Sent To Siberia

Preaching the Gospel to the Rurals of Siberia


December 22, 2013

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ, I wanted to get this out before Christmas and before the end of the month. I am again sorry for taking so long between updates but I did want to let you know what is going on.

First we've had some bad news. Artem and Tanya decided that they do not want to run the orphanage and they have left. This has left us with the question, what now. I believe that it was the Lord's leading for us to build this facility, so I believe He will provide the right folks to run it, in His own time. Please pray that He would do so. So again, please keep a family for the orphanage in your prayers.

Winter has been so soft and fuzzy this year. We've only had about 5 or six days with temps below -30 and and only ten or so days with temps much below -20. The rest of the time it has hovered between -5 and -15! What a blessing! This is really truly a blessing, so I'm not complaining at all when I say that it is only a little disappointing that my data collection on my greenhouse will not be indicative of a hard winter. So far my greenhouse (the underground green house barn project) has shown positive temperatures as low as -25. This is with still not having insulated as much as is needed, along with some holes that need to be plugged here and there, half of the original designs worth of animals in the barn (no horses either) and no Jean Pain pile. In short, with some fine tuning (maybe a cob north wall) this greenhouse should work VERY well at least 9-10 months out of the year and very possibly 12. Amazing.

I mentioned last time that we had not been able to finish the garage this year. Well, it still isn't finished but the men from the church in Oseenavy Mees happened to ask me about it and when I said I was planning on letting the project go till next summer they wouldn't hear of it. So a group of them came over and we finished raising the walls and put in the ceiling joists and ceiling boards! We then covered it with tarps and have let the snow pile up on top. Next spring we'll just need to throw up a roof and, bam, garage done! Praise the Lord.

As I mentioned in my last letter, I've settled into the winter work rhythm. I have two different groups of kids studying english with me now, for a total of 7 hours of lessons a week as well as a in depth Bible study (kind of using the RPTC course model) especial for the guys living with me but also for anyone in the church who wants. We meet in Oseenavy Mees, three times a week for two hours a session. So far it has been a wonderful experience for all, and I've learned a lot and hope the people attending have to!

In preparation for Christmas (which is celebrated on the 7th of January) we are doing a lot of outreach, inviting people to our gospel oriented, Christmas service. Please pray that God would prick the hearts of money to come and hear the good news of Christ this Christmas. I hope to be doing more intentional outreach with the two churches after Christmas as well.

Tirzah turned four this year. We had some kids from the church over along with a few of the adults whom she is close to. A fun time was had by all.

Rebecca is doing very well, and not so well all at the same time. We are expecting our third child! It is very early in the process (4th week) so I would normally not mention anything yet but she has been having such extraordinary morning sickness that she has not been able to get out of bed pretty much for the last ten days or so. Now Rebecca, being the pioneer mother, amazing enduring woman that she is, when she says she can't get out of bed means something is really up. She has lost about 16lbs in the last ten days or so. So far she is not dehydrated but the weight loss has me worried. She seems to be feeling better yesterday and today and we seem to have found a few foods that settle well with her. So please, please, please keep Rebecca and the new baby in your prayers.

I am still trying to figure out a way to work in the town of Oktobersky. Please keep praying.

This week we were able to take a mother and her child to the hospital. Our car serves the town in this way not infrequently. Thank you for making it possible for us to be here, have a car and serve the people here. Thank you all!

Special thanks to everyone who has used our shopping link on our website. It's a big help!

My Grandma, Harriet Walker, passed away last week. I mention this because both Grandma and Grandpa Walker (Grandpa passed away last year) were exceptional people. They embodied so many of the qualities which I covet for myself and my own legacy. Faith, family first, service, hard work and an endurance, a tenacious stubbornness to live, not just exist, but to live life fully to the end. I had a very hard time coming to grips with Grandpas passing. It was like looking at a map of the world and finding one of the continents gone. He, it seemed to me, was a force of nature in life, and his passing was as unreal to me as the loss of gravitation, or some other prime force. Grandmas passing has been no less moving. But the take away from this is, for me, to see such brilliant lights moving on before me into eternity and to aspire to live a life full of those same qualities as they so wonderfully exhibited.

Why did Grandpa and Grandma seem so immovable, so strong, such a force of nature? Possibly the myth of childhood lingering in my adult mind, but even looking through the lense of adult "objectivity" one could not help but see their strength: the ever present gratitude for life and for family, the constant choice of putting famely first, the reliance on faith as the anchor in the storm of old age and sickness. These things are all too real, and a testimony of a transcendent power for all who are willing to look.

Grandma Walker was born in Africa, the daughter of missionary parents at the beginning of the twentieth century. Grandpa the son of a Kansas circuit preacher. I am blessed to have had such people in my life. The heritage they have left me is extraordinary. Truly the Lord has blessed me, my portion has fallen in pleasant places.

But bare with me yet a little more. I was thinking of this amazing heritage the other day. Amazing because two people decided to live their lives on purpose. They had vision and did what was needed to attain that vision and bring it down into the world. They bore each others burdens and the burdens of others and loved each other through all the valleys and peaks of life. All of their descendants, myself included, feel the weight of the glory which was their love and life which they gave to us. And they were exceptional because they chose to be so. They chose to do righteously, love mercy and walk so humbly before their God in a time of ever increasing cynicism. They chose to make their home a haven of faith and love in a time when homes were breaking. They chose. By the grace of God let us choose as well.

Justus, Rebecca, Tirzah and Adara


Nov 12, 2013

Books I've Found Helpful

Non-Fiction Mere Christianity - Lewis A Grief Observed - Lewis The Abolition of Man - Lewis Cost of Discipleship - Bonhoeffer How Should We Then Live - Schaefer He Is There And He Is Not Silent - Schaefer Practicing His Presence - Brother Lawrence Heretics - Chesterton Orthodoxy - Chesterton The Story of Christianity Vol I, II - J.L. Ganzeis Foxes Book of Martyrs - Foxe The Flood - Rehwinkel The Divine Conspiracy - Willard The Kingdom of the Cults - Walter Martin Commentary on Galatians - Luther The City of God - Augustine Complete Works - Justin Martyr Common Sense Not Needed - Ten Boom Eternity in Their Hearts Imitating Christ - Thomas Aquinas 
My Utmost for His Highest - Chambers
The Joy of an Abandoned Life - Russian
Russia Sought Rain of The Lord - Russian Biographies The Hiding Place - Ten-Boom The Autobiography of Charles Finny - Finny Luther Calvin Zwingli John Huss Spurgeon Wycliffe Adonirum Judson Mary Slesinger Is That Really You God? - Cunningham Through Gates of Splendor Beyond Gates of Splendor Bruschko The Cross And The Switchblade - Wilkerson Confessions - Augustine John Wesley Fiction Pilgrims Progress - Bunyan The Chronicles of Narnia - Lewis The Pilgrims Regress - Lewis Cry, The Beloved Country - Carl The Big Fisherman - Greene Ben Hur The Curate of Glasgow - George McDonald The Musicians Quest - McDonald Northwind - McDonald Little Lord Fontleroy The Brothers Karamazov - Dostoyevsky The Book of the Dun Cow - W. Wangerin Jr. Gilead - Robinson The Visitation - Peretti
Laying in the haythe girls and my footTirzah going to get the moon

October 29, 2013

Andrey from NovosibirskDenis and TirzahFinishing the grrenhouseGirls having teaTirzah and Adara in chicken coop

Sept 16, 2013

01 Rebecca and Yura from Chunoyar02 Church building in Chunoyar03 Inside the church buidling in Chunoyar04 Artem on Demolition05 Orphanage room106 Another room in the orphanage07 Tirzaha and Adara at the Park08 Baptism 201308a Denis Reading09 Last hay stacks of the year10 Strategic Energy Security11 Denis Greenhouse Full Hay Loft13 Tractor and Chipper

June 10, 2013

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

It has been a long time since I last wrote. Far too long. Over two months now. I personally regret my lapse in this since we covet and need your prayers, which are harder to come by when one doesn't know what to pray for! So, I'll attempt to bring you all up to speed.

April and May have flown by in a blur! I feel like there are not enough hours in the day and for sure we lost a few weeks somewhere in the compilation of the callender!

The last time I wrote in early April the team of Doctors from Agape Missions had just left. Andrey (our first RPTC student) and I would spend about 2 hours (sometimes more) 5 days a week studying. It was a good time. We also did a lot of work getting ready for spring, working on wagons and other farm equipment, cleaning up the property as the snow melted and doing minor repairs on the building.

I also spent about a week in April helping write several business plans. One was for Zhenya, the Pastor from Oseenavy Mees. He wants to expand his dairy and is trying to get a Russian government grant to do that. We found out about a small business grant program that was being rolled out in our region and decided to try and take advantage of that. Please pray for a favorable response. Our goal is that the Russian ministries here be self sustaining, and in the small villages that means being bi-vocational. Zhenya has done so well with his little dairy and is largely already self supporting. This is a blessing to us and a necessity for the health of any long term ministry here. Please pray that this positive trend would continue.

Another development that happened in April that was not so good was that Andrey and his family decided to leave. After only two months in he RPTC he decided it wasn't for him. This came as a blow to me, since personally I really liked Andrey and he was a very good worker and a sincere man. I'm glad he was willing to tell me his heart though and our parting, though hard, was not bitter.

Part of the envisioned function of the RPTC was to sort out potential workers, to find those who were willing and able and to vet out those who, for whatever reason were not. So, in that way, it is doing what it was intended for. I was hoping for a graduate next year and a church plant but, maybe I have more to learn myself before God leads me into that. We shall see.

On the bright side, I finally got a second horse, to team up with the horse I already had. This horse who was supposedly "saddle broke and trained in harness" turned out to be very green broke. I found out the hard way. I got a toenail smashed off, have a huge bruise under my rib cage, and a goose egg on my head as proof of how well she was "trained in harness."! I suppose the old saying is true, buyer BEWARE! But with some work I think she'll turn out alright.

In the last days of April Zhenya and I went to St. Petersburg for a church conference. Zhenya and I both had a wonderful time fellowshipping. Ever since we broke away from KCLC last summer I've been looking for and praying for a larger church body with which to affiliate ourselves. Our time in St. Petersburg was blessed but the distance is so great that any real "support" would most likely be unrealistic to expect. However we are always open to options and continue to build relationships with all the local churches. Please pray that God would guide us in this.

Only one word can describe what we've been up to in May. Farming! Between training my new horse, breaking my old horse in on the plow (she'd not worked the plow last year), plowing, planting, harrowing seeding, repairing harness and wagons. Work, work, work! But the spring and early summer rush is almost over. Praise God! Please pray that God would give me wisdom in training my new horse and making a decent team out of the two.

I just finished preaching through the Gospel of Luke a few Sundays ago. Our little group of faithful church goers give me so much joy. Joy for their faithfulness, joy for their growing in the knowledge of the Lord. I so desire for these people to understand the Gospel, and for their understanding to be real, not surface acceptance of a form or a truism but the realization of a reality they had not previously been aware of, the dawning of the light of truth. One of the ladies exclaimed a few soundays back, that this was all very serious, not just a story, and that our lives must change. Praise God. I continue to preach the word as God gives me grace to do, and I pray that He continues to open eyes, hearts and minds.

Rebecca and the girls are doing well. Rebecca has been getting these bad headaches every day at about 3 o'clock so please pray that the Lord would relieve her of this pain.

We lost Tirzah the other day. It was a shaking experience and even though she was missing for only about twenty minutes, both Rebecca and I had worst case scenarios running through our heads. As it turned out she had just walked out the back gate, through the horse pasture, under the barbed wire fence and kept going on down the road. When we found her some people were bringing her home. Enough to give you a heart attack! I have since, impressed it very well on her that going out of the gates is definitely a "No! No!"

When I was harrowing the hay fields Rebecca and the girls came out to have lunch with me a few times. What a blessing family is!! God is good!!!

Back to more earthy things! Last week we started building a greenhouse! This project has been in the making, in various stages for almost three years. We received a specific donation towards this project earlier this spring and last Tuesday we started to excavate the site. In short, this project is to build a large green house that is energy passive, or almost. We will have a water pump and a few fans. The hope is that this green house will give us about 10 months worth of growing. I hope that we may get a true year round result but we will see. The green house is built into the ground, sheltering it from the winter cold, it is combined with a barn to use animal heat to help heat it, and any other heat needed will be provided by a compost heat exchange system based on the methods of Jean Paine. A lot of research has gone into this project and, if it works as I hope, it should be rather revolutionary. We shall see.

By the end of this letter you are probably thinking that I am far to much involved with hobby farming and not enough involved with doing "missionary stuff." I want to set the record straight. As I said earlier, the goal is that the local Russian missions be self sufficient. In some of the larger towns of the Boguchany region like Boguchany (pastor Andrey) or Chuniyar (pastor Yura) being bivocational is simple. You go get a job.

But in most of the villages work is very hard to find, and the jobs that are available usually entail leaving the town for weeks on end. For a pastor trying to start a church, this is not an option. In the past we have tried several different approaches. Micro enterprise loans, the large scale project of the sawmill to name a few. But I have come to see that in leading and teaching EXAMPLE is so important. What kind of a "job" could we train people to do that would work in any of the villages of the Boguchany region? The answer, for many reasons, is farming. All of the Russian villagers do gardens to help augment whatever other income they have. I am simply trying to take that to the next level.

I want to set up a farm that is operated by one, maximum two full time workers (that is the owner and one hired hand, maybe) that is capable of providing for the basics for the owner and will be mostly self sufficient and have a minimal reliance on external inputs. The model I am pursuing is minimal cash flow model which will allow the farm to survive even if sales of produce are dismal. To accomplish this we have to do things differently than "normal". This approach is different than anything we've tried before in that I am trying to do something that one, maybe two people could do. I am doing it myself. I am not writing some plan and asking a Russian local to implement it. I hope to teach by example. When we do get students in the RPTC they will be able to see how one could practically live in a village without a job or external supports, working with their own hands.

We are not their yet, and bringing the theory to life takes a lot of investment of time, energy and resources. I believe this to be a necessary part of reaching the Boguchany region with the Kingdom. In the future I hope to write a larger explanation of what the farm concept entails. I had meant to do a video to this end as well but, I haven't had the time to get to it yet.

Please keep the orphanage project in prayer. We are planning on trying to wrap that project up this year and finish it. Please pray that God would provide the resources and manpower needed to do this.

Sorry for the length of this letter. I hope to keep the letters coming more regularly to remind you to pray for us and to keep you informed as to what is going on.

Thank you for making this mission possible. Thank you so much for your prayers and support.

How will they hear if no one is sent? Thank you for sending us. They will hear.

God Bless!

Justus, Rebecca, Tirzah and Adara

P.S. About our website. I'm in the process of rebuilding it. It may be down for a while. Sorry for the wait.

May 19, 2013

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ!

Well it has been a little over a month since I last wrote, and so much has happened I abandon all hope of a comprehensive, blow by blow update! However I'll try to hit on the high points!

Dad and I finished our whirl wind tour of Russia on the 6th of May. That was just over a month long trip, just over 11,000 km driven, 16 presentations, countless new friends, contacts and opportunities for ministry. Praise the Lord.

One of the highlights of the trip for me was running into churches all over the place that are, at least, talking about village ministry and in a few brilliant cases, really doing an amazing work. The Russian Church of Gospel Christians is a 2300 some church union (denomination) whose president right now is Eduard Grobovenko. He has a vision and a heart for village ministry. We were able to meet with him and his team in Perm and we were very much blessed by the work they are doing. Praise the Lord.

I was also able to speak into a lot of lives on this trip concerning family. I hope to do some more teaching in the year to come in several of these new contact churches on family. This is a door God is opening. Praise the Lord.

As a result of this trip I hope we will be working with the Russian Church of Gospel Christians more closely in the future! Dad and I got back to Krasnoyarsk on the 6th of May, and Dad stayed in Krasnoyarsk to wait for his flight on the both while I headed to Moscow to attend a Russian Church of Gospel Christians conference. I ended up helping translate for one of the keynote speakers over dinner, Ravi Zacharius. That was fun!

While Dad was in Krasnoyarsk he went to visit a family which I had interviewed last winter about taking over the orphanage. Dad said that they were interested in actually taking up the project but had sue questions. After I got back to Krasnoyarsk on the 10th I met with Artem and we prayed over their families future.

Before we left on the trip, Zhenya the pastor from Oseenavy Mees, had told me that he would most likely have to be leaving his post as Pastor. Upon my return, he confirmed that this would be what he would be doing. So, sadly, less than a week after our big road trip was over, Zhenya had his last service in Oseenavy Mees, and left. This has left a void here, but I am filling in for him in the Oseenavy Church and again we are all praying, Lord, send workers to the harvest.

Artem and his wife Tanya and their two adopted sons came up for a day on Friday the 17th, with a truck load of stuff! They have decided to move and take on the orphanage project! Artem will be finishing the interior work needed to be done on the orphanage, while his family lives right next door in the chuch building in Oseenavy Mees. Please pray for Tanya and Artem, that their house in the city sell as soon as possible and that God give them success in their new life. Also pray that we as a church body here could support them and hold them up in their work.

Sasha, Zhenya's second in command there in Oseenavy Mees, who now finds himself as kind of the head care taker of the church buildings and property in Oseenavy Mees, needs to have an operation done on his foot. He had several toes amputated several years before he came to the Lord (he came to our rehab center about four years ago) and this last week his stubs have become inflamed, he is running a fever and feels weak. Please pray for Sasha, that God would heal him and give him a speedy recovery. He is headed to the Boguchany regional hospital tomorrow.

I am so glad to be home! Rebecca and the girls are so precious and I am soaking up the affection like a dry sponge. I hope I'm dealing it out as much as I am getting! God has given me unimaginable wealth in my family! I am so blessed!

Tirzah and I go out to work almost every morning and Tirzah walks and works with me for to to three hours every day. Adara has gotten really affectionate since I've been gone and she'll just come up and ask to be held, some time for a long time!

Rebecca did not have any more invasions from any one, even though that same drunk showed up at 2:00 AM a few days after the initial attack. However he stayed outside the gate. The very un Christian side of me wishes very much that he'd show up again now that I'm home! But I am learning about forgiveness, I guess.

All in all the last two months have been long, exciting, relaxing, stressful, lonely, happy, encouraging, scary, inspiring and altogether filling our hearts with hope that God will finish this good work which He has begun in the Boguchany Region!

Please keep us in your prayers!!

Justus, Rebecca, Tirzah and Adara!

Hair Salons and The Gospel

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ, 

To be honest not much has been going on the last few weeks. I have been continuing to teach two english classes, one for boys and one for girls, and that has been a lot of fun. Not only have I been able to teach a few none, verbs, prepositions and phrases but God continually opens the door for me to share His Word. 

February 2nd, 2013

Family Photo Christmas 2012
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ, 

I can hardly believe that it has been two months since the last time I wrote. I am so sorry for not keeping all of you more in the loop as to what is going on here. So I'll try to bring you all up to speed with as little elaboration as possible. 

December and January have been cold, busy, happy, hard and cozy! God has continued to show His faithfulness and we are continually blessed by the work HE is doing and the part HE is allowing us to play in it. Here's what's been going on!