Saturday, October 29, 2011

Our God.

Tonight we went to Hillsong Church.  Eugene called a cab for us and it came at 5:15p.  We got to the church  by 5:50p - and the service started at 6:00p.

When we walked inside, it was obvious that this was not an 'american' church.  No marble floors.  No new carpet.  Plastic lawn chairs in the entrance.  No ritzy light fixtures.  But God was clearly in this place.

We were immediately met by an english-speaking woman, Katya.  She lead us to their cafe - which was nothing more than a few tables & chairs set up, with coffee & tea.  She asked us why we were here, what we were doing, etc.  When we explained that we were adopting a child with Down syndrome, she couldn't believe it.  But by the time we were done talking - she agreed that it would be better for him in America.  She seemed sorry that this country doesn't know how to care for these children.  I'm praying this opened her eyes a bit.

She led us to the store - wow!  We bought lots of fun stuff!  A children's Bible pop-up book (in Russian), 2 Kids Worship Cds (in Russian), another 'normal' worship CD (in Russian), a tshirt for Carter (it says 'i want to marry a history maker like my Mama'), a tshirt for myself (it says 'the best is yet to come'), and a Ukrainian Bible.  We've been looking for a Bible at every book store and were so glad to find one here!

After we finished up our shopping, we went in to the sanctuary.  There were maybe 150 people in attendance - and Katya said that on Sunday morning there are about 800 at each service (there are 3).  Katya introduced us to Sofia - who translated the service for Jake & I.  Sofia is British - and is studying at this Hillsong College, learning Russian.  It was fun to talk to her about her life and what God is doing.  She did a great job translating - her first time ever!  We forced her to take 100 hryvnya (about $12USD)...she was so sweet.  Rachel had a different translator - we never got her name, she just came up out of the blue and started translating for her :)

The service was different than home in so many ways - but we all agreed that the Christian fellowship was much needed.  The worship started, and the screen displayed the lyrics in Russian, and then English underneath.  It was fairly easy to sing along in English once we got the hang of it.  Rachel said she enjoyed hearing the Russian and trying to read the words @ the same time.

And then it happened.  This song absolutely touched us.  You'll recognize the song for sure.  It was an amazing, emotional 5 minutes.

Our God.  Not America's God.  Our God.  Really - I wish I could explain how incredible it was.  Here we are - all so different, but yet so similar.  And we are all coming together, worshipping the same God.

And I can't even tell you how many times I have listened to this song over the past 6 months - and claimed that YES - If our God is for us, then who could ever stop us? If our God is with us, then what could stand against us?  And here we were.  In Carter's city.  Newly pronounced parents.  About to break him out of the orphanage for good.  Praising God with his people.

That doesn't even begin to describe the emotion I was experiencing.

Beautiful, really.

The message was good - a little hard to follow with a translator, but good nonetheless.  One of the Bible College teachers was preaching - and she spoke about the Holy Spirit, and how we need to be drenched in Him.  Soaked.  Dripping.

After the service, we walked across the street to Ashan.  We wanted to get another pair of shoes for Carter - the ones we brought are a tad too big, and not really conducive for his new walking feet :)  First we tried calling the taxi guy who drove us there - well, that was useless.  It was an automated system - in Russian, of course.  So then we called Eugene twice, with no luck.  So we decided that after Ashan, we would call Yulia.  So - we found some cute shoes for about $6USD, and headed back over to the church.  We got Yulia on the phone, and she needed to know the address of the church.  Ha!  Good question!  Luckily, we found Katya again, and she explained it to Yulia.  We spoke with Katya for a little while longer, and then went out to wait for our taxi.  After about 15 minutes, Katya came out to check on us, and was surprised that we were still there.  She said 'give me your phone - I will figure this out for you'.  Just then, an unmarked car pulled up - Katya spoke to the driver in Russian - and she explained that this was our driver, and she would take us to the apartment.  We told Katya that we'd probably see her next Saturday, as we plan to come back.

What a blessing sweet Katya was!  That's the body of language barriers - no cultural barriers - just love.  Love it.

We got home, and all agreed that tonight was such a total blessing.  How great it was to be with other believers.  How sweet it was to spend time with people who actually smiled back at us.  And how GREAT it was to get a hug from Katya when we left.  I miss hugs!  I guess Jake & Rachel & I will have to start hugging before bed to get caught back up :)

One Thing I Know For Sure: Our God is greater, our God is stronger - God, you are higher than any other....


  1. Wow! What an experience. He is the One and Only True God. Here and in EE!!Your post made me cry....again!! I love all of your posts and they make me feel like I am almost right there with you. Thank you so much:)And again...thanks for bringing my daughter on this adventure of a lifetime!!

  2. Ya, made me cry too. Imagine that. :-)

    I'm SO glad you got the opportunity to attend! I agree, the Christian fellowship is much needed. I didn't really realize it until we attended church in Elijah's city. It made a HUGE difference and was balm to my lonely soul, esp since it was run by American missionaries.

    Praise the Lord for his Goodness!

  3. It is amazing the opportunities you'll be giving Carter that he wouldn't have otherwise. And, yes, it is incredible to see ANY child gaining confidence in themselves. I love the last videos, seeing Carter walk, his expressions, his laugh, what a cutie. Oh yeah, his little legs crossed under the table, sweet. Wonder what those little legs/toes look like under the tights? Your experience at the church was pretty incredible too. Thanks for sharing everything!

  4. Hey, this was so amazing. We should be back in your area next Saturday before returning home for the 10-day wait...I would LOVE to go to church with you guys. We need to plan to meet.

  5. soon as the music started I had the chills...the prescence of the Holy Spirit so universal.
    Carter is amazing..great progress, love the water video :)

  6. so cool that you got to experience this!

  7. Crying! :) Wow that was powerful. We went to church when we were there too, and the service was in Ukrainian. We heard familiar songs and had a translator too... so unbelievable and beautiful. I remember being very emotional that day and totally feeling the holy spirit. Gah!!! I wish I was there!!!! :)


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...