To Russia With Love

Tuesday, January 7, 2014
Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "There Is A Green Hill Far Away"1 (Lyrics)

About two years ago, in February, 2012, God called me to go to Russia on a mission trip. I have several illnesses (rheumatoid arthritis, fibromyalgia, Lyme disease, Ménière's disease) so when I received the phone call to serve, I had quite a long chat with God about my going to Russia … in February, no less. My first reaction was: "Are You sure, God? Me? Russia? In February? With my body like it is?" After the initial shock of the thought of really cold weather, I began praying and seeking God about whether that was really what He wanted me to do. I've been a Christian for many years and have always wanted to serve God whenever and wherever He leads me, so as I earnestly sought Him, I received confirmation about three weeks later while reading my personal devotions. I was told by the leader of the mission trip that if I felt the call to serve, I should ask God to give me a confirming Scripture. A friend of mine also was asked to go, and she received her confirming Scripture the same day that we were asked to go. It seemed as if every Scripture I read fit, but in each case, I questioned whether in fact that was my confirming Scripture. As I kept doing my daily devotions, I read these verses:

2 Timothy 3:16-17 – Every scripture is inspired by God and useful for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the person dedicated to God may be capable and equipped for every good work. (NET)

Immediately, I knew that that was my confirming Scripture. My heart became warm, and I felt a precious love for the Russian people to whom I would be ministering. There was no question in my mind that this was my confirming Scripture. These verses let me know, without any doubt, that God would equip me mentally and physically with everything I needed to complete His good work, and prepare me in every way to go "to Russia with love". What a precious Scripture that was to me! I leaned heavily on this Scripture every step of the way in preparing for the trip physically, spiritually, and financially. What a glorious time this mission trip was!

When I met the team of 35 women (most of whom I had never met before), I immediately bonded with each of them. I felt as if I had known them all my life! As we prepared to minister to the Russian women and orphans, I truly felt the servant's heart of each lady. Not only did we serve God, but we all served each other and the people with whom we came in contact. What a precious time of fellowshipping with each other and our newly-met Russian family of God! Only eternity will tell us all that was accomplished on that trip.

As Christians committed to serve God, we can trust that He will guide us as to what He wants us to do and equip us physically, financially, and spiritually, so that when He calls us, we can say, "Yes, Lord!"

Prayer: Dear heavenly Father, we thank You for giving us Your Word to guide and direct us in every task that You place before us. We pray that You will help us to accept Your call. Thank You for giving us the strength to do all that You ask of us. Please use us how You see best. In Your holy name, we pray. Amen.

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About the author:

Gloria Coffey <>
Princeton, West Virginia, USA

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1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    Thanks Gloria for the wonderful message of encouragement.

    What a wonderful testimony! Thank you for sharing and obeying God’s call.

    Gloria, Thank you for sharing this encouraging message with us. Blessings.

    Thank you Gloria. Glad you were able to go to your mission, complete it and get back safely.

    Dear Gloria,
    I really enjoy your story “To Russia With Love”.
    Thank you.

    Dear Gloria,
    Interesting story and good thought for the beginning of the year.

    Goodness, Gloria, most people would consider getting out of bed an accomplishment with your various symptoms. What a blessing that you made the trip… both for you and for those to whom you carried the message.

    What an inspiration at the start of 2014!
    Thanks for planting a seed that even an aging, creaking woman (I have
    rheumatoid arthritis too) can be used by God if we are willing to stand on
    the promises in His word! Bless you,
    (BC Canada)

    Dear Gloria:
    Thank you for your God inspired words. I have been asking Him what I can do for Him as I too have physical disabilities and the answer I received this morning was to pray. I would have loved to have gone on that mission trip to Russia with you but I must not let my pride get in my way. I feel like I am never to doing enough for Him. I pray that I may always do His will.
    Best wishes to you and may God bless you and bring healing to your body.

    Hi Gloria
    I am also relying on God to help me find a place close to my son’s new house, so I can see my grand kids every day after school, watching them. Right now I am with them, my furniture is in storage, and trying to find the right place.
    Everyday in my devotions I hear the I need patience, trust and faith in God. I feel that God has a plan for me and I wish that I knew what it is, And what I should be doing as I am impatience and want to do it today. So all I do is pray every morning, and ask him to give me patience. I love my devotions and that is what is keeping me sane.

    Dear Gloria,
    Thank you for the devotional.
    I’m very curious about your trip to Russia.
    I have many questions.
    I would like to know about the churches you experienced in Russia.
    How should we pray for the churches in Russia?
    I am curious about how the churches are accepted by the current government, encouraged by the government, or flourishing in spite of opposition.
    Is Jesus Christ central in most of the ministries you encountered?
    Do the believers have their own Bibles?
    Thank you very much.
    I understand there are many parts of Russia with people speaking different languages or different dialects of Russian.

    I went to Russia with Bibles in 1973, while the Berlin Wall was still there. I wanted to send you details about the wonder of His workings in the lives of a friend and myself about how we were able to take in several Bibles. It was a series of miracles.
    I am saying a big Amen to your account.

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