Friday, August 17, 2007


James' surgery went super! They were able to do the 'no cut' arthroscopic surgery (that's loosely translated... prolly better technical term?) anyway, the Dr. said everything looked great and James should be up and WALKING in 3-4 days. Amazing what moderm medicine can do as James hasn't been able to bear weight or even straighten his leg for almost 3 weeks! Thanks so much for your prayers. Hoorah it's over!

Thursday, August 16, 2007

James Update

James went to see the surgeon yesterday and finally got some good news.. they were able to squeeze him in for surgery tomorrow morning!! Huge praise as the entire hospital is being shut down for renovations next week. Please pray for James as his surgery is at 8:00am Friday morning.. if anyone has insomnia tonight that's midnight EST - you can stay awake and pray! :) Thanks so much for your love and prayers!
Saturday we celebrated our big boy Caleb's 4th birthday! What a special celebration! Poor guy had all girls for the guest list, just like David. We had lots of fun playing water balloon games and the feed each other a banana blindfolded was a huge hit. I am so thankful God entrusted precious Caleb into our lives. I just know God has some very special plans for this little *fireball's* future.
Here's Johanna watching a game.. I was getting Johanna dressed for the party in her little pink & white sundress when Caleb walked in the bedroom... he let out a long 'ahhhhhhh' and then exclaimed 'Josie, you look sooooo boo-ti-FUL'. Made me happy that even though he's only 4 he recognizes true beauty! ;)

Saturday, August 11, 2007

one more thing...

I meant to add to the post below... Lovely Laura has some great pictures and write-up on her blog -

I enjoy her writings so much I keep wondering.. can you hire someone to write your own blog?? hmmmmm...

Please pray for our dear friend Lena. She's the very first person that got saved at camp four years ago and has been a real leader in the Bible studies. She had planned to help out with camp but then the beginning of July her Mom was diagnosed with a very aggressive form of cancer. She traveled with her Mom up north to a well know cancer center for some special treatments. Well early this morning James got a call from Lena at the airport... her Mother had passed away a few minutes after their plane landed. It was a huge shock as they did not think she was that weak. Please pray for Lena as this will be an extremely difficult time for her and her brother. Pray that we will know how to comfort and help out in whatever way we can.

Ohh and one more story whilst I'm typing.. After camp we had a huge *to do list* of things we had let slide while James was at camp; and then James hurt his knee so we slid further behind. Our sink needed fixed and James planned to do it himself but just couldn't with his knee.. he finally called a plumber who said he would send out his new assistant in the morning. The next morning 25 year old Colya arrived and started working on the sink. James sat on a chair nearby and started talking... before long Colya was telling how he grew up in an orphanage after his parents were killed in an accident when he was 5 year old. He suffered some terrible difficulties and was then sent to a military academy. He was selected to be in an elite sniper unit and sent off to Chechenya. As I sat listening to Colya & James talk for hours I suddenly realized that if James had not hurt his knee we would have never met up with Colya. Furthermore.. with all the many projects James had planned I seriously doubt he would have had an entire morning free to just sit on the deck and talk to this needy young man. What a great reminder it was for me to not let my endless projects and *to do* list get in the way of the one and most important thing.... people.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Pray for James

I really should have posted this last week.. but our internet server kept going down. Anyway, a week ago Sunday James was playing basketball and hurt his knee. It's been an interesting week as we've run around trying to find a MRI machine and a Doctor. Part of the culture here is the *August vacation*.. the first 3 weeks in August everything comes to a grinding halt - here in our city they completely shut down the vodka factory and the large machine shop and everyone takes their summer vacation at the same time. Well this week we found out that all the Doctors take their vacations now too! We called and made an appointment.. drove to the city (our city of Nara-Faminsk doesn't have a MRI) and were then informed that the Doctor was 'on holiday.' We finally were able to hunt down a working MRI machine but then the technician just gave us his opinion - there was no Doctor available to consult with afterwards. Hmmm for some reason walking down the halls of a deserted hospital with only cats roaming around struck me as quite fascinating... if all the Doctors go on holiday that means no one gets sick.. right??! Note to self: don't get sick in Russia the first of August. After a week of frustration we finally found a Doctor to look at the MRI and we were told James will need surgery - the sooner the better. One huge praise was that it wasn't the major ACL ligament that was torn.. it was a smaller one and also there is a bone chipped off from his knee cap that is floating around causing pain & inflammation. We did finally track down a highly recommended surgeon that is actually working.. James has an appointment next Wednesday and hopefully the following week will have the arthroscopic surgery.

Well before the stream roller came through to flatten our lives - hehe! we actually had the most amazing Sunday. A singing group of youth from Nemchinovka Church came out to sing and join our Bible study. It was so great to see these grown up young people that James had been the Youth Pastor of waaayyy back in '98-99. What joy to hear of the Bible studies they are leading, the Universities they have graduated from and the sphere of influence God has given them in the city of Moscow. It was fun to think back to when they would come to our apartment every week and pass baby Rachel around on their laps... this time they ooohed & ahhed over Johanna. We also met the most amazing man David from Cameroon (he works at the Cameroon Embassy). David gave his testimony and our youth really seemed to enjoy the songs, sharing, & fellowship. Our David was completely taken with the 'African David' as he told him a bunch of snake and jungle stories.. it was too cute to watch. The best part was that three girls from the English camp came for the first time!! We were thrilled to see that the friendships developed over the camp had made them interested in the Bible studies. Pray they will keep coming.
Our house seems very empty, quiet & lonely after the wonderful young people we had here helping with camps. I still can't get over what a huge blessing they were to our lives.. and lots of others. We sure hope they can come again next summer... our entire city miss ya'll!! (Micah & Megan - the fruit lady keeps asking about you! :)
Oh and if anyone is interested Micah made a video of the Nemchinovka Church singing... click this link to view it on youtube.

I need to put more videos on the internet - gives you a little *window* into our world. Thanks to all for their prayers, love & concern.
Just had to include one more picture.. this young lady used to carry Rachel around at church when she was a baby. Also for anyone reading this that was at the MTC way back when.. to the left is Timothy Averken (Nicolai Epishin's nephew) and playing the guitar is Zhenya Popovich.

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