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November - December 2008

2 Prosecutors and 2 Irinas

One Sunday morning in November, we were visited by two men from the prosecutor’s office. They were investigating a complaint about one of our tract invitations that we had put in a mailbox. We have placed over 50,000 of these in mailboxes in recent years. I invited them to stay for the service, but they declined. They said there must be something illegal about what we were doing, but couldn’t say exactly what it was. I went to the prosecutor’s office twice to discuss the complaint. There is nothing illegal about putting literature in mailboxes here. Eventually, they told me I was not doing anything wrong. I gave one of them a Bible, and they wished me good luck!

We celebrated Thanksgiving day with the Deckers at their house. I made my famous “onion turkey” recipe and there was plenty of other good food to enjoy. That night we had our regular Bible study, and I told the Russians about the story of the first Thanksgiving.

The first person to respond to our literature distribution here in Oryol was a girl named Irina. She came to our apartment several times to hear the Gospel, but we lost contact with her a few years ago. Recently, we met her on the street. She is married now, and has a baby boy. She came to our service the next Sunday and I witnessed to her again. She gave me the same answer as before. She knows she needs to be saved, but she is not ready to live a changed life. I told her that Salvation comes first and the change comes later. Pray for Irina.

Svetlana was saved and baptized earlier this year, and she has really been growing spiritually. She started bringing home Christian books from our library for her adult daughter, Irina. We prayed for Irina, and she visited our services a few times. Svetlana invited us to her home for Sunday dinner, especially so we would have a better opportunity to witness to Irina. After dinner, I gave a Gospel presentation with pictures, and Irina trusted Jesus Christ! Svetlana’s good testimony influenced her daughter to want Salvation.

Thirteen Russians came to our apartment for a “new year’s” fellowship on the Sunday after Christmas. We can really see signs of our people becoming a united group.

We have paid $34,250 for our church building, which is about 66% 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