Digging Dacha

Quick link: Newsletter from Stoneworks

We’ve just returned from dacha where we moved a lot of dirt. Val worked (some) in the garden while Olga and I installed a simple drainage system; we need to get the water away from the house so we can improve the foundation. (Olga and I may start a drainage business: Cantrell and Wife — Our Work is Beneath You)

Our dacha belongs to Olga’s grandmother, and the house is well over 200 years old. It was originally set on large stones, and over the years it’s slowly been sinking into the (very wet) ground. We want to save the building, so one step is to dry it out.  A few years ago part of the foundation was replaced but the most difficult work remains. Perhaps some day we’ll be able to tackle that . . . .

We found a bullet from WWII not too far below the surface. It’s a reminder of violent episodes in that little village; German soldiers used our house as a field HQ as they moved to encircle Leningrad in 1941. The old house still bears the wounds of war, battle scars.  We’ve also found an artillery shell casing in the attic and a US Jeep tire pump (from 1941, part of Lend-Lease) in the workshop.

Our dacha visit was little lull in the action. A team from Austin arrives in a few hours to help run a camp at Elama for single mothers and their children. Next week I go to Estonia to meet a team from Athens, GA that will run a camp for the disabled children from Sunbeam.

I have crossed the border several times over the past few months and have had no problems at all. That has been a pleasant surprise. We continue to wait to hear from the US government regarding our green card applications for Olga and Valerie. We’ve submitted another round of documents and are waiting for them to process the docs and give us a decision; the next step, if all goes well, is for Olga and Val to have an interview at the US embassy in Moscow where they would hopefully get immigrant visas. For now, we wait . . . .

The ministry of Stoneworks continues to grow. In addition to full summer schedules running camps and conferences, many of our partners are traveling, meeting with one another, from the Arctic to the Adriatic, Baltics to Balkans. I am very thankful for the friendships and partnerships God has given us. It’s an amazing blessing to be welcomed as family in so many places. The body of Christ is beautiful.

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