As we mentioned in our last post, we are in the beginning of a relationship with Nikolai and Irena Tsaryovi. This week we visited them in their apartment, had dinner together and just spent time getting to know one another. This family of 8 lives in a very small 2 room apartment. In America we would call it a three room apartment, but in Russia the kitchen is not counted. It is no wonder in this apartment as the kitchen is about five feet by five feet (which is smaller than the average walk in closet in an American home). It contains a small sink, a water heater, a very small and old refrigerator, an ancient two burner gas stove and a very tiny washing machine.
The living room (pictured here) also functions as the family room, dining room, and bedroom for Nick and Irena. Every night they roll out a thin mattress on the floor for their bed. The six children ranging in age from 2 ½ to 19 all sleep in the bedroom, dormitory style in three sets of bunk beds. We don’t say any of this to invoke sympathy for these folks, but rather to just shed some light on the living conditions of many families in Russia. Unlike most families, Nick and Irena made the decision to have a large family. They believe that children are a blessing from the Lord. The children are wonderful examples of what effect Christian parents can have. They were well behaved, gracious and friendly and obviously helpful and caring toward one another. It was a delight to have the honor of being invited into their home and into their family circle.
We hope to be able to help out this family and others by providing clothing for the children. If you or your church would like to be involved in this project please let us know. We can always use new, or good quality used clothing here. Many Christian families struggle with poverty due to the continuing economic woes in Russia. If you are interested in helping, drop us an email at Missionarycouple@Comcast.net . Anything you can do would be greatly appreciated. Clothing or other packages would need to be mailed, surface mail to our address. Shipping time is 6 to 12 weeks.
We will continue meeting with Nick and Irena weekly over the next months as we plan for the planting of the first Foursquare church in Nizhny Novgorod. Please pray with us that the Lord will send laborers into the harvest and that this new church will be a light in this desperately dark place. Pray that the Lord will provide the needed rental facility, the equipment and the finances to get this church up and running.