It’s hard to believe that it was 3 months ago that we moved to Oregon. In some ways it seems that we just got here, and in other ways it feels like we’ve been here a long time. We moved here right at the beginning of the “sunny season” of the year and have enjoyed amazing weather. But Fall is coming, and we know what that means – rain! We continue to covet your prayers as we make the adjustment to life up here and for the ministry in which we’re involved.
Update on Isaiah’s Surgery
As most of you already know, Isaiah had surgery on Wednesday, September 19th to extend the metal rods in his back. This was our first surgery ever that didn’t take place at Blair E. Batson hospital in Jackson, Mississippi. I’m happy to report that all went smoothly, and that the Shriners Hospital here in Portland provides first-class care in every way. Since this was an extension surgery it was much less invasive and less stressful on Isaiah than other surgeries he’s had in the past. The whole procedure from the time they took him back until recovery took about two hours. He stayed one night in the hospital to receive a round of antibiotics and was discharged the next day. He was a little uncomfortable for about two days, but after that bounced back to his old happy self. We’ll need to have this done about every six months, so ongoing prayers for Isaiah’s health and development are appreciated.
The lastest exciting news is that we are expecting number three! Cristy and I recently discovered that new baby Slawson is on the way and should arrive sometime around next April-May. Given some of the difficulties we’ve experienced in the past, we decided to make this public a little earlier. Please pray for the safe and healthy development of our unborn child.
Russia Ministry Update:
Though we live in Portland, I continue to be the Russia Field Director for InterAct. Technology has greatly assisted in me being able to continue to do my job “off the field.”
In our last update I wrote and asked for prayer regarding a radio interview on a Russian Christian station here in Portland. I’m thankful to report that it went extremely well. I was interviewed for about 2 hours and had the opportunity to share about our life and ministry. Several people called in to the program and asked questions. The producer of the show even mentioned having us out to his Russian church to talk about the ministry. The program went out to an estimated 50,000 people! I also have an open invitation from the station to come on any time I have something that I feel needs to be publicized in the Russian-speaking community in Portland. Please pray for more contacts in the Russian-speaking community.
Russia Travels September 26th – October 16th
Two days from now (upon the writing of this update), I’ll be traveling to Russia for a little over two weeks. This is a very important trip on a number of levels. I’ll be guiding InterAct’s Executive Director Dale Smith and his wife Carol on their first trip to Russia to see the ministry first-hand. We’ll be starting out in St. Petersburg for about five days where we plan to meet with ministry partners there including leaders of the Central Asian immigrant ministry. I have been asked to preach at the Central Asian church the Sunday that we’re there. Please pray as I prepare to preach God’s word, and pray also that God would raise up a couple or individual who’d be willing to move to the city and live full-time as missionaries and serve in this work.
From St. Petersburg we’ll travel almost 3,000 miles East to the Siberian city of Krasnoyarsk. There we’ll hold our InterAct field conference with our Russia team. We’re also excited about a new ministry opportunity that’s opening up in the city. A number of Russian churches in Krasnoyarsk have started using English-teaching to reach out to young unbelievers. Our missionaries in Krasnoyarsk have built some good relationships with these churches, and the opportunity has presented itself for InterAct missionaries to partner with these churches as a means of outreach. I plan to meet with some of the local leaders and discuss plans for moving forward. Please pray for a good conference and wisdom and we discuss the ministry there.
From Krasnoyarsk we’ll drive south for about 14 hours to Tuva where we’ll spend a week. We continue to be encouraged by the progress there our missionaries are making by using business skills to help resource local churches to carry out ministry. We plan to meet with and discuss further possibilities for ministry with our local ministry partners. Please pray for safe travels and productive ministry on this trip.
Missionares to the Disabled
Back on the home front I’ve been excited about another discussion that’s going on. Several years ago I became familiar with an organization called The Elisha Foundation. They are based out of Bend, Oregon about a three-hour drive from Portland. The organization was started by Justin and Tamara Reimer whose son Elisha was born with Down Syndrome. At the time of his birth they had been planning on moving to Russia as missionaries! Their work has focused on ministering to people with disabilities and their families through the church. I’ve enjoyed getting to know Justin better, and recently we’ve entered into discussions to explore the idea of missionaries moving to foreign fields with a specific focus toward the special needs community. For example, this would mean a missionary would move to a place like Tuva and would work with the church to reach out to people with disabilities and their families. The need is great in these areas of Russia. Besides congenital birth defects, substance abuse and poor medical care have resulted in a high rate of fetal alcohol syndrome and cerebral palsy. Please pray for us as we continue to explore this exciting opportunity that is near to our hearts.
We are in the process right now of planning our summer internship programs in Russia for summer 2013. Right now we are planning on two trips, one to the city of Krasnoyarsk and the other to the city of Kyzyl, Tuva. We are hoping and praying for about 4-5 participants on each team. Gospel ministry is still greatly needed in Russia. Please join us in praying for more missionaries to serve.
As many of you know, I am responsible for a number of other things in InterAct now. Here’s a brief summary of some of the other ministries we’ve been up to.
Canada Field Conference
Living in Oregon has put us a good bit closer to InterAct’s work in Canada. On August 25th – 31st we all loaded up in the car and headed up the road for about six hours crossing the boarder into Abbotsford, British Columbia. We spent one night there and worshipped with some of InterAct’s team members the next morning. Later that afternoon we had the exciting opportunity to meet with a potential recruit for the Russia field that I hope to tell you more about in the future. Later in the evening we crossed back into the U.S. to Sumas, Washington where we spent the next week with our Canada partners (yes, they held their conference in the US this year). I had gotten to meet many of them earlier this year in Calgary, but this was the first time Cristy and the kids got to be a part of things.
Another aspect of my job now involves me doing video production work for the mission. I recently had the opportunity to put together two new videos, and hope to do more in the future. The first is a short video that highlights the Sakha people of Russia. The second is a general video about InterAct Ministries that we plan to use as we recruit this fall. Links to both videos are below. Please pray that God would bless these videos to encourage people to prayer and service.
Publications and Promotions
In addition to video production I’ve also had the opportunity to help with some of the mission publications. Recently I helped redesign the brochures for the mission and put together the final layout. This was a pretty intensive project as the last update was done about 4 years ago.
Appeal for Support
God has continued to sustain us all along the way, but we are still about $600 short in regular monthly support. If you feel led we would invite you to consider supporting the work. This can be done in one of two ways: either follow the link below or use the mailing address below to mail in a check. Please pray with us that God would help us to maintain our full support.
Or mail contributions to:
31000 SE Kelso Rd.
Boring, OR 97009
Please make all checks payable to InterAct Ministries, and note on a separate sheet of paper that it is for The Slawsons.
Thank you all for your prayers and support.
Pressing on in Christ,