We are encouraged at Maranatha to see a steady growth among the members of our church. One of the members recently apologized to Timur, our elder, for not trusting the elders with implementing membership and other biblical principles in the church. She thought that we were simply trying to build some artificial superstructures to control the people. She said that she had learnt to appreciate our patience (at least somebody thinks that we are patient 😊) and willingness to explain from the Bible why we do what we do. It was hugely encouraging to hear her say that.
There is another member of our church that used to attend a mega charismatic church. He says that it’s liberating for him to be able to talk and think about God without trying to extract some principles that would necessarily better his life here and now. It’s new for him to start with God and finish with God and be satisfied with the conversation. It seems like he is starting to learn how to enjoy God for the sake of God.
Please pray that we, as the family of God, will help each other grow in grace and dependence upon our only Sustainer.
There are 5 new people who started attending the church in the month of March. Two of them already want to join the church. They heard about us from the friends of their friends. They had been looking for expositional preaching in Almaty, and couldn’t find it. They learned about expositional preaching online, by listening to some solid teachers who were recommended to them by their relatives who live in Poland. Quite a connection! So, now, they are super excited and can’t be happier to have found what they were looking for. Needless to say, we are happy too.
One of the new attendees is the mother of our member, Zarina. A couple of weeks ago they traveled to the neighboring country of Uzbekistan for a vacation. They asked me if there was anybody with whom they could stay for a night or two and who could show them around. My friend, Arman, who lives in Moscow contacted a lady who knew a believer in Tashkent, Uzbekistan. That Uzbeki believer agreed to host Zarina and her mother and help them as they would travel to other cities in Uzbekistan. The amazing hospitality of the believers in Uzbekistan led Zarina’s mother to the realization that the family of believers is more closely connected than our natural families. She was stunned by the beauty of the kindness of total strangers. It melted her heart. In the past, every time her daughter would invite her to church she would refuse to go. But now she comes herself and says that she would be constant in attending our Sunday services and home groups.
Please pray that God would save Zarina’s mother, Manila Apay. By the way, she is a great cook and last Sunday she baked a delicious carrot cake. She promised to bring something of her own cooking every Sunday.
I was sick for two weeks in March. It was bad. I didn’t take care of a cold when it first hit me and then that cold developed into pneumonia. Thank you for all your prayers. I am much better now but still experience occasional coughing seizures and pain in the chest. Please pray for a full recovery.
Many of you know that my sister-in-law gave a birth to a baby girl 3 months ago. It changed not only her life but ours also. Here is a photo of the cause of that change!
Please pray that:
- We would be patient and wait upon the Lord
- God would bless our partnership with Bagid
- God would bring much fruit from February Conference
- We would be bold in sharing the Gospel with the unbelievers (here are the names of some: Bahytzhan, Mark, Christian and my brother Igor, Manila Apay)
- God would be glorified in our conversations and meetings with others (Levon, Violetta, Marina, Olga)
- God would bless our discipleship efforts (Nurmuhan, Oleg, Ilya, Danik, Timur)
- God would be glorified through our translation project