Ahh, St. Petersburg

We live in the city center and are very thankful we get to see such a lovely city every day. People who live in the suburbs don’t see the old city nearly as much as we do. This video is a great view of our hometown –

 

Recital –

val-recital-017

We’ve been busy working at dacha (news about that soon), and on short notice we came into the city for Valerie’s piano recital. She’s been studying with a really great teacher and has a talent for the piano.

We’re just about to move into the very busy time of the summer. I will make a quick trip to Estonia next week (meeting with the leaderships of Sunbeam) and then go to Finland and Norway for a men’s conference with the Arctic Men’s Fellowship. Olga will lead a team to Moldova starting June 18. In July I’ll drive to Montenegro and then work my way north, with ministry stops Serbia, Romania and Ukraine. I’ll be traveling with my friend and Stoneworks board member Glenn Cole. We’ll also welcome teams in Russia, Estonia and Montenegro.

And here is Val:

Been a long time –

Goodness, it has been a LONG time since my last post. The time has flown by and much has happened.

In early December we arrived in the USA. Olga received her US green card, and Valerie is now a US citizen (we applied for her US passport a few days ago). We’re now starting the process of applying for Olga’s naturalization; that will take several months if all goes well.

We’ve had a very good time visiting with my family in Athens, GA. I’ve also had extensive meetings with mission teams and interns, preparing for the summer work. We’ll send teams to Montenegro, Russia and Estonia, and we’ll have two interns serving in Montenegro and Estonia.

A mission team member recently made a video about Camp Elama, our camp in Russia. This shows one aspect of our work and some of the great relationships God has given us, particularly with my good friend Sergei.

Driving in Romania

In keeping with some other posts, here are two views of our drive through Romania. The first is through a very dramatic canyon in the Carpathian range, not so far from the border with Moldova. The second is in the foothills, approaching the Carpathians. The third video is a quick view of one part of our drive in Moldova.

Moldova –

Finally, I played with a new app call Hyperlapse. This was done in Slovakia —

A Drive Near Hauho

In case you haven’t heard, the ministry I direct, Stoneworks International, has a new partner in Montenegro. The R.A.E ministry in Montenegro serves the Roma & Ashkali/Egyptian population in Podgorica.

Roma and Ashkali refugees from Kosovo live in ‘temporary’ housing that was built many years ago. The refugee camp is built on the site of an old dump.

I’m very happy to be working more closely with Siniša Nadaždin, the leader of the ministry, and I am very grateful to the Lord Jesus for allowing me to participate in the fruit of these good relationships He’s given us.

We’re in Finland for a few days enjoying the little cabin called Koppero. I have a simple ‘office’ here so I’m able to work, and it’s nice to sit by a beautiful lake and enjoy the autumn weather, for the summer has passed; the days are cool though the leaves have not yet started to turn. It’s nice to enjoy a fire during the cool evenings.

We’ll go to Russia in a few days, spend about a week there and then plan to head south to Montenegro. Once again we’ll drive all the way from St. Petersburg, Russia to Podgorica, Montenegro. Valerie and I have made a list of all the countries we’ll visit on this trip. She’s drawn all the flags and will check them off as we cross borders. If all goes as planned, we’ll be in 15 countries in the next few weeks!

I also plan to visit a potential new ministry partner in Moldova with a stop or two in Romania. More about that later . . . .

Here is one of my favorite drives in Finland, a small road between Hämeenlinna and Hauho —

Familiana

I arrived in Russia safe and sound on Friday. My trip was uneventful and the border crossing was a breeze. The passport control officer didn’t say anything to me at all. I go to Estonia (to pick up my car) tomorrow, so hopefully the border crossing from Estonia will be as smooth.

We had a nice visit to the park today, so I thought I’d share some of the beauty: