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Russian Orthodox Wine and Bagel Breakfast

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  • Russian Orthodox Wine and Bagel Breakfast

    I visited with a few of them today, and it reminded me of the first time I met them.

    If you saw a group of them, and I asked you to fill in the blank : Russian _________ -- you would probably say Russian Mafia

    The correct answer is Russian Orthodox. Christians, actually from Russia, who migrated to USA, Minnesota, and have quite a community there. They showed me a picture of their Church, and on the wall on both sides of the Baptistry are the names (quite a few of them) of family and friends who were martyred in Russia, or Communist controlled countries. Their family heritage is "we are martyrs".

    We help finance a camp down on the border, just 3 miles from Mexico. Many missionaries use it as a rest stop before or after going into Mexico on Mission Trips.

    Late one evening, this group of 29 rough looking Russians arrived in trucks after dinner had already been served. "NO PROBLEM", they called, "we are tired - we go to bed!" So we showed them the dormitory they could use, and they were gone. We could hear them singing later in the evening - wow, such beautiful singing. In Russian, of course, but it was obviously hymns and praises to God.

    Early the morning, Doug, the Camp Director and I, went to check on them and invite them to breakfast. They were already sitting out at the picnic tables, drinking wine and eating bagels. "Is GOOD Breakfast" they yelled. We picked some oranges from the very rich orange grove surrounding the dormitory, for which they were grateful.

    They were assembling gift bags. Bread, Bibles, Candy, and boxes of stuff with Russian writing - I know not what they were. "GIFTS", they explained, "We are going to give them to the [name withheld] Cartel! They had done their homework, and mapped out the home base of one of the most notorious drug cartels in Mexico, just across the Rio Grande, and intended to take these gifts to them.

    Doug was stunned - "That's the most dangerous cartel in 100 miles! They'll KILL you!" Anton laughed heartily, and scoffed, "OH, they will be alright - they need JESUS, yes?"

    Doug repeated his objection, and Anton continued to laugh --- "Our family heritage is Martyr! We were sad when we find we cannot be martyr in America! But Mexico, maybe YES!"

    Another Russian, whose name I can neither pronounce nor spell, stepped forward, smiling, and said, "We will not TRY to be killed - but if we ARE - God's Glory!" They rounded up their gift bags and belongings, and off they drove.

    Late that evening, they came back to camp, laughing and in excellent spirits. "They are MEAN, these men - but they need JESUS", Anton said. "They say they shoot us, but we laugh and hug them and give them gift!"

    So, today, we had lunch with 3 of them - they were asking for Spanish language Bibles and shoes to take with them on their FOURTH trip into Mexico, to pass them out right under the nose of one of the most dangerous drug cartels in Mexico.

    It's stuck in my head, even as I write this -- Anton laughing loudly and saying (about the cartel members) "You should SEE their face - they big and tough but I laugh and tell them - you kill me is OK - I still love you - is OK - God loves you - Jesus loves you - is OK! I hug them and they look confused."

    So, when I pray for them... do I pray for God to keep them safe? Or grant them their desire to be Martyrs, "for that is our family heritage - we are martyrs for Christ"

    Doug commented, "I am happy for the faith God has given you". Anton laughs loudly, and says, "It is the wine and bagels - GOOD Breakfast!"

    Such faith. Such commitment. Such an honor to know them.
    Last edited by Cow Poke; 02-19-2015, 05:25 PM.
    "Neighbor, how long has it been since you’ve had a big, thick, steaming bowl of Wolf Brand Chili?”

  • #2
    When I mentioned shoes - they explained "we give these to pastors who pass them out to peoples". So, our Church, along with about 25 Churches in our association, began collecting shoes, cleaning them up, putting new laces on, and at the end of the last year we took FOUR PALLETS of shoes in Home Depot boxes to the camp, and most of them have already been distributed to Mexican pastors for them to go into their villages and give them away.

    On their first visit, they explained that they looked around for a need that nobody else was meeting, and they declared "Shoes is need!"
    "Neighbor, how long has it been since you’ve had a big, thick, steaming bowl of Wolf Brand Chili?”

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    • #3
      Dang Cow Poke. You need to write a book of your stories! They are amazing.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Sparko View Post
        Dang Cow Poke. You need to write a book of your stories! They are amazing.
        God is good. He has allowed me to meet some amazing people. When I was around these guys, I kept thinking "I am not worthy to tie their shoes".

        When somebody uses the expression "laughs at death" --- yeah, there ARE people like that!
        "Neighbor, how long has it been since you’ve had a big, thick, steaming bowl of Wolf Brand Chili?”

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        • #5
          Wow. Thank you for sharing.

          Lord have mercy on them. Der Voghormia.
          I am become death...

          Comment

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