Archive for the 'Sempiternal' Category

Now I see… God wants me to listen

Tonight’s B. Study went as well as any so far. The lesson was about God’s mercy. Six people came (the two single women who usually attend had other engagements). Three things happened that made the evening extra special.

The first was that all afternoon our hot and cold water and our heat services were cut off. That by itself is unsurprising, but still inconvenient for hosting a group of people. No water would mean no washroom or facilities (and the meeting usually goes for three hours!). Also, and maybe more important, we usually serve tea before the lesson (a cultural norm). Without water, this would be impossible. I prayed that the water would be restored before the lesson. Five minutes before the first guests arrived everything was turned back on.

The second item also relates to the utilities. We were reading Psalms 139:11-12. As soon as we read: If I say,“Surely the darkness shall cover me, and the light about me be night,” the electricity went off, leaving the room dim (it was dusk outside). We laughed at the coincidence and, after a moment, we strained our eyes and continued reading… even the darkness is not dark to you; the night is bright as the day, for darkness is as light with you. And just then the lights came back on. We could not have thought of a better illustration to drive the point of the verse home.

The final thing was something Erzher shared at the end of the meeting. He recounted how he hurt his leg earlier in the day while kicking a soccer ball around in the snow. Before the lesson, while we were singing, he was in agony, and could only think of his leg. As soon as the lesson began, the pain left him and he even forgot about it. The moment the lesson concluded, the pain returned. He said, “Now I see that God wanted me to listen closely to the lesson.”

We are blown away.


Update on B. Study and My Road Trip

Our fifth B. study meeting went great tonight. The attendees are still very interested in the material. Alya did not come for some reason, but everyone else (the three couples) were all here. The lesson was The Fall of Man. They ask great questions and they seem to be comprehending these important truths. We plan to host this month’s seminar (we meet every Tuesday night, plus one Sunday seminar a month, which meets for an extended time) on Easter.

Also, early tomorrow morning I leave for a neighboring city (eight-hour round trip, by bus) and I hope to return by evening. Please pr. for me on those slick roads. Maya is staying home. I’ll dig my camera out for the journey and maybe post a few pics.

An Open Door

Last Sunday, we began the teaching with the five people who came (Ermen & Alessa, Erzher & Ayana, and Angela). We were hoping for a few more, but very happy for the open door with the ones who came. The meeting began with a few songs, and then we jumped right in. We are tying to make the presentation interesting by including visuals and even some PowerPoint. That seemed to help. I think that the lessons were clear, and we sensed a lot of interest in the teaching.

The same people showed up for the Tuesday night meeting. The guys said that it went really well (I was in Mongolia). The next lesson (Creation of Heaven & Earth) is on Tuesday night. We expect those five and two more to come (Alya and Vera). So now, we are pr. for the group to grow a little more and then become stable: and that the door would remain open in every aspect.

In the Beginning…

The long-awaited B Study starts today; in only a few hours, actually. We do not know how many people will show, though several have said that they would. We teach two lessons today: Getting Acquainted with the Word, and One God. We settled on a chronological approach, starting in the very beginning and teaching through to the Empty Tomb.

So, now it all begins. We will meet every Wednesday night and one Sunday a month until the summer time, when we plan to finish the teaching with a three-day seminar.

Update: Now the group meets on Tuesday nights.

We Have a Plan

On Thursday and Friday, Mark and I endured meetings with local officials to get the arrangements going for the community development projects, and all went well. We have seven projects online. I have more meetings next week to finalize stuff.


The team met for the third time yesterday to plan the teaching that launches with a B. Seminar on March 11th. As the first two planning meetings, this time together proved excellent and we covered a lot of ground. We pretty much know now what we are going to do. Well, we have a plan, anyway. Of course, we need to remember what the wise man wrote:


The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps.


Last night’s Coffee Club (college group) went great, though most of the regulars could not make it because of a school-related event. New folks came, though, and one in particular seemed interested in making new friends. We are now inviting them to the above-mentioned study.


On Sunday, three of our team depart for a month of traveling, leaving three of us to keep things going.

Thank you for holding the ropes for the work here.

For 32 Years…

We are using the classic story associated with the above picture for the college group tomorrow night. Any guesses as to which classic? If you need a hint, and speak Russian, click here. If you do not speak Russian, think three and something that floats, and an author with two first names. The uncle in the story reminds me very much of me.

The challenge is to keep the student group interesting and well-rounded (games vs. topics, & heavy vs. light topics). We are always on the alert for new ideas.


Not to keep boasting about my wife, but she managed again to make my birthday (today) really special (by making a coffee-swirl cheesecake and roast chicken, among other things). And all the emails and text messages from the West and from across Russia were very encouraging. I am blessed to have such cool friends, and a very caring family.



Pray for Nastya

Nastya, a young woman that often helps us by sitting with David & Hannah, miscarried yesterday and is in the hospital due to complications. She and her husband, Oskar, faithfully attend the married home group. Maya visited her today, and will visit often. We sense that this is a crucial time for her when she will either open up to God, or become bitter. Please pray with us for Nastya.