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Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Binging His Message Home

Sunday I had a wonderful opportunity to visit a local family and share the message of Jesus.
Vytautas, a student here in Kaunas lives with his mother Loreta and his grandmother Birute in a
nice flat outside Kaunas proper.  This is in the Smiliai district  upland from the city to the WNW.

Upon arrival  I could smell a delicious aroma from the kitchen.  Turkey with delicious mushroom sauce;
mash potaotes, peas,and  cabbage.  We talked a few minutes; made introductions and had some wine.
I brought flowers for the ladys since it was Woman's Day in Lithuania.  A day to celebrate all women
Moms wives, sisters, girlfriends--all women.  They do not have an offcial Mother's Day.  Woman's Day
is a legacy holiday from the Soviet era.

Birute is a very interesting and well educated woman.  She was genuinely interested in my perspective
on Lithuania as an American.  She was candid in teling me that Lithuanians were disappointed with the way America treated them after WWII.  I was familiar with the history, and responded by telling her that things would have been quite different had the US given General Patton his way and let him march into Moscow.
She responded with the lament that their small country suffered under the USSR for 50 years because of US Policy.
I did relay what I knew of the Tasmanian connection and the US Australia effort to provide Lithuanian Jews Austalian passports and help move them to Tasmania.  This effort resulted in saving thousands of Jews dstined for the camps as the Germans fled the Russian counter attack with the help of fresh arms from the US.  She was not aware of this fact.

I wanted to get off the politics and government issues and speak of the Bible.  Biute is a dvoute Roman Catholic [RC].  I told her I was raised a RC and practiced until I was about 13-14 when I started to question the lack of bible study in the church.  I even went to RC school up to High School and we rarely read scripture except or the little bits that were in the Catechism.  She was surprised and said she thought I was a Baptist all my life.  I told her I have always been a Christian.

I began telling the family about my mission.  I spoke of the Love for God  and the close personal relationship we each can experience by speaking with God.  Birute said she talks to God, and that she talks to Maria.
I said that is admirable and that I did not want to offend, but that talking to Maria is not talking to God.  She said she understood, but that she felt more comfortable speaking to Maria because she is a woman and Maia understands women's issues.  Another reason is that she can see Maria in the photos and religious Icons of Maria around her home.  She cannot see God.  I pointed to a painting of bottles of wine hanging over the kitchen table.  These  bottles of wine look very real- taip [yes]?  However, you can't take one from the painting and open it and drink it.  But when you have Jesus in your heart ,as your daughter Loreta has described to me, then you have a real live experience of God.

She smiled, and said she had never thought of it that way.  She then said I had given her a lot to think about.  I asked Vytautas [pictured to the left with his mother, Loreta] if he had been thinking of this in his studies.  He is  an exceptional student and he knew his English well,  he could even understand my American,  Many Lithuanians and Russians tell me they have a hard time in America because we don't speak clearly and we "mush" words together.  Whereas in Great Britain they speak the English that is taught in school here.
I told him if he would like to learn more I was getting some study guides for Psalms, and we would be meeting with other students at my flat near Akropolis on Wednesday night.  Vytautas is interested in learning more, but he could not commit to a Bible Study meeting at that time because he works to help support his family and he is trying to make money on line.  So for about another 20 minutes I shared my experience on Hub Pages and Ad Sense.  He was very interested in this and we will talk more when I get back from Russia.

The family was disappointed that the pod cast did not work.  I had bookmarked some Worship music, and Loreta who is a music teacher played some of her favorites.  Birute wanted to know if the "Priest" was going to talk.  I tried to explain about the failed pod cast.  I think she finally understood.  We sat and enjoyed the music for an hour or more,  I tried to connect to the FBC server after each song, but to no avail.  We all agreed to try again next Sunday.  They asked if it was normal for such good music to be played in church.  I told them we played this kind of music every Sunday, and I think Birute was concerned that it was not solume enough for God.  And they asked about clapping and lifting up arms and  hands and looking like people were in a trance.  I told them that most of the songs were right from the Bible.  Like Psalm 50 and that in the Bible it tells us to lift up our hands and Praise God.  I further explained that Sunday was a Day of Praise to God for all He has given us.  It is like people get excited when you give them a present, and they thank you and hug you.  We, as Baptists, celebrate our joy to God each Sunday and give daily thanks for the Love and Life we receive because of the  sacrafice of Jesus. 
We talked on until 10 PM and had a great fellowship.  I related the story of  one neighbor ignoring his neighbor until he wanted to borrow a car.  This message was very clear to each one there.  They strongly responded to the question,"  If you were to die today and came before God how would you answer if He asked 'Why should I let you into my Heaven? Did you acknowledge me when you were on earth?" We each learned something good from each other. We each came away thankful for what we had just shared.  I thought of the passage in John 10:10 where Jesus said. " ...I have come so that they may have life, and have it to the full."  I felt in my heart that this was Life to the Full in sharing His Word.

By the time we left it was about -7 and as we pulled out of the parking lot I heard the tires pop as they broke free from where they had become frozen to the surface...

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