A Postcard from Finland — Finlandia!

Olga and I are now in Finland. We’re here with Olga’s mother, Tanya, our ‘sister’ Violeta from Montenegro, and our good friend Natasha from Russia. Once again we’re staying at the little cabin by the lake, which comes complete with beautiful sunsets. (Just so you know — it takes us about 5 hours to drive here from our home in St. Petersburg; it’s not too far at all.)

This is Natasha’s first time out of Russia, and it’s been great fun to see her experience a new culture for the first time. She said she never imagined how people could care for the land so much. Her understandings of stewardship, order and beauty are being broadened. It is a beautiful country, and this is a great time of year to visit.

We’ve had quite a busy summer. I’ve been in Montenegro, Estonia and Russia, and I recently returned from a very quick trip to the US. Jet lag is my familiar friend.  The ministry has been rewarding and full of life. Olga has stayed closer to home and has had good time with family. We’re both very thankful to be together and able to rest a little.

New opportunities seem to arise all the time. We look forward to telling you more about them in the coming months. It seems that Estonia continues to present itself as a land of opportunity, and we are starting on a big project in Russia.

For now, though, we are content and happy to be here at Koppero.

At Koppero

koppero_snow_fin-13

We are in Finland for just a few days. Olga needs to be in Finland because of some visa restrictions, and I need do a little work with a friend in Helsinki.

We return to Russia on Thursday and then go to the States on Monday the 12th.

We’re staying at the cabin, Koppero, we’ve mentioned before.  The snow is about 6 inches deep and the lake is still frozen solid. It will take several hours to get the cabin warmed up, but we have a nice hot fire going.

Ken Rundell made it possible for us to stay here.  This was his summer home when he was married to a Finnish lady named Pirkko.  He welcomed us here years ago, and we’ve returned many times.

Pirkko’s nephew, Juhani, is now the owner, and he’s very happy for us to visit here and help keep the place up.

We are very thankful for this blessing, one of many Finnish blessings we’ve received.

A Postcard from Finland — Peace and Quiet

We’re in Finland for a few days staying at the little cabin, named Koppero, that we’ve mentioned before. 

Because of visa restrictions I must be out of Russia fairly often; it’s just a 5 hour drive here so it’s easy to come over and spend a few days. And it’s nice to have an internet connection so we can continue to work.

Koppero is located on a beautiful lake that often has very dramatic sunsets. We love the place and have been helping fix it up over the years. On this trip we’re cleaning, mowing grass, building bookshelves, and relaxing in the hammock.

We return to Russia on Tuesday, and life gets busy in July:

— Olga helps two teams from Texas as they minister in youth camps
— We host a children’s camp at Elama, the Christian camp in Russia
— I go to Montenegro with a team from Athens, Georgia to run a camp in the mountains

There’s also good news from Stoneworks. We’re adding long-term missionaries to our ‘family’; I’ll report more on that later. The work in Belarus continues to grow, even in difficult circumstances.

We are currently building support for a Family Home we’ll open in Minsk this fall (if all goes as hoped). This will be a residential program helping graduate orphans grow as Christians and learn life skills. Please contact me if you’re interested in knowing more about that project.

This scripture is meaningful to us this morning, Psalm 139:1-5 — O lord you have searched me and you know me; you know when I sit and when I arise. You perceive my thoughts from afar. You discern my going out and my lying down. You are familiar with all my ways. Before a word is on my tongue you know it completely, O Lord. You hem me in, behind and before. You have laid your hand upon me.