It was cold. We were above the Arctic Circle in Siberia holding evangelistic services. The Iron Curtain had fallen, and the Russian people were hungry to hear the good news of salvation. The night before we had preached to almost seven hundred people, and many had responded to the message.
It was my privilege that morning to have been asked to speak at a deaf and mute colony of about twenty people. Knowing my words would be translated into Russian and then converted into sign language, I wanted to share the gospel as clearly and simply as I could. It is always a special opportunity for a preacher to preach to those who have never heard. This was certainly the case that particular day among the deaf and mute.
There I stood preaching in English, the translator changing my words into Russian and the other person converting the message from Russian into sign language. I noticed they were not watching me; all eyes were on the one signing the good news. As they “listened” to the gospel for the first time, it was evident by the expressions on their faces that the seeds of salvation had fallen on good soil. When I gave the invitation to repent and receive Jesus, they silently “discussed” among themselves what they should do. I could tell they had understood, as I watched them sign animatedly one to another. Then it was time for a decision. With a unanimous “yes,” the whole group yielded their lives to Christ. When I led them in prayer to receive Jesus, I saw their eyes fill with tears of joy. After they prayed, they cried and hugged one another, thankful to be forgiven of their sins and have, for the first time, the peace that passes understanding.
It goes without saying that this was a special time I will always remember. What a joy it is when people come to the Lord. How blessed we are for the opportunity to share the good news with others! May God give us grace to continue to evangelize the lost with the gospel of Christ Jesus.