As you might know, several folks from BridgePoint have gone with a team from East-West Ministries to Russia to spend about 10 days ministering in several villages. Among these folks are Erik and Nickie Fruin, who are good friends. They each have gotten the chance every couple days to update their blog sites with some news about their trip, and it's been a blessing to keep up with them. Nickie shared something regarding corporate worship in a Russian church on Sunday morning that I found sweet and uplifting, and I thought I'd give you the chance to eaves drop.
The next morning [Sunday] we arrived in Voronezh, and I liked the city immediately. It is not as busy and commercialized as Moscow, and the people seem more geniune and friendly. We quickly checked into our hotel so we could attend church service, and it was completely mindblowing for me. The second I walked into the church and heard the passionate and intense worship music being played for our Lord, I started to tear up. It was amazing that even though I didn't understand a word they sang, I really did understand what they were singing. He hears our praise and our worship no matter what the language.
Her words resonated with me, because I have had similar experiences. Several years ago I had the opportunity to tour with a college brass group through South Korea, playing at schools and churches, and last summer I spent two weeks in Bulgaria as part of a "vision team" for mission work in that country. During each trip, I had the opportunity to join native believers for corporate worship, and it was always poignant and touching to be a part of a congregational expression of worship to God with people who I didn't understand, and who didn't understand me. As Nickie expressed above, though we did not know each other and could not readily communicate (save through an interpreter), we stood by the same grace and honored the same Savior. It also helped me to realize in a tangible way that God's love is much bigger than me and the bubble in which I live.
If you give it a thought, please pray for Erik and Nickie, as well as David Lee and David DeYoung (along with the rest of the East-West team), as they seek to magnify the gospel of Christ in a strange world, a long way from home.
But maybe not quite as far as we think.
p.s. - Erik and Nickie's blog sites are www.erikfruin.blogspot.com and www.nickiefruin.blogspot.com.