Praying for New Friends
By Dmitry Bagal
Elena Bagal felt lonely in Kochel, Germany. Born in Siberia, she knew no one when they arrived, and her German was weak. As the days passed, she missed the life that she had enjoyed in Russia. One day, she cried out to the Lord for a new friend. “I really need a friend to spend time with,” she prayed.
Little did she realize that she was not the only Russian-speaking mother praying for friends. Snezhana had moved to the town a year earlier amid difficult family circumstances. On the same day that Elena prayed for a friend, Snezhana cried out to God, “Lord, I have no more strength! How can I go on living? Help me to meet someone to share my difficulties with.”
Snezhana had two children, ages 7 and 9, but they rarely went to the children’s playground. On that day, however, they went to the playground.
Elena, who had just prayed for a friend, took her baby girl to the same playground. She greeted Snezhana in German, but soon she realized that they both spoke Russian. She couldn’t believe it! She thought that the mother and children were visiting tourists, but it turned out that they lived in the town and were looking for new friends. The families have become close friends. “God let me meet you so that I would have a friend,” Snezhana told Elena recently. Elena sends encouraging songs and uplifting sermons to Snezhana. She is praying that Snezhana will agree to Bible studies.
After the meeting, Elena kept praying for new friends. One day she met Natasha, a Russian speaker in need of encouragement. The women became friends, and today Elena regularly sends Bible promises to Natasha.
Elena kept praying for new friends. While shopping, she met Irina, another Russian speaker, and invited her home for a visit. The two woman now meet every other week. Sometimes, Elena gives Irina massages and, each time, she prays. The last time she gave a massage, Irina prayed for the first time. Elena has learned that Irina sometimes visited an Adventist church before moving to Kochel. “God’s ways are wonderful!” Elena said.
She prays that Irina will want to study the Bible together and that she can start a small group for Russian speakers in her home. In the meantime, she keeps praying for new friends. Do you pray for new friends?
Produced by the General Conference Office of Adventist Mission. Find more mission stories at adventistmission[dot]org