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October - November 2005

Back in Russia Again

We left Chicago on September 31st and flew back to Moscow by way of London. The trip was smooth and comfortable. A train took us home to Oryol from Moscow. It felt great to be home again after 4 months of furlough. Our apartment was in order, just as we left it. Some Russian friends prepared a welcome for us with flowers and a meal. All of us were hit with jet lag, as usual. After a few weeks of not sleeping at night and getting tired in the middle of the day, we were back to normal.

Now we have to get used to living with four people in the house instead of six! David and Cindy are both in Providence Baptist College now. Any mail for them (birthday cards, etc.) should be sent to: 345 West River Road, Elgin, IL 60123.

What a blessing to have college students coming to our Sunday services! Tanya and Katya are first time visitors since we came back. Tanya speaks English fairly well. Ruth talked to her for a long time. She says she trusted Christ in September, but we didnít have the chance to get all the details.

Alan had a long talk with Vlad about Salvation. He said that last year there was a time when he trusted in the Lord and asked forgiveness for his sins in his room where he is staying. He said if the Bible is true, then he is saved. He told me he wanted to find ways to serve the Lord. Pray for this fine young man.

After church one Sunday, April had the opportunity to talk with Enessa about Salvation. April gave her testimony, and explained Salvation from several different angles. There was a lot of confusion. At last, the light bulb of understanding seemed to come on. Enessa said ďApril, you've done in one Sunday what your dad has been trying to get through to me for months! Thank you so much! I understand everything that the preacher is saying now!Ē She still wants to think about it, but now she seems to know what we are talking about.

Zakharich is our favorite taxi driver. He originally comes from the Black Sea coast area of the Caucasus mountains. He moved to Oryol about 40 years ago to play soccer for the Oryol team. He was quite a local soccer star in those days. After a successful playing career, he coached a Russian team in East Germany for four years. He has been driving a taxi here since he retired from sports several years ago. He invited us to his home for dinner. We had a delicious traditional Caucasus meal with rice and meat, baked eggplant stuffed with nuts and spices, and grape leaves stuffed with rice and meat. He is not a believer. His people are Muslims, but he is not a Muslim himself. I have witnessed to him, but he shows little interest in spiritual things. He feels he has lived a good life, and does not want to consider the thought that he is a sinner. He sees lots of sin in his job as a taxi driver, so he sees himself as a good man and a model citizen. He likes it when I give him a New Testament. He puts it on his dashboard and offers it as a gift to his passenger. Pray that God will convict the heart of this man, so he will see his need for Salvation.

Pastor and Mrs. David Meece from Chicago visited us for two weeks in November. Mrs. Meece learned some Russian in high school, and always dreamed about coming here. They celebrated their 25th wedding anniversary by making her dream come true. The Meeces wanted to be a blessing to us and to give the Gospel to Russian people. They packed an absolute minimum of personal things in their suitcases to make room for 10,000 Russian Gospel booklets. What a blessing! We distributed 3000 of them in Oryol and out in a village. They spoke to students at the state university and at two private English schools. We presented the plan of Salvation and talked about Bible principles for life, family, finances, etc. The students asked lots of questions. Pastor Meece preached for me on a Sunday, with Vlad interpreting for him. We also had time to do some sightseeing in Oryol and Moscow, and took a tour inside the Kremlin. We attended an orchestra concert and a soccer game. (Our team won!) We gave out several hundred tracts in front of the stadium before the game. We ate in the homes of two Russian families.

We had a wonderful Thanksgiving with marinated turkey, games, cranberry sauce, and pumpkin pie. Most of our Christmas shopping is done. We pray that you will have a blessed CHRISTmas and a great 2006!

In the service of the King,
Don Ossewaarde