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Wednesday, February 18, 2009

A Glimpse from the Past

Last week I received a most amazing email that really caught me by surprise. Let me explain.

Back in 1995, our church took a missions outreach team on church planting crusade to the small town of Murom, Russia. The city was located about two hundred miles east of Moscow, and at that time very few foreigners had ever been to this region because it had several classified military bases.

I’ll never forget getting out of the plane in Moscow and walking through all the very tight security. So much darkness and oppression filled the air as the result of generations of being ruled by an atheistic government.

When we went out to minister on the streets, crowds would gather from all over the town. They were so hungry for the message of hope that we came to share with them. Their hearts were open to receive the gospel, and it was an experience I will never forget.

Each night at the end of our services, hundreds would run to the altar as the invitation to receive Jesus was given. They were not ashamed at all as we led them in a prayer of salvation with the help of our interpreters. When we packed up and departed from Murom, we left behind a brand new body of believers filled with faith and a hope for their tomorrow.

In Matthew 5:14-16 Jesus said:

"You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden; nor does anyone light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.”

In short, this verse simply means that we are to be shining the light of this glorious gospel to all of those around us. We are the messengers of hope, joy, and freedom to a world in darkness. Satan has ruled over the lives of so many, and we are the ones who have been sent to bring deliverance from the oppressor.

Very few of us will actually have the opportunity to shape world events, but we all can impact the communities and neighborhoods where we live, work, shop, and play.

Even after all these years we’ve remained friends with some of the Russians we worked with on those trips, and one young girl named Jane, who was my interpreter, became like a spiritual daughter to me.

Now, that brings me back to that amazing email I was talking about when I first started this story. Here it is verbatim from Jane:

Dear Papa and Mama,

I just wanted to let you know that i am traveling right now with Paul and Barbara Dodge, and today we were in two services in Murom and Kovrov. It is been a great blessing to be here and just to see what the Lord has done to this two churches, how he blessed the people and grew them and how the churches got stronger through the years. I even watched the video today of how everything got started here…Remember? One lady in the Murom church asked me about Susan and I asked her, is it Susan Amato? and she said yes. I promised her to pass her e-mail unto you. She said to tell you that it is a joy to serve the Lord and for you to know that He is faithful!

Love Jane

Now, to think that after all these years, a young girl I had the honor of leading to Jesus is still serving Him today. I wonder how many of her family and friends she has led to Christ since that time?

We may never know on this side of heaven all the lives that we have impacted, but it was such a blessing from the Lord to let me get that email from Jane.

May we never cease in letting our lights to shine brightly for Jesus, for the harvest is truly plentiful.

Something to ponder:

How are you letting your light shine for Jesus?

Father, I thank you for the opportunities you present to us each day to let our lights shine for you. Let us never get so busy that we forget they are so many without hope as they walk in great darkness all around us. Give us a heart for the lost, the lonely and those that need your light so desperately. In Jesus name I pray, Amen.

Join Susan daily at her personal blog,

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Blogger Denise said...

God bless you, such a precious letter.

February 18, 2009 at 1:55 AM  
Blogger Jamaican Princess said...

It truly feels good to know that you helped someone to the Lord and to know that their faith grows stronger and stronger. You must feel wonderful to know that you have impacted that young girls life.

Many Blessings,

Jamaican Princess

February 18, 2009 at 6:56 AM  
Blogger Faith said...

The Lord is marvelous! Thanks for sharing this real life is a blessing to hear follow-up stories about spreading the Good News! God Bless you!

February 18, 2009 at 7:54 AM  
Blogger LauraLee Shaw said...

Oh Susan, what an impact this has, and it truly ministered to me today. I may try to email you or contact you later about it, because it's a decision I need to make that I'm not ready to mention publicly yet. God used you in a significant way for me today, and right here from my computer. Thank you!

February 18, 2009 at 10:02 AM  
Blogger Laurie Ann said...

Your light shines so brightly, dear Susan. What a wonderful harvest is there for the reaping and I'm rejoicing over this email with you!

February 18, 2009 at 11:01 AM  
Blogger Joyfull said...

Wow! What a wonderful report, may we be inspired to let our light shine always!

February 18, 2009 at 12:16 PM  
Blogger Esthermay said...

What an awesome, rewarding, and God-ordained mission. KINGDOM work is eternal indeed - so to see such beautiful fruit on this side of heaven is truly a blessing.
Thank you for sharing yours!

February 18, 2009 at 12:31 PM  
Blogger Marilyn in Mississippi said...


This brought tears to my eyes today!

May God bless you for being so faithful to Him!


February 18, 2009 at 2:51 PM  
Blogger Tracy said...

What an incredible message! Praise God for your faithfulness. How precious of Him to encourage you (and all of us) in this way.


February 18, 2009 at 3:58 PM  
Blogger e-Mom said...

Absolutely wonderful, Susan. Tears. What a blessing to have a spiritual daughter on the other side of the world! You look so cute in that photo.

In 2001, our two kids went to Moscow with their Christian school drama group. A life-changing experience! Later, my husband and son went back to minister with the Russian pastor. My husband has a heart for eastern Europe and hopes to continue ministering there in the future.


February 18, 2009 at 4:04 PM  
Blogger Paula said...

Thank you for such a wonderful reminder of my responsibility as a child of God to share His love and let His light shine through me. Paula

February 18, 2009 at 7:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

That is a great story, and and a great reminder! Thanks for sharing it with us!

February 18, 2009 at 8:04 PM  
Blogger BizzieLizzie said...

Awwww - I am so touched by your message this morning. What a fantastic reminder on how to start my day ahead! Blessings your way! Keep your light shining!!

February 19, 2009 at 6:54 AM  
Blogger KelliGirl said...

Praise God! This is such an inspiring story. I am always in awe when I see evidence of the Church as it exists far outside the four walls of my own church. God is so BIG and amazing! The things He can do through everyday "us", if we just let Him. Wow!

Thank you for sharing!

February 19, 2009 at 10:12 AM  

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It is good to hear from you... thank you so very much for leaving a note on the table. That makes us smile!

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