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September - October 2008

In Russia for a Third Term

September was the last month of our five-month furlough. I made a trip east to visit churches in Pennsylvania, Connecticut, and New Jersey. We visited family and friends. We attended the wedding of the daughter of long time friends of our family. I spent some time counseling with my pastor. We attended 2 great Bible conferences. During all of this activity, we made time to pack for our return to Russia.

A very special blessing to us was the engagement of our oldest son, David, to Audrey Snyder. She is a wonderful young lady who met him at Providence Baptist College. They plan to be married in Elgin, Illinois, on March 21, 2009, and we plan to be there for the wedding!

It was difficult to say goodbye to all of the children and head back to Russia by ourselves for the first time, but it is a comfort to know that they are all serving the Lord and seeking His will.

The 14 hour trip from Chicago to Moscow (including a stopover in Switzerland) was smooth and comfortable. The customs agents in Moscow were suspicious about all of the vitamins in our suitcase, which were packed in ziplock bags to save space. One of the agents looked at them and said, “narcotics”. We said, “No, no – vitamins!” Ruth took one to show they were harmless, and they let us keep them. We were met in Moscow by our fellow missionary Travis Decker, who drove us home to Oryol.

The Deckers did a great job with the ministry while we were gone. All of the people who had been attending our services regularly were there to greet us when we returned. They had a barbecue picnic for us on the first Sunday.

The apple trees in the church yard produced an amazing amount of fruit this year. One tree had so many apples that it broke in two and fell down. We are enjoying lots of apple pies, applesauce, apple crisp, and apple dumplings.

We have paid $32,250 for our church building, which is about 62% of the loan amount. You may want to help by sending a gift to: BIMI, P.O. Box 9215, Chattanooga, TN 37412. Designate it for “Ossewaarde - Project Russian Church Building”.

In the service of the King,
Don Ossewaarde