said, "I didn't grow up in Russia. I am from Kyrgyzstan - the very country to which we felt drawn. I was astounded. Only God could bring two people together in such a small little Ohio town - one whose roots are in a far away land and another who desires to go there.
Recently I learned about the concept of "incarnational ministry" - Jesus walked among them. We desire to do that - to learn their names and hear their stories. It is my prayer that my very labored and elementary attempts to learn the language will help us to truly walk among them sharing the good news of the gospel of Christ.