Thursday, February 16, 2006

What a week...

Last week was hectic and sad in many ways. It started last Monday (the 6th) with a young lady Vera coming to the Youth Center asking for help. Vera is a single Mom with a little boy Daniel (11 months). Chris & James had visited her over the holidays and taken some food and presents. Over the weekend Vera had been the only witness to a crime commited by a policeman here in our city. She was taken to the police station and told she had to sign a paper testifying that another man had commited the crime (not the policeman). She refused and went home to her apartment. Late that night two police officers came to her apartment door and demanded to come in (they had their weapons drawn). She finally let them in and they then took baby Daniel out of his crib, wrapped him in a blanket and said she would never see him again until she signed the document. Vera was hysterical with she showed up at our apartment the next morning.. so thus began a long two days for James. They searched at the area orphanages, detention centers, and hospitals thinking they may have taken him there.. finally on the third day they found him in a special hospital on the other side of the city. James knew someone who worked as a nurse there and Vera was allowed to bring Daniel some food, but not allowed to see him. After daily visits to the hospital (and the police station) Daniel was finally re-united with his Mother a week later. In the course of visiting one of the hospitals, Andrei found a room with 8 small cribs with babies in them. He asked the nurse and found that they had all been abandoned and there was no room at the baby orphanage so they were keeping them there at the hospital. He then learned from the nurse they were fed only twice a day and given no interaction (holding, rocking etc). PLEASE pray as James and Andrei are trying to get permission to bring formula & supplies for these 8 babies, and possibly get permission to go a few times a week to hold & play with them. It would be a great chance to minister for the older youth.

The other sad event of the week involved our friend Dima. Dima is from Tajikistan (down by Afghanistan), is Muslim, married with two small girls. We've known him for two years and he's come a few times to the Bible studies. He is here in Russia illegally which makes it almost impossible for him to get a job. Last week he was on a train selling music CD's to try to earn some money. (he walks through the train trying to sell to the passengers) He had walked to the back of the train to smoke a cigarette and then next thing he knew two men were attacking him from behind. The next thing he remembered was hours later waking up in the snow beside the train track with him arm bleeding. The men had thrown him off the train after cutting him with a knife. Dima suffered a concussion and lost a great deal of blood. He finally walked to the nearest city and was taken to a hospital. The hospital refused to keep him more than a day because he was an illegal (people from Tajikistan are usually hated and very poorly treated by most Russians). So James and Andrei ended up driving to the city of Kaluga to pick him up last Saturday morning. They had just pulled away from the hospital when the transmission went out on our minivan! When James finally returned late that night I asked him how things went.. to which he replied 'Have you ever driven for six hours in first gear with a half concious man moaning in pain behind you??' And I thought my day had been rough :). Anyway, Rachel put it all in perspective for us the next night when she prayed 'And thank you that the van broke so that Daddy could spend the whole day at home.' Unfortunately it's been almost two weeks now and still the transmission is not fixed.. but to write all the adventures James had trying to find a transmission would fill another complete page so I'll spare you details... he has met some very interesting people, had lots of chances to witness - this morning when he arrived at the garage a police car pulled up beside him and there right behind the building a homeless man had frozen to death during the night. James said he was very young, about his age. So so sad.. I've been thinking this week about how many people are led to think oh Russia, Africa etc. are just poor countries that need financial help - NO! it's not a poverty problems it's a sin problem and it's across the world. Satan wants to completely destroy lives, steal our joy, hope, and the glory our lives should give to God. Pray we'll have wisdom and strength to let our light shine for God's glory. There are some days it's easy to feel overwhelmed and 'what do I do to actually help'??

Okay sorry for the reflective epistle.. sometimes writing is theraputic :) On the home front the kiddos are doing well. Rachel started learning to read russian a few weeks ago and now has no desire to read anything in English (sigh) I spent two year trying to teach her English and in six weeks she can read Russian! It's much much easier and actually FOLLOWS THE RULES! unlike crazy English.. but it will take her 6 years to learn all the grammar rules (I haven't told her this yet). After a few cold days that we couldn't go outside I concluded that whoever came up with the recipe for home-made playdooh should have received the Nobel Peace Prize. Caleb can play with that for hours and we went through the alphabet, numbers, numerous animals and the leaning tower of Piza. Johanna started laughing out loud - too adorable! Now the kids dance around her making silly faces trying to make her laugh. Rachel's favorite new thing is 'giving concerts' - we light some candles, turn out all the lights, and she dances around the room to the Nutcracker. Until next time....

1 comment:

larson fam said...

Just got caught up on your blog... my heart just breaks for the abandoned children of Russia (8 small babies in cribs, fed 2x a day, etc). Horrific. Thank you for the "reflective epistle", it helped to put some perspective on the situation. We will pray. My heart instinctively says - can I have all 8? I'll find a couple of friends to help me and we'll take them right now! Of course I know that's not really possible, but I wish for those kids to be delivered from their hospital/prison.

Blessings to you all and your own 4 adorable children -

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