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January - February 2014

“Interesting Times”

The big news in this part of the world has been the conflict in Ukraine. Protests in Kiev led to the ouster of the pro-Russia president. The temporary government in Ukraine is seeking closer ties with Europe. Russia took advantage of the disorder in Ukraine by invading Crimea, and it appears that they will annex that part of Ukraine and make it a part of Russia. Putin does not want to lose any of his influence in the former Soviet world, and the western world has so far been very weak to do anything to resist his aggression. There are fears that Russia might invade eastern Ukraine as it did in Crimea. Pray for peace and stability in this part of the world. Most of the potential conflict is a few hundred miles south of where we live. My biggest concern personally is that sanctions from America could lead to a change in immigration law that might threaten our ability to live and minister here. So far, we have not had any problems, and we have not experienced any anti-American sentiment in our town.

I made new songbooks for our church. We print them on our laser printer, and bind them with a GBC comb binding machine. The ones we had been using were several years old, and they were showing their age. I added 16 new songs, so we now have a total of 60 songs.

I had a talk with Dennis about salvation. He said he thinks he has trusted Christ in a recent time of prayer, but his answers are vague enough that I am not sure he completely understands. He has been working a lot of extra hours lately, so he misses a lot of services, but he comes when he can. Pray for the Holy Spirit to make the way of salvation clear to him.

We still have some ladies coming who used to go to the Pentecostal church. Their names are: Nina, Galina, Natasha, and Olga. They seem to be very interested in sound Bible doctrine. They continued to come during the weeks that I preached through 1 Corinthians chapter 14, which deals thoroughly with the subject of tongues.

We have a new visitor, Grandma Valentina. She moved to Oryol after her husband died a year ago. She found one of our tracts in her mailbox, and she has been visiting regularly. She is very interested in spiritual things, but her Orthodox background has left her confused about the plan of salvation. She enjoys the preaching and the fellowship, and we have been explaining salvation by grace through faith. Pray that she will be saved.

We have had some cold days this winter, with temperatures as low as -17 degrees F. I think the winter in the USA has been even colder in many places. We have not had a lot of snow. Overall, it has been a milder winter than usual for us in Russia.

In the service of the King,
Don Ossewaarde