So… Jonny Markey and I are starting to do recording of a couple of songs toe be worship resources on the Calvary Chapel Ternopil website. So far, he’s come over to my apartment once, and I’ve gone over to his apartment once, and we’ve already gotten about 10 songs recorded. That’s really good, especially for how they sound.
Anyway… Tuesday was the day I went over to Ternopil on a train and recorded at his apartment. It’s about a 2.5 hour train ride. On the way there, I met some really nice people from St. Petersburg, Russia. Even though they didn’t speak more than a couple of words in English, and I only know a little Russian. They were just coming back from a local festival… I could tell that they were a part of some kind of local, spiritist religion. The festival was a celebration for their religion. They were really interested in my Bible and stuff. They showed me pictures of the festival, bought me some tea, and shared the food they brought for the trip with me. When they showed me pictures… that’s when I was able to tell that they were spiritists. Their “pastor” was walking around a camp fire in the woods waving around an animal horn and drinking milk out of it. The rest of them were standing around with their hands raised. That was at night. There were a couple of lens flares on the screen. When the Russian guy asked me if I knew what they were, I told him they were from the fire in the picture… and he was adamant that they were not… as though he was suggesting that they were “something more.” In the pictures of them in the daytime, they were standing around a totem-pole in the same position, hands-raised and eyes closed. I asked Jonny about this, and he said that they may have been just local Orthodox “Christians,” and that spiritism, superstition, and other stuff like that are typical of local “Christian” traditions. At the end of the train ride, they asked me to play a song for them on the guitar. It was a lot of fun trying to communicate with them.
Ternopil was nice. Jonny and I recorded for several hours, ate lunch, recorded for several hours, ate dinner, and then attended a prayer meeting, which was also at his apartment. That was really cool. I like fellowshipping with people from other churches around the globe. It’s great to be able to hear their hearts, pray for them, and then watch from a distance as God moves. The church in Ternopil and our fellowship have a close relationship, which I really appreciate.
On the way back… that’s when things went crazy. I got to the train station with time to spare, but my train wasn’t there. This almost never happens in Ukraine. Trains are usually one of the only things that are reliable here. I asked conductor after conductor where my train was, and I was eventually pointed toward one train that was going back to L’viv. They took my ticket, but that was not my train… needless to say, when riding on that train, I wondered if I was actually heading back to L’viv. I did eventually get back at around midnight (my original train was supposed to get back at 9:30pm).
I learned quite a bit about myself on that trip. Nate Medlong and I were talking about it. I’m not one that likes to take a lot of risks. I like everything to be planned out. I think God, though, wants to grow me out of that. I realized that my sense of adventure is different from other people’s sense… or, at least, the classic sense. My sense of adventure involves calculated “risks” that, when I think about logically, I already know the outcome of. I think the definition that God would like me to have is more along the lines of, “Here, I’m taking you somewhere you don’t know… but I’ll show you the way (Genesis 12:1-3). Don’t worry about it, I will take care of you and provide for you (Genesis 15:1), even when it seems like I won’t (James 1:2-4, Romans 8:28).” It’s great that, the day before (Monday) I was listening to a sermon by Bob Coy talking about how God intentionally puts us in situations where we need to trust him… He puts us in situations where we have no other hope but Him, because He wants us to rely on Him. I actually was looking forward to living in Ukraine because I knew that would happen… haha. I’m glad God’s taking me through things, helping me slowly learn more to trust Him.
God is good. Doesn’t it blow your mind that He is good enough to turn something evil into good? That’s what Romans 8:28 means to me… He’s that good.