First of all, sorry for the very short and absolutely uninformative last month’s report.
Ministry in Vadsø
There’s no pastor in Vadsø, Max moved to the south of Norway last summer. This is when we closed the men’s group there and the work there was postponed. I started visiting Vadsø again last December just to preach on Sunday once a month.
Both in March and April I went to Vadsø with a team of friends. In March we had a prayer and worship evening in the church Saturday night for the first time. People from Lutheran church and Salvation Army joined. Prayed for the city of Vadsø, for the authorities, for the people and for the church. Also prayed for personal healing of those who attended. On Sunday I preached on Romans 12:2 – the renewal of the mind.
In April we had a larger team. Had a powerful worship service Saturday night, and on Sunday I preached on 2 Peter 1:5-8. We scheduled my next visit on May 20. That time it will be a joint meeting together with the Salvation Army.
I’m happy to see that there are more people each time we visit, happy to be able to invest into their lives. But it will take a while to re-start a men’s group there. I’m not in a hurry, just waiting on the Lord and doing this work together with him.
Right now we are in the transition process from the Association which we left for certain reasons to the Evangelical Church of Murmansk. Yesterday we were announced as new members and Daniel was baptized.
A few days ago we had a meeting with pastors and leaders of the church trying to present our ministry. I tried to explain the ministry for men: what it is and why it should be done. Briefly – I failed to make them interested. As I understand their position: “Are we doing something wrong that a special ministry for men is needed? We are doing it right, and the men in our church are the best men, example for others.” Only one pastor from the team supported me and was trying to find ways to start ministry for men in the church. Well, at least they don’t ban this ministry.
That was a very exhausting conversation, frustrating to some degree, but I believe it’s ok. God is pruning me right now and I know this is for good.
Meanwhile, we re-started men’s group in Snezhnogorsk, and a Bible group (all women!).
Our family is doing fine. As I have written, Daniel was baptized yesterday (May 6). Vera is growing. We are all tired because she is not sleeping well. But most of all we are tired because of all that stuff which has been going on last couple of years.
Our passports are on the way: Daniel’s and Vera’s are ready; Masha’s and Fedya’s are coming hopefully this week. As soon as they are all ready we will apply for Norwegian visas for all. I still have my Norwegian visa till 2021.
Ideas and Plans
Daniel is graduating this year from high school and we thought he would start a college. But now we are inclining to the idea of gap year. He wants to go to Africa as a missionary, probably to Liberia (there are many Liberians in the church in Vadsø). Both Masha and me support this idea. I believe it will be good for him to have this true-life experience. He is going to be 18 October 3, so this is time when he will be able to go.
Some closer plans. We will go to Saint Pete later this month. We are planning to drive through northern Norway and all Finland, visiting friends and churches. Daniel’s exams start May 30 in Saint Pete; please pray for him.
We are considering moving to Vadsø at least for a couple of months – as our tourist visas allow – to continue to serve in church there and to start men’s fellowship again. I will talk with Martin, the elder of the church there next time I’m there – May 19-20. If he doesn’t mind, we will do it.
And: I just can’t get Eleuthera out of my mind. (Sorry Jay!)) It’s a kind of out of my… everything, but I can’t stop thinking about it. So please pray for god’s way.
The Car Situation and Finance
Currently the car is in the shop waiting for the green light from the Police to be fixed. Right now they can’t even check what is broken there to make the budget. I’m using my friend’s car right now (remember Sasha who came along with the to the US back in 2015?). So now I’m enjoying a tiny and funny VolksWagen again)) God is good!
The finances are tight, but we are doing our best to manage them the right way. Masha is doing great job managing them.
Thank you friends for your prayers, financial support and wise words into my life. I appreciate you!