How we look to others... Does it matter?

We have all been taught that our very lives are to be living testimonies and witnesses to Christ. Do we ever really think about just living our lives day in and day out demonstrating the Gospel? Are we the light He calls us to be?

a goat at the playground
Since April when the weather got warmer our family has spent a lot of time outside. Every day we have at least two family outings. In the morning we go to a nearby playground where our kids share the play area with local kids (both human and goat!) and in the evening we take a long walk. What a spectacle our family is in our little neighborhood on the south side of Kyiv! Here we are, a troop of eight to twelve people with two strollers walking the crumbling sidewalks around our home. Most Ukrainians cannot imagine a family with ten children let alone actually seeing a family our size. And our Ukrainian neighbors are stunned by the fact that we left America to come here, a place many of them would like to leave.

Our family is noticed for it’s size, but we behave differently, too. We hold hands, talk and laugh and our children are joyful. We acknowledge others with traditional Russian greetings but we include smiles and warmth. When the small ones have seen someone several times (especially elderly men and women) they’re likely to run up and give them a hug. During our walks some of us are praying silently for the neighborhood and for the families and children who inhabit these ugly Soviet era apartment complexes, and who live in these run down homes. For the widowers and pensioners who live on next to nothing, who don’t have enough to eat or anyone who cares. Praying against the evil that encompasses these buildings, homes and people.

What do you think has begun to happen? Now we go out and before we can speak our broken Russian greeting, others are greeting us. Clerks wave to us from the small kiosks, fruit and vegetable sellers smile and nod their greeting. People smile as they approach us. Ukrainian children come up and say ‘Hello!’ in English. A few men walk up and shake my hand. And the elderly open their arms when they see our children approaching. We are meeting people all the time. Little signs of warmth are replacing the ingrained Soviet coldness. No, not everyone, but enough to notice things are different. We continue to be a spectacle and the buildings are still ugly and most of the homes in disrepair, but God is at work here. We are letting our light shine and God is being glorified.

I am attaching a letter we received from a Ukrainian missionary serving in Turkey. It demonstrates the power of our living testimony and the importance of not just what we say and do, but what we demonstrate in our daily lives.

Kingdom of God is not here or there but among you
It is interesting that we experience Kingdom through people who carry it inside. It is almost impossible to see it without seeing people.
God has been working in my life through many different people who helped me to understand Him. Usually that was not through teaching or preaching but through living examples. Now again my family has been blessed by having wonderful role model moving in our house just downstairs. The word about thenm came long time before they came, and made me puzzle about what are they like, these "unusual size" Western family that came for the mission to my country. Here is my insight.

Colker's family is one of the greatest vassels that carry that Kingdom. The Kigdom in them is so bright and strong that one can hardly look at them without being convicted. Actually many would prefer to cover them up so that they could stay comfortable with choices they have made. The size of this family blows many minds, but the spirit of the family leaves people speachless. Why?

 Because they are living proof of god's greatness, wisdom, order and love. All Atheist, Communist, Muslim and Humanist ideologies are fading when put next to them, because none would compete. Only through Jesus, God in flesh, this family could be the way it is where it is. 
I am missionary to a Muslim world, grown in the Communist culture, have not seen anything that would destroy the lie of the enemy faster then this family. All this junk concepts about "perverted" West, greedy and selfish Americans, population cryses, right for abortion, lack of world resources, power of government education institution and many others fall apart when people see that perfectly healthy and happy family, with smart and creative kids, who love one another, respect their parents and actually serving other needy children.

We took a Turkish business guy to them , he loved argue about how good islam is, after being wiht them for 1,5 hour he was not even sure about what he believes, 4 years he has been surrounded by Christians while doing business in Ukraine, as a result he has became even more committed to islam. These 10 kids has done to him something that the pastor of the biggest church in Europe could not do. They convinced him that he does not know real God.

We took a movie about them to Turkey and it continues to blow out people minds, 45 minutes with them wipes out the whole clusters of devils lie. It is amazing! Living Gospel, Kigdom in flesh. Such a light for the nations.

Lena, missionary serving in Turkey