Sunday, October 17, 2010

Fall Update

Time for an update! It's always nice to get into the routine of school again. We've got a 6th, 4th, 2nd and a busy preschooler this year.. fun times. James is enjoying teaching at the orphanage and sitting around afterwards answering lots and lots of questions about life, God, the Bible, purpose for living. We are so thankful for this open door.

Bible studies continue at the youth center. Right now James is going through the book of John. It's so neat to see the changes in people's lives and how excited they are to share their faith.

I've been thinking a great deal lately about the word "Redeemer". A few weeks ago was the one year anniversary of your neighbor Dima's death. It was a very sad week and we spent some time visiting with Dima's parents Olga & Zhenya. I kept thinking back
to a little over a year ago when Zhenya openly showed how much he disliked us ~ never waving, never talking. Now they bring us plum jelly and we have spent hours and hours talking in the back yard and sharing our lives. Zhenya decided a few months ago to quit his job performing abortions. This had been his profession for 25 years and it was a very well-paying job at one of the largest hospital in Moscow. Now he's working as a regular Dr. for a fraction of the salary. When James asked him about quitting his job he simply answered 'you can't believe that God exists and perform abortions.' To see how drastically their lives have changed still just amazes me.. to see Olga attending a Bible study with her Bible open and taking notes.. to see how all the other neighbors talk about the changes they see.. truly they have been Redeemed - they have been bought back, saved from a life of sin and it's consequences.

In other news ~ the Beairds are headed to the States for the next four months. We are looking forward to speaking at two different mission conferences and hope to see many of you as we travel. If anyone knows of a church, sunday school, Awana group, etc. that would like to hear about Russia please contact us ~ we will be in Texas and Pennsylvania and any states in between those two that want to hear about Russia. :)

Thank you again for your love and prayers for our family! And I'll leave you with a picture of our precious Johanna Joy that turned five last week ~ not the best picture but the sweetest five year old in Europe!!

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Prayer requests

You may have read the news reports about the terrible drought and forest fires Russia is experiencing. Last week was miserable as the heat was over 100 and the smoke was so bad you couldn't go outside or more importantly open your windows to get a bit of relief from the heat.
We had 3 glorious days of no smoke earlier this week and then yesterday the smoke rolled back in.. here's the view from our window at noon. (it was worse last week, but it was so bad I didn't dare open the window to take a picture.. ha!)
Experts are saying we could experience this toxic smoke for another two months - I am really hoping they are wrong.

Some other prayer requests:

1. Our next door neighbors Olga & Zhenya - in two weeks it will be the first year anniversary of their son's death.

2. Home-school will be starting up Monday - I'll have a 6th grader, 4th grader, 2nd grader and Johanna will be going to a Russian pre-school three mornings a week (where all the other kids went until they turned 7). Usually at the end of the summer I've enjoyed a break and am refreshed and motivated to get back into schooling.. however, I'll be honest, this has been such a difficult summer that instead I'm quite exhausted and am not feeling ready to start another school year. So pray that somehow miraculous over the next 48 hours I would get excited & refreshed. :)

3. kids health - Rachel has coughed for a month now. Please continue to pray that the smoke clears up quickly

4. James for wisdom as English class at the orphanage begins the first week of September and for the various Bible studies each week at the Youth Center.

5. Pray for the new believers that they would continue to come to the Bible studies and grow in their faith. Also pray for the youth that went to camp but that don't live in Nara-Faminsk during the school year, that they would find a church to attend.

English Camp report

Thank you for praying for camp! James said it went great and God worked in hearts and completely changed young people's lives. James said he knew of 12 youth that repented. I remember the day I went out to visit, I saw a young man off by himself reading a Bible... to think that many of these youth read a Bible for the very first time in their life makes me want to literally jump up and down with joy! :) May God be glorified in these lives.
Here's the bus getting ready to leave. One of the best things about camp is that we get to meet so many of the parents and have a chance to become friends. Many of the parents who were very skeptical, almost afraid to let their child go to camp later thanked James and told him how much they appreciated this opportunity provided for their child.

Here's Raymond giving his acceptance speech after getting voted best singer
Please pray for this girl on the left - 16 year old Svieta. The day after they returned from camp her father died of cancer. James and several of the others from camp were able to go to his funeral. Svieta's mother died when she was young, and now the only family she has is an elderly Grandmother.

lots of guitar playing and singing
games around the campfire
lots of volleyball
I loved this picture of Megan showing Caleb how to shoot
I think we could win an international competition for 'world's scariest camp cook'.. but no one got sick :)
James has added a special 'new believers' weekly Bible study so please pray as many of these young people want to get baptized. Also if there is anyone (or church) out there that is interested in coming over next summer to help out with camps please contact us.. it's a huge blessing to have a team from the States come over and help, and I *think* they are the ones blessed beyond measure. :) And if you're not interested.. maybe pray about becoming interested? ::wink:: Thanks again for everything you do for our ministry!

Thursday, July 15, 2010


Today I took the kids out to visit James at camp ~ we had a wonderful day! The weather has been very hot, and not a drop of rain... James has never.ever.ever. in the history of 10 years doing camps NOT had it rain. There are over 70 youth and many are reading a Bible for the first time in their lives and hearing the truth of God's love for them. Please continue to pray for protection and for God to change lives.
Here's Ksenya leading one of the small group times
I was up on the riverbank watching the kids swim and overheard Megan and this girl having a great discussion about God and faith. It is such a huge blessing to see this group of Americans who have come over to help ~ they are so passionate about God and so willing to share. A real example to me. Please pray for Micah, Megan & Ethan Hodges and Raymond and Josh as they will be here until the beginning of August.
lunch ~ and we picked a great day to visit it was borsht instead of fish head soup
my kids want to adopt Raymond and keep him over here...
David on the rope swing
(note to grandparents.. this looks more dangerous than it was :)
Caleb having the time of his life ~ everyone was amazed at how good he was with the boat
Caleb on the rope swing
Johanna enjoying ice cream break

Camp will end of Sunday and I'm sure I'll post more stories and pictures then. Thank you for your prayers!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Lots of prayer requests!

Well it's been crazy busy as the summer always is.. James finished up his last teaching day at the orphanage last week and said goodbye to the youth (they were heading down south to a camp by the black sea). The Director who wasn't all too friendly when James started in the fall thanked him and said 'see you September 1st'. We are very thankful for this open door!

Sumer = Camp :) This Saturday James is heading out to a children's camp where he'll be working as a counselor and helping out with English lessons. Rachel, David & Caleb have been counting down the days & bouncing off the walls with eager excitement. They're also busy learning Bible verses to pay their own way.. a great summer tradition. Pray for them as the camp runs June 26 - July 4. What will I do for an entire week with just ONE child?!!?

Okay on to the prayer requests.. because we've got a LOT :)

1. James' back ~ two days ago James was getting out tents from storage and somehow hurt his back. He went to the chiropractor today and the Dr. said it's bad enough to need an MRI (scheduled tomorrow). Please pray that this will not be serious enough for surgery & for quick healing. James has never had any type of back pain/injury before so it's hard to see him in so much pain.

2. Visas ~ our current visas end in August. We filled out enormous amounts of paperwork last year and applied for temporary residency.. and got denied. Should we continue paying large amounts of $$ and keep trying to get one year visas... ? *sigh* Let's just say paperwork and visas are enough to cause a considerable amount of stress here.. so just pray! We really need wisdom as we don't even know if it will be possible for us to get a one year visa again as the laws and requirements are always changing. The fun thing about living here.. if you don't like a law just wait three months.. it will change! :0

3. Camps ~ Children's camp June 26th - July 4th
~ Regular tent camp July 9th - 19th
~ English Camp July 22nd - 27th
Pray for good weather, lots of mature helpers, a good cook for the kitchen, and most of all for God to change lives.
~Day camp at our house August 9 - 13th This was supposed to be in June, but we had two solid weeks of rain, so we're going to try again in August. Pray as this is such a great opportunity to share with the neighborhood children.

4. Susan's health ~ I got bloodwork results this week that were not the greatest, so continue to pray for my thyroid/health issues.

And I'll leave you with a picture from Father's Day. 'Oh how great is the LOVE the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called the children of God!' May you rejoice today in the lavish abundance of your Father's love for YOU!

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Prayer Requests

Yesterday afternoon a young man who had been to summer camp was killed in a motorcycle accident. Here's a picture of Valyara taken 4 years ago out at camp. This is the third death this past year of a young person who has been out at camp ~ so tragic. James, Andrei and Ksenya went to the funeral this afternoon and many of the young people were talking about how glad they were that Valyara knew Jesus personally. Pray that we'll have an opportunity to talk with Valyara's friends and Mother. He was an only child and just 18 years old.
Also our dear friend and ministry partner Ksenya would appreciate prayer for her Father. He has been diagnosed with an aggressive form of bone cancer and has been given just a few weeks to live. Ksenya was talking about how God worked in her family ~ her 7 year old sister came home a few years ago with a children's Bible and stories of going to a children's Bible party and how she repented. She kept sharing with her Mom and urging her Mom to read the Bible.. her Mom ended up getting saved. Then Ksenya and her teenage brother started reading the Bible.. and after a year they were all believers... all because of a children's Bible and a seven year old who's life was changed.

Thank you for your love and continued prayers for our family!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Almost Spring Update!

Past time for an update! I can't believe it's March already ~ I've been trying to get lots of school done now while the weather is yucky as I know once Spring arrives the kiddos will be distracted to say the least. :)

One exciting thing that happened the end of January was that James was contacted by an orphanage Director and asked to start a weekly English lesson. He had visited the orphanage regularly several years ago but then rules changed and no one with a non-Russian passport was allowed to visit. So James has been spending every Thursday afternoon giving a lesson and then staying afterwards and talking with about a dozen youth ages 14-17. It's fast becoming the highlight of the week. Still different Bible studies on Tuesday, Wednesday and Sunday. James is also still visiting the drug and alcohol rehab center. One of the young men James was working with was having terrible hallucinations one night and ended up running away (with no shoes or socks on!) He was picked up by the police and put in a mental hospital. Talk about an experience ~ but now two weeks later he is doing great. So neat to see changed lives and getting to hear these young men talk about how for the first time in their lives they are free from addiction! Some of them said they began drinking heavily when they were 10 or 11 years old so it was the only way of life they knew.
March 8th is a huge holiday here - International Women's Day. We had a special party at the Youth Center. I wanted to tell you about Stas the young man to the left of James (plaid shirt & goatee). He has been helping out at the Youth Center for almost two years now and has such a neat testimony of God working in his life. Seven years ago he and his wife were expecting their first child when his wife was hit and killed crossing the street. Stas had a nervous breakdown and tried several times to take his own life. He then decided to become a monk so went off to study in a Russian Orthodox Monastery for several years. He was some type of 'Assistant/Helper' (sorry don't know the official correct word) at the local Orthodox Church when James met him and invited him to come to a Bible study. Stas said he loved coming because the Bible study had such good personal application for him. So he's been coming for two years now and it's been so great to see how his life has changed. He was in charge of the entire Women's Day program and did such a good job.
A game where everyone was asking James questions
Caleb and James playing a game together
Rachel, David, Caleb and Svieta skiing down our road
Rachel has loved going to a dance school ~ she does Russian traditional, classical ballet and history of classical music. They had their first big program and she did so great! She's on the right just in case you don't recognize her underneath all that blue eyeshadow ;)

Our deepest gratitude for all your love and prayers for our family. Blessings!

Thursday, January 07, 2010

Merry Christmas!!

Today is Orthodox Christmas and we've had a wonderful celebration of our Savior's birthday. In the words of Caleb 'Jesus is so important HE gets two birthdays' :) May you be filled with AWE today to think that God is with us ~ Emmanuel. James, Ksenya & Olga are visiting poor families and giving out fruit and gifts. Pray they will be able to share Christ with these people.
We went sledding and for a glorious walk in the woods ~ it was -14 and James & I were freezing.. I think our kids are half polar bears and they kept begging us to stay out for another hour.
Our most beloved Dadushka (Grandfather) came over to bring us homemade raspberry jam and pumpkins. We adore him.
Johanna runs to him screaming 'my Dadushka, I lubs you!!!'
The ballet school Rachel goes to had a special Yolitchka or New Year's tree program. (Because Christmas wasn't celebrated for almost 75 years everything focuses on New Year's ~ New Year's tree, New Year's presents etc.) Here Caleb just got done shaking hands with a snowman and Johanna is in the red dress ~ she was very impressed with everything.
The teachers dressed up and did songs and dances.
Here's our kids with the cast of characters ~ Doesn't David look thrilled to be there?! He actually had a great time.
Johanna at the playground
Caleb at the beloved sliding hill ~ a very fast sheet of ice.. he loves it and could happily spend all day here regardless of -18 temperatures
David at the hill and Johanna & James in the background
Our sweet dog Nida trying to give David a kiss
David is always so sweet to his little sis
Rachel and Nida
David, Rachel and her friend Svieta playing in the snow

God bless each of you as you enter a New Year. May each of our lives bring Glory to God!

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