Flying Again

Thank you all for praying for Thomas’ preaching yesterday.  We believe the Lord blessed despite Thomas not feeling 100%.  But often that is the Lord’s way, isn’t it.  When we are weak, He is strong.

Wednesday we are all heading to the airport, though in different directions.  Isaiah and are heading to California to spend a few days with a couple of dear friends of mine from college.  We are so thankful to have this extra time with them!

Thomas is heading to Chicago for Moody Bible College’s missions conference.  He and a colleague from InterAct will have a table with materials from InterAct to give to students for recruitment.  Thomas will also be speaking in a workshop.  Please pray for recruits for Tribe 49, the summer mission trip to Russia, and for recruits for all of InterAct’s fields (Western Canada, Alaska, Russia).

Friday Thomas will be flying to Oregon to attend a fundraising banquet for InterAct.  One aspect of the banquet is really exciting!  Raisa Ivanovna, perhaps the first Tuvan Christian in the history of that region, will be speaking via Skype to the people in attendance.  Originally we were hoping that she could attend in person, but thanks to the wonders of technology we have the next best thing.  Please pray that all said technology will work properly!

Saturday Thomas will meet us in California where we will visit with Central Valley Presbyterian Church for the following week.

Please pray for smooth travels.  We have more equipment then ever before to carry for Isaiah, so please pray for easy connections, helpful airline personnel and patient passengers!

Lastly, thank you for the great response to the mass email that I sent for updated email addresses.  If you didn’t get such an email, that means I don’t have an address for you at all.  If you would like to receive email updates, please click on “email us” in the right sidebar and email us so that we have your address.  Thanks!

Already Two Months Gone

We have already been in the States for two months, and I think we are finally getting our “Statelegs”. Between traveling to some of our supporting churches, seeing family and spending lots of hours in Doctors’ and Therapists’ offices our minds have been swirling. Thank you for your patience with us and your faithful support despite our lack of communication.

So here’s what’s been going on:

Isaiah has made a remarkable recovery from his surgery that took place the end of August. He does have some scars, of course, but nothing has held him back or changed his loving, playful personality. He’s been working very hard in therapy and has even begun learning how to walk with a walker! (If you would like to see him in action the very first time that he walked, check out Cristy’s post here.) We thank God for the therapists and equipment specialists who have made it possible for Isaiah to do so much in such a short amount of time by rushing their requests and working weekends to make his equipment.

And now the rest of the family. I realize that you really want to know about Isaiah right away. 🙂

Thomas has been working hard on several projects. He has preached in several churches, and he is scheduled to preach this weekend. Please pray for his preparation and faithful communication of the Word of God. He has also been planning the annual conference for InterAct’s missionaries in Russia and InterAct’s summer mission trip to Russia. He’s doing a great job, but try planning an event some 3000-5000 miles away from where you are and in another language, and you can imagine some of the headaches that he has endured. But he continues to press on and has made some great progress!

The summer trip, Tribe 49, excites us! Thomas is in the process of designing a special website for Tribe 49, but I will give you a few details here to whet your appetite. The trip will last for 8 weeks. The team will leave Atlanta, arriving in Moscow or St. Petersburg. For the first 3-4 weeks team members will get to have a little taste of learning the Russian language through an official institution, thus enabling them to learn some basic communication skills and earn some college credit. From St. Petersburg they will head to Tuva, and from Tuva they will go to Yakutia.

Tons of details are between those lines, and if you have any questions or are interested in going on the trip, please let us know!

Thank you for asking how you can specifically pray for us. I am working on making a special section on our blog for prayer requests, thanks to the suggestion of one of you! But until that section is up and running, which might take me a while considering my skills (or lack thereof) on the computer, I will endeavor to put some requests and praises in a post at least once a week.

Praise God with us…

~Isaiah’s progress after surgery; We can’t describe the feelings we have when we see him trying to walk on his own.

~Safety through our travels; Even in the one mishap, we suffered no lasting effects, and we can still drive our car!

~Times of fellowship with believers in our own language

Pray with us…

~Isaiah needs to learn a lot in the next 6 weeks. Please pray that God will open his mind and strengthen his body.

~Rest. Living in another culture is just plain exhausting. Coming home and running from one appointment to another has taken it’s toll on us as well. Please pray that we would be able to have some times of rest before going back to Russia.

~Children. We would love to have more children.

~Support. We are thankful for the faithful support that we have been receiving the past 2 1/2 years. We could not have learned Russian and done the work that we have done without you! We are in need of more support for our family. Last year we had to be on student visas, which doubled our ministry expenses and dipped into our account at InterAct. We are currently in need of an additional $1000/month of support.

~Projects. Thomas is currently working on several projects. I will list them here, and Lord willing, I will tell you more about them as they progress: Tuvan Bible Project (, Tribe 49, Vans for Pastors, Native Pastor Support, Ice Cream Stand (sounds yummy, huh?)

Again, thank you for your support for us so that we can do the work that God has called us to do. Please let us know what we can do for you as well!

Our Merciful God

We have returned from a very relaxing vacation to Chattanooga, TN.  I highly recommend that city for a family vacation.  There are plenty of attractions to see, which of course have a price, but one can also enjoy walking around the downtown area or crossing the river on a special pedestrian bridge.  Thank you for your prayers for relaxation and refreshment for us on our vacation.  However, in the future, I shall also be asking for prayers for safety at the close of the vacation!

Our plan was to return home Monday evening, not too late due to appointments for Isaiah and Thomas on Tuesday morning.  First I will say that we did get home Monday night, and overall we are doing quite well, especially Isaiah.  Now I will tell you another reason we have for praising God:

For those of you who might not know, in order to travel from Chattanooga, TN to Clinton, MS, you must drive through mountains.  And that’s what we were doing about 10:30 Monday morning in the beautiful state of Alabama, when we met one of said mountains.  The stretch of highway we were driving on was being prepared for construction, so we had only one lane.  Apparently a rain storm had finished about 5 minutes before we came through this area, which is most likely the reason for our tires skimming a section of road and then our car spinning around before being stopped by the mountain.

In His mercy God prevented us for hitting head on into the mountain.  The front of our car skimmed the mountain face as we spun around and our trunk took the brunt of the hit.  And even more mercifully, none of us were seriously injured.  Thomas scraped his elbow but didn’t even require stitches.  Isaiah has a very small bruise on his neck from his car seat strap (I LOVE his car seat!), but he has full range of motion in his neck with no sign of pain.  Thomas and I are both really sore and stiff, but we are already enjoying improvement.

And if that was not enough of God’s evidence of His love for us, He also protected our car in such a way that we were able to finish driving home in our own vehicle that very day!

We are thankful for His protection and mercy and love for us.  We still get a little nervous when we hear strange sounds on the road or when another vehicle feels really close to the passenger side of the car, but our greatest reaction is one of thankfulness and praise to God.  Please praise Him with us!