Bishkek Bound..."Это не телефонный разговор"

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Technology has become the new "mode de vie" in the world we live in where individuals become more and more isolated in a intricate web of social networking and data tsunami's. Studies show that the quality of interpersonal relationships in families, friendships and marriages in the last 10 years has significantly plummeted. To the point where in some places as in Korea and England, programs have been initiated to teach children how to socially interact and how to have a conversation.

As I write this blog I'm on a speeding Bolt bus from Baltimore to NY fitted with a Wifi feed and power supply, wow, how we've progressed. In '92 we didn't have Wifi, Laptops, Email, nor Mobile Phones, not even fax machines; yet the work in Ukraine began. I remember buying a hand full of phone "zetons" and calling all of our people on one of the only payphones that worked in L'viv city; thus we began every trip to Ukraine from our base in Krakow, Poland. Today we send a tweet and we could gather a crowd in moments anywhere we are via geo-Tweeting.

"Digital spirituality" has become the "new snake in the garden" that lies and eventually robs man of a face to face relationship with God. Internet, mp3's, dvds and streaming "Church" allows people to avoid the healthy relationships that require accountability in Body life.

We've become a society, a culture that is so plugged-in to alternate identities & "2nd lives" that we've become un-plugged from those that are siting next to us and the cry of their hearts.

As I travel a small group from Samarkand is making their difficult way to Bishkek to see us FACE to FACE. It is costly for them in a country where the poor are getting poorer and borders are becoming more impenetrable. They are traveling 24 hours - a distance that in the US would be about 4 hours. They will be subject to long waits at the border, harassment, and confiscation of any "digital material" that is Bible related and when they arrive to Bishkek they will be sleep depraved; but nothing will match their joy to be together at the conference.

What privilege we've happened upon that we know such people. In Russian I like what they say "Это не телефонный разговор" - "This is a conversation not for the telephone". Face to face is priceless. A few hours together in the Word, in the Spirit, and in the Precious Body of Jesus Christ is incomparable to any price we pay. It is a gift - and it's something that can't get DELETED by accident.

I covet your prayers as I go with P. Schaller to Bishkek, Uzbekistan, & then I go to Ukraine for conferences in all 3 countries. Special thanks to my wife Gosia who usually stays behind in support and prayer. She's a treasure.

Christian

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