Friday, April 25, 2008

Visa Update

Thanks to all who have been praying for us regarding our current visa situation!   God's answer has been to *wait* a bit longer... :)  We've been told the paperwork will leave Moscow on Monday and then it will take a few days to be processed at the Russian Embassy in Houston.  We will have to change our plane tickets, most likely to May 7th.  We are hoping to get back home before the big May 9th holiday weekend.

As disappointed as we were about the cost of changing tickets, we did have some WONDERFUL news yesterday - the sale of the Youth Center is completed!!!  We now are the happy owners and have the right to fix up, change and use the facility however we see fit.  The paperwork has been a looonnggg two years in the making (I should mention that everything takes longer over there!) so we are very happy that God worked out every single detail.  Andrei said the youth are so happy and have been working all week removing trash from the grounds, cleaning, planting flowers, fixing the fence - he said we won't recognize the place when we return.  May God use this little wooden house as a testimony of His character and love... and may many people come to study the Bible.

I ran across an interesting 7 minute video in today's edition of the New York Times titled A crackdown on Russian Protestants.   The video can viewed at     and then scroll down to the left hand bottom corner.  (sorry I had a problem with the link.. one day I'll figure out how to do that pretty)

I thought this video did an excellent job of showing how people of Protestant faith are treated like the dreaded *sects* and lumped together with Moonies, Jehovah-Witnesses, Scientology and anyone who is not Orthodox.  Also how they explained that many Russians believe that American Protestants are trying to influence Russians and change them from their Russian Orthodox roots and therefore weaken Russia as a nation.   We need so much wisdom in talking with people and sharing with them why we live and believe what we do and why we have chosen to live in Russia.  And we hope one day people will stop calling James 'James Bond' and believing he works for the CIA. :)  Anyway, if you have 7 minutes it is very informative.

Thanks again for your continued love & prayers!   

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Please be praying!

Well we're in need of a miracle!  I know it's always a good thing to be completely dependent on Almighty God to lead, guide, direct and miraculously provide when humanly speaking things just *aren't gonna happen*.   We find ourselves yet again in such a position...

We have plane tickets to return to Moscow next Tuesday the 30th - but we have no visas.  Every day last week James talked with the man getting our work permit.. 'the paperwork will be here tomorrow.'  Well many *tomorrows* came and went and we're still waiting.  This Wednesday is the deadline and if we haven't received it by then we'll have to change our tickets and fly out whenever ?? an extra week, two weeks, months ?? (did I fail to mention I don't like unknows?)  So we wait and pray.  If you think of it we'd appreciate some prayer warriors alongside us :)

In other news... Andrei back in Russia has amazing news reports every time we talk with him.  Andrei was invited (amazing string of events) to teach twice a month in the local public school about "Religion and how to know God".   Some youth that were saved at camp but do not live in Nara-Faminsk have started their own Bible study in their apartments.  Andrei talks with them every week to give them ideas, encouragement etc.  So as much as we are aching to be back home we realize that God will continue to work in people's lives even when we're on this side of the ocean.  Thanks again for your prayers and loving, faithful support for our family.   We are so humbled by all people have done for us in the past 3 months.

What Pastors do when they retire...

YEEEHAAAA!!  After over 40 years of preaching Pap finally gets to take a break and spend a whole week loving on his Grandyoungins... twas bliss!
Caleb even managed to get Gran in on the action
What an incredibly special week.. and what wonderful Grandparents we've been blessed with!

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