Three years ago, when we came back to the hotel from downtown Riga, we looked with anticipation at gathering with everyone for the start of the mission to Riga, under the conference heading, “Anti-Stress 2012”. Pastor Nik Bondartsov was really geared up, jacked up for this time together. He was ready for anything and the anticipation was infectious. It was the perfect antidote for anyone stressed out!
We had our meal, hung out with some of our new friends on the Happy Cosmonauts Ministry Team. We realized we were with some pretty incredible people with a deep love for God and for people, and who had such faith, that God could do anything. We also realized that more than anything, we had complete dependence upon God for this. We could not depend on verbal communication. We discovered that first service, when John Crowder called upon us, that it had to be total dependence on the Holy Spirit, and that all we needed to do was pray as we were led by the Spirit, without regard to the language barrier.
I found myself praying in English, and in French, and then in tongues, while the people I prayed for spoke in either very broken English and Russian. It was quite the experience to have to rely completely on the Holy Spirit. Lori too, prayed in the Spirit when she did not know how to even pray in English. But it was a life changing experience and one I have carried with me ever since. I realize that God does not need me to communicate in someone’s native tongue, and that as we both submit to the leading of the Spirit, our communication will be guided by the Spirit and the Spirit will the work that needs to be done. All I am in this equation is a loving and faithful servant and I cannot lose sight of that, no matter where I minister or how I minister to someone. I am but the conduit of God in service to another person in need.
Some photos from that first meeting on 12 July 2012.