Thursday, August 18, 2011

Camp Update!

We are so very thankful for your prayers for the summer camps ~ God did amazing things and was at work in so many people's lives. I was reminded again that we can plan, work hard, organize but it's only the power of God that can give hope, forgiveness and a new life. The first camp we had 30 youth and seven people repented. At the second English camp we had 50 - 55 people (some came just for a few days) and 14 people repented. We were very thankful that almost all the youth were new contacts ~ had not been to previous camps or Bible studies at the youth center. We were also grateful for the way God provided teachers for the English camp. This was the first year we didn't have a group from the States come over and God provided some wonderful teenagers from Moscow whose parents are missionaries. They did a fantastic job with the English lessons and were such a blessings. I personally was encouraged to see their maturity and willingness to help ~ it gave me hope that maybe, just maybe missionary kids can turn out *normal* ::wink:: Here are a few pictures and stories.
James in one of the morning sessions
Preparing three meals a day in the middle of the woods can be quite a challenge. Very thankful for the cook God provided.
Capture the flag is always a favorite
Chris Koepke from Kerrville, TX came over for the month and was a big help
This is Alina ~ her story was neat because she comes from a great home where the parents are Christians and have been praying for her for years. She did not want to come to camp and be around 'boring Christians' but finally decided to come.. so great to see how God worked in her heart!

These two brothers Dima and Anatolli (^ and below) were great to get to know. They come from a very poor family and had never read the Bible or heard about God. Both of them repented and have been coming to the Bible studies at the youth center since camp ended.

The young man in the orange flowered shorts is 16 year old Vitya. The week before he came to camp he overdosed on drugs and had to be rushed to the emergency room. He repented and after camp James was able to take him out to a Christian rehab center for a 2 month stay. So exciting to see the change in his life!

These are two of Rachel's best friends ~ Olga on the left and Sveta on the right. Olga went to camp last year and has been several times to Bible studies at the youth center. During the first camp she prayed to receive Christ. The next day I was out at camp and she came running up to the car to tell me what had happened and asked me if I could take her to the Christian store in Moscow after camp was over to buy a Bible. Rachel was thrilled as she has been praying for Olga for almost three years. Sveta also prayed to receive Christ and James has been able to get to know her parents and witness to them through camp.
This is 19 year old Katya ~ she repented at the second camp. Later after camp was over she came by the youth center and told James how it was a like a battle was going on in her soul the entire time until she prayed. She said she would never forget the peace that has come into her life and how grateful she is she learned about God and now has a Bible to read. She comes from a very tragic home situation with no father and an alcoholic Mother.
When we first moved out to Nara-Faminsk eight years ago and had our very first camp in this area we had an 18 year old girl named Lena come... oiy was she a trouble maker! She smuggled vodka in and got drunk and James was on the verge of sending her home when he said he felt strongly 'no she's the one that needs to stay.' At the end of camp one person and only one person repented... Lena. She went from being an alcoholic, angry, rebellious teen who regularly went to the Satanic church to walking in truth and light. The change in her life was dramatic to say the least! She ended up going to a Christian university in Moscow and marrying a super Christian husband. Lena and Vitalya were a fantastic help during the camp ~ shopping, hauling water, cutting wood, sharing Christ and always investing in the lives around them. Such a blessings to see their lives!

the kitchen
I'll end with some pictures of our kids enjoying camp ~ Johanna is part fish and would stay in water all day if she could
David LOVED the rope swing
and playing with the boat
And here's James ~ I told him once he turns 40 he can't do stuff like this

I can't put into words how much we appreciate those who financially gave to make this camp possible, and to those who prayed. God answered in a great and mighty way and we give all glory to HIM! Thank you for your investment in the lives of Russian youth.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Summer Update & Prayer Requests

Greetings from the Beairds! It's that most wonderful time of the year... CAMP! Camp started on Friday; please pray for safety, protection and that God will work in hearts and lives over the next week. It's a much smaller group than we've had in the past ~ only 35 youth, but we're excited that almost all of them have never been to camp or the meetings at the youth center. It's the first time many of them have ever read a Bible or talked about God and James said the small group Bible studies are going great.

Two weeks ago our city was celebrating it's 150th anniversary and had a big city day. We took the kids to ride some carnival rides and were walking around the center of town when a young lady came running up to James.. 'James, hi it's me Ksenya!' A girl who had gone to camp three years ago was walking around with her beautiful little daughter. Ksenya doesn't live in our city and was just here visiting relatives. Three years ago she decided to come to camp, but the week before found out she was pregnant. Her Mom took her to the clinic and made an appointment for an abortion as soon as she returned from camp. During the week out at camp Ksenya ended up repenting and went home a new person.. she got home and told her parents she couldn't have the abortion. When we saw her she told us all that God has been doing in her life the past three years and said 'if I hadn't gone to your camp my daughter Anna wouldn't be alive today.' It was such a huge blessing and encouragement to us to realize that yes it's worth the time, effort and energy to invest in these lives and to share Christ with these young people. Eternity is at stake. Please pray for these young people to personally know God and have a relationship with him that will change their lives.
Lunch time
Practicing for the evening singing
Christopher Koepke, the son of James' cousin in TX, came out for the month and has been a huge help! Here he is with David & Caleb
The rope swing is always such a big hit!

Thank you again for all you do for our family and blessing us in so many ways!

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Christ is Risen!

My most sincere apologies for not updating this blog sooner. We arrived back in Russia on March 22nd and I promptly got sick.. that plus jet lag and trying to get school going again and I have been doing good to keep my head above water. :) Rachel's prayers were answered and we had plenty of snow awaiting us when we returned. Here's a picture of Caleb enjoying a snowball fight ~ and in case you're wondering yes this was taken in April.
Today was beautiful warm and sunny, I looked out the window to see Johanna in the back yard with no shoes, short sleeves playing right beside our still unmelted snow banks. For our kids SUNSHINE = bare feet, regardless of what the temperature reading is..

However we have finally adjusted and back to living life in Russia. James is leading Bible studies on Wednesday and Sunday, and teaching in the orphanage every Thursday afternoon. He was very encouraged this past Thursday when quite a few students hung out for several hours after the regular lessons were over to *just talk*. Oh man I can't describe it in words but these 20 - 25 young people mean so very much to our entire family. Pray that they will meet Jesus and have their lives changed. Their life situations are so tragic and hopeless and they are wanting answers for their life questions.

Tomorrow is Easter here in Russia. I love this celebration and we've had a wonderful Holy week with Rachel catching her hair on fire lighting the lent candles, special readings, seder meal, cleaning the house (Russian tradition, but it's a good one) and making traditional Kulitchkee Easter cakes. Please pray for our service tomorrow and then tomorrow night at 7 pm we're having a special bonfire and meeting and inviting lots of young people who normally don't come to the Youth Center.

Johanna made no bake cookies and formed them into little 'nests' complete with jelly beans for eggs and a marshmellow bird on top. She was so so cute carefully making each one and then carrying them down the road on a plate to all of the older Grandmothers on our street.
A few weeks before we returned from the States our very dear friend 'Baba Luba' died from cancer. We lived in the same apartment building for several years and she was a such a gift to our family and became an adopted Grandmother for our kids. She had BRIGHT red hair, was so loving, kind, generous and very, very funny. This is one of my favorite pictures of her and her sister Luba (head scarf) peeling apples in our back yard with Caleb and David. They came over and spent the entire day helping us make apple sauce.
She made me fish head soup after Caleb and Johanna were born, and every single year the week before Easter she would come and spend the whole day with me and help deep clean the entire apartment/house. I remember once after we'd worked hard all morning cleaning windows I told her to take a break and fixed her a peanut butter and honey sandwich. She had never heard of or tasted peanut butter and her reaction was hilarious.. she told me I was trying to kill her like those sticky mouse traps you kill mice with. :) I've thought of her so much this past week. I've thought of the times we shared Christ with her.. she would always say 'oh it's a wonderful story, but I'm just too old to believe that. My whole life I was told God didn't exist and I just can't believe He actually does.' My heart has been broken this week as I think of our city of 100,000 with no Protestant church and no one telling the children 'YES you were created, and the Creator God who made you has a purpose for your life!' This is why we're here. This is why we so desperately need your prayers. As we all celebrate the new life we have in Christ please remember to pray for those who have never heard . Thank you so very much for all you are doing to allow us the privilege of living here.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Fall Update

Time for an update! It's always nice to get into the routine of school again. We've got a 6th, 4th, 2nd and a busy preschooler this year.. fun times. James is enjoying teaching at the orphanage and sitting around afterwards answering lots and lots of questions about life, God, the Bible, purpose for living. We are so thankful for this open door.

Bible studies continue at the youth center. Right now James is going through the book of John. It's so neat to see the changes in people's lives and how excited they are to share their faith.

I've been thinking a great deal lately about the word "Redeemer". A few weeks ago was the one year anniversary of your neighbor Dima's death. It was a very sad week and we spent some time visiting with Dima's parents Olga & Zhenya. I kept thinking back
to a little over a year ago when Zhenya openly showed how much he disliked us ~ never waving, never talking. Now they bring us plum jelly and we have spent hours and hours talking in the back yard and sharing our lives. Zhenya decided a few months ago to quit his job performing abortions. This had been his profession for 25 years and it was a very well-paying job at one of the largest hospital in Moscow. Now he's working as a regular Dr. for a fraction of the salary. When James asked him about quitting his job he simply answered 'you can't believe that God exists and perform abortions.' To see how drastically their lives have changed still just amazes me.. to see Olga attending a Bible study with her Bible open and taking notes.. to see how all the other neighbors talk about the changes they see.. truly they have been Redeemed - they have been bought back, saved from a life of sin and it's consequences.

In other news ~ the Beairds are headed to the States for the next four months. We are looking forward to speaking at two different mission conferences and hope to see many of you as we travel. If anyone knows of a church, sunday school, Awana group, etc. that would like to hear about Russia please contact us ~ we will be in Texas and Pennsylvania and any states in between those two that want to hear about Russia. :)

Thank you again for your love and prayers for our family! And I'll leave you with a picture of our precious Johanna Joy that turned five last week ~ not the best picture but the sweetest five year old in Europe!!

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Prayer requests

You may have read the news reports about the terrible drought and forest fires Russia is experiencing. Last week was miserable as the heat was over 100 and the smoke was so bad you couldn't go outside or more importantly open your windows to get a bit of relief from the heat.
We had 3 glorious days of no smoke earlier this week and then yesterday the smoke rolled back in.. here's the view from our window at noon. (it was worse last week, but it was so bad I didn't dare open the window to take a picture.. ha!)
Experts are saying we could experience this toxic smoke for another two months - I am really hoping they are wrong.

Some other prayer requests:

1. Our next door neighbors Olga & Zhenya - in two weeks it will be the first year anniversary of their son's death.

2. Home-school will be starting up Monday - I'll have a 6th grader, 4th grader, 2nd grader and Johanna will be going to a Russian pre-school three mornings a week (where all the other kids went until they turned 7). Usually at the end of the summer I've enjoyed a break and am refreshed and motivated to get back into schooling.. however, I'll be honest, this has been such a difficult summer that instead I'm quite exhausted and am not feeling ready to start another school year. So pray that somehow miraculous over the next 48 hours I would get excited & refreshed. :)

3. kids health - Rachel has coughed for a month now. Please continue to pray that the smoke clears up quickly

4. James for wisdom as English class at the orphanage begins the first week of September and for the various Bible studies each week at the Youth Center.

5. Pray for the new believers that they would continue to come to the Bible studies and grow in their faith. Also pray for the youth that went to camp but that don't live in Nara-Faminsk during the school year, that they would find a church to attend.

English Camp report

Thank you for praying for camp! James said it went great and God worked in hearts and completely changed young people's lives. James said he knew of 12 youth that repented. I remember the day I went out to visit, I saw a young man off by himself reading a Bible... to think that many of these youth read a Bible for the very first time in their life makes me want to literally jump up and down with joy! :) May God be glorified in these lives.
Here's the bus getting ready to leave. One of the best things about camp is that we get to meet so many of the parents and have a chance to become friends. Many of the parents who were very skeptical, almost afraid to let their child go to camp later thanked James and told him how much they appreciated this opportunity provided for their child.

Here's Raymond giving his acceptance speech after getting voted best singer
Please pray for this girl on the left - 16 year old Svieta. The day after they returned from camp her father died of cancer. James and several of the others from camp were able to go to his funeral. Svieta's mother died when she was young, and now the only family she has is an elderly Grandmother.

lots of guitar playing and singing
games around the campfire
lots of volleyball
I loved this picture of Megan showing Caleb how to shoot
I think we could win an international competition for 'world's scariest camp cook'.. but no one got sick :)
James has added a special 'new believers' weekly Bible study so please pray as many of these young people want to get baptized. Also if there is anyone (or church) out there that is interested in coming over next summer to help out with camps please contact us.. it's a huge blessing to have a team from the States come over and help, and I *think* they are the ones blessed beyond measure. :) And if you're not interested.. maybe pray about becoming interested? ::wink:: Thanks again for everything you do for our ministry!

Thursday, July 15, 2010


Today I took the kids out to visit James at camp ~ we had a wonderful day! The weather has been very hot, and not a drop of rain... James has never.ever.ever. in the history of 10 years doing camps NOT had it rain. There are over 70 youth and many are reading a Bible for the first time in their lives and hearing the truth of God's love for them. Please continue to pray for protection and for God to change lives.
Here's Ksenya leading one of the small group times
I was up on the riverbank watching the kids swim and overheard Megan and this girl having a great discussion about God and faith. It is such a huge blessing to see this group of Americans who have come over to help ~ they are so passionate about God and so willing to share. A real example to me. Please pray for Micah, Megan & Ethan Hodges and Raymond and Josh as they will be here until the beginning of August.
lunch ~ and we picked a great day to visit it was borsht instead of fish head soup
my kids want to adopt Raymond and keep him over here...
David on the rope swing
(note to grandparents.. this looks more dangerous than it was :)
Caleb having the time of his life ~ everyone was amazed at how good he was with the boat
Caleb on the rope swing
Johanna enjoying ice cream break

Camp will end of Sunday and I'm sure I'll post more stories and pictures then. Thank you for your prayers!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Lots of prayer requests!

Well it's been crazy busy as the summer always is.. James finished up his last teaching day at the orphanage last week and said goodbye to the youth (they were heading down south to a camp by the black sea). The Director who wasn't all too friendly when James started in the fall thanked him and said 'see you September 1st'. We are very thankful for this open door!

Sumer = Camp :) This Saturday James is heading out to a children's camp where he'll be working as a counselor and helping out with English lessons. Rachel, David & Caleb have been counting down the days & bouncing off the walls with eager excitement. They're also busy learning Bible verses to pay their own way.. a great summer tradition. Pray for them as the camp runs June 26 - July 4. What will I do for an entire week with just ONE child?!!?

Okay on to the prayer requests.. because we've got a LOT :)

1. James' back ~ two days ago James was getting out tents from storage and somehow hurt his back. He went to the chiropractor today and the Dr. said it's bad enough to need an MRI (scheduled tomorrow). Please pray that this will not be serious enough for surgery & for quick healing. James has never had any type of back pain/injury before so it's hard to see him in so much pain.

2. Visas ~ our current visas end in August. We filled out enormous amounts of paperwork last year and applied for temporary residency.. and got denied. Should we continue paying large amounts of $$ and keep trying to get one year visas... ? *sigh* Let's just say paperwork and visas are enough to cause a considerable amount of stress here.. so just pray! We really need wisdom as we don't even know if it will be possible for us to get a one year visa again as the laws and requirements are always changing. The fun thing about living here.. if you don't like a law just wait three months.. it will change! :0

3. Camps ~ Children's camp June 26th - July 4th
~ Regular tent camp July 9th - 19th
~ English Camp July 22nd - 27th
Pray for good weather, lots of mature helpers, a good cook for the kitchen, and most of all for God to change lives.
~Day camp at our house August 9 - 13th This was supposed to be in June, but we had two solid weeks of rain, so we're going to try again in August. Pray as this is such a great opportunity to share with the neighborhood children.

4. Susan's health ~ I got bloodwork results this week that were not the greatest, so continue to pray for my thyroid/health issues.

And I'll leave you with a picture from Father's Day. 'Oh how great is the LOVE the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called the children of God!' May you rejoice today in the lavish abundance of your Father's love for YOU!

Walking in the Way... | Creative Commons Attribution- Noncommercial License
| Dandy Dandilion Designed by Simply Fabulous Blogger Templates | With changes by Phyllis