In one week, it will have been one year since the horrific metro bombings in Moscow. This is a look back:
As I write, I am listening to the most beautiful sounds coming from our living room. Six Central Asians, on their own initiative, have started a house group for their people. Not all their voices are in tune, but it is beautiful music to me–as I know it is to God. To know that they all come from countries where Christianity is persecuted and forbidden, and to hear them in Moscow– worshipping freely–is an awesome privilege.
Moscow has had a terribly, horribly hard week. The beginning of the Easter Sunday celebration was hailed by two young women committing suicide by blowing themselves up on the metro. Forty people lost their lives.
I grieved for the Russians who lost their lives. I grieved when I heard at least two Tajiks lost their lives. And I grieved for the two women who strapped bombs to their bodies, who came from an unreached Muslim people that have suffered many atrocities. Without the knowledge of a holy, loving God who gave His Son to save them, there is no hope for Russians, Tajiks or Chechens. When ugly, nightmarish tragedies like Moscow’s take place, all that is left is bitterness, despair, and hatred.
The effects of the bombing were immediately felt. Central Asians were harassed in the streets. Women wearing head coverings were assaulted. Our dear nanny, afraid that she would be stopped and haggled by police, quit. Life became harder for people with darker skin and hair.
After the bombings, for a while I wanted to pack up my family and take them back to the US. I didn’t want to ride the metro again. Yet I did today. I confess that I eyed the people around me, looking for anyone with a suspiciously bulky jacket or an angry glare. I cringed when the doors slammed shut.
Then I returned home . . . home to an apartment full of people who have faced much greater fears and persecution, home to an apartment full of people praising their Savior. And I remember why we are here. We are here to pack our living room with voices from every unreached tribe, tongue, and nation.
“Kristos Voskres! Va Istinu Voskres!” is the traditional Russian Easter greeting. (Christ is Risen! He is risen indeed!) He is risen and is the only One Who can offer hope and Life to Russians, Tajiks, Chechens . . . May you celebrate the joy of knowing Him this Easter Sunday!