I'll wrap up this trip blog on the plane back to the USA. The Saxin's drove me to Gothenburg airport where I flew to Brussels, Belgium and then transferred on this Brussels - Chicago flight which was only 1/4 full. I had never been on an international flight that had such a light load.
On trips like this I often ask myself "Why are we doing this?" "What are we accomplishing?" "How are we impacting lives?" Are we preaching the Gospel as Jesus would have wanted us to and as others before our time carried the Gospel to the world? With all the obstacles and challenges of distance, language and cost one might ask: Is it all worth it.? What's it all about?
We measure success in the outcome of growth of relationships between man and God and one to another. When you DO see the Gospel indeed reach someone and transform their life, the answer to the last question is an absolute YES.
On this trip the we were able to get our publishing of literature for distribution in Eastern Europe, the Baltics and Scandinavia be put on track. We had to come here in person to iron out all the issues of print scheduling, costs, shipping and other logistics. It takes discussion to explain what we're doing. The Sabbatarians have very little literature and only a quarterly newspaper. For them the Russian Bible Study Course has been a great help in the manner that we present it which is to send out monthly Bible lessons to subscribers.
From the Sabbatarians I never cease to be inspired by their passion, loyalty to God. Evangelism is second nature to them. Evangelism is active, never passive. They regard evangelism like having children. It's a natural desire to pass on multiply yourself. They do not have radio, television and limited print. They have to employ other means. They set goals in their outreach and meet them through evangelistic campaigns. Their pastors are not bashful about saying, "Brother Victor, let's start some churches together." They see our media products as fantastic products that they do not have. They are masters at gathering people together and spreading the Word of God through campaigns that feature singing and compelling preaching.
When I'm with the Sabbatarians I feel at times in a different universe with so much more openness to spontaneous prayer and always being open to discussing a subject to its deepest level. But, they regard what they do with value as well. Their leader Michael Palchey told me in 1993: "We want to learn from you, but I hope that you can learn from us." I indeed have. Right now there is a movement in progres to observe the Holy Days in Transcarpathia. Progress is being made month by month and looking for minds to be opened by God and not by clever arguments is the way they are approaching this matter.
They do not drink alcohol, knowing that while it is biblically allowed, to set a good example in a society where alcohol abuse has destroyed many lives. They feel that ministers especially should keep a continually clear mind and not impair judgement with alcohol.
On this trip I never cease to be amazed how our God has given us an unchanging message for a diversity of human beings that spans race, geography, language, culture. The standards and the values are the same. In getting to know people, the nature in all of us is the same and the immutable standard of God applies to all of us.
I'm glad to be home and look forward to being with family and my congregations in Lafayette and Terre Haute whom I miss.
Thanks for following this blog. See you again. Come and visit at www.kubik.org.
Wednesday, January 24, 2007
Indianapolis, United States