We have started going to the Oasis (Christian-run Refugee Center) on Wednesday nights. This is when the Gospel talk happens, and there is basically a church service. Matt and I have recently taken on the responsibility of leading the worship music with guitar and piano. Matt is also preaching the message there one Wednesday per month. A couple of weeks ago we had the privilege of taking along one of Matt’s classmates, Jenny, at her request. She is from Moscow, and was happy to help in translating the talk into Russian for the Georgians in the audience. She was also very curious about what goes on at the Oasis since she had heard Matt talk about it at language school.
It was a great experience for us and for Jenny. We got to deepen our friendship with Jenny, and she got to interact with refugees and Christian workers. Jenny talked a long time with a woman from Russia who was very well-educated and had owned her own business. Unfortunately, this woman had to flee Russia because of threats from the local government due to her political views. Jenny was surprised to find out that a woman like this could become a refugee. Jenny’s comment reveals the discovery that poverty and hardship doesn’t just come upon the uneducated or upon people to whom we can’t relate. As believers, we realize we must confess any pride of thinking we have provided for ourselves or that we are better than people in poverty and unstable situations.
Matt and I are continually challenged and blessed by our time at the Oasis. We are also excited about bringing other friends with us on Wednesdays. Jenny has since returned to Moscow. Pray that we would continue to keep in touch with her. Also, one of Liz’s American classmates at the language school has expressed interest in coming with us one evening. Pray that he would be able to come and that God would use us in his life to bring him closer to knowing Christ. Pray for Matt as he is preaching tomorrow night. Continue to pray for the refugees to find their hope in God during their unsettling time of waiting for the government to tell them whether they can stay or if they have to go. Pray for a Georgian family in particular, with two school-aged children, who have been here about 2 months in the refugee quarters. They are desperate to receive a “yes” from the government.