In my heart, I think I'll always be a pastor. I'm not a pastor in the formal, liturgical way. But I'm a pastor in the way I think, in my desire to see people grow spiritually, finding their purpose in the body of Christ.
One way that comes out is my desire to know people's stories. I love to hear about the history of each person, their joys and trials, stages of life, miracles, dreams, etc. I love seeing people over the long haul, not just a one-time visit, then never back again.
Elena is a woman in the village of Baraboi. A team from Bismarck, ND, was just there to help put a roof on the church building there. And nearly every day, many of the women visited homes. I asked if they could visit Elena that week.
I met Elena 3-4 years ago, visiting with her and her husband. They were already in the early 80s, and we had a long talk. She showed me her husbands war medals. We talked about life. Their house was the cleanest one in all the village. And they were wonderful.
I sent a couple photos later with the pastor to give them. I've checked on them, just finding out her husband passed away this year. And she is now shrunken to even a smaller level, but still with her smile.
What's that story have to do with anything? Only that if the stories of individual's lives are interesting to me, how must they be to God? As the Creator and Savior, He is fascinated with our lives, the day to day workings. The Father knows Elena's name, and he hasn't just checked in once or twice a year. As King David, wrote, He knows when she lays down and when she rises; He knows her in the morning and night, through good times and dark days.
The Lord is our Pastor (the Russian word for shepherd).
The people of Moldova are loved and known by God. The people of Russia and Belarus have a Lord that looks over them, hurts when they hurt, rejoices when one finds salvation.
And He knows you.