Wednesday, November 29, 2006
To Russia with Love
I had coffee with an amazing young woman yesterday. Jenni was born and raised here in the Portland area, but has spent most of the last two years in a tiny village in a very remote part of Russia. And as much as she loves being back with her family, her heart has found a home in that faraway land.
I wish you all could hear her story. Jenni spent two weeks at an orphanage in this village while on an outreach with a team from her Bible college a few years back. During her stay, the Lord broke her heart for the children and she found herself spending every spare minute with them. The director of the orphanage hadn't been very excited about the team coming, but after watching Jenni in action with the kids, he invited her--and only her--to come back.
About a year later, the Lord opened doors for Jenni to return to the orphanage with her friend Shawna. And they have watched Him move in incredible ways ever since.
For instance, the two girls made arrangements for "Ben," the director of the orphanage, to fly to Oregon to have hip replacement surgery. Just getting Ben out of the country was a miracle in itself, but once he got here, all aspects of the surgery were donated by generous hearts--from the hospital bill to the surgeon's fee to the artificial hip--everything was covered. "Ben" was overwhelmed by the love poured out on him during his stay here. And not only was the hip replacement a total success, his heart has made giant leaps toward God through this experience. According to Jenni, it's only a matter of time before he embraces Christ . . .
Another amazing thing I discovered yesterday was that neither Jenni nor Shawna have ever asked for financial support. They felt like the Lord told them to raise up prayer supporters and He'd take care of everything else. And so far, He's done a spectacular job.
So, if you happen to read this, consider becoming part of their prayer support team. If you would like to be put on their email update list, contact Jenni at: firstname.lastname@example.org. She's back in the area until January, getting her visa renewed so she can go "home" for another year.
And if you ever get the chance to meet Jenni face to face, jump at it! Her stories inspire faith and passion--Jenni lights fires wherever she goes.