Wednesday, February 2, 2011
Tuesday, August 10, 2010
Friday, July 30, 2010
Saturday, July 24, 2010
We got up pretty early Tuesday morning to catch the airport shuttle from Diosd. We made it to Frankfurt without a hitch where we had a fairly long layover. The flight to Almaty was also no problem and we landed just after midnight. Our host, Nurzhan, picked us up and gave us a ride back to his flat where we would be staying with him and his family while in Almaty. Our first day in the country was uneventful, everyone seemed to think that we would be utterly exhausted by our travels and would want the day to rest. We weren’t so tired, but a day of rest was nice. We met our guide, Eldos (yell-dos), that afternoon and roughed out our schedule for the next 8 days in Kazakhstan.
On Thursday our host, Nurzhan, took us around Almaty a little to see some sights. The Hotel Kazakhstan and the National Theater are big landmarks in the city.
The hotel was the first major hotel built in Almaty back during the Soviet days, and the theater was built after Kazakhstan gained its independence. Our train ride the next day was 25 hours one way, and to put it nicely, God taught us a lot and saw us through it. He blessed us immensely with our day in Ust, though. We met with an ex-pat who has been in various Muslim speaking countries for several years who shared what their work was like in Ust. She toured us around the city a little then through a popular park that had a small Russian Orthodox chapel in the middle of it. Mainly, we spent a lot of time with a national pastor, his wife and their youngest son. They made lunch for us, took us to see some sights in Ust like where the Ulba joins the Irtysh river.
That evening, they accompanied us to the home of an elderly woman in their church who had prepared a LAVISH supper for us and one other member of their church. (we can now say that we have eaten horsemeat) The evening we spent in her tiny little flat was perhaps one of the most intimate moments of our entire trip, as we and all the guests shared how our relationships with Jesus had begun and what He had done for us since then. It was amazing to hear how the truth about what He did for mankind on the cross almost 2,000 years ago had reached them in their remote parts of the world. One of them had eventually led her entire family to place their faith in Him for salvation. Another has become a healer that ministers to many by showing them a tangible taste of how powerful God is. After that, the 4 church members and our guide prayed for us. We have to say, that experience is something Megan and I will treasure the rest of our lives. We have never felt the power of prayer like we did from those 5 brothers and sisters and it left both of us in tears. God is working in that town through those people and we are so thankful to have met them and spent time with them.