from On Life in St.Petersburg by our own Liz Hulley Sukhovskaya

I got a new phone the other day because my other one was dying, and it took a certain amount of effort to transfer the contacts between the two. But I actually received an unexpected blessing going through those contacts, in the form of memories.

My tendency to accumulate things extends even as far as my address book, and I looked at the list and decided it was time to prune…why was THAT person still in there? Surely I could do a little pruning in this area of life, at least.

But it wasn’t so easy. My first year here was FULL of encounters with various interesting people. I was very prayerful about how I spent my time, and about each relationship. Perhaps it happens for many missionaries or any Christian servants, that they expect miracles at first and look at each day with such hope and anticipation…

No, I know it was hard. I didn’t know Russian as well then, and everything was new and strange. But I sought the Lord, and He was with me.

And I look at the names of people whom I don’t see much anymore, and I think…when did I stop praying for that person? Or seeking the counsel of that other one? The dear interpreters from camp; the former English students; an orphan or two who put me on their cell phones just for fun. What if I wanted to suddenly renew those relationships, and couldn’t call because I erased their numbers? What if they wanted to call me, and I wasn’t prepared to talk to them, not recognizing the number?

Maybe it’s just another time now and there are different individuals I’m meant to serve, with a different focus. But I felt God’s voice whispering to me not to give up. So I erased hardly anyone at all, and decided to leave the doors open to possibility.