Monday, November 29, 2010

Ruselan - Prison Visit

I visited with Ruselan today. At first I wasn't sure whether I would get to meet with him or not, but we were allowed to see him. He is no longer in prison, but in a 'prison farm'. Because of this we were able to meet with him face to face, without the glass between us. This made the visit much easier. He seemed sincerely interested in continuing his Bible lessons. We agreed that it would be better to continue the lessons in person rather than through the mail. We are praying that God will make a way for us to meet with him in a private room instead of in the open visitor room. Ruselan said that he would talk to the warden about it.

Please be praying for these visits with Ruselan. He is on a 'prison farm' on the other side of the city from us which means it will take an entire day with one way travel more than 1 hr 1/2. How exciting it would be if God opened up even more doors there! Ruselan has already mentioned that his 'roomate' just lost his mother. Pray that God will give us grace with the prison wardens and open doors.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Sweet Spirit

There has been such a sweet spirit in the church the past few weeks. After the many weeks of divisions and strife, it is very refreshing.

Alina has not been to church for a couple of weeks. Two weeks ago she didn't come because Yuri and Christina couldn't come and last week her great-grandmother wouldn't let her come because her grades at school were bad. Please pray that she will be able to continue coming to services. She was so excited when she was coming.

Yuri and Christina seem to be growing by leaps and bounds. Yuri is always bragging about how Christina is trying to be a godly, submissive wife and they have also been putting money in the tithe box at church. Money has had a very strong hold on them and in the past they would skip church if they had a chance to make more. After they started being more faithful to church, God provided them with steady work that does not hinder them from attending services!

I headed into the city on Tuesday to go visit Ruselan, but Tamara called as we were heading out and said that he was not able to receive us on that day. Lord willing, I am planning on visiting him this upcoming week. Please continue to pray for this visit.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Prayer Letter

Church & Bible Lessons
In our last letter we mentioned that an elderly neighbor of ours, Baba Nora, was interested in doing Bible lessons. We keep in contact with her on a regular basis and she has been recently making comments like "You have your religion and I have mine. And I will die in mine." She is still very friendly with us and our prayer is that she will still allow us to do Bible lessons with her.

We had also mentioned a couple named Ina and Valodia. Although they have not been to church since our last letter or expressed a desire to meet with us, Ina's oldest daughter, Alina, has recently started attending services. Alina is living with her great-grandmother and we are praying that she will continue to let Alina come to services and maybe even start Bible lessons.
Recently I received a call from Ruselan, Tamara's son. He will be getting out of prison this upcoming year and is now in a place where he can receive visitors. He asked that we visit him. We will probably be meeting with him this upcoming week.
Since the death of his wife, Vladamir has rarely been in church. We believe that he is starting to lose his memory and sometimes forgets what day it is. We wish we could do more to help him, but he doesn't like to accept help. He did allow me to help him take some trash and metal to a recycling center. We praise the Lord that He used us to lead him to salvation before he started losing his memory.

The church is doing better. We finally had to church discipline Boris and Ala. They have threatened now to stir up problems for us, not only with the people in our church but have also threatened to go to religious affairs (where we get our visa permissions) and place a complaint against us. We do not think that they will be able to cause problems for us, but still ask that you will pray. Especially for Valentina because Ala brought her to churc hand they continue to keep in contact.

Sammy's Papers & Registration

We now have Sammy's papers finalized. We are always amazed with the order and promptness at the American Embassy. Everything was easily taken care of.

The laws here are constantly changing and usually it is more of a hassle, but this time it was actually to our benefit. When we went in to get our registration this month, we were told that it was no longer necessary. All we need now is our visa and the stamp when we cross the border. This will save us a lot of time and work. The laws here change very quickly though so we may have to get registered again some day, but for now we are enjoying a little less paperwork.

Family & Health

We have some HUGE praises in this area. Not only is Jessica's asthma doing much better, but for the past two months our family has dealt with severe stomach problems which was due to a parasite called Giardia. It was so severe that it forced us to cancel 4 services the past month. It looks like we have finally been able to get rid of it, but we ask that you continue to pray that it does not come back.

Lydia just celebrated her 2nd birthday and really enjoyed all of the cards sent in.

We greatly appreciate your prayers. Thank you!