Driving in Norway

From time to time I post videos of places I’ve driven. While in Norway, Yura made some pretty long videos of our drive. I’ve trimmed a few down so you can see what it’s like up there. These were all made as we drove from Lakselv to Vadsø, across Finnmark.

Driving Across the Tundra —

 On a fjord (the fjord appears at 1:07) —


 A rainbow appeared —

A Postcard from Norway

Since my last postcard I’ve covered some ground. After leaving Estonia, I took the ferry to Helsinki and spent two nights at Koppero. From there, I drove to Rovaniemi, Finland (on the Arctic Circle) to attend a men’s conference with Yura Belonozhkin. He brought a team of 16 men from Russia to the conference, and I was very glad to meet them and also meet brothers from Norway and Finland.

From there, Yura and I drove up into the Finnmark region of Norway. We visited several ministry partners as Yura planned for future ministry. For instance, he is planning a men’s conference/camp in Lakselv, Norway to be held in May, which I hope to attend. From Lakselv we drove to Vadso on the Varanger peninsula (past several fjords, above) and met other ministry leaders. Then, we drove into Russia, to Murmansk, and from there I drove south to home! It was very good to have time with Yura as we drove those long, beautiful distances. It’s ALWAYS good to have personal time with brothers and sisters in Christ.

I’m now safely, happily at home. Valerie has started her ballet and piano lessons; Olga spent the last few days juicing and canning apples from dacha; and I’m getting caught up on emails and updates. I just bought tickets to travel to the USA for a Stoneworks board meeting. (I used frequent flyer miles, so the flight is only costing $153!) I’ll be in the States for about 2 weeks, mostly in the Athens, GA area, in early November. (This seems to be a season of travel for me. . . .)

Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful. – Luke 6:36

Pictures from Norway

I recently attended a men’s conference in Rovaniemi, Finland. After that, Yura Belonozhkin and I drove up into Finnmark, Norway to visit some ministry partners. Yura is expanding his mens’ ministry into northern Norway, and he wanted to meet with some pastors to arrange future conferences and camps. (There will be a great camp in late May, if any men are interested. . . .)

We took quite a few pictures and some video as we were driving around the fjords and across the tundra. Most of these pictures were taken on Laksefjord and in that region — on the Arctic Sea, far above the Arctic Circle. (And a day later I drove through snow.) Continue reading

Into the North

murmansk 043 In the North
North of the Arctic Circle, near Murmansk

I’ve just returned from visiting Stoneworks missionary Yura Belonozhkin and see the work he’s doing up north. I met some wonderful people and saw an amazing part of the world.

vladimir marijana 003 300x168 In the NorthVladimir and Mariana Cizmanski were visiting from Montenegro. I met them in Estonia and introduced them to our friends and ministry partners there. It is always gratifying when our Stoneworks partners to meet one another. My wife Olga and I had a good time showing them St. Pete.

While Marijana stayed in St. Petersburg with Olga, Vladimir and I headed north. The first day, we drove 1300 km (800 miles) to Zelenoborskiy, where Yura met us at a Christian drug rehab center.

zelenoborsky rehab 300x211 In the NorthYura and I spoke at a men’s meeting at the rehab center. It’s a great group of people, and several local churches support the center. Yura has led men’s meetings there and has very good relationships with the leadership. Over the next few days, as we visited other churches, we continued to meet men and women who are either in the rehab center or lived there before.

On the second day, we drove north to Olenegorsk to attend a prayer conference. Several local churches participated. I was asked to speak at the afternoon session, and I did a teaching on intercessory prayer. Peter Makarchuk is the bishop of several churches in that area, and he made us feel very welcome. He and Yura have a good relationship.

olenogorsk 007 In the North
Speaking at a prayer conference in Olenegorsk, Russia.

We spent that night with Yura’s friends from that church; there we saw some Russian ingenuity. The next morning, Sunday, Vladimir was asked to preach the sermon, and he gave a sermon on self-denial that was warmly received. We then drove north to Murmansk. Continue reading