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Thursday, December 10, 2009

We are in Siberia and it is COLD!

Karen and I are currently in Tomsk, Siberia, Russia. It is COLD here, -25 today!

We arrived in Novosibirsk on Sunday the 6th after a 2 day train ride from Nizhny Novgorod. The trip was uneventful. About all you can do on a train is sleep and read, we did both. It was interesting watching the temperature drop the further east we went. In Nizhny Novgord it was 32F when we left and it dropped about 1 degree from every hour on the train. When we arrived in Novosibirsk it was -18.

We only stayed in Novosibirsk long enough to catch a few hours sleep, a shower a meal and then we were off by car to Tomsk. The drive was about 4 hours on snow and ice covered roads.

Tomsk is a large city of about 600,000 people and the regional capital. In Tomsk we are hosted by the "Church of Praise", pastored by our good friend Oleg Tikonoff. Pastor Oleg is a former drug addict who came to Christ 11 years ago. After 1 week in a drug rehab program, he went back to his hometown and began tp preach Christ. Within 4 months he had started a church! He was less than 5 months old in the Lord. Today that church is very active, with a congregation of over 600 people and a long list of ministries. From the original church 10 more churches have been started and thousands of lives have been touched by the gospel.

We have been teaching in the local Bible school and will teach today in one of the drug rehab centers operated by the church. Tomorrow we will go to one of the daughter churches in a town called Kalpashava, were will will spend the weekend. We will teach 7 Bible school classes, minister in the rehab center and preach in the Sunday service. Hopefully we will also be able to go to a banya, and we are sure we will have lots of fun and eat more than we should.

We are having a great time on this ministry trip. Next week we head back to Novosibirsk where we will teach in several rehab centers.

We have not had enough internet time to upload picture. hopefully we will be able to so soon.

1 comment:

Laura said...

Hi Mike and Karen...
God bless you and may you be safe and healthy. All that cold you talk about makes me want to pray more for you. I don't think I could take weather like that. the wonderful thing, though , is that when God calls you ...you can go anywhere...HE watches over you and HE brings you His joy no matter what the circumstances are. LOTS of love,
Your friends serving in Albania
Laura and Chris