Never Too Old

03/11/2012 17:12

Hey guys, this is Bill.  I thought I would give Pam a break and try my hand at updating the blog today.  I struggle with getting what's on my heart down on paper, but here we go...

Yesterday, we had the privilege of going to a nursing home with Pastor Oleg.  He goes there each Saturday afternoon and has a praise and worship time, takes prayer requests and delivers a sermon to the residents.  Oleg has a huge heart for the elderly and shared with us that many have prayed to receive Jesus and then they go to be with Jesus shortly thereafter.  His statement really hit home with me as both of my parents accepted Jesus in the last week of their lives.  Three women asked Jesus to be their Lord and Savior during the service.  Slava Bogu!! (Praise the Lord!!)
There were about 35 people that attended the service in a small room that barely held everyone.  When the service started, I was standing in the door way and was looking at the crowd as they sang praises to God.  I would say that the average age of the group was about 75.  At times I felt eyes staring at me.  I get that a lot here on the street and in restaurants as they don't see too many 300 pound jolly Americans here.  After I "caught" about 6 women staring at me, I began to think, Why are they staring at me?  Did I remind them of their husband, brother or son?  I looked into their eyes and wondered what their stories were?  Some women had big smiles on their faces, while some were expressionless and then others had tears in their eyes.  I thought it would be neat just to sit and listen to them talk about their lives and what they have been through.
After the service, Oleg introduced us to Babushka Irina.  She was a doctor in Russia for many years and had performed thousands of abortions.  She is a believer now, but Oleg said that she didn't accept Jesus for a long time because she didn't think that Jesus could love her after the terrible things she had done.  Babushka Irina held Pam's hand the whole time we talked.  She held Pam's hand like a proud Mama.  Oleg shared our story with her and she couldn't believe that we were adopting a child even though we already had 5 children at home.  She just kept saying how special it will be for our new son and what a great opportunity for him.  As we talked and I saw her overwhelming excitement about the adoption, I thought, how God is this? (as I have so many times on this trip).  Here is a woman who at one time aborted children and now God has allowed her to come full circle to rejoice in this adoption!!
After the nursing home visit, we walked to McDonald's for Coffee.  Oleg shared another story with us about a couple who had been married for over 50 years.  They had 2 sons.  One lived in Odessa and the other lived in Moscow.  The sons sold the parent's apartment and neither brother wanted to care for both parents so they decided to split the parents up.  The husband went to the brother in Moscow and the wife went to the brother in Odessa.  The parents were heartbroken.  They had never been separated in over 50 years.  The sons eventually put them in nursing homes.  
The wife received a pension of $31/month.  She didn't use this money for herself.  She used it to buy stationery and stamps and wrote letters to her husband every day.  She would sit at the front door and wait for the postman to come.  Oleg tried to reunite the couple and was not able to get anyone to help him, so he arranged for a Skype date for the couple.  The wife stayed up all night preparing for her date.  She was filled with anticipation and couldn't wait to see her husband.  She cleaned her room (even the windows!).  When it was time for them to Skype, Oleg was going to leave the room, but she insisted that he stay in the room with her.  He said when the woman saw her husband she was speechless.  She didn't say a word.  She sat there and stared at him.  She cried and was amazed that it was her husband.  She touched the screen to feel his face and didn't say a word for over an hour.  WOW!!!.
I was in tears after hearing this story and it made me think of what it will be like when I see Jesus, face to face.  I know I will be speechless.  I will want to touch His face because I will be amazed that I am in His presence.  I will want to just sit there and look at Him (I will be crying, of course!).  I have had the MercyMe song, "I Can Only Imagine" in my head all day today.  That song has always been special to me, but it really stood out to me after hearing this story..."Will I sing Hallelujah? Will I be able to speak at all?" This story has an incredible ending as Oleg did get help to reunite the couple and they are now in the same nursing home in Moscow!!
Thanks Oleg and Slava Bogu!!