That's how we say it here. The oldest member of our church died yesterday. Olga Grigorevna may even have been one of the oldest Protestant believers in Russia. Her grandfather was the founder of the Russian Baptist Union. She was such a sweet, joyful believer! I love to imagine her smiling in heaven now. She was always smiling here, even when she talked about the times she was imprisoned for her faith. Oh, how I wish I had been able to hear more of her stories and learn more from her! Katya and Alyona always said that she was their favorite babysitter, because she would actually run around and play with them, not just watch them. And that was when she was already more than ninety years old! She loved children as much as they loved her. When the Korneichuks moved here, the church was just a few babushki, meeting in Olga Grigorevna's apartment. Even though she wasn't present at most church services over the past few years, she was a backbone of the church. (Once the church started to meet in the cultural center she was afraid to come, because of her memories of all the believers being taken there before sending them off to the prisons and camps. Her father was sent off from there, and I don't think he ever came back.) Her ministry in the time that we knew her was based from her home: she had letters and tapes coming and going from all over the world, visitors were always welcome, and she had weekly prayer meetings with the older women from the church. Christian fellowship and encouragement were some of her greatest joys. Her face would just light up when we would come to visit her, especially with our children. Her dream was to see a church building built, and she left her worldly possessions to be used towards that. Maybe her dream will be realized sometime soon; she firmly believed that it would. Please pray for that. I'm sure the funeral today will be a joyful celebration, since we "sorrow not, as others which have no hope." Thank you, Lord, for letting us be blessed by Olga Grigorevna's life on earth!
At her birthday party, 2005
Originally uploaded by fylliska.