April 11 we finally went to Vadsø again, after all restrictions were taken off and the car was fixed. It was a long expected though difficult trip, both practically and emotionally. Vera didn’t get used to travel in car and was crying all the way. Unexpected technical stops, and so on. I was trembling when we were approaching the border, because i wasn’t quite sure if they would let us out. That would have been a terrible disaster if they didn’t. But they did. That was such a relief when we finally crossed the border. You know, before this trial in Russia, a trip to Vadsø was not a big deal. Just jump in the car, a few hours drive, and you are there. But now it became so important and precious to us – just to be able to be there. We spent there two and a half weeks, I preached on Sundays, taught at Bible School, led all prayer meetings. And of course we met with as many people as we could. Just spent time with them, shared meals, praying together and talked of what the Lord has been doing. It was a great time which we appreciated and treasured indeed.
There are many plans and ideas for the work in Norway: starting an annual meeting in Finnmark (a conference of a kind), developing various outreach campaigns in Vadsø and area, starting a ministry for the youth and for the kids in the church, the ministry for single mothers, developing music ministry. And of course continuing the ministry for men on a new level. We are praying that those ideas from the Lord would grow and our life and ministry there bear fruit.
Our temporary registration ended May 6, and if we didn’t have a new contract by then, we could have become not only formally, but actually homeless. So we did have to go to Russia, even though it was breaking our hearts. Now when I’m typing this the question is solved and we are waiting to receive our new registration. The new contract was ready at the last moment. But we know, God is never late even though He sometimes doesn’t make haste.
The future is still unclear. I don’t know when exactly we can apply for work in Norway, because as soon as we do, we will loose ability to go to Russia for a while, and no one knows for how long exactly. That’s why we need to finish all unsolved issues there before we do. Most likely that in the summer we will stay there using our tourist visas and going to Russia every once in a while.
I want to say great thanks to you, friends for all kinds of support – financial, prayer, wisdom you have shared with us. There were times when I felt, literally felt your prayers carrying us out. I appreciate you. I appreciate your friendship, appreciate your wisdom and good advice. We love you, friends.