We wrapped up the class on Saturday morning, meeting from 9AM – 1PM. As I did last week, I started by giving them an assignment. I gave them one hour to study Deuteronomy 34 and Hebrews 11:24-28. They could spread out throughout the house and study by themselves without talking. When we met together at 10AM, I divided the class into 4 groups. They were to discuss how to teach them lessons.
We gathered at 10:45AM for tea. John & Naomi fixed their special red & blue jello with whipped cream. It’s a simple treat but the Russians go crazy for it.
During the tea time, the group gave me a gift to say “Thank you.” It was a Kalmykian wineskin. Sandzhik said it symbolized the fact that I poured new wine into their lives this week. I also received a book about Kalmykia. The wineskin especially will find a place among my treasured mementos.
At 11AM, the four groups took turns teaching the passages to each other. Rather than merely explain the passage, one person from each group preached a short sermon. Elza took some good natured ribbing for being a woman preacher. All showed good insight into the passages and delivered them with appropriate applications and challenges at the end.
I then explained how I used a funeral to teach Deuteronomy 34, similar to what I did last week. I also explained what I took away from Hebrews 11. We then looked at Psalm 90, the psalm Moses wrote at the end of his life.
I closed the class with two final stories. I explained that Deuteronomy 1:2 says it was normally an 11-day journey from Mt. Sinai to the Promised Land. But it took Israel 40 years because of disobedience and unbelief. The final lesson was the story of the bamboo in Malaysia I used in a sermon a few weeks back. I encouraged the group to stay faithful in their ministries.
After lunch, there were numerous good-byes, hugs, heart-felt thank you’s, and God bless you’s. I count it a privilege to have served these folks this week.
Tonight we will enjoy dinner with Sandzhik & Elsa and their family. Tomorrow we have lunch with Kolya, and then we fly back to Moscow. I head home on Monday while John & Naomi head for Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan.
Thanks for praying.