Tuesday, June 08, 2004

Thank You, Ronald Reagan

Jeff and I arrived at the Dulles International Airport customs counter at about 10:30 p.m. on Saturday to the news that former President Ronald Reagan had died. It seemed fitting that Reagan, the U.S. president who crushed the "evil empire" of the Soviet Union, died the very day we returned from a religious trip to now-independent Russia.

All praise for the change of events that made our trip possible ultimately goes to God, the ruler of all nations, and we certainly could not have gone to Russia without the financial support of our brethren in Centreville. But Reagan's policies opened doors that let me preach in Russia, without a doubt one of the greatest privileges of my life. I thank God and all of you for the wonderful blessing of the past two-plus weeks, and I thank Ronald Reagan for his leadership of this nation during the Cold War.

The few souls in Russia who are committed to God may seem insignificant in a nation so large and still so committed to its traditions of atheism and Orthodoxy. But just remember that as far as any of us knew only a decade ago, not a single Russian was a Christian. Now the men and women who we once saw as "godless communists" are known to us as brothers and sisters.

I hope you enjoyed reading about them on this Web log as much as I enjoyed meeting them and telling their stories.

I believe God has used the United States of America to create new opportunities for spreading the seed of the gospel. But I also believe our nation has begun to lose her way, and God just might use some other nation to humble us lest we turn back to Him.

If that ever happens, we might face the kinds of obstacles to serving God that are now before brethren elsewhere, including Russia. Our trip there strengthened my faith and determination to please the Father, whatever circumstances may befall us as a nation or me as a child of God, and I pray that God increase that strength within me.

I pray the same for all of you, my brethren at Centreville and throughout the world. "Watch ye, stand fast in the faith, quit you like men, be strong" (I Cor. 16:13).


Anonymous Anonymous said...

How horrible you comment on Russians as godless and athiests. I know many Russians, and all are religious and some even Christians. I believe you should research a bit more before giving out wrong information. Ignorance... and Ronald Reagan was a cold-blooded terrorist.

12:58 AM  

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