I flew to the Republic of Georgia on September 29th. I was there to provide grief counseling in the wake of the tragic and violent deaths of the Smith family, Americans serving there as missionaries. My time was spent between gathering together in groups as well as meeting with individuals. I spent time with missionaries and with immigrants of Azerbaijan (a Muslim nation) known as the Azeris people. We prayed, we wept, we looked at the reality of grief expressed in the Psalms, we talked about personal loss – and we prayed again. The missionaries were happily amazed at how many Azeris people attended our gathering. They were also amazed at how many Azeris people met with me one-on-one and one family even inviting me into their home. It was a difficult time for those who knew and loved the Smith family but I believe the Lord met each one in a special and unique way and brought a measure of much needed heart-comfort.
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