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June - July 2006
It’s so great to have our own property and building in which to meet. We continue to have first time visitors almost every week since we started meeting there in March. You can see pictures of the property in an online photo album we have set up on our website. Go to www.donossewaarde.com and look for the link to “Russia property photos”. If you would like to have a part in helping us pay off the building loan, please send your gift to Baptist International Missions, Inc., P.O. Box 9215, Chattanooga, TN 37412 and designate it for “Ossewaarde - Project Russian Church Building”. A big thank you to the churches that have already sent special gifts!
I had a long talk with Vladislav, our new neighbor who lives next to our new building. He is a science professor at the technical university. He grew up on the property we now own, and he helped to build the house we now use for services. He told us that our property was the headquarters for the Nazi occupation forces in World War 2. When they dug the foundations for the house and garage, they found old rusty German rifles, bullets and coins. Our property was once used by foreigners who came to Russia to do evil. Now it is the headquarters of foreigners who have come to bring the Good News of Salvation.
Ann is an 18 year old university student who has come to some of our Bible studies. She came on a recent Thursday and brought her husband! He is also a student.
BIMI brought a group of Americans to Russia to see the need and the opportunities here. Most of them were prospective missionaries. They visited Moscow and St. Petersburg, and I was able to convince them to spend a Sunday with us in Oryol. We had 10 Russians - a record day for us! 2 were first time visitors. With all the American guests, we had a total attendance of 21. Our meeting room was full - we had to unwrap the plastic from 3 new chairs to have enough for everybody. It was thrilling! We pray that more missionaries will come to this huge country.
Ruth was able to spend a few weeks in America with our two older kids who are in Bible College. When she returned, there was a problem with her visa, so she had to go to Ukraine for a few weeks while we did some paperwork. Thankfully we have many good friends there who took care of her until she came home to Russia.
Our two younger children, Alan and April, finished taking all the medical tests necessary for permanent residency status. We turned in their applications and they should have their permits in December. Please pray that there will be no complications. These will be 5 year permits that work like multi-entry visas.
Last year, when I was home for a furlough, my mother was diagnosed with cancer. This was not the first time for her. She was an amazing testimony of grace. She told me, “I am not afraid. I know God can heal me if He wants to. He has healed me of cancer before. If He chooses to use cancer this time to take me to Heaven, I know where I am going.” On July 7, 2006, she went to Heaven. I was blessed to have a Godly mother and I miss her very much.
In the service of the King,