Saturday night in Tsibanobalka

28 Feb

IMG_2038As promised, I gave the class an assignment this morning. I gave the men 45 minutes to study two passages on their own—Deuteronomy 34 and Hebrews 11:24-28. The first tells of the death of Moses and the second summarizes his life. Then I had them divide into two groups and spend the next 45 minutes discussing how to teach the passage. It was an exercise in inductive Bible study and group process. One group took Deuteronomy while the other took Hebrews. Then we gathered at 11AM to share the results. IMG_2040Each group had a spokesman who taught the main points of the lesson to the rest of us. They showed great insight into the passage, highlighting several significant principles.

After the two groups finished, I explained that I preached through the life of Moses about four years ago. When I came to Deuteronomy 34, I decided to do something different and creative. Rather than simply preach the passage, we held a funeral as if Moses had died the previous week. We brought in several props—wooden casket, shepherd’s staff, sandals, and tablets with the 10 Commandments. One person read Moses’ obituary while others shared memories of their good friend. Then I preached a message on Deuteronomy 34. The men liked the idea and said they were going to schedule a funeral in the near future.

In our final session, I taught through Psalm 90, a psalm Moses wrote at the end of his life. The main idea of the psalm comes from verse 12—Count your days to make your days count.

IMG_7104We closed the class with a time of group prayer. I have observed that Russians take prayer very seriously and treat it reverently. They stand when they pray. Not only did they pray before meals, they wanted to pray at the beginning of each class session. It was fitting that we ended with the way we began.

After a hearty lunch, the men practiced a long goodbye before heading off to their homes.

Afterwards, John & Naomi, Lena our translator, and I began the process of cleanup. Dishes were washed, beds were stripped, floors were swept, and laundry was started. Then we sat down to rest before the next meeting.

In the late afternoon, John & Naomi and Lena met with three couples to discuss the future of the House of Grace. John & Naomi are transitioning to a ministry of mentoring pastors and wanted to find the right couple to take over the ministry of House of Grace. After a long discussion, the ten of us went to dinner at a pizza place in Anapa. It appeared to be a very positive discussion.

FullSizeRenderWhile the men were working on their personal study and group project this morning, I was helping Naomi in the kitchen, shelling eggs for deviled eggs. They will be served tomorrow at Holy Trinity Church of Anapa’s Day of Unity.

Today’s weather was a bit cooler, dropping down into the mid 40’s. Considering it is in the 20’s at home, I’m not complaining.

All in all, it was another good day of ministry.

Thanks for praying.


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