Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Babushka Nadeshda

Last week the children and I were walking in the woods and kept finding mushrooms that I didn't know the names of (and if they were edible). We found a Grandmother with her knife and basket also gathering mushrooms and decided to ask her... she was friendly and asked the usual 'are ALL these children yours' etc. etc. questions. She talked on and on and told us she had just moved to Nara-Faminsk 10 months ago from way up in Siberia and was very lonely. She then invited us to come to her apartment later in the week for tea. I told her we'd love to but only if she promised just to have *tea* and not fix a meal or anything fancy. She promised over and over to just have 'an apple cake & tea.' So a few days later we all arrived at her apartment.. there in her tiny kitchen she had prepared potatoes and mushrooms, two different salads, hot dogs, pickles and up on the windowsill because there was no room on the table... an apple cake. She just loved having children around; ooohed and ahhed over Johanna while she shoveled three pieces of cake into Caleb. As we visited she began to cry as she talked about her 25 year old son that was killed in a car accident 4 years ago.. he was so strong and handsome and had tried out for the Russian downhill ski team. She said after his death she became so angry and bitter that she drove her husband of 30 years away; she now was alone and terribly sad and lonely. As we left she hugged and kissed the children and thanked us over and over for coming and to please come back soon... 'very soon, I haven't been so happy for a long time.' Later that night I was reading a book by Brennan Manning in which he made the statement 'When we bring a smile to someone in pain, we have brought Christ to them.' Hmmm, his comment really made me reflect on the truth that sure James goes out and leads a Bible study but our entire family right down to Caleb and Johanna can share Christ by being focused on giving Christ-like love to the lonely, discouraged and hopeless people around us. There was a dozen other things James could have been doing that afternoon besides eating hotdogs in a Grandmother's apartment... and yet 'Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, to visit the fatherless and widows in their afflection.' James 1:27 tell us. So pray for Nadeshda and the countless other Grandmothers God brings into our lives. Pray for James as he hauls their potatoes for them - that in all things that people will know that we are HIS disciples because we do have love for others.

Here's Rachel in the woods that day feeding sunflower seeds to a squirrel. She was beyond thrilled and now has plans for a pet squirrel.


Leigh said...

That is a precious testimony and actually broughts tears to my eyes.
...Don't let the enemy ever decieve you into thinking that God is NOT using you (besides not being true it's a horribly low place to be - I know! :)) You and your family are a blessing to many!!! Hugs to you and the kids! Leigh

Phyllis said...

Such a wonderful story! What are Caleb and David's medals in the first picture for? :-)

Anna said...

What a cute squirrel. Do you know what type it is and if there are any like it in the US?


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