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September - November 2004

An eventful autumn in Russia and Ukraine

In September we were back in Ukraine for 2 weeks to participate in an evangelistic campaign to some villages near Kiev. About 70 people were saved! The kids and I provided most of the music, singing and playing accordion and guitar. Other missionary friends of ours did the preaching and organizing. We held meetings on the streets and in some public halls. We were also able to visit a children’s home and had a good response there.

September 1st was opening day for public schools here. Terrorists took over a school in southern Russia and killed over 300 people - many were children. This is just one of the many terrorist incidents that have taken place in Russia this year. Please pray that the officials will have wisdom to effectively oppose terrorism.

We continue to distribute New Testaments around town, in public places, and in door-to-door soulwinning. We have given away about 14,000 of them this year. Most people are glad to take one, but a very drunken officer of the FSB (former KGB) was mad about us giving away Bibles. He threatened to arrest me. I talked to him on the street for over an hour. Then he became more interested in talking to a girl who was passing by. I said good-bye and slowly walked away.

In October I went to a village not too far from Oryol, and tried to rent the local meeting hall for “a series of concerts and lectures” - in other words, evangelistic meetings. Everybody involved agreed to let us rent the building for $50 a meeting, but in the end the head of the village administration vetoed the whole project. We'll try again somewhere else...

It’s been a long time since we had family pictures taken! You can see our brand new ones on our website.

We are planning a short furlough next summer! We will be in the USA from June 1 until September 30, 2005. David and Cindy plan to stay in America and enroll in Bible college next fall. If you want us to visit your church while we are on furlough, please contact us.

We were renting a garage to store all of our New Testaments. It was sold, so we had to find a new garage to rent. I found one for the same price, and we needed to move 8000 Bibles from one garage to another. The very same day, we received a new shipment of 5000 more, so we moved 13,000 Bibles in one day. Thank the Lord for 4 strong healthy teenagers to lend a helping hand!

April had an eye exam. She almost needed glasses, but the doctor wanted to try to improve her vision without glasses. He prescribed a treatment with eye drops, vitamins, and an electrical process they call “electro-foress”. I was not at all convinced it would help, but after two weeks, April’s vision actually improved slightly, so she doesn’t have glasses for now.

We have had some interesting responses in door-to-door visiting lately. One man listened really well, but just as I was finishing the plan of salvation, his wife came in and told me to leave and not come back. Many times we will talk to a man at the door, and the wife will come up and just close the door, even though he is listening. One older man we visited started coming to our Sunday service in our home. He is a fine gentleman who was once a bomber pilot and later was an airline pilot for Aeroflot. He has a wooden leg. He came for a few weeks, and really enjoyed the singing and preaching. Then his wife told him not to come. He has not been back since then. Pray for Russian men!

We had a wonderful Thanksgiving Day with a 25 lb turkey, and lots of other good things to eat. We have so much to be thankful for! We are thankful for salvation, for God’s care and provision, for family, for opportunities to serve the Lord, and for our many friends who pray for us and make it possible for us to bring the message of Salvation to people in Russia. God bless you! Have a merry CHRISTmas and a happy new year!

In the service of the King,

Don Ossewaarde