Sunday, December 23, 2007

Wonderful Orphanage program!

Yesterday was the long anticipated program at the area orphanage. (where James teaches a weekly English lesson) I think James, Micah, Megan, Rachel & David and the other 7 youth that performed had as much fun as the children! There has been a young man Anatolli coming to the Bible studies for over a year. He had grown up in this orphanage and told James how special it was to be a part of giving gifts to the children. They did a very funny skit about the *elves* getting ready.. complete with shaving, brushing teeth, styling their hair etc. James said the teachers were laughing harder than the children and really seemed to enjoy the entire program.

Then James and Alona came out dressed as the traditional Father Christmas and Winter Princess. James said he had never done a program before where he sensed God really speaking to hearts as he spoke - He was able to share the entire Gospel from Adam and Eve to redemption through Jesus Christ. Pray for these precious children to personally know Jesus Christ.
Handing out the presents

Micah said she was ready to take this little girl home with her. I so love this picture - the orphanage director had told the children not to open their presents until they got back to their rooms.. but as you can see this little sweetie just couldn't help peeking.

to your left stands Rachel, David, Micah & Megan with a group of boys that wanted their picture taken for Christmas.

Please be praying for James, Andrei, Micah & Megan as we have a very, very busy week ahead. We have the names & addresses of over 100 families given to us by the city Administration. They'll be personally visiting each family and giving them a food basket, Bible and other gifts. Pray that Christ will be glorified here in Nara-Faminsk. And in case I don't get on here again.. Have a WONDERFUL celebration of our Savior's Birth!! Much love to all...

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

The new teachers in town!

The last two days Micah and Megan have been teaching English classes at the local school. What a fantastic opportunity!! All the classes from 11th grade down to 4th grade. Last night a group of students invited them to the local pizza place.. Micah said two of the youth asked questions for 45 minutes about the Bible, Jesus Christ and what they believed. Tonight one new girl Katya came to the Bible study after Micah & Megan taught in her class. And already most of the classes have said 'we heard about the English camp you did last summer.. we're coming next summer!' Please keep praying as the Christmas/New Year's Holidays are a wonderful time to share with people.

Micah in the center, Megan far right

Monday, December 10, 2007

The FL girls are coming!

Please note the box at the right-hand corner -------->

Instead of having to visit our blog on the internet you can now simply type in your e-mail address and every update will be sent automatically to your e-mail account. How's that for convenient! So PLEASE make sure and type in your e-mail address. (and many thanks to my computer brilliant friend Phyllis for her help!)

Please pray for our dear friends Micah & Megan as they board a plane in just a few hours to fly over and help out with the busy Christmas/New Year's ministries. Pray they have no *adventures* and stay healthy. They are such a huge help & blessings!!

We have very talented children...:)

And since life is all about learning something new.. I was quite amazed this morning to learn that it is possible for a two year old to eat an entire bowl of cream of wheat with a pair of chopsticks. And since I would not have believed it had I not seen with my own two eyes.. here is the pictorial proof...Please note the *stick and lick* technique.
We are studying China right now in school so James stopped at a Chinese restaurant and brought chop sticks home for everyone. If you really want to add entertainment to your evening meal pick up some free chop sticks... it's downright hilarious to watch a 4 year old eat peas with chop sticks... or as he calls them "chop-chops" :)

Happy Birthday Rachel!

I can NOT believe we have a NINE year old daughter!?!! It seems like yesterday precious Rachel came into our lives. We had a wonderful time celebrating the gift of her life.
We have a tradition that the birthday person makes their own cake.. Rachel made a 9 layer cake with white chocolate and strawberries in between - and yes it was as good as it sounds!
With her guests singing to her. And afterwards everyone went outside and had our dog Snowflake pull them on the sled.
I love you Rachel and am so proud of the loving, kind, amazing person you are! As James often says, 'what would this family do without Rachel?' We all think you're the GREATEST!!

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Adventure in Tajikistan

I have oft told James he should have his own reality TV show.. I mean seriously the stuff that happens to him on a regular basis. Weeks ago James phoned the Tajikistan Embassy in Moscow to ask about visa regulations. He was told since he was only staying 6 days he only needed his American passport and he could buy a visa at the airport once he landed in Tajikistan. James asked several times, 'You're sure I don't need a letter of invitation or any other document?' Nope nothing at all, just buy it at the airport when you arrive. (we've done this before when we went to Turkey). So James landed in Tajikistan, filled out the paperwork for a visa and headed toward customs. The customs official looked at his passport and asked 'where is your letter of invitation??' James explained what he was told by the Tajik Embassy. Nope you have to have a letter written by a citizen of Tajikistan. James was led to a room off to the side while his friend Costya ran to write out a letter of invitation. Wanting to be *official* Costya decided to get the Dushanbe's Baptist Church stationary and wrote the letter saying the church had invited James. When the Customs official read that 'no way, you're not entering our country.' No if, ands, or further pleading... So James ended up spending the next 16 hours in a little cement room with no heat, looking out the window at the beautiful snow covered mountains of Tajikistan. No food, no water, no toilet, not even a chair or pillow - nothing but cement walls.. he said it was a very *prison* experience. :) The next morning he was finally allowed back into the main part of the airport to wait for the next plane back to Moscow. (those hard molded plastic chairs never felt so good!!) So we have no idea why God put a love and interest in our hearts for the country of Tajikistan. It seems at least for our personal family this is a closed door. James said from what he saw and experienced first hand this would not be a country to take your family to live long term. But if nothing else this trip has made us more aware of what the Christians in this country experience daily. What a reminder to pray!

And since the past few days it seems we've had constant frustration, irritations, problems and the like.. I thought I'd end on a lighter note.. Tonight while reading about Abraham and the verse 'I will bless those who bless you..' Caleb piped up 'What does blessed mean?' David answered in his most authoritative voice, 'You know, you are blessed when you don't get the hiccups.' So to all those who love and pray for us.. Be Blessed! :)

Sunday, December 02, 2007

A little Geography Quiz

1. What country borders Afghanistan to the North?
2. What country has been inhabited continually since 4,000BC, having the Persian and Aryan Empires?
3. What country did James leave for this morning to visit for the next 6 days?

*****and the answer is *****

TAJIKISTAN - meaning in the Persian language 'Land of the Tajiks'. We have long been interested in the Tajik people; many of whom travel to Moscow to work and send the earnings back to their families. A few months ago a good friend Costya asked James about coming to open a Youth Center/Camp in Tajikistan. Costya grew up in Tajikistan but has spent the last several years in Moscow attending Seminary. He had planned to return to Tajikistan and start a drug rehabilitation center. As we have prayed and wondered why this invitation would fall in our laps... we felt led to pursue the opportunity. So this morning James boarded a plane to fly to Dushanbe, Tajikistan to spend a few days visiting the people, culture and the needs of the country. We have no idea what the future holds... it may be James will go down in August and run an English camp... or our whole family will move down there :).. or we may just try to help financially to assist Costya in opening a drug rehab center. Pray for protection for James, wisdom in ALL things, and pray for the people of Tajikistan. Oh and pray for the lonely Beairds that are missing a certain wonderful man tonight! And don't worry I'll post lots of pictures when he returns.. I can't wait to see myself. And if you want to do some very interesting reading.. google Tajikistan :)

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