Tuesday, December 29, 2009


We have been excited and waiting to tell you about an answer to prayer for a few weeks now, but have been unable to because our computer has not been working.

For more than a year now, we have been praying for a man named Vladamir Vonovich to get saved. Ever time someone questioned him about his salvation, he always pointed to his good works. He agreed to do Bible lessons. It did not seem like we would ever get through them. His wife is sick and bedridden, so he was not able to attend when he couldn't find someone to watch her. When we only had one lesson left, he did not come for at least 4 weeks. What a blessing it was on December 6th when he bowed his head to accept Jesus Christ at the end of the lesson. Now if you ask him about his salvation he will tell you that it is ONLY through the blood of Jesus! Thank you for your faithful prayers for Vladamir.

Today, Eric had the opportunity to visit Tamara's son, Ruselan, in the prison. When Eric, Tamara and Lina got there, they almost didn't let them in because of the holidays. Praise the Lord He made a way! Ruselan was very humble and open to talking with them. He feels like no one cares about him and has been very grateful for all the help we have given him. He does have a wife and two boys, but since he has been in prison his wife has lived with other men and hasn't visited him in a long time. We had given him some food and a Bible earlier (here the prison does not provide food). He said he was reading the Bible, but didn't understand anything. He said that he was interested in continuing to meet with us and willing to take Bible lessons through the mail. Please be praying for Ruselan.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Prayer Letter

Bible Lessons
Vladamir has still not finished his Bible lessons. We only have one lesson left, but it seems like there have been many hindrances to him coming. Pray that God would remove any hindrances so that he can finish his lessons. Most importantly, please pray that he would truly understand salvation and get saved.
A few Fridays ago we met a lady named Tamara who was searching for the truth. She came to our house the next day and talked with us from 8 AM until 3 PM. She then bowed her head and received Jesus Christ as her Saviour. She has been faithful to every service since then and is continually praying for her son's salvation. I will be going to visit her son in prison November 20th. His name is Ruselan.
In the lst letter we mentioned Lela, Kristina's mom. She has not started Bible lessons yet but we would still like to meet with her.
Church
Our church seems to have grown overnight. Not only has Tamara been faithfully coming, but also Ala, Boris, Yuri and Kristina. Yuri and Kristina are still living together but Yuri has openly admitted that it is sin and expressed the need for them to get married. Please pray that God will continue to work upon their hearts.
Since the time that Jessica talked with Tatiana, she has not come back to church. When we left her she was still very friendly but since then has gone out of her way to avoid us. We are still praying for her.
Witnessing Opportunities
God has continued to give me opportunities to witness in Russian, especially with the men working on our house. They all seemed very open to the Gospel but still no one has come to church.
Also, many of you have asked about Pasha. He is still working with me as a translator and he still talks with me about the Bible, but he still rejects God.
House & Registration
We have finally moved into our house in the village. There are still a few things needing to be done before winter, but we are enjoying our new home.
We are also working on getting registered at our new home as our registration runs out on December 24th. Pry that there will be no problems. We have recently heard that it might be possible for us to get a 3 year registration, which would be a huge blessing.
Family & Health
Both of the girls are growing up fast and are both healthy. Jessica was better for about 2 months after she came back from America but recently her coughing has started again. She is also having some breathing difficulties. Right now it isn't as bad as before but please pray that God will help us find a solution.




Thursday, November 12, 2009

Prayer and Prayer Updates

On the side column of our blog, we have added two new sections to better help you keep up with our prayer requests and praises. Thank you for praying!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Alexander

Eric arranged to meet with Alexander at 2pm. At 2, Eric called him and Alexander said that he had to do some paper work on his car but still wanted to meet with Eric sometime. Eric is going to call him and invite him to church on Sunday. Please be in prayer for this young man.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

A Call in the Night

Tonight as we were settling in for the evening, Eric received a call on his cell phone. All the guy said was, "Eric, call me back and I will explain who this is." Eric called him and the man said that his name was Alexander. Eric had met him in the market while passing out tracts and had talked with him for quite some time. Before he left, Alexander asked for Eric's phone number. Now about a month later he calls with a question, "Why doesn't God hear my prayers?". He called himself a Christian and said that he believed in God, but does not attend a church. Eric told him that the only way God will hear our prayers is through Jesus Christ and unless we are saved through Jesus Christ we are considered the enemies of God. Eric is planning on meeting with Alexander tomorrow. Please be in prayer for Alexander that God will continue to work upon his heart and for Eric to have wisdom as he meets with him.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Saved on "satan's Day"


Lina, Tamara, Jessica

October 31st, while most in America were preparing to celebrate Halloween, satan was trying desperately to keep control of a woman named Tamara. For 52 years she had been under his control, living in a home with a mom who practiced witchcraft and practicing it herself later. At the same time, she was searching for the truth. Seeking for answers through the Russian Orthodox church, a charismatic church, the Jehovah Witnesses...all telling her the same thing-she must do something for her salvation. They told her that right now her "gifts" were from satan, but that after she was "saved" she could use them for God. She came to our house Saturday, October 31st at 8:30 AM and talked until 3 PM. First she told of all of her visions, experiences, and "gifts" asking us if they were from God or from satan. She wanted to know "What is truth?" and "How can I KNOW that you are telling me the truth?". She pointed to a book she had brought and said that the man who wrote it was older than we were, so how could we claim to know more about the truth than him? Each time Eric would point her to what the Bible says. Near the end, she said "I believe you because you have not once said nice words to convince me, you have only pointed to the Bible." What a blessing it was when she said she wanted to receive Jesus as her Saviour! She bowed her head and prayed accepting Jesus into her heart but didn't stop there. She then prayed for her son, who is in prison for stealing, that he might find the truth like she had saying that she knew he was where he was because of her. So, on a day many consider "satan's day", satan lost control over another soul!

Friday, October 30, 2009

A Woman Seeking the Truth

One of our church members has been sick for about the past week and after evangelism today we stopped by to drop off some medicine, juice, etc. When we got to her house, there was a lady named Tamara there. Tamara is earnestly seeking for God and talked with us for about an hour. She told us that she was Russian Orthodox (like Catholic), but she also practiced (what sounded to us like) different forms of witch craft. She also told us that she had studied with the Jehovah Witnesses for a few lessons then told them that they were welcome to come visit but could no longer bring their materials because she did not believe that it was truth. She told Eric that she would tell him the same if she thought he wasn't preaching the truth. She was very anxious to talk with us and will be coming over tomorrow morning at 8:30 AM. Please be praying for her. She kept saying that she just wants to know truth. She said she has lived about 53 years and still does not know what life...especially hers, is about. Please remember to be praying for Tamara and also for Eric and Lina as they talk with her. He is going to try to get her to take Salvation Bible lessons.

Monday, October 12, 2009

In the Markets with the Blinded

The past few weeks have been a great encouragement for me as God has given me the ability to speak more and more fluently in the Russian language. This has given me the opportunity to witness more to people as I am out passing tracts and has also helped me see more clearly what the people I am ministering are like.

Now, when someone rejects a tract telling me that they are Orthodox (like Catholic) I ask "Why won't you take it? You believe the Bible right? This is only Bible about Jesus Christ." Some will take it after that, but most still reject it saying that they only believe the priest and what he says.

Pray for me that God will give me wisdom in dealing with a people who are blinded by religion.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

ALMOST FINISHED!


A corner in the kitchen...girls room on the left, living room/our room on the right


Entry way/dining area?


The girls' room

The kitchen going into the girls' room...the walls are the same color green. It's just the lighting.


Living Room

The bathroom is almost complete too. Just needs paint and the sink and toilet hooked up. It has a beautiful white floral tile on the walls and a cream floral on the floors (though, I don't think you would see the floral print in pictures because it is almost the same color as the tile). I am so thankful for the beautiful little house that God has given us and I can't wait to move in! I am like a kid asking "Are we there yet?". I think that it just might be the most beautiful little house in all of Ukraine!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Wordless Wednesday


Because you can't really see it in this photo, need to explain this picture...these boys were smoking outside of our apartment building.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Prayer Letter

Family & Health
First of all I would like to thank all of you who prayer for Jessica and the girls while they were traveling. Your prayers were definitely needed. We also appreciate your prayers concerning her health. She was able to visit a doctor while in the states and is doing much better. I ask that you would continue to pray for her though because she still has a little cough and I'm concerned that it could get as bad as before. Also, shortly after returning to the states Jessica miscaried our third child. We were both discouraged but we know God is in control and His plan is perfect.
House
My goal was to have the house ready before Jessica returned home, but there was just too much work to be done. We are making good progress though and we hope to be moved in by the end of September. Thankfully, the owner of our apartment has allowed us to stay one more month since he couldn't find anyone else to rent it. Thank you for your prayers. We know God intervened to allow us to stay here longer.
Bible Lessons
Vladimir has continued with his lessons and hopefully we will finish before our next prayer letter. Please pray for him that he will clearly understand the Gospel and trust in Christ and Christ ONLY for his salvation. It seems as though he understands better each time.
We have continued to disciple Yuri and Kristina, but as of right now, they are still living in sin. Pray that God will convict them and give them a desire to do right and live for their Saviour.
Church
In the month of August, one of our most faithful members, Emmanuel, left to continue his education in Sweden. He will be greatly missed as we are few in numbers anyway. Valentina, Lena, and Maxime are at church every service and others come sporadically. How nice it would be if everyone would come at the same time! Our midweek service has been moved to the village on Thursday night at Yuri's house. Usually we have more on Thursdays then we do on Sunday. Elena has been faithfully coming as well as her son Ivan. Please continue to pray for his salvation.
Tatiana has continued to come off and on. The last time she came, Jessica confronted her about her salvation. She believes that she is saved because she was baptized in the Jordan River. When Jessica talked to her about doing Bible lessons she asked why she needed them if she was already saved. Jessica shared verses with her and talked with her for about one hour. She then gave her some Gospel literature to read. Pray that she will realize that baptism will not save her and turn to Christ.
Witnessing Opportunities & Language
It seems that all through the month I have been given many opportunities to witness in Russian, especially to those who have been working on my house. One man named Alexander has expressed his frustration at the problems of life. He said that he is definitely interested in coming to church and was going to come this past Sunday, but had to help his father who was sick. I have witnessed to him and given him a Bible and some literature.
I also met a man named Vasily who was a Seventh Day Adventist. I talked with him about salvation and he has said that he would like to meet with me later.
Lastly, there was Lela, Kristina's mom. I only got to speak with her briefly, but she has invited me to come to her house and speak with her and her friends. Please pray for all of these that God has put in our path, for more doors to be opened, and for greater ability to be able to witness in their language.

Thank you for your faithful prayers for our ministry.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Updated pictures of the House

This is what the house looked like when the girls and I returned from America. A HUGE difference from the last time I saw it! Eric was working hard. Be praying for one of the workers. His name is Alexander. He said that he was going to visit our church on Sunday.
New Windows!

Kitchen then girls room

Kitchen...Look at the cute little table the workers found. You'll probably see that somewhere in the house later.

Corner in the girls room




Living room/our room


Bathroom

Sunday, September 6, 2009

House

video

Here is an old video of the house before Jess left for America.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Our Home

video

Right now, we don't have water or bathroom facilities. We started today by pulling up the floor and leveling it. We're hoping to have everything in livable conditions by the end of July or August.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Good News

We just received our registration; Yuri is allowing us to continue Bible lessons with them; AND we have the key to our new home! Thanks for your prayers!

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Yuri and Christina are again living together. Christina is under great conviction over this, but Yuri is against them separating because it will affect his business. He does not want to have to hire workers to work in his garden. They wanted to talk to us about it on Thursday. They said that it was too hard for Christina to live with her mom because they weren't saved. We offered for her to stay with us until they got married. I also offered to help Yuri with his plants and to drive Christina out to help. Yuri does not seem open and only wants us to say that what they are doing is okay. Please be praying for the Lord to soften Yuri's heart. Right now, he is very angry.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009


We have made a down payment on a house! The house is in the village where we do Bible studies right now. If everything is in order, we will be buying it by the end of the month and should be able to start work on it. It needs quite a bit of remodeling and water and sewer to be hooked up. There is also a vacant lot with a house next to the one we are buying. We are praying that God will open the door for us to buy that as well to use for the church.

God has also been doing a work in the hearts of Yuri and Christina. They are no longer living together. Please pray that they will stay separated until marriage. We will be talking to them about baptism on Thursday night.

Vladamir's Bible lessons are going well. Tatiana came back to church on Sunday, but did not stay for the Bible lesson.

Lastly, we have applied to be registered and they received our papers. We will get our passports back by the 23rd of June. This time was a little harder. I went 3 times before they finally took our papers.

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Sunday Lessons

Today we had a Bible lesson with Vladamir. Tatiana did not come to services or to the lesson. Vladamir has a very hard time with the fact that all sinners are the same before they get saved. A "good" man without Jesus has the same fate as a murderer. We studied the 10 commandments today and by the end of it he said that he definitely would go to hell. He still wants to justify himself though. We were surprised how alert and attentive he was. He wanted to argue after discussing each commandment. It was a lively lesson! PLEASE be praying that God will work upon his heart and bring him to salvation.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Stories of Salvation

Wednesday night was our last night with Elena. At the end of the lesson, Eric had Elena draw a time line. (when she was born, when she started school, when she started her first job, etc.). He then asked her if there was ever trusted Jesus. She pointed back to when she went to a charismatic church. She said that she had repented of her sins and believed in Jesus Christ to save her. She quickly got side tracked, though, so Eric then clearly expounded the gospel unto her and asked her again if there was a time when she had gotten saved according to the Bible. She pointed once again to the time at the charismatic church. Her testimony seems sound and we believe that she is saved, she just has very little knowledge of the Bible because of all the different churches she has been in. Pray for her to grow and to continue to attend services even though we questioned her.

Thursday night started out hectic and we clearly felt Satan trying to hinder the lesson from getting started. It took forever to finally get everyone to sit down. Christina ran out to do dishes, Max was running back and forth, Lydia and Anna were a little fussy, but finally we got settled. As soon as we sat down, a young man walked in, very proud and scornfull. Eric told him we could give him a Bible and one of the lesson books if he was interested. He snickered and said no. We asked him if he would like to sit in for the lesson, he again snickered and said no. He stood there for a little while, then sat down by Christina (we later found out that he was trying to get her to go outside and smoke with him). He eventually left, but Christina sat away from the group until Eric asked her to move in closer. When the lesson was finished, Eric had Yuri leave so he could talk just to Christina. He asked her if she was saved. She said no. Eric then asked her if she would like to get saved. Christina said, of course, BUT I'm too bad a sinner. I can't get saved. No one in the village will talk to me and they call me crazy because of all that I've done. Eric then shared with her Romans 10:13 "For WHOSOEVER shall call upon the name of the Lord SHALL BE SAVED." "What did that say Christina," he said. "It said whosoever. We are not any better than you without Jesus. We are all sinners. Look at some of the men in the Bible who got saved. Moses was a murderer. David was a fornicator and a murder. Paul murdered Christians." He then had Lina share her testimony with Christina. At the end, Christina was ready and repented of her sins, trusting only in Jesus Christ to save her.

Christina then left the room and Yuri came in (I left the room also to go fellowship with our new sister in Christ). Eric had Yuri pull out his time line. He asked him if there was a time when he had trusted Jesus as his Saviour. Yuri pointed to a time when he was in prison. He heard music, then a "whoosh" came over him and he had a glowing around his head. "Is this BIBLICAL salvation, Yuri," Eric asked. Yuri said that it wasn't, but still tried to justify it. Eric then brought him to Acts 10 and talked to him about Cornelius. The Bible says that he was "A devout man, and one that feared God with all his house, which gave much alms to the people, and prayed to God alway." Eric explained that Cornelius believed in God but he wasn't saved until Peter shared the Gospel of Jesus Christ with Him, because it is only through Jesus that you can be saved. Eric finished sharing a few more scriptures with Yuri and then he asked him, "Yuri do you really have Biblical salvation." He said "No, but I want to be saved. And I want to be saved according to the Bible." Yuri then in prayer repented of his sins and trusted in Jesus as the only way to get to heaven.

As you can imagine, there were many tears and much rejoicing in that little house Thursday night! We did not get home until about 1 o'clock in the morning!

Please continue to pray for them as they have much growing to do. Yuri and Christina are not married, but are living together.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

The last week has been an exciting and full week. Bible lessons on Wednesday and Thursday. Evangelism on Friday. Church on Sunday with Bible lessons following. Praise the Lord He keeps us busy. This is actually a pretty normal week for us. Though we need and desire your prayers every week and day, we are especially asking that you be praying with us today (Wednesday) and on Thursday. We will be finishing up Bible lessons with Elena today. She claims to be saved, but I have not heard her testimony. I believe she may simply be religious. Also, Yuri and Christina will be finishing their Bible lessons on Thursday. Christina doesn't claim Christianity but Yuri claims to be saved. Every time he shares anything remotely close to a testimony it doesn't line up with what the Bible calls salvation. Please pray for these three as we finish Bible lessons. The Bible lessons are very pointed and they bring a person to a point where they must make a decision. All have paid very close attention to the Bible lessons. Please pray that God would allow them to get saved.

Also we asked you to pray for a lady named Tatiana. On Sunday she came to church again. As we closed the services she saw that Vladimir was going to take Bible lessons and was interested in staying and taking them with him. When we finished she said it was very interesting and that she wanted to continue lessons. Please pray for both her and Vladimir. They are both religious, but I don't believe either one of them is saved. Right now they are only at thee beginning of their Bible lessons, so please pray for them every Sunday as we continue to expound the Scriptures to them concerning salvation that they might truly get saved.Elena
Christina & Yuri

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Prayer Letter

City Church
In our last letter we had mentioned having a Resurrection service. We had everything almost ready and were just getting ready to print out our invitations when our translator said that she and her husband would be gone that week. (Her husband is not told when his vacations will be until right before he gets one.) So, without our translator, our special service was canceled. We still had regular services on Sunday, which Pasha translated for, and regular Wednesday night prayer meeting, which we held without a translator. Elena is still coming to the Wednesday meeting and we will soon finish Bible lessons with her. Pray that she will make a decision for Christ. Also her son, Ivan, has stopped coming since he found a job, but we are still hoping to do Bible lessons with him as well. Pasha's mom, Ludmilla, also has not come for a while. Her employers are now wanting her to work 7 days a week. When she does get a Sunday off, she mentions coming, then doesn't because it's her only day off. And lastly, we have started Bible lessons with an older gentleman named Vladamir. He has been attending our church since we got here, but when I asked him about his salvation he told me what he knew about the Bible and that he was a good person. Pray that GOd will open his eyes to the Gospel of Jesus Christ as we share the scriptures with him. PLEASE continue to pray for all of these people.

Village Bible Study
Due to Lina being gone and an injury of Yuri's, Bible lessons in the village were canceled a couple times. We still went out to visit and help him during that time. He almost cries every time that we leave. At this last lesson, only Yuri and Christina were there. We were actually not even expecting Christina, but were pleasantly surprised to see her. She was very attentive and asked many questions. Pray for us during this time. Yuri's testimony is very unclear, and Christina does not claim to be a Christian. Please pray that Yuri and Christina will make a decision for Christ as we get ready to finish the Bible lessons in the next 3 weeks.

The Bible study is every Thursday evening at 6 PM (11 AM EST).

Visas & Registration
We experienced much trying of our faith on our trip to Poland as both girls were sick and Anna had stomach cramps the whole 12 hour trip. We seriously thought that we would have to take her to the hospital in Poland, but praise the Lord she recovered quickly after we arrived and the rest of the trip went well. We received our visas without any problems, and when we returned hoome, our registration as well. Our rental contract runs out in June, so we need to register again by the end of June, so please continue to pray for us concerning this.

Family & Language
I and both the girls seem to be in good health and Anna is no longer coughing, but Jessica still has a bad cough. The doctor said she has Bronchitis. Please pray that GOd would allow her to get better soon as many times she coughs all night. We are also looking to buy or rent a house in the village to help with both the girls and Jessica's health. The city is very polluted and I know it contributes to their health problems. So please pray that God would provide a place for us in the village.
As for the language, we have been able to converse a little more freely, though we still have our tough days when nothiing comes out right. It is exciting to see some progress though.
Also, we had requested prayer concerning thieves in our area. Thankfully we haven't had any problems with thieves the past two months. Thank you so much for your prayers concerning this.

Thank you for your faithful support of finances and prayer for our ministry.

"...Immediately we endeavored to go...assuredly gathering that the Lord had called us for to preach the gospel unto them." Acts 16:10

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Registration

Just a quick post to let you all know that our paperwork went through at ovir, and we now have our registration. Because our rental contract runs up in two months, we will have to register then too. Please continue to pray for us as deal with the paperwork needed to stay here.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

In our last prayer letter, we mentioned that we were having things stolen from us. Praise the Lord, we have not had a single problem since then! We know that many of you have been praying for us concerning this and we greatly appreciate it.

We had also asked you to pray for our special Resurrection services. Just as we were getting ready to print out the invitations, our translator told us that she would most likely be on vacation. Her husband is not saved and works for the military. He is not told ahead of time when he will get his vacations and found out only a few days before we did. Because of this, we were not able to hold a big service. We are still holding regular services with Pasha translating, but we will not be doing the village Bible study while Lina, our church translator is gone. We are also doing the Wednesday night prayer service without a translator while she is away. Please pray that God will enable us to be able to freely converse as we need to during these services.

Just recently we have started looking at buying a house again. We had no peace about buying a place last year, but this year prices for homes are much cheaper. We are specifically wanting a house in the region near the village where our Bible study is, or even in that village.

Thank you for praying!

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Comments

We received some emails from people not able to post comments. We changed the settings, so you should be able to post comments now.

A Walk to Church

video
Thought that you might enjoy taking a walk to our church. We are renting two rooms on the second floor of an office building. This video was taken before services this morning.

Bible Lessons with Vladamir


Today I started giving salvation based Bible Lessons to an elderly man who has attended our church. His name is Vladamir Vonavich. He is religious and claims to be saved, but every time I have talked to him and asked for his testimony, he starts telling me all that he knows about the Bible. He has head knowledge of Christ but he still wants to rely on his works. Please pray for him! Our Bible lessons will continue every Sunday after our regular services.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Visas



In our last prayer letter we mentioned that we had to take a trip to Poland to renew our visas. Besides the girls being sick at the beginning of the trip, everything went smoothly. We applied and received our visas in one day! We praise the Lord for safety traveling, smoothly receiving our visas, and for giving us a chance to get some rest.

In the next few weeks, we will be working on getting registered. Please pray that we will have no problems, otherwise we will have to leave the country again in 3 months. We will also be having to find a new place to get registered after two months. Pray that we will either have a home of our own by then, or find someone who is willing to register us.