I awoke to snow and zero degree weather this morning (which is warm for this time of year), and began to think of all the Lord’s abundant blessings I’ve already received during this trip. Even though I have only been in Krasnoyarsk for four days, I have been able to deal with most of the effects jet lag. Researchers say that typically the amount of time difference in travel determines how many days one must deal with the dreaded jet lag. In other words, since there is a thirteen hour difference between the Eastern United States and Krasnoyarsk, it takes roughly thirteen days for one’s body to adjust to the new time zone. Although this statistic seems somewhat extreme, I have found it to be realistic. Thankfully, I have learned that constant activity after arrival greatly aids in overcoming the weariness and adjustment in international travel. The effects of my trip are lingering, but are not nearly as pronounced as they were during my last visit.
Another great joy during this trip has been to sit and listen to the Russian services. Although I cannot understand the spoken language of the people, I can see their genuine love for The Lord and their eagerness to learn of Him. One major difference between the services here and services in the States is that people are not constantly looking at their watches or other devices to see how long the preacher or the ‘pray-er’ has waxed eloquent. Instead, God’s people seem almost disappointed when the preacher has voiced his ‘Amen’. Oh, that the church in America would turn from their electronics to the electrifying power of the Word! Although preaching through an interpreter has been a chore, it is thrilling to convey the truths of the Gospel to these dear people, who seem to welcome it with open and ready hearts.
The congregational singing is vastly different, as well. Not only is it possibly the most beautiful sound I have ever heard during a meeting, but the heart and joy with which it is sung is astounding. It almost seems as if the people of God are singing praise to someone who truly has done something wonderful for them! Could it be that persecution must also come to America before God’s people realize it is they who give up their freedom to worship?