by Evghenii Sologubenco The experience itself was quite surreal. It cannot be described as an isolated event as my experience began a day before. It was a huge honor to be a guest of US Congressmen. We met the night before for a dinner. We ate at very nice diner. The place was in many ways representation of American culture. As in many diners the place was full and loud. Numerous conversations, crying babies at the next table and the feel of somethings great being cooked in the kitchen. As our evening went on, it was amazing to see that a man who in the eyes of the world has so much influence and power is a humble man of God desiring to make a difference for the sake of his countrymen, his family, but definitely with Kingdom of God in his focus. It became clear to me that his heart was committed to God and he relied on His guidance. I could tell his pastor who was sitting right next to me was his friend.
The evening unexpectedly rolled out when at about p.m. 9:00, we were offered to be taken on a tour of US Capitol. I have to say this was definitely a highlight of the entire experience. By divine appointment we came through, just as David Barton, a very famous and highly competent US historian, was beginning to lead a group of people on a tour starting at the rotunda. WOW. Just that one hour, of listening to him describe the Christian foundations of USA and the stories we do not hear on the news of read in blogs, was a huge blessing. As I looked around I realized that among some of the regular people (at least I would not know them being a Moldovan) are congressmen and senators. I definitely recognized Michelle Bachmann who stood right near us. But all these people were so “regular.” Dressed up nice, but not standing out.
Then we broke off from the team and our friend took us around the US Capitol to places many have seen on TV as well as some those many will never have a chance in their life to see. Walking through some of the underground tunnels was like being a part of some movie. But the huge thing, was meeting individuals in the corridors. Only by introduction after a hand hake and a joke would i realize this was a congressmen such-and-such from the great state such-and-such. These were normal guys, some of them my age and one I think even younger. They were not different from the American simplicity and friendliness I know. A number of them work during the week in D.C. and go home during the weekends. They sleep in their offices not wanting to waste money on rent (Washington D.C. rent is very high). The whole time one thought continued to return to my mind: ”this would not happen in other countries, at least in the part of the world I am from.”
The morning of the breakfast began early as my friend Jeff and I had to go to the venue quite early. Our guess was that the ball room had about 3500 sits. Our table was very nicely furnished with programs and some food. As we sat waiting for the President of the United States to arrive (the event would start with his arrival) all kinds of people walked passed us as matter of fact. A few to mention Sen. Ted Cruz, Stephen Baldwin, presidents of Haiti and Albania, Congressmen, Senators, Ambassadors and many others. I felt completely out of place. I could not shake a thought that a “nobody” from the smallest Eastern European Country like me is in a movie. Hopefully not a comedy. Not like Mr. Bean or Forest Gump. I was afraid to make a wrong move.
The event began with John Kerry, Joe Biden and others come to the stage. As they took their places a few minutes later President Obama arrived with the first lady.
My heart was very full as Keith Green opened in a song, I heard the testimony of pain and deliverance by Jesus from Bethany Hamilton (Soul Surfer) who lost her arm to a shark. When she finished Michelle Obama was the first one to stand up and applaud. She really seemed impacted. The entire room followed her example.
As the event went on, I was continually surprised. First of all the name of Jesus as Savior and Lord has been mentioned both by Republicans and Democrats. The Scripture readings and prayers were presented in Jesus’ name and several times we were able to pray together. The National Prayer Breakfast was very evangelistic, at least this year. I couldn’t help but think of all these people sitting in the room who may be hearing about Jesus for the very first time.
WOW. These powerful people, including the president of the United Sates, openly stated their need in God and his guidance for their country and lives. These were testimonies from all sides. I cannot be the judge of sincerity of these people, but even the fact of their presence at this event and words are more than I can expect from majority of politicians in my country. I wonder what kind of implications there are for USA if taking a look from this perspective of an outsider.
Hours before the main event, a group of believers came together in on of the rooms of the hotel and began to pray. The prayer continued even as the people made their way home or to the offices. It is my honor to have met some of these people and pray with them. Three of them were representing an outreach to Law Enforcement from both West and East Coasts.
I am very grateful for this experience. I have to admit that being a part of something like this gives rush of emotions and is very hard to comprehend. I am sure that many months later I will still have new thoughts and insights. I am very grateful to Congressmen Tom Graves and Pastor Jeff Hawkins for making this possible. I am grateful to all my friends who have been praying for me during this trip.
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