Posted by: jakeschwarze | July 3, 2007

Ufa July 1- July 3 (Second Post from Trip)

Sunday, July 1, 2007

We attended a baptism service on the River Ufa for all those who have committed their lives to Christ within the last year. It was a joint meeting time together with all the churches from Ufa representing and supporting their own members being baptized. There was a time of singing and preaching messages from Revelation 7 and Romans 6 on the baptism of God and the meaning of their white garments, which they were wearing. Banners of Scripture also decorated the beach to witness to the community all of God’s power and grace in coming to faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. After this baptism there was a joint service at the main church (International House of Prayer or affectionately named IHOP). There was another special time of rejoicing. God was multiplying their churches as a new church was formed and commissioned. This church was a small Bible study a few months ago and now had over 30 members so they launched a new congregation. We also had the priveledge to take the Lord’s Supper together. After this extra special service, our team got packed up and left for the summer camp. Located in a remote area of the region, we drove about 1 ½ hours through very difficult roads.  When we arrived, we were greeted warmly by the most loving and excited…..INSECTS!!! We thought we would die of bites. Our sister in the Lord and Camp director Natasha told us that the bugs did not want to eat us, they only wanted a taste. Unfortunately we have been very tasty as the biting has made us a little crazy. They ate us alive until the children came, then we were happy to share them with us.

  

Monday, July 2, 2007

We helped to prepare the camp for all last minute sprucing up and I can’t tell you how difficult it is to be here to help in this way. The camp is literally the most rustic conditions I’ve ever known although Dan says that if he can get through Survival Training from the Navy, he can do anything. This will be a great test for all of us. There is no electricity, running water or plumbing. Pray for our stamina both to live and to display the love of Christ to the children. Most of the day was getting acquainted with the children (ages 7-12) in playing games and swimming. One boy almost drowned, so pray for the safety of all the kids. They are excited and their hearts are ready to hear of the truth.   

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

I had to go into Ufa today so that I could buy some additional supplies, so me, a translator Marina, the director Natasha and a boy named Igor drove into town. Along the way I asked about the testimony of Igor and they informed me that he had not repented and that he was a street kid (18 years old) and that he has wanted to repent but finds it hard to turn from his old way of living. He had been involved with orphans and began to steal and then sell drugs. He sold Heroine because no one would give him a job because of his criminal record. A couple months ago he was caught by the Police and now will serve 5 years in the strictest prison. He was on his way to check in with the Ufa police until his sentence comes (probation), so he may not return to camp, but have to start his sentence today. I was shocked at the openness of his sharing. This is something that I wish Americans would be better at. I was able to share my testimony with him and explained that God makes all things new (2 Cor. 5:17) and that today is the day of salvation. He should not put it off, for tomorrow may not come. Just hearing him speak of this difficulty brought tears to my eyes as my heart wept for him too. I am tearing up right now in writing and thinking of his future. Please pray for him that he will come to repentance and love the Lord with all his heart, soul, mind and strength. There are plans for building a home for these street children so that they will have a place to live and be taught the Word of God. Also they will be able to work as the building will have a storefront and auto shop so they will be able to work and support themselves when the local government will not. Pray for the plans of bringing this work together. It is desperately needed. Well, I need to finish my activities here in town and then head back to the camp. I will not be writing for some time so please continue to lift up each member of the team for strength, health, rest, and the ability to love those we have difficulty communicating with.  

God’s grace to you,

Jake Schwarze

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