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Monday, March 31, 2008

Four Years in Russia!

At the start of the month we celebrated four years of living and working in Russia! We love being here and we would not trade this life for anything. Being here has brought us great joy.

Certainly at times we miss our family and friends in America. We miss talking face to face with our children. We have missed the birth of several grandchildren and many birthdays, and holidays. We miss being with Karen's parents during these years.

Despite this, we stay and enjoy the life we have. Daily we see people coming to Christ and receiving new life. Every week we are challenged by the Russian church as our definitions of church and ministry are stretched. Our original intent was to church-plant here. We spent our first 2 1/2 years building relationships. Many of these have been enduring and have led us to where we are today. Despite the time and the relationships our church planting efforts did not bear much fruit.

Last year we met Pastor Dmitry of Cornerstone Church. We immediately took a liking to him and he to us. It was one of those moments when you just know the Holy Spirit is doing something. With the approval of our field supervisor we changed our direction a bit and came alongside Cornerstone to strengthen their ministry and to help Pastor Dmitry to disciple the new converts.

We are grateful to be a part of The Foursquare Church. The cornerstone of Angelus Temple is inscribed with these words, "Dedicated to the cause of worldwide, interdenominational evangelism". We believe that by working with Association of Cornerstone Churches here in Russia that we are fulfilling those words, written by Aimee Semple McPherson, the founder of the Foursquare Movement. Because of that vision, we are able to work alongside an indigenous Russian church, helping them to grow and expand.

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