Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Pictures from English Camp

Great is thy Faithfulness! I keep singing this today.. God has answered so many prayers this past week. The English camp went very, very well! James was very excited because almost every single person at the camp was a completely new contact - they had never been to a Bible study or even met us before. The American group arrived back at our house late last night; ate.. slept.. and immediately left again this morning. I did manage to fanagle one person to download a few pictures (thank you Laura!). In a few days I will post more pictures and details. Thank you again for your prayers for the Camp.
James was so glad that two sets of parents came out to the camp. These parents spent the whole day and made a meal for the group. And the family lives just 10 minutes away from us!! We had never met before but they talked with James for a long time asking him questions about God.
Please note Mike's gourmet flipping technique.. he needs to be guest chef on the cooking channel.

above and below are pictures of looking up Bibles verses in an English/Russian Bible and making bracelets.

The Chess Tournament of the Century!!

Jamie is six months pregnant and received the Hero Award as all the Russians were amazed she went camping. I think Mary Kay should use this picture for a marketing campaign.. Wherever life takes you.. you can always find a Mary Kay Consultant! Seriously though, the youth loved getting manicures in the middle of the woods.
Volleyball and Capture the Flag were the camp favoritesThe knife throwing was also a big hit
Everyone loved the crafts!

Friday, July 20, 2007

Please pray for the English Camp

Late Wednesday night the Texans arrived in Nara-Faminsk. Our van is broken so we had a friend pick them up at the airport.. a friend that can't speak a work of English. They said the ride from the airport was quite amusing.. they got out their little Russian phrase book and started asking questions... they concluded from their *conversation* that the driver was 38 years old and had no children - now I was amused because he's actually in his late 50's and has a son. :) They left the next morning for camp - please pray for this team - Mike, Jamie, Laura, Jon, Marcus & Rebekah and the group from Florida - Micah, Megan, Rebecca & John Michael. I talked to James briefly and he reported that camp was going great. The weather is wonderful - huge praise! There are also more than the first camp - I'm guessing around 45 people? (haven't heard the exact count). Please pray for wisdom, protection and the Holy Spirit to work in people's lives.

It's been very special for me to have these fantastic young people in our home. (well for a few hours/meals anyway). What a living example and influence for our young children to see up close. One young man Marcus came through the door for breakfast, scooped up Caleb and began playing with him... Caleb now adores Marcus and has asked every day when is he coming back. After breakfast while I frantically ran around making copies and last minute details I looked outside and there was Marcus and the boys playing baseball - just had to get a picture.
The night before James was gone so John Michael filled in as the *tickle Monster*

And since there's a Nana out there that loves cats.. thought I'd include a picture of our kitty. We got her a few weeks ago and the kids named her Fluffy. Today Rachel informed me she was no longer Fluffy because she had to have a Russian name... so let me introduce you to the latest member of our family.. Irena the cat.
And keep us here on the *homefront* in your prayers. Yesterday evening we were playing with friends in front of the house; Caleb got *tagged* by an older girl and fell backwards hitting his head on a rock. There was quite a bit of blood so the other Mother started screaming at the top of her lungs and called the ambulance. (hmmm I now consider myself in comparison the very *calmest* of Mommys :) Caleb was fine and greatly enjoyed the ambulance Dr. cleaning him up and telling him how tough he was. If I remember correctly this is the 5th time we've called the ambulance.. four of the times were for Caleb. I guess there's one in every family. The ambulance visits usually cost $2.00, but yesterday the Dr. wouldn't even take any money... if we ever leave Russia I will greatly, greatly miss the ambulance service!!

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Camp Pictures!

2007 will go down in history as the Camp of the Mud! I still haven't been able to sit down and talk with James for more than 10 minutes - he is busy running around trying to get our van running and things ready for the next English camp starting the 19th. He did however report that God did amazing things in people's lives. Five youth accepted Christ! The Bible studies went very well, and much truth from God's word was sown in these lives. God protected, gave grace, strength, wisdom and answered so many prayers! THANK YOU for praying!! Your love for these young people shown through your prayers, concern and giving is a huge blessing to us. I can't wait for one day in heaven to get to *introduce* you to some of these young people. 2 Thessalonians has been really special to me lately.. 'But the LORD is faithful, who will establish you and guard you from the evil one. And we have confidence in the LORD concerning you, both that you do and will do the things we command you. Now may the LORD direct your hearts into the love of God and into the patience of Christ.' God has shown himself so very faithful in the midst of many uncontrollable circumstances.. thank you Heavenly Father!

Megan said after the mud battle they ran down the hill into the lake to wash off.. she said it was like a re-enactment of the swine racing over the hill.. heh!

Rebecca waving from the camp bus

This picture of John Michael cracked me up.. quite an ingenius set-up he devised to dry his clothes over the campfire!

They found a hedgehog, which soon became the camp Mascot

Darlene the strawberry marshmellows were such a hit! Thanks again - I love this picture of Megan.

Chef James making his famous spaghetti... I really think he should open an Italian Cafe some day when we retire.

I saw this picture of Micah and promptly put *vegetable peeler* on my shopping list.. for the next camp at least she'll have something less dangerous looking

The World Championship of arm wrestling.. the Russians won!! :) Umm McCloy's if you see this better practice up...

Thank you Father for the opportunity to invest in people's lives for eternity!

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Camp Update

Praise the Lord for His grace & mercy! The first three days of camp were cold, rainy and overcast... really difficult to *get things going*. However the last three days have been just beautiful!! Hot, sunny and beautiful blue skies. The three American girls all deserve medals of bravery/endurance/courage for what they went through with all the rain and cold the first few days! James said he was disappointed at first that some of the youth decided not to go because of the bad weather.. but he said the camp was going great and they were enjoying really good Bible studies. He said it was almost easier with a smaller group to focus more on one-on-one time of talking with the different young people. Thank you so much for your prayers!!!! Please keep praying.. specifically that the great weather will continue, for kitchen help (the young man James was going to pay to run the kitchen never showed up), protection and most of all that God will work in people's lives.

Report from the home front: Last night was major *missing Daddy night*. The boys woke me up at 2:00am - Caleb informed me that Daddy needed to come home 'right now!!!' And David insisted that '10 days is just way too long a time..' So we all snuggled in bed and missed Daddy together :) And don't you know that was a realllll restful night in between Caleb sticking his feet under my chin and David breathing down my neck. Anyway, I decided this morning we needed a major diversion so I decided to take the kids swimming at a nearby lake. Sometimes I seriously think I need my head examined... our van only goes in first gear right now and keeping track of five kids in water isn't exactly restful (we've adopted Rachel's friend Olga for the summer); but we loaded up and puttered down the road at 11 mph to the lake. We had such a good time!! On the way home we even stopped at McDonald's for ice cream cones. I decided to let Johanna have a go at her first ice cream cone alone.. as we drove into the driveway I heard Rachel laughing, 'Look JoJo looks like a snowman' I turned around to this lovely sight... In closing all I have to say is.. TWO.MORE.DAYS!!! May they pass quickly.... :)

Monday, July 02, 2007

Please be praying!

A few weeks ago as we discussed getting ready for camp I told James 'every year the week before camp the van breaks down and the computer crashes' - this has happened every.year.for.the.past.three.years. So James took the minivan in, fixed a few little struts and made sure it was in tip-top shape. This weekend he went to Moscow to buy supplies and was driving back with a completely packed van... it died... he finally made it home hours later after driving home in first gear. Last week our computer crashed.. finally got it working again. It has not rained for 5 weeks.. today James went out to sent up the tables, tents and get organized at the campsite. We had a huge hailstorm, torrential rain and high winds. All this to say.. we really, really need your prayers for camp! Every year we feel this way - we plan and prepare and then realize Almighty God is the only one that can change people's hearts and lives. It is 'not by might, or power, but by MY SPIRIT' that anything of eternal value will happen at the camps. Please pray for these young people. I can't type this without crying.. yesterday as I was out walking with the kids I saw 16 year old Masha. Three years ago Masha went to camp; she came home and started reading her Bible and coming to the Bible studies. Her Mom (an alcoholic) refused to let her continue coming to the Bible studies and even physically punished her for reading her Bible. As we passed her on the road yesterday Masha now looks like she barely weighs 80 lbs., her eyes had huge black bags under them and you could see the needle marks in her thin arms.. she's become a heroin addict. The emptiness in her eyes as I said hello to her still haunts me even now. There are so many *Mashas* I pass by every day.. pray that God will give protection, wisdom, understanding, and most of all draw people to salvation. Camp will begin this Friday the 6th and run through the 15th. We'll have another English camp the 19th - 23rd. There are three young ladies flying in tomorrow from Florida - pray for Micah, Megan & Rebekah. 'Greater is He who is in you than he who is in the world.' 1 John 4:4

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