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February - March 2007
Bombs, Robbers, Visitors, and Policemen...
Our neighbor in the house next to our church
building was digging in the yard to plant a shrub, and struck something hard. It
turned out to be a 120 millimeter artillery shell from World War 2! The Russians
had fired it at the Germans over 60 years ago, and it hit the ground without
exploding. It still had a detonator in the nose, so they called the police and
the bomb squad came over to remove it. I guess they took it out in the country
to detonate it. It was buried right next to the fence between our yards. When we
dug up the entire yard last year, I dug within a foot or two of it! Praise the
Lord for His protection.
We have been having a very warm winter this year. There hasn’t been a lot of snow for the winter sports that we enjoy, but we did get to go skiing one day before it all melted. During the coldest few weeks we had in February, our gas furnace (boiler) at the church building stopped working. It just needed a few new parts, so I was able to fix it myself.
Alex is excited about being saved! We had a testimony time, and he stood and told everyone how he got saved. He always comes to every service and sits on the front row. His wife Pollina usually comes with him. He wants to be baptized, so we are looking for a place. We think we found a private pool at a bath house that we can use.
Alex is a truck driver, and he was delivering some valuable cargo to a distant city. While he was sleeping in his truck, some robbers cut open his truck and stole some of the boxes. When he woke up and found out he had been robbed, he was very worried, because he would have to pay to replace the lost cargo. He prayed that God would help him, and started looking around the area. About 400 yards away, he found the stolen boxes, and nothing was missing! After he put everything back in the truck, he was so disturbed that he couldn't think of driving. He got out his pocket Bible and read three Psalms. Then he was calm and relieved. He was laughing when he told us about it, but we know he was trusting God to help him.
During the winter, we concentrated on door-to-door visitation in the apartment buildings along the streetcar line that goes past our building. With the approach of springtime, we are putting up more posters in public places, and putting thousands of tracts in people’s mailboxes. We have had some new visitors:
> 70-year-old Nikolai came because of a tract in his mailbox. He loves to play a little ping-pong before and after the service. He has visited several times. We are witnessing to him and pray that he will be saved.
> Lena lives near the church, and invited us for a holiday lunch. She comes to our English Bible lessons because she wants to improve her English. She works as a tour guide with foreign tourists. She has very little spiritual interest, but she is learning a lot about salvation. Pray for Holy Spirit conviction.
> A young family with three children visited us. They are Christians, and they speak English very well, even the children!
Our son, Alan, was putting up posters to advertise our services. Someone told him to stop, and called a policeman. Alan was taken to the police station, where they gave him a ticket for violating a local ordinance. We went to a hearing at the city council, and he could have been fined up to $40, but they dismissed the charges and told him that it is legal to put up posters, but only in designated places.
So far, we have been able to pay $17,800 for our church building, which is about 34% of the loan. If you would like to have a part, you may send your gift to Baptist International Missions, Inc., P.O. Box 9215, Chattanooga, TN 37412 and designate it for “Ossewaarde - Project Russian Church Building”.
In the service of the King,