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26 November 2007

Greece Reunion

Almira returned from her 3 month missions trip to Greece, and so we all went out to debrief and talk about when we could ship her back!

I am amazed by how affected she was by her time, as I remember when she didn't want to leave her wonderful home city of Moscow! Now she is eager and ready to jump back into serving refugees and praising the Lord!

Now it only stands to wonder where Natasha and I will end up?

Russian Chocolate

There are some places in Moscow that everyone should go to, at least once in their lives. One of those places in my opinion is the Red October Chocolate Factory. Situated in the middle of central Moscow, this pre-revolutionary building houses one of the most famous Russian chocolate factories.

So a few of us gals went to sample the chocolate and take a tour of this historical monument.

Started by a German in the 1800s, it has become one of the oldest and most famous Russian chocolates. And is rather good if I might say so myself!

It gave me a bit of a new perspective on the process of chocolate making to see all the effort involved, and the various innovations which make it possible at all!

The factory is being moved outside of the city limits, and thus the quaint building in downtown Moscow will no longer give off the yummy smells of chocolate.

Yet the tradition will continue, just not in quite such a historical place!

It might not be Swiss Toblerone, but it sure is good!

19 November 2007

Weddings and new beginnings

Dumm-dumm-da- dumm...dumm-dumm-da-dummm....
On December 9th our 'do it all gal' Nastya is getting married! I am really, really excited for her!

It was an honor to throw her a shower and celebrate what God is doing in her life!

It seems just a bit ago we were praying for an answer to her heart's cries! And now God has brought a lovely guy named Misha into her life. What an answer to prayer!

30 Years and Going Strong

Happy Birthday Yulia!

You'd never know it to look at her, but this week my 'oldest' roomie Yulia turned 30!

As we all gathered around to wish her well, it seemed just yesterday that she and I became roomies. Oh the stories these walls could tell! I have learned a lot from being roomates with Yulia, and God has used her to shape and mold me for sure!

12 November 2007

7 Years of Russian Youth Ministry

Can you imagine, it has been 7 years since Perspektiva began in Russia!

It was 7 years ago that God used our team to begin a youth training school called Perspektiva. We were all teachers, administrators, drivers, janitors and counselors to the students. What began humbly and with only a few actual 'youth leaders, has lead to a growing school where students get practical hands-on Russian training. Praise the Lord! Now there are more than 30 regional youth leaders who have been trained and sent out, and are more effectively working with teens throughout Russia.

This past weekend our team had the priviledge to gather some alumni and current students to celebrate God's miraculous working in the youth ministry of Russia.
We celebrated with a banquet, souvenir team cups, and a time of worship and song together! Then we spent some time encouraging and hearing from our alumni about their continuing work with youth in their home regions. God is indeed doing an amazing thing here in Russia, and continues to work through Russian leaders to reach out to lost teens.

As the event administrator I will say that it was a crazy time with lots of unexpected changes and challenges! But upon listening to the students and hearing how encouraged they were by being together in fellowship, I was overwhelmed by how God used the event in their lives.