Sent To Siberia

Preaching the Gospel to the Rurals of Siberia

2014

November 30, 2014

Dear Brothers And Sisters in Christ, A lot has been going on here in the last month or so, I'll try and do my best to bring you all up to speed!

First things first, last news letter I wrote about the opportunity, due to a matching funds donor in the US and the spontaneous outpouring from our "fans" here in Russia, to purchase a vehicle to replace the one we wrecked back in October. I am pleased to report that we were able to raise, along with what came in on the Russian side, enough money to purchase a new vehicle, do basic post purchase maintenance and repairs and put $2,500 in the bank towards future repairs. Thank you all so much for stepping up and helping us in this crisis. We will endeavor to stay right side up on the road from now on!!

The day after we bought the car, Andrey and I took it on it's "maiden" voyage (its a 1997 Mitsubishi Delica) to the city of Prokopevsk where I conducted two days of seminars on family and child rearing. It was a good time, well attended and even afterwards I continue to get a lot of positive feedback. There is a real hunger amoung the beleivers for solid teaching on the family. Praise the Lord! I'll be ring to the city of Kansk this January where I hope to be able to share my whole collection of teachings on the family, about 22 hours worth. Please pray that this event will come together smoothly. On the way to and from Prokopivsk, we stayed with Pastor Vlad in Kemerova. He has also asked me to come to Kemerovo in 2015 and do an extensive series of lectures on the family. God is opening doors.

My parents came to visit from the 6th of November to the 20th of November, two weeks that flew by as if it had been two days! They came to commemorate the 20th year anniversary of the establishment of the church in Oseenavy Mees, the first church in the Boguchany region. We had a three day long conference, guests came in from all over Russia. The theme of the conference (aside from being the 20th birthday of the church) was missions. A call to everyone to not look at oneself and see the reasons why not to go, but to realize that often the very reasons we have to not go or not serve are the very things God will use to glorify Himself through you. My parents shared how several missions organizations told them that they could never be overseas missionaries with four kids, but how that turned out to be one of our largest assets. The first people who came to faith were all our friends, children us kids had befriended.

Mom and Dad left on the 20th of November, but not before having to sit through a radio and then a TV interview in Krasnoyarsk. God continues to use the "fame" from last August to open doors for me to preach the word or at least sow seeds. Praise the Lord. Unfortunately, for the English speakers, all the content from these events is in Russian!

This week a man by the name of Volodya arrived to join the RPTC program (Rural Pastor Training Center). He has been in the Lord for some years and has been looking for someone who was working in the villages to work with and learn from. That's when he saw some news report about an American raising goats in the Boguchany region. He looked into it and found us! So far he seems very prone to learning and to helping. He helped me a lot over the last couple of days as we slaughtered and then butchered, packaged and stored seven goats and one sheep. I think if he can stomach that a few days after arriving, he can probably do most anything!! Please pray for Volodya that he would be able to lean what we can teach him, that he would then carry that knowledge forward and use it in his ministry in the future.

We are now getting our bags around to hit the road again! Back in July an anonymous supporter gave us a gift of a three week vacation to the US! PRAISE THE LORD AND THANK YOU! WE have not been back to the US as a family for about 3 years, so even though we are not in the position to come back right now and travel and see everyone and share what the Lord is doing here, we are very grateful for the season of refreshing this will afford. This vacation package includes two weeks in North Idaho where we wil be staying at my parents house, and a week cruise out of Miami. We are so humbled and blessed by this blessing. Again, thank you.

I need to wrap up this letter since it is already 7:30 AM. I still have a few chores to get done, then breakfast, a little last minute packing, two church services to do, then we hit the road for the city. Pray for traveling mercies!

Yesterday was -41 here. For our family devotions we read Psalm 147. In verse 17 there are these words, "He hurls down His hail like morsels, who can stand before His cold." As the cold literally crackled outside, I was reminded that the earth IS the Lord's and everything in it. Sometimes we see things that happen in our lives, like "bad" weather, as obstacles, burdens or hardships. This passage reminded me that there is a different perspective bred in thanksgiving; namely that the storm clouds are witnesses to His Glory. We can see His awesome power in -41, or in the darkness of the squall, or in the trials we endure only if we choose to walk in an attitude of submitsion to His will (because He is God and we are not) and thankfulness in all things. Thankfullness brings contentment, contentment born with patience brings peace, peace which passes all understanding produces joy. And the Joy of the Lord is out strength. We claim to need strength when the trials come, when the storm rages, when the world is dead with cold, but so often we turn away from the first step in the chain reaction of virtue which inevitably will bring us joy in which is our strength. For even Christ endured the cross, not out of sheer will power but "for the JOY which was set before Him."

Give thanks in all things, for this is the will of God for you in Christ Jesus. I Thessalonians 5:18

INJ,
Justus, Rebecca, Tirzah, Adara (+1!!).








01 Choosing Delicas02 Our new Van03 in Prokopivsk with pastor valentine at the Jesus monument04 Jesus Monument in Prokopivsk05 Dad and I preaching at the Conference06 Sunrise in Oseenavy Mees07 Church Building in OM08 Group photo at Cnference day 209 worship team day three at conference10 meeting at the conference11 Borodino Group12 third day at the conference13 OM contingent at the conference14 Mom and Dad and Me at the radio station in Krasnoyarsk15 doing the radio show in krasnoyarsk

August 28, 2014

Dear Brothers and Sisters In Christ,

Well I'm down with bronchitis in the middle of haying season, ordered to antibiotics and bed rest by the head doctor of our local hospital. So that means I can sit here, at my leisure, with the sun shining brightly outside and give you a detailed report on all that's going on in our corner of the world!

I hope, with Russia and the Ukraine in the media a lot more lately, that you all find it an easy reminder to pray for us. That God would give us all peace and that the Prince of Peace would bring peace and that the ambitions of men would not inhibit the spread of the Gospel. I think it's important that we filter every world event through the lens of the Kingdom. How is this effecting the spread, growth, and strengthening of the Kingdom of Christ? All the kingdoms of the world will fall. All the kingdoms are under the sway of the prince of the age, no temporal kingdom is an exception. Pray that God would give us peace, that the USA and Russia would find a way to peace, so that the Gospel can go unhindered! Amen!

Alright, back to our life! Summer is busy with farm work. As I relayed previously, our time in the winter is filled up with ministry and outreach efforts but our summers are filled primarily with farm work. Why "waste" time on our "hobby" farm? Because if we are really serious about Russian missionaries picking up and moving to the villages to serve the locals and open up churches, we need to have a tent making model that we, in good faith, know works and can say with surety, go, do this, it works. The first three years we spent in Takuchet kind of learning the ropes, finding out what could and couldn't be done, land laws, regulations, etc. We were further hindered by my health issues, attacks from some locals who slaughtered our animals and thought up various ways to inhibit the work. But God gave us faith to preserver and thanks to your prayers and faitfhful support we have two working farms. One in Oseenavy Mees and one in Takuchet. My farm in Takuchet is still teetering on the edge of solvency but I hope by this fall we should get the kinks worked out and a Russian missionary pastor could step into our shoes here and be fully supported by the farm. That's the hope for the near future! And it is exciting.

So since our last update we've been doing farm work. Had an infection in the goat kid population and lost about half the kids. That was a blow. But, we endure and learn and will avoid the situation in the future.

We also were able to get a van for our family this July. We had some issues with the bank transfer from the states, and a deal that should have taken a week ended up taking three weeks but when we drove our "new" 1995 Mitsubishi Delica 4x4 home from the city we felt it was worth it. Speaking of banking, as it turned out, a week after we got the van, finally getting the money out of the bank system, the US enacted sanctions against several Russian banks. The bank I use over here was one of them. We slipped in just under the wire. Yikes!

We are HOPING to go to Oktobersky to open a new Church there this fall. We wanted to do this last fall but we could not find a man of peace, someone to open their home for meetings. We continue to hope and pray for this man of peace. I am ready to start a new work in either Oktobersky or Novohaisk, we just need good contacts. So pray, pray for open doors. Hopefully this fall we will do two large scale outreaches in Takuchet and maybe in Oktobersky. Having the van will really help facilitate this. Thank you! PLease pray that we will be able to speak the word of this life boldly and that the hearers would be convicted and turn to Christ.

Most of August we've been trying to get in the hay. Dodging rainstorms and scrambling when the sun shines can get old after a while but it has been a good year regardless. Hopefully we'll put up enough hay this year for both the Oseenavy farm, the Takuchet farm and have extra, even though the year had been, up until haying time, a semi drought! So the Lord is Good.

My chinese tractor side bar mower keeps falling apart. It is a good thing I'm preaching through James in Takuchet on Sundays, count it all joy when you fall into various trials!! Patience having a perfect work in us makes us complete! But the darn patience has to work! And we have to let it. Count it all JOY! How can we do that? By being thankful for what we do have, by giving thanks for the many blessing and by focusing on Christ and the work he has accomplished and then our "trials" become a comic relief, and if not a comic relief, at least we keep in perspective that we have not "struggled to blood" against sin.

So summer is almost gone. My list of projects, somehow has grown by the end of the summer and not shortened. But God is good and has given me some good help this year and hopefully we can get the most important things done. I'm building a garage, or actually finishing the garage we started building last fall. The garage will house the ministry vehicle, our van that is, and my tractor. I want to put a rocket stove in so that will take some work. Finish up a few things on the greenhouse, put linoleum in the house, etc.

Please pray for Andrey, the milk man across the street.I feel like he is so close. He talks to me about God every time we meet up, and during haying season that was a lot because I was cutting his hay. He asked for prayer to get rid of a "curse" that he was afraid someone put on him, Please pray.

Near the end of July I was invited to Boguchany to preach to the church there. I spoke on the cycles of life and death, the two trees in the Garden of Eden, the two trees at Gethsemenee and the One Tree in the Garden which is the center of the New Jerusalem. How Christ is the Tree of Life, and religion is the tree of the knowledge of Good and Evil. Andrey and his church there are working on building a new church building. Please pray for provision.

We had two weddings in the Oseenavy Mees church this summer. No weddings for twenty years and here, two in a row. The cool thing was that the two couples each invited all of the non believing husbands of the believing women who come to church and we were able to more openly proclaim the Gospel to these men. three in particular that I would ask you to pray for are Volodya, Viktor and Sasha. All of these men, in various ways, seem close to the Kingdom. Sasha was spared in a near fatal accident last year which humbled him. Volodya has had a complete life transformation through the Biblical ministry of his believing wife, Viktor has undergone a similar change. These men would be an asset to the church if they would finally submit their lives to Jesus. Pray for them please.

One of our teens in the Oseenavy Mees youth group was attacked two weeks ago with a knife. He had a pretty bad wound to the leg. I do not think the attack was motivated by him being a Christian but then again it is hard to tell sometimes. Please pray for Sergey that God would teach him through this that bad company corrupts good morals. Pray that God would help his single mother make good decisions about bringing up a teenage boy with out a father.

Jordan and Janahlee Jonas are back! Jordan came over several years ago, worked with us for a while and then felt the Lord leading him to work amoung the native herdsmen up in the north, in Evenki territory. He recently got married, back in December in the US, and Arrived in Russia Aug 7th with his wonderful wife Janahlee! They ended up coming up to visit for almost a week and it was a blast. Please pray that Jordan and Janahlee would be given guidance on how to spread the Kingdom Message amoung the reindeer herders.

I'm planning on picking my English classes back up this fall, as well as the Bible School program. Sasha, one young man who really took learning english seriously, passed the high school English final exams this June with flying colors. 2014 was the last year that English was an elective for high school graduates. Sasha, who didn't know the alphabet when we started working in September, was so excited by the progress he made that he chose English as one of his electives! The English exams are infamous here. He is the first student in a three school area in four towns to pass the English exam in three years! Praise the Lord. Even though Sasha did not make an overt profession of faith, a lot of good seed has been planted into his life, and into the lives of many other English students here in Takuchet. The word has got around and a lot of people are asking about the upcoming season. We are able to plant seed because we are here. We can stay here because you have sent us. Thank you!

Rebecca and the girls are doing very well. Tirzah and Adara are, thankfully, so thankfully, in good health and for the most part seem to be very healthy! They are a real joy. They are just at that age where they can really start plaing together in a very meaningful way and it is, usually, pretty wonderful to watch. Usually they are not puling each others hair out! Usually. Rebecca and I made a make shift pool for them that they had some fun in over the summer days.

As I mentioned I'm on five days "bed" rest due to bronchitis! Who knows how I got that. I interpret bed rest pretty loosely though, and I'm still trying to get things done, albeit I'm not out in the fields where I should be. Rebecca has had pretty good luck this year with the green house. unfortunately while we were in the city trying to buy our van, our farm sitter either fried or flooded the green house, spider mites invaded, and it's been a downhill battle from there. Hopefully we can learn from this mistake and not repeat next season!!

Speaking of the girls we have to go to Moscow next week to extend Tirzah's passport. Her residency permit ends this February and due to the long sequence of necessary submission dates for different documents we basically have to get her a new passport now so as to safely get her residency permit extended. Long story short we all have to take a trip to Moscow to the embassy. This is a big financial burden, round trip for the whole family will cost $2,500. Pleas pray for continued provision and thank you for your support.

Rebecca has been feeling sick lately, but it's a good kind of sick. Morning sickness! Please pray that God would give her relief and a safe pregnancy. We feel at peace about having another child now and hope that you would continue to bear our whole family up in prayer. Our family is an integral part of our ministry, and as our children grow up I expect it will be even more so. Our testimony is supported by our family life.

There is an issue I'd like to talk to you about that is a little awkward. But I'll just dive in because I do want your prayers. As you may remember last year Dad and I went on a month long church tour all over russia trying to raise awareness for village ministry. So far, other than a few long lasting ministry contacts, there have been no direct results from that tour. However, I think God wants the word to get out anyway. In January a friend of a friend landed me an interview with a gourmet food magazine in Krasnoyarsk. I took the interview because I thought it might help to get me some extra clients for the farm products. They ended up not releasing the interview until June. Then the Boguchany regional TV channel came out and did a segment on us, our work, our family, our farm. Then a Moscow TV show came out, then the national evening news came out, then another Krasnoyarsk network, etc. Overnight, we've become famous. Some sites are claiming 2.3 million views of the "merry farmer" (the spontaneous nickname that has popped up for me) on YouTube. I've now been invited to several national and regional TV talk shows to talk about farming, Russian American relations etc. Here is where I want your prayers. I want you to pray that God would use this not saught after national attention for us to be able to get the word out about village missions. I'll talk about land reform and farming, but I'll also try and throw out shout outs for Christian workers to go to the villages. Those who are meant to hear this call, can then look me up later and get in touch. Please pray that God would give me the wisdom to use this media attention for HIS glory and to attract more workers to the field. And if your interested in getting a look at our life, even though most of you won't understand the language, sometimes getting to see our life is fun anyway. I've linked all the main videos that have come out about us on our YouTube channel:

http://www.youtube.com/user/senttosiberia

Click on "playlists" it's the list with 4 videos in it.

As long as we are talking about the inter webs, I got our website back up and running at the end of June. Nothing really new there, I need to find a hassle free way of managing the thing, but it is a good resource for people to use to get to know about us and our work. Still working on a Russian version. Should have had that up before the media frenzy hit!

Anyway, about the site, please go to the site and go to our "support" page. It has an Amazon link that you can use to do your normal online shopping through and we get a little (very little) portion of the proceeds at no extra cost to you. My hope for the Amazon associate program is that we could fund our online presence (our website) and maybe in the future Russian language google ad words to help potential workers for the rural village mission field find us better. So that would help, an extra click or two for you and a little extra for us! Thanks!!

God is Good! Through ups and downs, drought and years of plenty, if we stay focused, somehow, anyhow, on the fact that He is good, we can get to the light at the end of the tunnel. Maybe the light is just the headlamp of the foreman bringing us more work, but that too is progress!! God bless!

INJ,
Justus, Rebecca, Tirzah, Adara (plus one).

Andrey pastor in boguchany with building unfinished inbackgroundDelica in the fog hauling hayJordan and Janahlee learning to spin wool into yarnour girls in the poolRebeccas green house before the spider mitesTea in honor of JonasVan finallywedding feastWedding of Andrey and Tanya

August 10, 2014

Dear Brothers and Sisters In Christ, 

It's been far too long since I wrote last. Funny how things like that work out. First you don't write because things are going along without much change, and you feel like there is no reason to write. Then things pick up and you don't write because your busy. Then tragedy hits and you don't write because you don't feel like bleeding all over everyone. But then you need to write, because you need people to know what is going on, because we need your prayers and because we are sent by you and do really want you all to be involved. So, please forgive me for not writing for so long. I hope than I can  be as brief as possible and yet bring everyone up to date. 

This whole winter was pretty busy. I think the best way to give you an idea of what we've been up to is to give an overview of our weekly routine, which held pretty strong and fast from the time that we got back from our trip to the hospital in January till the end of April 

Up at six with the guys who live next door (my two bible college students) to milk, water and feed the goats. Our goats started having kids in January and have been kidding ever since, no laughing matter! Every Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday I would do a two hour in depth course of study for the guys in the bible college program. It's an open classroom so we had people from the church in Oseenavy Mees attending as well. For this course of in depth topical Bible studies I had 9 students pretty consistently. We covered Exegesis and most of the foundational doctrines this year. We'll pick it up next fall. 

I also started doing Youth meetings last September and have kept them up every Saturday. I do not have many kids in the youth group (5-6) but the ones who come keep coming back. We talk about their questions, rehash last Sunday's sermon or watch a movie (the last two have been Fireproof and The End of The Spear). I hope to, in the future, take them to some of the bigger churches down south like Kansk and Aban to meet other Christian youth. These kids go through a lot to have any faith at all, so pray for them, that they would continue on the path of faith. 

I also did two sunday services every week all winter (and continue to). One in Oseenavy Mees and the other here in Takuchet. Please continue to pray for God to raise up Pastors and send help. I also have been leading a sort of inductive method bible study and prayer meetings twice a week (one in Oseenavy and one in Takuchet) every week over the winter. These are always a blessing because the people get involved and get excited about seeing the word come alive for them.   

We did a big outreach on Easter and some people came to hear the word. Unfortunately no new commitments but then the Word does not go out in vain. I was proud of every one pulling together in the church to do the outreach concert (with an Easter play). 

As a result this winter several people in both churches who had stopped coming to church meetings started coming again. I also started visiting a few believers who are house bound who had been discovered by our Oseenavy Mees evangelist, Olga Alexeyevna. It is always a happy thing to find believers who have found faith, more or less independent of your work, and who are ready to learn and grow, are hungry for fellowship. Please pray for Andulina and Tamara, that they would come to a deeper knowledge of Christ even in their isolation, and that I would be diligent in visiting them in their need. 

I also did English lessons four nights a week pretty much all winter long. I like teaching English in a voluntary environment where the kids who are there come because they want to learn. With some of the older students I've had lengthy discussions about the Lord, faith and Salvation. Again, no solid commitments from this work but the seed is being sown. Please pray that Sasha passes his 11th grade English exams and that the talks I've had with him about the Lord will bear fruit.

My mom, June, visited us in the end of March beginning of April for about three weeks. It was a blast having her. Rebecca and I and the girls drove our Honda station wagon down to the city (8-10 hour drive) to pick her up and then the same drive to take her back to the airport and both occasions were kind of like mini vacations. And as I said, we had a blast while mom was here. It was nice to haver sit in on my bible lessons and "audit" them! And the girls had so much fun with her as well. I taught mom a few things about playing chess while she was here and that was fun. Mom went to visit a lot of people she had known when they lived here back in the 1990's and that gave us an opportunity to witness again to people who needed reminding that the only hope is in Christ. 

So praise the Lord. He does His Work. We preach the Word, we pray and hope and believe that He will bring in the harvest. 

On the down side one of my two bible college students went on a drinking  binge about a week before Easter. I found the hell hole he was drinking in with some other guys and literally carried him out of there, The next day he went back to it. In the course of a few days of drinking he lost all his documents and had spread rumors that I was using him as slave labor/ Without documents in Russia you could very well keep someone as virtually a slave, so I told him that I had to send him to a rehab center that specialized in helping restore peoples documents (a common problem among the down and outers of this society). It was so sad, because he had been doing so well and it seemed he had made some good decisions in his life. I've been in touch with Denis since he went to the rehab center and he seems to understand that we only wish him well. Please pray that God would continue to work with Denis, to mature him and grow him into the full measure of Christ.

Right after Easter Rebecca and I lost our baby. It happened so fast that even as I write there is a sense of unreality to the event. One moment everything is fine and you're planning to give birth. The next moment, like lightning out of a clear sky, panic, pain, fear, terror, and loss. No warning signs, everything was fine and then it wasn't. 

When Rebecca went into labor we called the local hospital for assistance but the doctors were not available, the doctor in the next town over was not qualified to assist and so they called in a medical flight from Boguchany, our regional center. In the mean time Rebecca gave birth. Christina Hope Walker was born to us alive and we held her and spent several precious hours with her, as we waited for the medical flight to arrive. As it turned out I would have done better (time wise) to have driven Rebecca to the regional hospital (where the flight was supposed to come from) because it took them almost three hours to make the 30 min flight. 

When they finally arrived they did do everything they could for our baby. The medical team administered a D and C to Rebecca in our living room on the couch, hooked Christina up to oxygen and hot water bottles and took them in the helicopter back to Boguchany. I was told I'd only be in the way and was not allowed to fly with Rebecca and the baby. I've never been so furious, frustrated, crushed and distraught in my life. I felt so inadequate, like I'd totally failed as that helicopter took off. 

I immediately got the girls things around and took them to one of the ladies in the church and went myself to Boguchany to be with Rebecca. I got to the hospital about 3 hours after they had taken off from our village. Rebecca was doing fine but was in the intensive care unit on an IV and Christina was in the incubator. She lived till 7:20 that evening. In total she lived for ten hours. 

I checked rebecca out of the hospital the next day. They wanted to keep her for no less than five days but we were adamant that she would recover better at home, and since everything was apparently in order with her health, emotionally we knew it would be best for her to be home. It all started happening on Friday the 25th of April and we were home again on Saturday the 26th. Andrey, my other bible college student, made a small pine box for us and a cross and the next day on Sunday we told the churches to hold their services without us, and we had a private family funeral. 

It's odd how ego centrical we are. How we can, with calm equanimity, look on at the suffering of millions in history, of the distant struggles and pain of those in our own time, and talk about fallen nature, and sin causing death in the world and free will. Even last summer when Natasha from the church in Oseenavy Mees, lost her nine year old son Stas to a swimming accident in the river, even then I spoke words, what now seem to me to be cardboard platitudes, about the sovereignty of God, about not knowing his mysterious ways. 

But then pain, sorrow grief, of which I have really known very little in my life, strikes home. It comes in great wrenching sobs. It comes at the check out counter for no apparent reason, it comes at night. Whoever has lost a child knows, I think, what I'm speaking of. And with the sorrow comes rage. Rage at a God who would allow such needless suffering. Rage at a God who says the harvest is plentiful and the laborers are few but who does not give the harvest and the laborers feel abandoned. Rage and a raised fist at heaven, and an echoing scream at an ashen sky, a single question, why? 

But back to egocentrism. The question isn't really why, the question is why me. Because when it is the lady in the other town whose son drowns, or old granny Paulina who lost a son, a granddaughter and great granddaughter in a house fire several years ago, when it's them, there is no question. It's just the way of the world. When it's missionaries of the past or martyrs of old who died in droves and in terrible circumstances the comfort is good enough that God is good and that He knows best. But when its you, when it's you and your own pain, then its suddenly skin for skin. 

God didn't answer my demands for an answer. God didn't come to me in the whirlwind. He never obligated Himself to us, to give an account to us for why things happen. 

So here is my take away. In the sorrow there can be honesty. Rage, if not very holy, is honest. I can not imagine God wanting us to lie about how we feel. after the rage there is submission. He is God. I am not. How can the pot condemn the potter. In worship of Him there is peace. In blessing Him, even in the pain, there is peace, a peace that passes understanding. From peace we gain strength to lay down our claims and our rights and our shattered expectations, we crawl back out onto the altar and we take up our cross. 

I don't mean to make more of this than is warranted. This is our pain, though, and even though I know there are many out there who have suffered losses far more than mine, this loss was our loss and the pain was the only pain of it's kind we've ever known. 

The only way to not be bitter, to not blame the Creator, to not demand answers until facts shatter your faith, the only way to move forward is to say to yourself that you know that God is good, that you have tasted and seen in years past his faithfulness and power and that even though these experiences and knowledge of him as good can not explain this pain, it can carry you through, it can bring your fist down, it can cause you to know that the Lord, He is God. 

I'm trying to say that this is how we get through anything he leads us threw that we don't understand. It doesn't have to be pain, it could be a matter of obedience or submission to His will, to His Word. Whatever it is, the only way to get through it is to say, sometimes with clenched teeth that I will praise Him still. Praise has the power to liberate, that I know now better than before. 

Here is a verse Rebecca ran across which ministered to us. 

Psalms 119:81-83
My soul fainteth for thy salvation:
but I hope in thy word.
Mine eyes fail for thy word, saying, When wilt thou comfort me?
For I am become like a bottle in the smoke;
yet do I not forget thy statutes.

So I still don't know why a loving God allows for pain, death and sorrow. I know the doctrinally correct answers but on the skin for skin level I can't grasp it quite yet. But I know that if I praise Him in the storm there is rest for my coal, and peace and a haven for my soul. So He is my soul's Anchor after all. 

And life goes on, and God brings joy to us after sorrow. Sasha from Oseenavy Mees, we affectionately call him "little" Sasha (he is somewhat vertically challenged) got married to Natasha, the lady who lost her son to the river and her husband to abandonment last year. The first wedding in our church in Oseenavy Mees in it's 20 year history. God is good. And another couple has announced their intentions for getting married some time in early July. God is good. 

We are in the middle of late sprain early summer work. Planting the garden, putting up firewood for the winter, preparing hay fields and trying to clear new territory to expand the hay fields we have. Preaching the gospel to any one who will listen and sowing seed both spiritual and physical. In all this, God is good. 

One last piece of news. Our Honda station wagon has served us so well, but it has run so many miles over such bad roads that it is time to turn the poor thing in and get an upgrade. We'd like to get a van for church work so I am planning on trying to sell the station wagon and an old farm truck we have and get a van. I hope to start preaching in Oktobersky this fall, finally, and a van would be a great aid in this, in transporting teams and equipment for outreach, etc. Please pray for this enterprise.

Please pray for us. Pray that God would give an increase in the harvest of souls, that people would be convicted and understand their need for Christ, for His peace and rest. Pray that God would encourage and inspire the believers who are following Christ to be bold to speak the truth of the Gospel. Please pray.  

Thank you all for your prayers and support. Please again, forgive me for not keeping you more informed. God Bless.

INJ,
Justus Rebecca Tirzah and Adara

January 24, 2014 Our Christmas holidays went over very well. We had a simple family Christmas on the 25th of December. Rebecca was feeling pretty sick so I tried my hand at a special Christmas breakfast and dinner. I think, in general, when I try to cook, what is really tried is the Christianity of my captive audience, but it seemed to turn out alright. Chicken can't go too wrong!  We also had a nice family new years celebration where the ladies from Oseenavy Mees cooked us up a bunch of "salads" (think potato salad, pasta salad, almost casserole type salads) for our New Years dinner. We had a pleasant time with the girls and the Bible College students, Denis and Andrey. Unfortunately Rebecca was feeling too sick to join us. On the 4th some believers from the town of Aban came to do a children's outreach. They did a concert with games and told the Christmas story and shared the Gospel. About 20+ children were present. Again, we hope that the seed which is planted will find good reception in the hearts of the hearers.  On the 6th and 7th we did two large outreaches in the town of Oseenay Mees and Takuchet. The church in Oseenavy Mees put together an outreach program and I think it went very well. In Takuchet we had about 25+ people show up, children, teenagers and adults. It was a wonderful time of sharing the message of the gospel. We continue to sow good seed in hopes that those who hear will bear fruit.  Rbecca kept getting worse after Christmas, her vomiting and nausea seemed to just spiral out of control. On the 13th we decided to head for the city and get medical help. She had lost 18-20lbs in under a month. We got into a little private clinic and the immediately put her on an IV. Fluid, nutrients and vitamins began to finally reach her system and she made an amazing recovery. Since we have been in the city she vomitted maybe three times as opposed to once every hour and a half! Praise the Lord. We are so grateful for the medical attention we have received here.  Our Doctor prescribed 7-10 days of IVs for Rebecca, which we did a complete course of. But since she began to feel so much better from day one, we were blessed with 10 days of family time in the city. All of our friends, where we normally stay, couldn't put us up for various reasons and we had to rent an apartment for the time we spent in the city (least expensive option for temporary lodging) and this too turned out as a blessing. We were able to go out every day and do some fun family activity like play at an indoor playground in one of the malls or go sliding at the central ice sculpture exhibition in downtown Krasnoyarsk. This time, although not what we really wanted to be doing, turned out to be so blessed. All of Rebecca's tests show that everything with her pregnancy is normal. Thank you so much for your prayers! We are planning on leaving the city to go back to Takuchet tomorrow.  I have been spending a lot more time in the house since Rebecca has been sick. With a farm to run, six Bible College lessons to prepare for and do homework for, as well as 4 church services a week and 7 hours worth of English lessons, I felt like I had my plate full. Thankfully Denis and Andrey almost completely took over the responsibilities for the farm so I could cook, clean, do the wash, keep the girls happy and do my other work as well. At first I must admit that I was a bit perturbed at having this extra burden. But of course, it's no ones fault and just must be carried. But then, as I spent more time with the girls, I realized what a gift this time was for me. I was "forced" to be in the house and interacting with the kids all day long and it gave me so much insight into what Rebecca deals with every day. By the end of the month of housekeeping I was praising God for the opportunity I had to draw closer to my girls, to learn what they like and what they need, to see what they need as far as tools for their education and simply to get closer to them.  I know it is probably an all too oft remarked sentiment in the Christian community that every trial is a blessing in disguise, but rarely do we really recognize or see it in such a light. I was so thankful for this "trial" (really Rebecca was the one who was sick!!) that ended up being such a blessing for both me and, I hope, for the girls as well.  James says that patience, when it has a perfect work in us makes us complete, lacking in nothing. It is His grace that sends us those trials in which patience is perfected.  INJ, Justus, Rebecca, Tirzah and Adara (+!!!)

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ, It's been nearly a month since I wrote last and I would like to quickly bring you all up to speed on what is going on over in our neck of the woods! 

Our Christmas holidays went over very well. We had a simple family Christmas on the 25th of December. Rebecca was feeling pretty sick so I tried my hand at a special Christmas breakfast and dinner. I think, in general, when I try to cook, what is really tried is the Christianity of my captive audience, but it seemed to turn out alright. Chicken can't go too wrong! 

We also had a nice family new years celebration where the ladies from Oseenavy Mees cooked us up a bunch of "salads" (think potato salad, pasta salad, almost casserole type salads) for our New Years dinner. We had a pleasant time with the girls and the Bible College students, Denis and Andrey. Unfortunately Rebecca was feeling too sick to join us.

On the 4th some believers from the town of Aban came to do a children's outreach. They did a concert with games and told the Christmas story and shared the Gospel. About 20+ children were present. Again, we hope that the seed which is planted will find good reception in the hearts of the hearers. 

On the 6th and 7th we did two large outreaches in the town of Oseenay Mees and Takuchet. The church in Oseenavy Mees put together an outreach program and I think it went very well. In Takuchet we had about 25+ people show up, children, teenagers and adults. It was a wonderful time of sharing the message of the gospel. We continue to sow good seed in hopes that those who hear will bear fruit. 

Rbecca kept getting worse after Christmas, her vomiting and nausea seemed to just spiral out of control. On the 13th we decided to head for the city and get medical help. She had lost 18-20lbs in under a month. We got into a little private clinic and the immediately put her on an IV. Fluid, nutrients and vitamins began to finally reach her system and she made an amazing recovery. Since we have been in the city she vomitted maybe three times as opposed to once every hour and a half! Praise the Lord. We are so grateful for the medical attention we have received here. 

Our Doctor prescribed 7-10 days of IVs for Rebecca, which we did a complete course of. But since she began to feel so much better from day one, we were blessed with 10 days of family time in the city. All of our friends, where we normally stay, couldn't put us up for various reasons and we had to rent an apartment for the time we spent in the city (least expensive option for temporary lodging) and this too turned out as a blessing. We were able to go out every day and do some fun family activity like play at an indoor playground in one of the malls or go sliding at the central ice sculpture exhibition in downtown Krasnoyarsk. This time, although not what we really wanted to be doing, turned out to be so blessed.

All of Rebecca's tests show that everything with her pregnancy is normal. Thank you so much for your prayers! We are planning on leaving the city to go back to Takuchet tomorrow. 

I have been spending a lot more time in the house since Rebecca has been sick. With a farm to run, six Bible College lessons to prepare for and do homework for, as well as 4 church services a week and 7 hours worth of English lessons, I felt like I had my plate full. Thankfully Denis and Andrey almost completely took over the responsibilities for the farm so I could cook, clean, do the wash, keep the girls happy and do my other work as well. At first I must admit that I was a bit perturbed at having this extra burden. But of course, it's no ones fault and just must be carried. But then, as I spent more time with the girls, I realized what a gift this time was for me. I was "forced" to be in the house and interacting with the kids all day long and it gave me so much insight into what Rebecca deals with every day. By the end of the month of housekeeping I was praising God for the opportunity I had to draw closer to my girls, to learn what they like and what they need, to see what they need as far as tools for their education and simply to get closer to them. 

I know it is probably an all too oft remarked sentiment in the Christian community that every trial is a blessing in disguise, but rarely do we really recognize or see it in such a light. I was so thankful for this "trial" (really Rebecca was the one who was sick!!) that ended up being such a blessing for both me and, I hope, for the girls as well. 

James says that patience, when it has a perfect work in us makes us complete, lacking in nothing. It is His grace that sends us those trials in which patience is perfected. 

INJ,
Justus, Rebecca, Tirzah and Adara (+!!!)

Choir singing at outreach in OMGirls opening stockingsNe bath robes from GrandmaOutreach in TakuchetOutreach Skit in OMRebecca getting her last IVSliding at the ice sculptures in KrasTakuchet church building

June 8, 2014

A day in the fieldsChristina Hope Walker, at the hospitalGrave siteMemorialMom with the girlsOne of the children from the takuchet churchPrepariong for bible lessons in my hayloft officeRebecca quilted all winter and gave her quilt to some dear friendsRebeccas wonderful greenhouse. Shepherd Justus taking a sheep to shearTirzah carying the rings at Sasha and Natashas weddingYouth group in the easter outreach program