Well, I think that this is the best we’ve done in a while as far as updating posts! We’re determined to get better at updating here with more of our ministry opportunities, but we appreciate your patience.
We were able to enjoy some special family time before heading off to Novgorod together. We spent one day in Pushkin visiting Katherine the Great’s Palace, which at one point had been all but destroyed by the Nazis.
The beginning of this month we had the chance to go to Novgorod in good weather. For pictures of our first trip there, read this post on Cristy’s blog. While the trip was sort of planned for us, as you might recall from the last post, we did start to look forward to it as the time drew nearer. Two young ladies from our church and our pastor joined us early on a Friday morning to take the bus to Novgorod, thankfully a much newer bus than one we had previously ridden. Isaiah had a great time playing with Oksana and Marta, who were sweet to let Thomas and me have a little respite in our tight quarters.
We were met at the bus station by a friend of Mikhail Mikhailovich Polubaryarenov’s, who is a pastor in Novgorod. The main point of our trip was to get to know this pastor and further develop relationships between our two churches. Our host Mikhail Gregorovich (I don’t remember his family name, unfortunately) and his family were wonderful to be around! Much to Isaiah’s delight, they have 2 little boys, 5 and 3, and a little girl, 5 months, and another little one on the way! The size of their family is a ministry and a testimony to other Russians!
We spent the day seeing some sites, which we had previously seen covered in snow and ice. The day was beautiful! If you would like to see pictures, again please visit Cristy’s blog, as putting pictures on WordPress has become a pain for some reason.
Unfortunately, Cristy started getting sick late in the afternoon on Friday, which meant she couldn’t attend the service that evening, and that we had to return early on Saturday. However, Thomas was able to go to the service on Friday, and felt very encouraged! He was able to tell about InterAct and the goals that we have for missions. One of those goals is to increase in Russians the desire to minister to people in other parts of Russia.
He was encouraged at this meeting to learn that this church has an active ministry to homeless people and people who are wanting to end their drug addictions. The pastor has started a program in which he helps people find a place to live and trains them to do a job. This is the first time that we have met someone involved in this work. We know that it takes place, but it is still rare in Russia.
We look forward to continued contact with this pastor, his family and his church.
The rest of the time until now has mainly been filled with sickness, I’m afraid. Thomas and Cristy have both had bad colds, though thankfully Isaiah has been spared! We’ve pressed on and continued with language lessons. Thankfully we improved sufficiently to celebrate День Победы or VE Day in the States. We really enjoyed this holiday last year, and we were not disappointed this year as we enjoyed a wonderful day together.