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A New Mission
We have resigned as BIMI missionaries, effective May 8th. We are requesting all of our supporting churches to discontinue our support. We pursued every option in the Russian legal system, all the way up to the highest courts in the country, but they ruled against us every time. We have determined that there is no way for us to effectively continue our ministry in Russia. Other missionaries in other parts of Russia have not been prosecuted yet. We pray that their local authorities will leave them alone.
I returned to America in May, grateful to find a good airfare on Finn Air. They allowed me to check in 10 pieces of baggage at a very reasonable rate. I could not bring home everything I wanted to bring, but was able to bring 10 crates of personal things - a total of 517 pounds.
Our apartment stayed on the market for 8 months without selling. A week before I returned to America, I told another missionary that I did not have enough faith to expect that God would send a buyer for our apartment at the last minute, but I did have just enough faith to not be surprised if He did it that way. God sent us a buyer on the last day before I left. We signed an agreement to sell, and I received earnest money. What a miracle! I was more surprised than I should have been. We will need to return to Russia in July to close the sale and receive the money. Pray that all goes well.
I had many meetings with our Russian church people in the weeks before I left. I encouraged Yulia to get saved, and I feel that she is very close, but she wouldn’t take that step of faith. I encouraged the church people to file papers with the authorities to establish an official religious group, but they were not ready to do so. They have a desire to serve the Lord together, but the legal and political situation is still too unstable.
I traveled over 700 miles to deliver a truckload of books, furniture, household stuff, our piano, and my pulpit to a missionary family in a distant city. I had a great time of fellowship with them, and flew back to Moscow. Then, I traveled 250 miles to deliver another truckload of Bibles and household things to another missionary. I donated our ping pong table to an orphanage.
I have accepted a position at Providence Baptist College in Elgin, Illinois. I am the Dean of Men and Ministry, and will be teaching classes. We have had close ties with this ministry for many years, and we already feel very much at home here.
It is difficult to be satisfied with the results of the legal process, but we did what we had to do, and we know God had a purpose for all of it. We leave Russia, knowing that the years of service were worth it all. Souls were saved, lives were changed, a city was covered with the Gospel, and a part of our hearts will always be there. Thank you so much for all your prayers and faithful support for so many years.
In the service of the King,