Tuesday, May 31, 2016


Final greetings dear friends from Siberia....we have not forgotten you and must apologize for the 'silence' over the past months. The days have turned into weeks which have now turned into months with no updates  - we pray you haven't given up on us! In the book of Ecclesiastes we read, "there is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven." We have been through many 'seasons' over the years and find ourselves preparing for a new one in the coming months.  Much has been happening and many changes are taking place, so after much prayer and godly counsel we are moving back to the US for a 'season.' We will continue to serve through our organization; we are needed closer to 'home' for now and are extremely grateful for the opportunity to work with folks around the world. Please remember us as we transition back to a culture and life we haven't been a real part of for almost 20 years!

First Wedding at “Joyful News Church”! We were privileged to return to the village in time for our first wedding in the church. Kevin was also given the honor of walking the bride down the aisle – it was beautiful!  The wedding quickly became the talk of the town because of where it was held and because there was no alcohol served at the banquet afterwards. Many non-believing family members were in attendance and were deeply touched by the ceremony. The pastor did an amazing job of explaining what the Bible says about marriage and spoke directly to the bride, groom, and bride’s daughter about the responsibilities of each family member. The love shown through his words spoke to each person in the church; there wasn’t a dry eye to be found. The couple asks for prayer as they have a strong desire to be a Godly example for their families and the community. Their prayer is that people will see the difference in their marriage and desire to know ‘why’!
Sveta and her Mom before the ceremony.

Sveta's daughter...prayed for a father for over
four years!

This year, we had the chance to celebrate Easter twice - different calendars used to celebrate holidays usually only puts  the dates a week or so apart, however, this year Easter was over a month later. Needless to say, we were grateful to share the day here in Russia as well.  One of the churches in the city decided to celebrate Passover with those who serve in the church. Of course we accepted the invitation to join them and shared a beautiful evening of food, fellowship, and remembrance of the meaning of Passover. If you are not familiar with the celebration, please take a few minutes to read how Passover or a Seder is done. It is a beautiful picture and reminder of God's love and provision for His children.

Cutting the lamb for dinner...YUMMY!

Beginning of the meal with bread, salt and bitter herbs.

Hearing the story of the exodus and the meaning of the meal.

Easter weekend continued in the village as we celebrated the risen savior with over 65 folks attending; almost 30 of them were children under the age of 16. Kevin shared from Matthew 28 on Christ’s resurrection. We were encouraged not to have fear because we have a Savior who is always with us and to ‘rejoice’ in the fact that HE is Risen and is not dead! The end of the chapter then encourages us to “GO” and share this amazing news with others, so that we can rejoice and worship the One who gives eternal life!
Kevin sharing from The Word.

We are blessed to have so many children each Sunday!

Lastly, we would like to share a few pictures from "Victory Day" or what we call Memorial Day. Although this year's celebration wasn't as big as last years, the folks across Russia take this day very seriously. They lost over 20,000,000 (yes, you read that number correctly) people during WWII and remember them each year with much honor, appreciation, and love. 
This gentleman is one of two men left in the village
that fought during the war and returned!

Local cadets marching in the parade.

Local choir getting ready to sing songs of victory.

This year's parade with folks carrying pictures of those
 who served and gave their lives.

Holding a picture of someone
lost during the war.
Our time here has come to an end - our 'season' in Russia complete. We hope is that you have been as blessed as we have been and that you were able to get a glimpse of life in Siberia. We are eternally thankful for our time here and for those that have made it possible. We will continue to share what's happening in our lives and continue to share updates from here as well. 
Serving Together,  Kevin & Laura