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September/October 2000

Back to school again…

In September I started my second year of Russian study at the university after 2 months off for summer vacation. The class load is a little heavier this year, but I understand a lot more, so it doesn't seem as hard. I feel that I was well prepared last year. My language skills are getting better all the time. I'm getting lots of practice, and improving my ability to speak. I am surprised to find that I am about at the top of my class now. A year ago at this time, I was drowning in information, and wondered if it would ever make any sense. Praise the Lord for His help! 

A man in our church who got saved several months ago had a terrible drinking problem before he got saved. He's doing somewhat better now, but drink is still causing him lots of problems. He has already lost two jobs since January, and he's not working now. His wife is about ready to leave him. He wants to go through hypnotism therapy, but he says he can't unless I pay for it. Of course, I don't believe that will help him. I'm trying to encourage him to trust the Lord and make the right choices in life. I can see the need for some kind of a Christian home for alcoholics where he can get some supervision and a Bible based plan of work and study, like Bro. Lester Roloff used to have. In my opinion, such a ministry needs to be operated by a local church. Pray that the Lord will allow us to start churches over here that will grow to be strong enough to operate such ministries.

Ruth and the children have started taking Russian lessons with a tutor. They have class six hours every week. Natalia, their tutor, comes to our apartment three times each week and teaches at the dining room table.

I recently bought two machines that we are using in the ministry here. One of them is a GBC book binder. It makes very attractive books from materials that we can print ourselves. I have already made up a batch of Russian songbooks to replace ones that were wearing out. We are also able to use the binder to make books for our homeschooling needs. The second machine is a cotton candy maker! These machines are very reasonably priced here. After some practice, I am now able to make enough cotton candy to treat all of our Sunday school kids each week. 

We want to thank everyone involved in sending 40,000 Ukrainian New Testaments to BIMI missionaries here in Ukraine. These were sent to different areas of the country. Thousands of them were distributed here in Kiev by Trinity Baptist Church. Pastor Hudson rented a secure storage place for the testaments before he went home on furlough. When the testaments came in from Finland, the Magas and Ossewaarde families had a "stamping party" - we marked 14,000 copies with the name and address of our local church. Since the testaments arrived, we have been distributing more than 1000 copies every week in the neighborhoods near the church. It has been a great blessing to see some of our church folks get involved in this evangelistic endeavor. Some of the people thought that they had to pay, and when we told them it was a gift, they took it gladly.

The mom and dad of some of our Sunday school kids came to church for the first time. They have been very impressed with how much their kids learn on Sunday, and both of them got saved! The following week, another lady got saved that had come to church before, but hadn't been ready to trust Christ.

In October I had my 40th birthday, but I don't feel old yet. I am thankful for health and strength and the opportunity to serve God. Thank you for praying for us.

In the service of the King,
Don Ossewaarde