How the Persecuted Church has Changed Me-Part 4

Last week we hung curtains together, laughed over homemade pizza, visited a church clothing-ministry, swam in my parent's pool and chatted on the phone.

My life has become slowly intertwined with those from The Persecuted Church. It is an adventurous road I never dreamed my family would travel. 

And yet every cell within me knows that this is right.

There are only a handful of decisions in my life that I knew were right, were my destiny, the moment I made them:  going to Bible College instead of a traditional university, marrying my hubby, moving back to Texas, and befriending Russian refugees from The Persecuted Church.

It is in my nature to fix problems.  I work my to-do list like a pro.  I made a mental list of this family's needs and have determined to tackle them. The Church is more than just a building, it's made up of ordinary people like me and I can't wait around for others to act.  And many of you are helping...

And while my hubby and I feel compelled by God to help them, this persecuted family is changing me. 

When we moved into our current house three years ago, we moved from a very small rented townhome a few miles down the road.  That simple townhome was a step up from our deteriorating dwelling in Florida.

Our current home is nice.  I think it is beautiful and adequate and a gift from God. But in my town, it is considered a starter home.  Many people in this area live in houses 2-3 times the size.

It's funny how quickly you forget how far you've come.  In the past, when friends have visited, there have been moments where I've wished for a grander home.

The other day, Katerina was stopping by for a visit, for the first time.

And I was actually tempted to un-decorate my home. Because suddenly, I saw it thru her eyes.

My eyes were drawn to all my fussy, unecessary decorations.  I felt guilty thinking of her beautiful, but sparsely decorated home.  When I opened my closet full of clothes, I couldn't help but remember her one pair of shoes and 3 or 4 shirts.

We are supporting this family monthly and helping with some of their more urgent needs. (And on Friday, I met her at a Kid's Resale Clothing Sale and gave her the $125.00 from your Paypal donations! A little more has come in since then and I'll give it to them this week).

But I'm struggling with balancing who I am and what I have with what I see in them.

When I look at this couple and their young children, I see one thing.

I see Jesus.

It's that simple.  It's that profound.

I can't explain it any other way.  We've sat around for hours listening to how they risked their lives to smuggle 500 Russian Bibles across armed checkpoints in Uzbekistan.  I've listened in awe as they shared that the bed they are now sleeping in, is the first real bed they have had in their 5 years of marriage.  

God is changing me.  I still love home decor and I know I can't change who I am and what I love. But my perspective is changing.  My wants and my needs are more defined. 

God is reminding me that my clothes dryer breaking this week and our sprinkler system coupled with a lower-than-expected paycheck aren't insurmountable problems.  I'm learning to let go of my tight-fisted grip on our bank account and I'm seeing my life through new perspective. I've been reminded that I have more than enough.

And what I don't have? Well, if I follow Igor and Katerina's lead, I don't have to worry about it. Because every time I see them, they weave these words into the conversation:  "Our hope is in Jesus."   

And I think that's one reason they don't feel needy, they feel blessed.

Because He is enough.

Just yesterday, my daughter and I were talking about The Persecuted Church and she summed up how I feel:  "I'm glad Jesus chose us to help them."  But we both know, they aren't the only ones being helped.

If you'd like to help them too, please click below.

*UPDATE* $230.00 has come in TODAY! Plus many of the things are being scratched off the list below.  I'm going to speak with them about registering at a store...will let y'all know!

Thank you so much if you're able to give, if not, your prayers are just as valuable!

I asked them to share their prayer requests with us:

1) Pray that we can go forward for new victories in Christ and never live by our victories from past. 
2) Pray that Holy Spirit will guide us every day toward accomplishment of God's vision like in time of Paul. 
3) Pray that God will protect us from evil people and bad things. 
4) Pray for success in ministry of Revival Sport and Treasure House. 

Some of their personal needs:
(They attached this note, "I will write a list of things, but of course we can live without them")

1) big rug for living room
2) the sets of spoon, forks, tea spoons and knifes.
3) scale
4) clothes for children for fall-winter season. (2T, boys, 4T, girls)
5) adults shoes (man -8,5 women -6,5 size) for fall - winter season. 
6) vacuum cleaner
7) tools to fix car or other stuff
8) lawn mower
9) shovel
10) office chair
11) 2 bar stools
12) Adult ladies bike
13) Weed eater
14) Home decor


Precision Quality Laser said...

We have so much in comparison to others...thank you for the reminder to be content with what we have been blessed with.

Anonymous said...

I have pretty much quit reading home decorating blogs. I was never dissatisfied with my house until I read all the blogs. In fact, I've made it a goal to NOT decorate for every single season, holiday, etc. I will do Christmas because the kids (and I) love it so much. So much of what I do is just ridiculous.

Thank you for the reminder.

Stef Layton said...


Unknown said...

Thanks for helping them, showing Jesus love, and allowing us to help through you too :)

Send them our love and prayers.

Fawn said...

Thank you.

I needed this today while I sit here and worry.

Happy Mommy said...

I am so glad God choose you too! So many times we hear a sad story and say oh I am so sorry, but never really make a diffrence. God is very proud of you, His child for helping your brother and sister in Him!

Dawn @ simply transparent said...

This is wonderful and what a lesson it provides!

Vanessa said...

I am glad that you were chosen to share all of your experiences with The Persecuted Church with us! It reminds me to BE CONTENT....NOT TO WORRY about tomorrow....

Lisa said...

Isn't it interesting that YOU were chosen to meet these people Think how many people YOU have reached by your blog and now your blog will be able to help this family and THEIR service to God. I looked at their list of "wants" and see that I have several of those items and take them for granted. Have you all been able to garage or yard sale for any of these items? I have an idea!!!! Why don't you take her to Target or Wal-mart and let her register for things and then we could go in and get the things for them. Then I think they could be sent straight to her, or you maybe could go in and pick the item up. What do you think about that. Like a wedding registry? HEY, I think that is a really good idea and we could make it work. And of course your pay pal idea works too. Was just thinking out loud!

Anonymous said...

I'm sitting here, tears of joy in my eyes, thankful for your heart, and your spirit. I'm so glad our God, the Awesome God that he is chose you and so very thankful you have shared this story of inspiration with us all. My donation is on its way and I pray for this little family every day!

Anonymous said...

They sound absolutely beautiful. We all need reminding of how very blessed we are sometimes.

Thanks for sharing!

Jodi said...

Great post. The Lord gives us all we need. Thanks for the reminder to be satisfied with what we have. In this material world we live in, it can be hard not to want more. I need to remind myself often that I am blessed, in the way that He sees fit. I think it's wonderful that your family and this family have been brought to help each other. They are giving you back as much as you are giving them! Praise God for that!
PS Thanks for visiting my blog!

Wifeof1Momof4 said...

I like Lisa's idea, especially since there is a Target or WalMart in almost every city.

The first thing I thought of was all these clothes my boys were never able to wear that I could send you, but then read the comments and like the "shower" idea a lot better and then she could choose what she wanted for their household.

Your story is what I have been telling my kids Jesus would want for his birthday. A perfect picture of service and love for another family in Christ.

Thank you for allowing God to use you.

Elizabeth said...

Thanks for these posts about Katerina and Igor...

Anonymous said...

I will be lifting up their prayer requests and praying for their needs to be met. Thank you for sharing these stories with us.

April said...

Thank you for sharing their story with us. They are a blessing to us all. It is so easy to get lost in the daily grind and to forget our sole purpose as Christians is to Share His Love. You are doing that.

Muthering Heights said...

I love that you're keeping us updated, as their story is such a poignant reminder to all of us!

I'm sorry that my idea doesn't seem to be working out yet, but I'm still praying for a response. :)

Anonymous said...

Wow! Thank you! I'm reminded to appreciate what I have. I've only thought about what I've lost since our new move. But we have a lot compared to some and I needed a reminder that it is all o.k. That we are fine. Thank you

Anonymous said...

This story has touched my heart so deeply. When I was seventeen I spent a month in the then Soviet Union. We were the last tour (88) that weren't allowed to take our bibles with us. But the astonishing thing was that everywhere we went we were asked many things about America, but the biggest question by far that struck me at the time was often we were asked what it felt like to be able to freely worship Christ. Its been a long time, since I remembered that and your story brought that back to my heart.
I do hope you take her to register at Target or Wal Mart and that you will continue to post about them.
Bless you for bringing their story to us.


The Apron Queen said...

Sent a little "love" your way. Hope it is helpful.

Anonymous said...

Wow, I love that you're sharing this story with us. I know what you mean about wanting to "undecorate" your house before having Katerina over. I used to really enjoy decorating my house but haven't been much in the mood for it in a long time. I would read all these blogs about the cute stuff people were doing to their houses and wondered why I just didn't have it in me anymore. After reading your post, I'm reminded what happened. At some point I was made aware of people who have so little and who are so grateful for the little they have...it made me feel guilty for all I had. I started "letting go" of many of the material things in my life. However, I think we really need to find a balance. Instead of feeling guilty, we need to thank God for all he's blessed us with and find ways to use what we have to bless others. I think you're doing a fine job of that and can't wait to hear more.

I also think the registration idea is a great one!

Tammy said...

I struggle to write exactly what I want to say here. But we as Americans have so much more then the majority of the world. Yet we want more and more. We should focus on the spiritual more than the physical, because we lay up our treasures in heaven.

What a wonderful opportunity you have been given to share in the life of this family. God will bless you richly for your role in their lives!

Unknown said...

I have never been so happy in my life as I have been since I sold my house and everything I owned and started living in a 34 ft travel trailer. I felt like my house and stuff owned me instead of the other way around.

We all get so hung up on things and the pursuit of things, that we forget that we actually need very little to be happy.

I am really enjoying reading your story here, and will more as I can.

CanCan said...

Life is so much richer when we don't measure it in the abundance of our possessions. God is teaching me, too to hold things loosely. Special foods that I bought in America and brought with me to Southeast Asia to horde for special occasions have in the end gone bad, and I threw them away. Somehow, instead of feeling sorry for myself, I immediately understood what God was trying to teach me. Toys I thought my children "had to have" were covered with mold. I realized that those toys weren't a "need". God taught me that giving my kids too much is not a blessing, either.
Books are mildewed, dishes are broken, pans are rusted, but my life is NOT less blessed!
Oh yeah, and our curtains are UGLY! Praise God! :)

Valarie Lea said...

They are truly a blessing to me. Reading about them through your post, helps me to realize also that things are not as bad as we seem to think. Our lives are truly blessed. We should help others with the blessings that God has given us. :)

Unknown said...

Thank you for keeping us updated. We can learn so many lessons from them.

We have a home that is plenty big enough for us, but not considered a big home. Some coworkers of my husband's visiting from India came to our home and were in awe of our huge home. It almost looked like a mansion to them because of the very small spaces they live in. Very humbling. Makes you realize just how rich we Americans are, no matter the size of our dwelling. And richer yet, as Christians.

Anonymous said...

CAN you please email me and let me know if the kids clothing needs for winter have been met....and shoes...i saw you took her to a kids store so i wondered if that was still a need...please email to me

PS i am in TX also..not sure where you are but i could mail the things if need be....i am so enhoying your blog...

Mak said...

I have some 4T fall girl's clothes that my daughter wore last fall. Would you like for me to mail them to you? If so, e-mail me at sunflowergirlatcharterdotnet.

Jaden Paige said...

I got chills reading through this story- I just read all four parts after your post today about the girls' dresses!

What an amazing family... If there is anything else we can do to help, please let us know! Thanks :)

Anonymous said...