A Postcard from Russia


To Belarus and Beyond; All are Different, All are Loved; Faces of Sunbeam

Winter finally arrived! We had a (relatively) warm December and early January, and now we have a good full-on Russian winter. This picture was taken by my friend Zhenya Koltakoff as we were exploring in the forests north of the city.

As some people know, we’re in the process of applying for US green cards for Olga and Valerie. We thought we’d be in the States by now but the US government has asked for more documents, so we’ll file another round of paperwork and wait to see what they say. Who knows when we’ll go the the U.S. of A. . . . .

Since our last newsletter, I (Mike) have traveled a bit with visits to Belarus and Estonia. It’s been good to have time with friends (who are ministry partners). In addition to the travel, I’ve been helping Sergei Tovstopyat and Ursula Randlaine prepare for trips to the States, and I’m planning for summer mission trips. This summer we’ll have two teams in Montenegro, a team in Estonia and a team in Russia. We recently hosted a friend from the States, Seth, who was here for a few days after delivering a plane from Portugal (he’s a pilot). We love to host people, so come visit.

For the past few weeks the Cantrells have been happily at home. Valerie is doing well homeschooling, learning the piano, taking dance classes and memorizing Scripture. We’ve been getting our flat in order and even re-arranged the living room furniture.

And now from Olga: “The last month has been a little challenging, but I feel like we have passed a little milestone in Valerie’s homeschooling and upbringing. Valerie likes to memorize scriptures and do a lot of creative things. I’m learning to make bread and enjoy it very much. You know, it feels like a new beginning.”

Valerie says, “Thank you. Dad, Mom and Valerie love everybody. You’re welcome!”

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