In 1992, my wife and I spent 6 weeks in the Ukraine visiting family members of Russian Jews we had met in Israel. Our desire was to share the Gospel with these families but we also prayed for additional divine appointments. We carried backpacks filled with Bibles and the book, "More Than a Carpenter" translated into Russian, to give to these families and distribute wherever we could. We travelled to these families by the subway and bus systems.
Travelling by the subway is difficult enough, but preferable to the bus, as overcrowding usually does not occur on the subway. The bus, on the other hand, can be likened to a packing process. The bus driver will allow as many people to squeeze in as possible, often with some people standing on the steps for entering and exiting the bus and hanging on to hand rails to keep from falling out. As we experienced one too many times of getting on the bus and being packed in "like sardines", we decided to wait until last to board a bus.
Winter is very cold in the Ukraine so we always layered on the warmest clothing when travelling around the Ukraine. One particular day as we were waiting on a bus to arrive, I noticed a very old woman who was dressed poorly, looking up at a cross on an Orthodox Church. She appeared to be praying intensly and unaware of anyone around her. The Holy Spirit spoke to my heart and urged me to give this woman all the Ukrainian money in my pocket. I probably had $60.00 equivalent in Ukrainian money. A poor elderly person in the Ukraine received about $8.00 a month, so this $60.00 was a great deal of money for her.
My wife and I approached this woman who was standing far away from other people who were waiting to ride the bus. We told her, in the limited Russian that we knew, that God told us to give her this money. As we pressed the money into her hands, she began to cry and say over and over, Praise God, praise God.
We then left her standing there and boarded the bus as the last remaining passengers. We were happy to be able to be obedient servants and thought that was the end of our divine appointment. As we were in the rear of this bus, we heard a commotion in the front of the bus which was unusual on Ukrainian busses as most of the riders are quiet and somber. We saw that the commotion was coming from this poor woman who was in an excited conversation with several people near her and others on the bus were listening to her. Suddenly, she spotted us and began to shout excitedly, "there they are". We then realized that we forgot to give her a Bible and a book. We asked passengers if they would pass this bible and book forward to this woman, which they did. We were then mobbed with requests for a bible and a book. After emptying our backpacks to these people, who had been deprived of Christian bibles and liturature we came to our stop and got off the bus. This stop had a large market and after getting off the bus we again heard this greatful woman praising God and pointing to us, as she told everyone who would listen about the great and wonderful God she served.
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Wow Mike, this was wonderful to read.....look at the amazing way God brought about His purposes and it depended on your faithfulness to say yes. If you had not shared your money, you would have missed a great opportunity. May we all listen when the Holy Spirit prompts us. Keep working for the Lord. The harvest is very rich....I feel maybe that lady was praying for manna from heaven.....He used you to provide and gave you an incredible entry.....Praise the Lord.