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June - September 2005

A Fast Furlough

Our four month furlough began as planned when we flew to the USA on June 1st. British Airways surprised us by upgrading Cindy and Ruth to business class as part of a promotion. We took advantage of a 14 hour layover in London and did a little sightseeing. We rode the London subway and saw London Bridge, Big Ben, and St. Paul’s Cathedral. We rode on the same subway line that would be bombed by terrorists 2 weeks later.

Our luggage all arrived in good shape. My brother picked us up at the airport in Chicago. My mom and dad were waiting for us at my brother's house, and they spent a few days with us. I had to get a new driver's license, because mine expired two years ago. I even had to take a road test. My dad brought me down to the driver’s license office, just like he did almost 30 years ago. That was funny!

David and Cindy, our two oldest children, immediately moved into the dorms at Providence Baptist College and enrolled in summer school. They opened bank accounts and got library cards. At the same time, they started taking driver's training along with our younger son, Alan. Within a few days, I had three teenagers with driving permits and they practiced driving all over the county with me. I only had four or five moments of sheer terror while they were driving, and within a few months all three had their licenses. Praise the Lord for that!

Ruth spent a lot of time with her mother, brother, and sisters.

April took a three-day seminar on evangelistic piano playing. It really improved her technique - she learned a lot and had a good time. She continued throughout the summer with private lessons and we are very pleased with the results.

Cindy and David both found jobs that they like, and they are already paying their own way through college. David is working as a computer programmer and Cindy is a cashier at a large home improvement superstore. They found time to take their ACT and GED tests, and they did very well.

The rest of us stayed in Indiana at my brother’s house where our travel trailer is parked. This is the same trailer in which we lived for 2½ years while we were on deputation, so we felt right at home.

It was so good to hear preaching in English again! Alan and April wanted to go to as many camps and youth conferences as possible this summer. They went to music camp, youth camp, “Take the Challenge” camp, Christian football camp, 2 missions conferences, a tent revival, a school revival, and 3 youth conferences in Illinois, Oklahoma, and Indiana. We also went to 3 weddings.

We did quite a bit of traveling! I was glad to be able to speak at churches in Lemont IL, Saginaw MI, Bourbonnais IL, Durham NC, Flower Mound TX, Burlington IA, Elberton GA, and at Providence Baptist College. I visited my parents in Michigan 5 times, and saw all my brothers, my sister, and all the nieces and nephews. We went to Pennsylvania for a few days to visit with Jason and Marina, our friends whom we met here in Oryol, Russia.

It was so good just to be back in America for a while. We went to a small town parade on the 4th of July and waved flags and cheered for our homeland and its heroes.

We took some time out to visit the doctor and get checkups. We went soulwinning and saw some people saved. We relaxed a bit and visited with friends. It was a very quick four months, and before we knew it we were packing to return to Russia. Please pray for us as we start our second term. We had a wonderful time in America, but we are excited about going back to the place of God’s calling.

In the service of the King,

Don Ossewaarde

p.s. Our sending church has a new website – www.fbcbourbonnais.com – sermon audio by Pastor Terry Anglea!