Africa, England and Moldova

We’ve had website ‘issues’ for a few months and I’m finally able to post an update. Much has transpired since my last report.

The work in Africa continues. My trip in January was different compared to previous visits. I was in a different city and met many new people.

Mike Anticoli, Vin Lucien and I spoke at a conference held by Church on the Rock in Goma, DRC, at the foot of an active volcano. Damiri Paluku (with me at left) is a great friend, and he pastors the church in Goma. It’s an honor to minister with these men.

I spoke on The Prophetic Gift, a study of how God used prophets in the Old Testament and New Testament. There are many false prophets in Congo, people who claim to speak for God but tear families apart and manipulate people for financial gain. The church was happy to hear the truth that God wants his gifts to be used in love, to build people up, to encourage and comfort His people.

We met with a group of business people who gather regularly to encourage each other (see the picture above). I helped introduce them to IBB Talks, a Christian business video series that has been a great help to many around the world.

In addition to teaching and fellowship, I carried water filters and solar LED lights so people who have no electricity can have light in their homes.

We also met with pastors (at right) from the dangerous areas of eastern Congo. In addition to facing attacks from various violent militia, Ebola is now a growing threat. It’s gotten worse since January, and the local leaders asked us to cancel our visit later this month because of the Ebola outbreak. We’ve continued to send money to help local pastors, who are quite poor and need help. These pastors are real heroes of the faith; they knowingly minister where their life is in danger.

Olga served in Moldova last month. She met Stoneworks board member Larry Heller there, and they had a great time working with Victor and Victoria Urasinov, serving the local church in Soroco, Moldova.

We’ve added quite a few new partners to Stoneworks, and the Lord brought us a new bookkeeper as well. You can read Stoneworks news here.

I’ve just returned from a visit to Slough, England. David McGuire, a Stoneworks partner from Romania, invited me to join him serving a small Romanian church. I spoke on church unity and David spoke on spiritual warfare. We were warmly welcomed, and the church has asked me to return, perhaps in the Autumn. I’m very thankful that I am able to encourage small fellowships; this is a great group of people.

I returned to Russia and was met with one surprise: Valerie chipped her pelvis (playing too roughly at dacha) and is on bed rest for a few weeks! So, we’re tending to her and enjoying that new challenge. Homeschooling will wrap up at the end of May. Val will attend a youth camp in Estonia, and OIga will serve with a mission team running an English camp, also in Estonia.

Our summer work is soon upon us. We’re opening up dacha, and we’ll have teams in Estonia and Russia; at the end of the summer we’ll go to Montenegro. As always, we’ll cover a lot of ground between now and September. And hopefully I’ll be able to post updates more frequently now that our site is up and running again.

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