It is another day of the trip. It is raining. The streams of water are on the top of ice, so it is almost impossible to make three steps without getting the feet wet. So what? We won’t stay idle because of that. We are already in Bakhmut city in the morning. Here is the same program – Christmas party for the children and festive concert for adults.
The guys unload equipment – guitars, drums, costumes of the actors – from the van. I’m watching them not for the first time. They will come back to Slavyansk city late at night again. They will get up at 6 in the morning tomorrow. Then they will have one more similar day and then – one more… Not all of them work in “Emmanuel” Association. There are volunteers. Someone took the week of vacation in order to tell the people of the front-line towns about Christ. They are from the various churches. Not all of them are supported by their parents or friends. Why should they do that? There is neither money nor glory nor peace. There is not always convenient bed for sleeping in such trips. There is often no lunch. It is cold. Or you get your feet wet in the icy water like today.
I recalled Grigoriy Skovoroda. He lived a good life. He taught at the university and had good title, money and a roof over his head. But he abandoned all this and began wandering from house to house, from village to village. He was telling the people about Christ. He wrote parables the meaning of which is not understood by many people. What did he want? What was he looking for? He died in a strange house … He was buried in a strange yard … Why was he happy? Why did he refuse everything for Christ?
It turns out he was not the only one. Here they are – in front of me. Boys and girls. Men and women. Not only from Kiev. Not only from Ukraine. They left everything and go to the towns and villages of Donbas. They tell and sing about Baby Jesus. They give Christmas gifts (sweets) to the children. They give New Testaments to the adults. Someone stayed on mission in those towns. The new churches were founded. The people repent and ask to be baptized in the water …
None of the most popular pop starts will be able to get the full hall in the local Palace of Culture in Krasnogorovka or Bakhmut today. None! They would ask asked money for their concert. And where can the people in the front-line towns get the money? Christians do the opposite thing. They will come at their own expense and pay the rent of the hall. They will buy the gifts for hundreds of children for their own money. . They will sing, preach and pray for the people…
I see it all and understand the words of Scriptures – “God is Love” more clearly. Love is selfless. Love does not expect anything in return. Love gives out. Love was once risen to Calvary’s cross…
I will not call the names of all those with whom I share bread of the front-line road. We are not alone here. There are many such people. Thousands! We don’t even know each other. And God knows and leads all His children. I would like to take the hand of a passer-by in Bakhmut and say, “Look, Love is walking down the streets of your town. You will certainly see and hear it if you want. You will feel it touching you. It will warm and make your soul alive… ”
Look at the faces of these Christians. Today they served the people of Bakhmut all day all day long. The children laughed out loud. The adults asked the Lord for forgiveness. The angels rejoiced in the sky…
Tomorrow we will go to Lugansk region. We will get up at six in the morning again. It is a special feeling of happiness because you walk with… Love.
Many thanks to the brothers of “Source” church (Aloha city, United States). We bought Christmas gifts for children of Bakhmut for their money.
Gennady Novikov, the press center of “Emmanuel” Association
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