>More from Russia

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Russia Reflections From the Hange Family
With God’s deep love for Russia  

Another Update on the Tragedy in Moscow

 

For those who have read the first email, you have the context for this prayer request.  I had hoped that we would finish the day without any bad news, but apparently the father of our computer technician at Hinkson Christian Academy (where Karen works) was caught in the blast.  He is in surgery right now and folks, we NEED your prayer.  His name is Slava (means praise). The young man’s name is Yaroslav.
 
I want to also let you know, for those who are concerned, that my wife and children do NOT need to ride the metro as a rule. They take the local buses and trams to school, and these are much safer. 
 
On a lighter note we did find the hairbrush (this makes sense if you’ve seen the last email).  One of my friends asked for a picture of the brush, so I set it on the floor for a shot.  Guess who showed up…
cat 2
 
The kids say: Hi! Thanks for Praying, and we appreciate you!
The Kiddos
 

Thank You

… for taking the time to read this newsletter.  PLEASE contact us with any prayer needs you have, and please keep us in your prayers.  For the Kingdom, the Gospel, and the Fatherless….
 

Contact Info
Tim Hange:  thange@gmail.com  

 Karen Hange: k_hange@hotmail.com

>Know the Condition of Your Herds

>

Stephen Prothero writes an intriguing column that is printed in today’s USA Today “On Religion” page. His topic is “millennials” and how they are “simplyk resisting the tried-and-true brands of American religion…”

But the focal point for those of us who work with today’s youth (and those who care about them!) comes when he writes, “When I asked my 16-year-old daughter about all this, she told me that her friends don’t want to be ‘branded.’ Nobody her age wants to be seen as forcing religious or political views on friends, and declaring yourself a ‘Christian,’ ‘atheist,’ ‘Democrat,’ or ‘Republican’ seems, well, pushy.”

Simply because we old(er) folks don’t think it is “pushy” does not change the reality from most students’ views. Certainly no true apprentice of the Lord Jesus desires to “force” the faith on anyone, or to even come across as “pushy.”

It is pretty easy to thunder to students “you need to capture your school/neighborhood for Christ.” In my mind and from my experience the toughest place to live for Christ in this country is school (by the way, whether that school is “public” or “Christian”…in many cases the latter is tougher). We who care about students need to encourage and equip, but we also need to know that the school of today isn’t like it was when “we were kids,” because the school of today isn’t like it was a couple years ago.

>Report from Russia

>A dear friend and partner-in-ministry just sent the following…I urge and beg you to read it, and then to pray for the family:

Russia Reflections From the Hange Family
With God’s deep love for Russia  

 Reflection and Update on the Tragedy in Moscow

 

I’ve already started to get emails.  For those concerned about the Moscow bombings, we are OK.  Were they close to us?  Yes.  If you want the full story, feel free to read below.  I’m writing this just after the incident, so it is a bit reflective and scattered.  Still, I promised you an honest window into our lives here, so here goes.
Last night before we went to bed, the cat was playing with the hairbrush.  Stupid cat.  I tried to stop him but he ran off with it.  Ugh… I’ll find it later I thought.
I was running late this morning.  Karen is gone at an educational conference in Germany, and I have the privilege of watching my kids over their spring break.  I needed to work today, so a friend offered to watch our kids.  I rushed around to get everyone ready,  but among other things the hairbrush was missing.   We searched, but the cat had it well hidden and he wasn’t talking.  I finally talk the girls into using a comb.  UGH.. 15 minutes late out the door.
I got onto the metro as usual, on the “red line” heading toward “Park Kulturi” and “Lyubyanka” when the train screeched to a halt.  It’s not unusual to stop for a minute or two, but after about ten minutes we began to get restless.   I realized something was wrong when the phones started ringing, and then even more wrong when nobody seemed to be able to use their phones anymore.  I heard some Russian words I was unfamiliar with, and looked one of them up in my dictionary.  “Explosion”.
Then I got the text message from our friend who was watching the children…. “Bombs just went off at Park Kulturi”  Are you OK?  I replied that I was, and hoped the message would get through.  The train suddenly lurched forward to the next stop, picked up a load of passengers waiting there, and announced that it was changing direction.  And it did!  I had no idea those things could suddenly move backward.  About this time my friend called and said that a second explosion just went off at “Lyubyanka”. 
As we travelled along back to my stop I began to wonder how many bombs might be on this line?  Were they staged to go off in intervals?  Were these suicide bombers (turns out they were).  The guy with the big bag pacing up and down muttering to himself  was making me very nervous.   As I got out of metro Universitet, I stood for about ten minutes in a daze. It just seemed SO UNREAL.  These stories of bombs going off here and there around the world–those distant, unpleasant, impersonal news blips-well, one of them just happened right by me.  And I was worried, and still am worried, that one of my friends, co-workers, or students was on one of those trains.
I continued standing in a daze by the bus stop, several other emotions hitting me: 
First, there was absolute relief in knowing that I was just a short bus ride away from seeing my children.  Such a simple thing, but 40 people who left for work 15 minutes before me would not have this privilege.   
Next, I felt fear.  For the first time since we moved here, I realized:  You know, a guy could die here!  Panic gripped my heart:  “Tim!  What are you doing?  This is irresponsible! You’ve got four children!  What if you were hurt?  Who would take care of them?”   Suddenly I began to ask the question “IS THIS WORTH IT???” ” Tim, if you had died today, would you say the impact you had here was worth your death?”  Really, is what you are doing THAT important?
My emotions then turned to anger.  WHO would do such a thing?  How could there be such evil in the world? 
Then came shame:  I have been a little too busy lately, my master’s paper has been consuming time otherwise reserved for sleep.  I’ve been a bit grouchy, self-focused, and not as at peace with God and with those around me as I’d like to be.  What if I had to stand before my creator in such a state?
The bus came, I got on, and I prayed for a calm spirit to hear the voice of God.  The voice of truth began to speak into my mind.  I want to write it down while it’s fresh, before it fades from my memory, but it was a beautiful thing.  It went something like this:
“Tim, this evil you encountered today is precisely what you have been called to work against.  Teaching young people and frustrated orphans to experience the love of God and invest in others is the part of my work of bringing people into a whole relationship with me.  Are the results worth it?  Are you making a significant difference?  Tim, leave that to me.  I need you to continue to obey.  Is there risk?  Is it worth your life? Well, my own Son got put to death, and countless thousands of my followers throughout history have suffered loss and grief.  Don’t forget Tim, that your time on earth is short.  Have I called you to die?  Yes-every day I have called you to die to yourself.  And one day, sooner or later, your physical body will die.  Number your days and gain a heart of wisdom.    I will make all things new.  I will set all things right, even though now there is such evil in the world.  Still, even now I am working in people’s hearts and lives and renewing their inner beings.   I have called you to be a part of that work, no matter how small your part may seem, no matter how inadequate you may feel to the task, I am changing others and changing you.   Follow me, and know that I am in control of everything.  Even your cat. ”

 

My friends, can you pray with me?  Pray that God gives US the courage to love Him and follow Him and to be part of his healing work no matter what may come our way.   Then take a moment, breathe deeply and be thankful for this wonderful gift of life, and the beautiful gift of your eternal soul that God has given you and those around you.  What a wonderful Creator.   He makes all things new.
 

Thank You

… for taking the time to read this newsletter.  PLEASE contact us with any prayer needs you have, and please keep us in your prayers.  For the Kingdom, the Gospel, and the Fatherless….
 

Contact Info
Tim Hange:  thange@gmail.com  

 Karen Hange: k_hange@hotmail.com

>The Danger of Christian "Retreats," "Camps" etc…

>As I read the following cartoon this morning I thought of the students/adults with whom I spent this last incredible weekend at the NWTFC Bible Quiz Tournament.Then I again prayed that this first morning back in the “real world” that those who had made commitments to would follow through with them rather than cave to the pressure of the world, the flesh, and the devil.
Peanuts

Whether a four-day event, a week of camp, or even a missions trip; the reality is Spirit of God can seize those days away from peers, negative garbage, etc to cause people to truly hear from God. But then it’s back to the war zone…

Much like when I served in Vietnam and “R & R” (Rest and Recreation) came up. One moment I’m riding on the Armored Cavalry Assault Vehicle (ACAV), the next I’m on my way to Sydney, Australia for seven days. Once arriving there I spend all the time focused on partying (long before I got converted!), but in the back of my mind…five days, three days, 36 hours, 7 hours…and the dreadful knowledge that I would soon be back in the Nam.

Thus the burden is on the speaker, staff, counselors etc at such spiritual events to NEVER make it “easy” to make a “decision” for Jesus….to NEVER get into body-counting “decisions” as a way of determining whether the event was “good,” and to tell the attendees that the camp or whatever is NOT real life…it is rather a taste of heaven, and that the most dangerous time of our spiritual lives is the first several days after what is often referred to as a “spiritual high.”

And the burden of the person who MADE a genuine commitment to Christ to deepen their relationship and obedience is to focus on the gospel, and on walking in faith and trust that this time it will work…even as Spirit of God works within us…IF we get out of the way and, duh, ask Him to!

The life of a disciple (which is what the great commission tells us to make, rather than “converts” and/or “decisions”) is, at its root, one HUGE decision to repent and trust the gospel; followed by a gazillion moment-by-moment decisions to obey.

And, when those inevitable stumblings come, we run to my most-needed verse…First John 1.9. Reminds me of an early DC Talk song…Watch the following video and remind yourself that “If we confess (“agree with God”) that we have sinned, He is faithful and just to FORGIVE us our sin, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”