Thursday, May 31, 2018

May 2018

One would think that after five or so months of 'silence' there would be a plethora of information and pictures to share... however, after much searching our photos, that is just not the case. We assure you we have been busy with ministry, we just are not taking pictures like we did in Russia. (there would be a lot of pictures of with people in an office) Sooooo, please be patient with us and please continue to read...we do have things to share about how the Lord is working around the world through our organization!

February brought us quite a wonderful 'gift' from Russia! We are fairly certain as we were getting off the train for the first time in Siberia, January 1997, it never crossed our minds that the man shaking our hand would become one of Kevin's best friends from Russia. We are also certain we never imagined that this man and his wife would be sitting in our living room some 21 years later in America!! Pastor Zhenia and his wife Natasha were able to do just that in February... what an amazing opportunity for them and for the folks that were able to hear them both speak at a church in Sarasota, Florida. They were brought over to share at a conference for world missions; there is no doubt that all in attendance were challenged by Pastor Zhenia's message to the church;  Don’t stop sending folks to the ends of the earth to work among the unreached. Send out your best and most capable so that we can see more churches established and see Christ proclaimed in these dark regions.”  We were certainly challenged and convicted that the work is still not finished and God wants to continue using all of those available and ready to GO!

Together again  - in America!

Natasha sharing her testimony at a ladies' tea.

Kevin praying over Zhenia as he shares during the conference.

Welcome to Florida :)

Hanging out at a local state park. (Gator and Zhenia)

Enjoying some time kayaking the mangroves on the bay.
Night fishing...first cast, the first catch of the night!

Jessie was part of a summer team that worked with
these folks in 2012.

Spending the last couple of days in America.
We had such a great time catching up, sharing stories, lots of laughter, and of course shopping! :) They have 10 children between the ages of five and 28. (Four are adopted) It was truly a blessing and we are eager to return and visit our Russian home soon!

Sometimes we just need a rest.... ministry can be exciting, fulfilling, a blessing, challenging, exhausting, frustrating... there is really no end to the adjectives that can be used and most often, (you) would not trade the life of ministry for anything! Being in His Will is the perfect place to be in our journeys, however, sometimes we just need a rest. Jesus was our example when overwhelmed with the day, He would find a quiet place to pray and rest in the Father. In March, some very dear friends of ours who have served in a church in Massachusetts flew down for a couple of weeks, first of all, to thaw out, but more importantly to get refreshed and renewed so that they could return and serve once again in the ministry the Lord has given them. Please remember to pray for your pastors, leaders, and those involved in daily ministry.
Sharing another Florida sunset with friends!

We had to share one last photo of fun in the Florida rain :)
Grandaughter Winona jumping in puddles with Papaw :)

So that we do not completely overwhelm you with pictures; we will continue next month with 'the rest of story'. Thank you so much for standing with us as we partner together in HIS work, many of you have been part of our team for over 20 years and we are truly humbled.  Please continue to lift us in your prayers as we continue our work together to reach the unreached.

Blessings, Kevin & Laura

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

December 2017

OK....I, Laura, admit this Florida fall/winter weather is pretty amazing! Today is a beautiful 75deg with no humidity - the second part of that being the key; no humidity! In any case, greetings dear friends. We realized time was running short for this year and we had left you 'hanging' with news on the last update; Sooooooo... we'll begin with the awesome news first.
The story will begin with a flight to California... it was to be a surprise for a few folks, however, our oldest son, Joshua, was eager for our arrival. Orders were given; we were to 'lay low', prepare the patio area at his friend's apartment, pick up the desserts, and be ready for the signal to come through the gate. Confused? Let's follow the pictures...

  We landed on a Friday morning, got our car, found the nearest coffee house, took care of some business (waiting for lunchtime) then drove to the nearest In-n-Out for a burger and fries and met with Josh. 
Our favorite burger place in California
 Our next stop was to get the apartment and see what we could do to prepare for the main event! We rested that evening then began cleaning up and buying party supplies for Sunday. Kevin decided to add to the excitement..... he was moving a large gas grill when he cut his finger on the edge of the lid. After much persuasion, we drove to a local hospital ER to get stitches. Yep, 10 of them...
How the first nurse wrapped his finger until the doctor could have a look :)
 Of course, while we're there Josh calls to see how things are progressing and if we'll be able to meet him at the jewelers. Just as I was telling him where we were. we lost our signal and he had no idea what had happened...only that his 'pops' was bleeding and we were in the ER. After an eternity, 15 minutes, with much relief, we re-connected and let him know we would be done soon and on the way.
First look at the ring! AMAZING
 Now that we were done with all the added excitement of cut fingers, we gathered all the items and began the transformation on the patio deck.

Now the waiting began... this was only Saturday evening; the big event was almost 24 hours away!  Joshua made certain all the last details were in place (there is another long hysterical story you'll have to ask him about) and the next evening we waited with friends a block away for the signal to return...
                    She said YES!!!   We are beyond excited to introduce Jessica and have already welcomed her into our family! ... no wedding date yet, but everyone will know the minute we do!!!!!!
The entire evening and us being there was a complete surprise to Jess. 
 Whew....what a weekend! We flew back the following evening to Florida  - we quickly remembered why we dislike jetlag!
Then we had a birthday celebration - our granddaughter turned two. We seriously can't believe she is two years old already! The kids had a quiet party at her favorite park; with hotdogs, chips and cupcakes. It was a beautiful day and everyone had a great time just hanging out.
New sticker books - YEA! Thanks, Mimi and Aunt B :)

Mommy made cupcakes from scratch with mini mouse ears - yummy!

We are so blessed to have them all with us at this time. Next year they'll be in Colorado :(
THANKSGIVING.... For the Wooster Gang was a quiet one but LOTS of food none the less! Our oldest son was on the road moving from California to Florida and our youngest was sleeping because he is working nights at the moment. However, the Wooster's will never go without the 'Meal' and so we prepared a turkey with all the fixings, baked pies, and casseroles, and had our 'snacks' before the meal. (Won't even go into sharing that list.)

Laura took the picture from the loft, Winona was fascinated.
READY to dig in and enjoy!!
We are extremely grateful for His provisions this year and for our family that is so close, for the first time in too many years. (We will be doubly blessed at Christmas this year as we will have everyone together!)
Now, of course, we didn't just have one Thanksgiving meal this year but two ..... we are especially blessed and have the privilege of working with a small church about 20 minutes from our home. They have a tradition of celebrating Thanksgiving together as well as inviting folks they know would not necessarily have a meal. The day was a wonderful reminder of how much the Lord blesses us and how much more blessed we are to share with those less fortunate.

We turned the sanctuary into a dining room.

Four turkeys and ALL the food to go with the meal!
Folks enjoying the outside deck; it was a beautiful fall day.

Kevin with some of the guys waiting for the line to dwindle.

Forty minutes later, this was all that was left.
Well, we are stuffed and busy preparing for the holidays. Over the years, our family has made Christmas a time for building memories and not so much on the gifts. We have been given the perfect gift already; the Son of God, Jesus! Our prayer is that your homes will be filled with family and friends and most of all the love and joy of the season - Jesus our Savior.

"For unto us a child is bornunto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace."   Isaiah 9:6

 Merry Christmas,  Kevin & Laura

Friday, November 3, 2017

Fall 2017

Fall in Florida is pretty boring if you're from the north or where seasons actually change. We have lived here a while(of course minus the 20 years in Siberia); Kevin moved 'down' in 1976 and Laura in 1980. For me, Laura, I have never gotten used to only two seasons - green and brown, Of course, there is greener in the summer and really brown in the winter; I just miss those brilliant splashes of color and the crisp air. In any case, we do love that it's still warm and NOT -15 degrees! Soooo... Laura has gotten better with having pictures to share; grab your coffee or tea and 'sit a spell' - we pray you are blessed!

Since we last posted an update, we have had a hurricane, a conference, and of course some time with family! We'll start with Irma - the hurricane that practically emptied the state of Florida as folks packed up and headed north. We were so blessed and fortunate that it made a major turn at the last minute dumping rain and 120mph winds east of our area. Kevin and I stayed, while our son and his family decided to go to the panhandle and hang out with friends. Their biggest concern was their daughter - we didn't disagree! We continue to pray for the areas that were hit and especially for the Florida Keys who were hit twice in a matter of weeks. Many folks lost everything with  no insurance to rebuild. 
Parking cars in front of the garage were to help keep the wind from blowing the
garage door into the house.  (It worked!!)
Out our back door. The golf course had all the water,
our yard was just VERY wet.

Because we were to get a direct hit and most of our windows are on a second floor(NOT easy to board up for a storm); we decided to ride out the storm with friends who were able to board up their house. For some reason, we didn't think about ALL of the trees that surround their property and home... they - we - were truly fortunate and blessed!!
This is Ted...this is Ted's driveway after Irma :)

This was the only tree to fall.
Thankfully it was at the end of their driveway!

Meet Ted and Wilma...dear friends for many years!!

Kevin was super anxious to get the boards off the windows.
It was only a little over 48 hours but the house did feel like a cave.
 After the cleanup, life for us returned to 'normal'. (Not really sure what that looks like) We also knew our schedules were going to get really busy so we looked for some family time together. We ALL love baseball and realized that the end of the season was here and we needed to get to a game. We love the Tampa Bay Rays and Laura grew up loving the Orioles! So, of course, we were super stoked when we saw that the Rays played the O's for their final to the ballgame!

Winona's first game! LOVED IT

Friends from Calvary Chapel Venice 

Winona even had her picture taken on the field after the game!

The following week, we took off to the other coast for a mission conference. We were able to share the vision and information about GSI with many folks. It was exciting to hear from others who also have a burden to share the gospel not only here but around the world.  We are actively searching out activities and functions where we can educate people about the work of GSI in Asia. We are praying the contacts made can help us in partnering with more churches as well as connecting with those who have been “called” to “GO” to one of the 3000+ unreached peoples that remain.  

Kevin getting our table set up for the conference.
For Americans, November is a special month to not only celebrate with family and eat enormous amounts of food :), for us, it's a time to look over the year and give thanks to God for ALL He has done! We are so grateful for those of you who continue to lift our family in prayer and who continue to support the ministry. We are humbled and very blessed. Our prayer is that your Thanksgiving is filled with Jesus, family, and fun.  (Lots of food too!)  
Happy Thanksgiving,  Kevin & Laura

" O, give thanks to the Lord, for He is good! For His mercy endures forever." Psalm 107:1

Thursday, September 7, 2017

September 2017

Greetings from sunny, hot, humid, rainy, more humidity, hot Florida… did we say humid?? Well, it is definitely NOT Siberia! It has been a very busy summer for the Wooster’s and we find ourselves knee deep in painting, going through boxes and packing up items to sell or give away as we settle into our home. Our youngest son, Corey had surgery on both knees and is recovering quite well with fantastic physical therapy. Our oldest son will be moving back to Florida before the end of this year, while Corey and his family will most likely be moving out to Colorado; it’s never boring in our household! Oh - our little Winona will turn two in November. We are so very blessed and very much appreciate all the prayers that are lifted for us and our family!!
Corey with Winona in Colorado.

The work with GSI
(our local organization) continues to grow with another group of nine having gone through orientation in July as they prepare to ‘GO’ to the unreached of Asia. Their four days of orientation consisted of understanding the organization, how we enter into difficult areas, seminars on finance, communication, and the importance of an involved sending church, plus much more. Most of these folks will be on their fields of service by the beginning of 2018.
Kevin and Don sharing about the development office at orientation...

We were excited to be a part of the orientation and again were impressed with the caliber of people preparing to serve Him far from their homes and families!

Celebrating God’s provision... During the orientation we also held an open house/barbecue for GSI’s office. (Another God story) We helped organize, set up and pull this off in the middle of Summer.(It was so hot!)  
Part of the "CREW" that helped make Open House possible
We had over 100 people come out in July to help celebrate with us God’s provision for our new office.
Pastor Carl from Calvary Chapel Sarasota 

The office was transformed to show the steps that people go through in order to “GO” to the field.  Step one... showed the need; that there are over 3000 people groups with NO Christian witness and no ability to even hear about Jesus.  Step Two...had a desk set up to give an idea of what someone that has answered the call to “GO” does in order to work full time overseas from language learning, Bible training, partnership development and then saying good bye as they then head to Step Three...once on the field, there is language learning. Spending as many as 40 hours a week in a classroom setting to then going into the community to ‘use’ what has been learned.

Step four...they begin to work on their access to their country. Many of you will remember when you helped us as we established the WOW project (Windows of Warmth); this was crucial for the work in the village. For those heading overseas, many will need to find a long term solution in order to have access to the country in order to reach the long term goal which is Step 5...Discipleship and church planting. This comes along as they are working through the preceding steps. Many of you have partnered with us over the years as we have seen the final step realized in three churches in the region of North Asia where we served! THANK YOU!

We're certain you noticed we have less pictures these days; new 'season', new work. However, we will strive to keep you informed and find new things to photograph. (Like the hurricane that is heading our direction as of this writing.) Please keep the state of Florida in your prayers and we prepare to ride out the storm as this point unless asked to leave. Thank you for your faithful prayers and support! We love ya'll :)
Serving Together, Kevin & Laura