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The Day of the Memorial Service

The beauty of the Body of Christ was so visible on that day … people, whom we

hardly knew took care about everything: all decorations and flowers were organized, church worship band offered their service, a famous local music band joined the worship, my friend volunteered to translate service into Russian, so my family and friends could follow, a video presentation about Michelle's life was prepared, the brochure with pictures was designed, the big picture of Michelle was printed, a bunch of bright yellow helium balloons was bought, people brought lots of finger food and drinks to treat all visitors, a team of intercessors arrived early that morning to pray for the service.

In John 13:35 Jesus tells his followers: “By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”

Love which has hands to care for, legs to walk the second mile, mouth to comfort and encourage, heart to love unconditionally …. What a privilege to belong to the Body of Christ.

They say that during the Memorial Service the presence of the Lord was very tangible. I didn't “feel” anything special during the service, but that time (for the first four weeks) I was already so deep inside of God's heart, wrapped into His presence.

“I sing a hallelujah” song was chosen for the service, If my life could be translated into the song – I would pick this one. In joy and pain we worship, through thick and thin we worship, through ups and downs we worship, in the middle of the crazy storm of pain and confusion we choose to trust and choose to worship.

Later I saw that we had over 1400 views of this service on our Facebook pages, many people contacted us testifying that the Lord was ministering to them through it.

Some people in Ukraine, who didn't speak to each other for years, came together to watch the funeral and were reconciled. Some ladies were convicted to put more time and energy into their kids. Some families realized that they have to seek help in their husband-wife relationships and restore trust and healthy communication. Some people had to rethink the authenticity of their relationships with the Lord. One family felt convicted that wife and children should be relocated to the city where the husband was working. One lady at her workplace asked all 20 people under her management to come on that day in something yellow, she brought some food (according to Ukrainian tradition) and she informed them that they will watch the funeral of her friend's child, so they did it: they were crying together and praying together …. most of them never visited the church and never - ever prayed before, but during that service they experienced the presence of the Lord and the Holy Spirit was ministering to them.

The toughest part of the funeral for me was at the cemetery.

After everything had finished and people started to go home, I was just reminding myself that God`s mercy is new every morning, and I was really looking forward to tomorrow, for His Grace and Mercy to be renewed and I would have a new fresh portion of strength. Tomorrow the healing will start and it will get a little bit easier.

As I was thinking all of this, somebody (I really don't remember who was it), put his hand on my shoulder and said to me: “ Lyuda, this is just the beginning, tomorrow your pain will be much stronger, people will carry on with their lives but you will live in it every single day”.

I almost fainted under the burden of these heavy words! I believe this gentleman was trying to express his sincere condolences and just trying his best to show me his support, and it was the best words he could come up with. The only thing I could do is to smile him away. But in my inner self, I told: in the name of Jesus I am taking these words and sending them straight to hell where they came from. Tomorrow my God will renew His mercy and it will be a little bit easier.

I experienced like the Holy Spirit was telling me: be careful which words you allow to enter your heart because people with the best intentions might ruin you. It is your responsibility to guard your heart. Put strong boundaries around your heart!

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Aug 16, 2021

Ooh, wow. Glory to God for the good testimonies from the memorial service that so many people watched online. We sow in tears and reap in joy.

When I read about all the good coming from that service, I was so encouraged as my husband and I interceded throughout the service and trusted God to use that day for His glory. Our God is a mighty redeemer! So faithful is He!

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