Posted November 15, 2013 in MH Krasnoyarsk, Russia, and in MH Resteigne, Belgium:
More Than I Could Have Imagined

by Katya Malova, Russian retreatant (translated by Catherine Lesage).

Often in life, we set goals for ourselves, and we make plans. But I didn’t plan this trip to Belgium; it was all God’s doing. A group was formed and I simply asked if I could go with them.

I was ready for either a yes or a no. I didn’t know anything about the trip—only that this was a group of believers who love Jesus. This filled me with joy and confidence.

In the end, God gave me much more than I could have imagined. This is our great God!

I realize in my life and in the lives of my close friends how much God really loves us. Though we limit ourselves with our concerns, fears, and confusions, he enriches us and gives us joy and peace.

I cherish the friends I made, not only in the group, but among the Madonna House staff. The Lord in a mysterious way gathered us to form one group. We became blessings to each other and learned from each other.

We were received with so much love and care that I felt at home. I felt like a carefree child—one who laughed, rested, and enjoyed life.

And, of course, there were our talks with Miriam. They were like clear water which God poured over us to renew us and to fill our cups with his Spirit. I think that in those teachings was enough food for thought to last a long time. They will certainly take time to assimilate. We will keep turning back to them and continue to learn from them. All these talks were very necessary for me, God knows.

Learning about doing ordinary daily work with prayer and listening to God became very dear to me. And so did the idea of fasting from something and offering it up for someone.

For me the meeting with Madonna House was an unbelievable experience and blessing. And it was very interesting to be plunged into the life of Madonna House.

And it is wonderful to think that the foundress of Madonna House, Catherine, a Russian, was able to accomplish such a great work for God in a foreign land.

One of the biggest surprises was that people who were strangers to us donated money for this retreat. Thanks be to God for his Spirit that inspired people to make sacrifices for us so that we could make this retreat. This was a miracle for me. I am grateful to God for these people and for the means to make this trip.

To end, I would like to say that when I returned to Russia after this trip, I read Catherine’s book Poustinia. There were lots of things that I enjoyed reading in it.

Before the retreat, and yes even now, I don’t like to be quiet. I always want to run some place, do something, meet with someone, talk. But now I know that it is not a bad thing to be quiet in the silence of the poustinia so that I can learn to listen to God and to find freedom.


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