Saturday, April 22, 2006
They Used To Attend Our Church
This family went into full time ministry. We miss them and are excited to see what they are doing with God's direction.
Dearest Family and Friends,
Greetings to each one of you from Moscow where spring has sprung, the snow is gone, we have celebrated the resurrection of our Lord and Saviour, and summer is closing in on us real fast! Looking back, we are so grateful to the Lord for the many opportunities and blessings He has provided throughout this school year.
As many of you know, our oldest female Russian student, Masha, was adopted and is now living in the States with her wonderful new family, the Gebauers! Many said, “It’s too late”, “She’s too old”, “This won’t be approved”, “You’re wasting your time and money”, etc….but God had a different plan! He confounded the wise and saw it through to its completion! We rejoice with the Gebauer family in what the Lord has done!
Vova, our oldest young man, was led by the Lord to find and be reconciled with his birth mother. He had not seen her since he was 6, and he is now almost 19! With God leading the way, Vova was able to find her and take the initiative to restore what Satan attempted to destroy years ago. The bitterness and pain of the past has been replaced with the love and joy of the present. We know that God has even greater things on the horizon for them! Vova has also been able to visit with his 15 year old brother. God is at work!
In the mean time, the other kids are doing well. They are all ready for the school year to be completed! Some are looking forward to visiting the States during the summer and some are making plans for being here. Please join us in praying as we finalize all the plans for each one. Knowing they are safest when they are in God's will, we trust He will continue to guide us as we make these decisions.
We are all looking forward to spending some time together with John-David this summer! It looks like we will get to have about 2-3 weeks with him. It will be different from previous summers since we usually have the entire summer together, but he is needed at Headquarters to continue the work that is going on there. We are so grateful for his opportunities and how the Lord is at work in his life. Please pray with us for him as he is being sent on a short term ministry trip down to Guadalajara and Monterey, Mexico. He has been given the task of making a DVD of the trip so that it can be shown at a conference following the trip. He is excited about the opportunity. Please join us in praying for his protection as he is there and for creativity and a reflection of Christ's character in his work.
Sarah continues to blossom in her relationship with the Lord and outreach to the Russian students! She is in the process of seeking an avenue to further her Russian language skills. Please pray that the Lord will give us the discernment necessary for this task.
The Lord has given Andrei the desire to communicate more and more in his native language. He understands more than he can speak but continues to work at it daily! Having all the guys around really helps him pick up so much each day. Please join us in praying for him to be a strong godly example for both the younger and older guys. The Lord is opening his eyes to the responsibility of being a good example to others!
Roz was given the opportunity in March to share with about 40 Russian moms of large families. Through a wonderful interpreter, she was able to share things the Lord has shown her through His Word and through her experience of training children. The women’s conference took place at Central Baptist Church here in Moscow and she was blessed to be able to share and encourage these moms who have anywhere from three to ten children! She walked away feeling equally blessed to see these ladies' obedience to the Lord. In a culture where most women either abort the baby or put them in orphanages, it was a great encouragement to see their heart and know that they truly believe that children are a gift from the Lord and the fruit of the womb is His reward! (Psalm 127:3)
Another father here, Michael, and I have been teaching a seminar on Saturdays to members of another local church. The main theme has been God’s design and desire for our lives. We have received the biggest blessing as we have been able to hear how God has been working in each of the attendees’ lives as they seek Truth and apply it daily. Michael and I have also had the privilege of doing a weekly Bible study with two of the Russian dads that are here at the Training Center. With Vova interpreting, God is opening their eyes to Truth. It is great to see the three Russians discuss God's Word and seek what the Lord has to say about various topics.
We have also been busy ministering to an older woman by the name of Luba. She has lived a very hard life, with much of it controlled by alcohol. God has placed her in our lives! She is open to the things of God, but at this point does not have the will or desire to give up the vises that control her every decision. She is so thankful we were able to buy her a new front door for her apartment as her old one could not even be locked. She lives on the ground floor, in the first apartment by the entrance. She was in a difficult situation with some unwanted tenants, so by removing them from the apartment and then making it secure for her with the new door, she has a greater sense of security, praise the Lord! Please pray for wisdom and direction as we continue to minister to her. Please also pray the Lord will provide someone that is willing to go and visit her throughout the summer until we return.
Please continue to pray for us as we go through these final weeks. We are busy with everyday life and then have the added responsibilities of planning for 17 of the children to go to America for the summer. We are scheduled to depart on May 27th. Please pray that we will use wisdom and discernment as we minister to Roz's dad and my parents. This is our main focus for the summer outside of Andrei's doctors appointments.
We are sending a couple of pictures. One is of Luba and her new door and the other is a family photo, taken just prior to Masha's departure! Left to right, on the back row: Susan, Masha, Roz, Tom, Galya, Sarah with Serozha on her shoulders, Egor L., Pasha, Vova, Todd and Arseni. Left to right, on the front row: Nastia, Kristina, Andrei with Egor G. behind him, Sasha, Vanya, Georgi, and Misha.
We continue to pray for you and praise the Lord for His hand working through you. Your prayer coverage and financial support are what enable us to continue to minister to so many needy people as He lives in and through us. We are so very grateful for all He puts before us and for His faithfulness to sustain, strengthen, and encourage us through His Spirit, His Word, and His people. May the Lord continue to do the same in your lives as you faithfully seek and serve Him there.
Because He Lives,
Tom, Roz, and children