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!

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