Thursday, October 15, 2015

Hugs and Hope in Armenia

Wow!  2015 is flying by ... We just returned from another 4-week journey into Central Asia, Ukraine, Armenia and Georgia.   I joined my husband for the last two weeks.  As always, in between the airports, long flights and delays, came the eternal moments of sharing life, touching a special someone and seeing the heart of a Father make a difference.

An opportunity of a week that didn’t involve teaching to larger groups, but just meeting one-on-one and letting hearts speak to hearts will always hold a special place now in our memories.  People shared their stories, their pain and we had the privilege of simply praying and touching a life.

For seven days we enjoyed the hospitality of a wonderful friend whom we have known for a few years.  However, what we didn’t realize was her enormous heart and evangelistic spirit.  She makes friends wherever she goes.  And she pulls people into her life and helps them to understand just how loved they are by their Heavenly Father.  Rarely a walk down the streets took place without someone she knew stopping her to chat and receive a hug.  A day did not go by without her small humble home filling with people whom she cared about and invited into her life.  Usually an hour did not pass without her phone beeping with a message that someone needed her.  Lives filled with pain and unanswered questions, she is available daily to simply be Jesus to a hurting world.  And she is a gift to a small town where God is moving.

One such day led us into the mountains surrounding a town in northern Armenia.  A home for the elderly in a lonely secluded spot.  A place where seemingly these dear souls are forgotten.  Yet they are cared for daily by people who are committed.  Our friend, joined by a small team of believers who love God, go weekly to sing, share stories and pray with men and women who just want to know they are not forgotten.  The wrinkled faces lit up with joy at seeing this group of young ladies come once more into their meager surroundings.  We talked about God’s love for them, His faithfulness throughout the many years and how we are NEVER EVER EVER ALONE.  NEVER.  His goodness even in the hard difficult years.  And looking out over these faces, it was not difficult to imagine their struggles through the years of communism and economic collapse in this small nation.  Their aged faces showed they had lived a life I could not imagine.  Yet, their eyes held a hope their was more to be had in the days left and beyond.  As our time ended, I realized how they simply wanted to know they have not been abandoned.  They were not there waiting to die….they STILL MATTERED.  Their hearts, their loves, their concerns, their daily existence still mattered.  

It really is not difficult to share the love of Jesus and the Father.  Sometimes, all it means is taking the time, a HUG and letting someone know their life matters.  Someone does actually care.  My hope and prayer is these lovely people continue to know HE WATCHES OVER THEM; THEIR FATHER IN HEAVEN LOVES THEM AND IS DAILY BY THEIR SIDE.  He has forgiven all their sins, wants to heal all their pain, and for the days they have left, they can experience true freedom and know their lives matter.  God is loving and faithful…even to the mountains of Armenia.  

Psalm 125:2  As the mountains surround Jerusalem, so the Lord surrounds his people both now and forevermore.

Psalm 57:10  For great is your love, reaching to the heavens; your faithfulness reaches to the skies.


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