I am now finally settled into my flat here in Ufa Russia and doing well. I know you are curious about many things, both in my life here and in the ministry. First let's start with life. The scriptures tells us He will provide all our needs (Phil. 4:19) and I can say He surely has.
I arrived two weeks ago in Moscow, a city I had never been to and I knew no one. A contact had been provided so I trusted they would come. I felt peace, I knew prayers were being lifted at home. God provided as I went through customs, no questions on anything. PTL! Then next in this large airport full of many strangers I saw a small sign "Janice Spurgeon". My two guardian angels had arrived. They carried all my luggage and put me safely in a car. They helped me to exchange money, buy groceries, and delivered me to a wonderful flat that would be home for the next few days. PTL!
Sleep came easily as it had been a long flight. The next day filled with silence as I rested and waited for my traveling companions to arrive. Time to reflect on the awesome fact that the Lord had again brought me back to Russia. What would be in store this trip? I knew it would unfold in His timing.
Finally my companions arrived and my angels returned to help with tickets and arrangements to Ufa. The next day's early morning trip would in itself be an adventure but again God provided a covering of safety. There were four of us in all smashed with luggage ( 3 large duffles and 3 carry ons) into a car about the size of an Escort. The roads were slick from the ice and snow mix. The window washers of the car did not work and the salt and dirt from the road made it impossible to see. Our driver who was trying to get us there in a timely manner, proceeded to speed. Along came the traffic police, something was not in order so they impounded the car. They flagged down another driver to take us to the airport.
Now travel by air in Russia is always an adventure and this was no different. The lines were long but the window not open, time for check in was running short. But we waited for the person who eventually arrived and then told us our luggage was over weight. We then proceeded to another window to pay the extra taxes for this and then return to a new line to show our receipt and get clearance to travel. But PTL all went well. We arrived in Ufa later that day greeted by those I shall work with for the next six weeks.
My flat is small but very adaquate and God blessed me with an brand new bathroom unlike any I have seen in Russia. New shining tiles and new fixtures including a wonderful shower massager. It is great. PTL!
The location is great too as the bus stop is very near and so are the markets for shopping. Ufa is more modern than Khabarovsk was, they even plow the driveways to the buildings here horah! The weather is defianately winter and we have several inches of the wonderful white fluff. I love it! It does not seem to be as cold as the Far East but we are just getting started. The flat is completely supplied with all my needs except a washing machine. But this too has been provided for as there is a woman at the church who will come once a week and clean and take my laundry. I will in turn bless her with a small amount of cash, about $3 per week. Imagine that in the states.
Products are readily available here and so are services. It took me a few days to get the email up but it is now working very well. Good service and reasonable prices too. My recent wonderful hair cut was only $1.65. I do not think that is possible anywhere else.
God's provisions are wonderful. PTL!
Now, I will move to the ministry news. I am working with an organization called Charitable Fund Children's. This was organized in April 1999 for the purpose of helping orphans in distress in this region. The staff are all Russian. The director is Mark, his assistant is Lidya, and translator is Gulnara. They are wonderful Christians with a real heart for this work. PTL!
They have begun visiting ten of the 19 orphanages and special needs schools in the area. They are beginning to build those realationships and bridges of trust. Thanks to early donations provided by an American they were able to supply needed medicines. Additional donations have allowed for clothing, toiletry supplies, and even a few toys and gifts. Their church is working with them to collect clothing and other needed items. On Wednesday we will meet to separate, repair, and plan distribution of these item.
I have had the honor of visiting two of the homes one was about 2 hours away and we spent time with the director and the children ages 13-16. They are very talented and bright children. Some of them will be going to training schools next year to develop these talents.
In speaking with the director about needs she express to us about the many needed repairs as the building is old and falling apart. There is some local government funding coming for this but not enough. They are in need of the basic things we find in all the homes. We were able to take a gift of some vitamins for them.
She has a desire to open a bakery. This will allow some training for the children as well as possible income for them. This will require some funds for remodeling an area she has chosen for this. Also needed will be a mixer and other tools of the trade. This is a large project but I have seen the Lord provide for others as big. It will be an asset to the life in this home. Please lift this up in prayer that it can be so.
The other orphange we visited was about four hours drive. The trip was long and rough but again God had his hand upon us. It was a rainy day mixed with snow, the road was wet. As we turned the exit to the village area the car jolted and it sounded like a flat tire. Mark got out to check and the wheel was falling off. All the lugnuts came out at one time. This could have been a tragedy if we had not slowed to make the turn. At the highway speed we would have had an accident. Also Lydia walked only a short distance back along the highway and found all four of the missing nuts. PTL! We were repaired and on our way quickly.
This home housed about 100 little one under the age of seven. They performed a small skit for us. They are so sweet it tears up my heart to know they do not have real homes with loving parents. We presented them with gifts of toiletries that were much needed. They commented that Americans seem to just be able to include these items in our regular shopping but, for them toilet paper is a luxury. We were able to supply another provision through the gifts you have sent, shared blessing from God.
During my time here I will be helping them to develop better management skills for the work at hand. We meet daily in my home to work on planning and projects. We spend time in prayer on behalf of the homes and the needs within. We will look at plans and goals for the future. One of these projects is to prepare Christmans packages for the children. Another is a possilbe work team in the spring.
Please continue your prayers for me ...
I thank you my friends for your support to this work. I pray that the Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit. Have a blessed Thanksgiving and remember to give thanks with a greatful heart to the mighty provider of these provisions.
Scripture for this time is Philippians 4:5-7. You are in my prayers.
He loves you and so do I
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