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The Love of Jesus Made Me Weep by Jim Britton

8 March 2016 No Comment

Jim BrittonGod called me to minister overseas at some point in my life, but I was shocked and a bit intimidated when Pastor Grant Edwards casually declared to me in early 1994, “JB, if you want to go to Russia with me, I need to know by Monday.” That was on a Thursday. Yikes!

Though I jumped at the opportunity, by the time we left for Saint Petersburg, I was totally freaked out. Could this be because Pastor Grant warned me of bad Russian water, lack of available food, killer mosquitos, rogue KGB agents, and disgusting Russian toilets?

Right off the plane I met Rick Ives. Rick immediately struck me as a true apostle as I saw him father a small group of brand new pastors who would go on to change their nation. These men and their families became dear friends right away. It was such a joy and honor to help Pastor Andre Burkin plant a new church in a town on the outskirts of Saint Petersburg. Those relationships will always hold a central spot in my heart.

Although I was told that I would love the Russian people, I had no idea how the Holy Spirit would attach my heart to them so quickly. I recall how the Lord visited me in a little Russian kitchen and downloaded His love into me for a people who suffered so much under the Soviet regime. I wept so hard under the power and love of Jesus that my roommate had to check on me to make sure I was OK. I was wrecked, but totally OK!

My life was dramatically changed by this new relationship that many could literally see it in my countenance when I returned to the States. I had been so touched by the love and passion my newfound Russian brothers and sisters had for their Lord. So many were baby Christians who were eager to learn all they could about their awesome Savior.

I busied myself with studying the Russian language and soon learned that language fosters intimacy. What a joy it is to see the same Holy Spirit moving in lives so different from ours, but yet, made one in Him. Men I met in those early days have gone on to influence the entirety of the Russian nation, from St. Petersburg to Vladivostok, from the Black Sea to Siberia. Amazing!

If you desire for the Lord to use you in His work, just place yourself in a position where He can use you to represent His Kingdom to a hungry people. It will be life changing. Thanks Rick and Heather –and Pastor Grant–for your sacrifice and allowing me to be a part of the work of RRR. Slava Bogoo!

Pastor Jim Britton, RiverSong Church

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