Have you ever felt overwhelmed by life’s wind and waves? I have. I think I’m feeling like that right now. We’re headed into Odessa, Ukraine in 48 hours to teach marriage seminars and I feel ‘way too small for the task.
Over the past couple of days, we’ve chatted with some missionaries who invested nearly two decades in the Ukraine. They’ve told us of perceptions of marriage in that country. They also told us that the principles we plan to teach about communication and companionship, etc. might be regarded as fairy tales.
I’m fully aware that this could happen – we saw the same response in Slovakia two years ago. Fidelity within marriage, respect between spouses – these values are challenged as impossibilities, and we appear as wealthy North Americans trying to push western philosophies rather than ordinary husbands and wives who have experienced the fulfillment that comes from doing marriage according to God’s Word.
Another challenge – we’ll be speaking through a translator. That means we must cut half our material out in order to respect the time allotments for each session. What stays? What goes?
Would you please pray for God to accomplish His purposes in and through our team of four speakers? And would you please pray for our physical protection and health during our time in Odessa? We’ll be there from Wednesday through Monday. I don’t know how much internet access we’ll have there – I’ll post if I’m able.
In the meantime, I’m finding encouragement in Matthew 14 – the story of Jesus coming to the disciples in the storm at sea. They were afraid, but He reassured them of His presence. In the end, He calmed the storm and the disciples worshiped Him. May my heart be one of worship amidst the wind and waves!
Also in the meantime, I’ll be speaking three times in the next 24 hours at a retreat for our single women. The theme is “Divine Encounters: Glimpses of God in Unexpected Places.” I’m looking forward to presenting this material and praying that it will minister deeply to our women’s hearts.
I must dash. Breakfast will be served in a few minutes, more goodbyes will be said as our families head back to their homes in Romania, Poland, and the like. And then the singles’ retreat will begin at 9 A.M. That’s 1 A.M. PST!