November 2017 Prayer Letter
November 23rd, 2017 Prayerletters No Comments


To download a printable PDF of this prayer letter with pictures and full graphics, please click HERE

Fair Weather and Stormy Skies

The weather in Vanavara often mirrors what life and ministry are like — bright, clear skies and perfect weather which change suddenly into periods of intense storms and howling gales. This has been true in both our ministry and our personal lives over the course of the summer months as we have seen both times of blessing as well as the occasional storm of trials and testing.

In the last letter, we mentioned a man with whom we have been working, A—, would be undergoing rehab for alcohol addiction in the city of Krasnoyarsk. However, once he got to the city and got dried out, he decided that he didn’t need extended rehab and flew back to Vanavara. For a while things were going better, but then his wife left him and the children, and, not able to take rejection, he turned back to the vicious clutches of alcohol. Our hearts hurt for this family as we have seen progress made and then sudden regression back to sin and it’s clutches. Please pray with us that in these periods of soberness we would be able to continue to share with A— the hope that lies within us — the hope and peace that can only be found in forgiveness of sins and a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.

Another aspect of life which challenges our rest and peace in Jesus is the fact that we often encounter circumstances in the village which remind us of the fire. Since our house burned down in February, there have been 5 fires throughout Vanavara which have resulted in a total loss of property. The most recent of these was the children’s library building which burned to the ground at the end of September.

We know that the Lord allowed our house fire to happen for a reason and, having already shown us the reason why, we are at perfect peace and rest in Him. However, there is still that moment whenever we see either a fire or the results of a fire, that it is like a dagger through the heart and the fear and hurt come flooding back as the wound is opened up afresh.

Please continue to pray for us as we seek to daily rest in our Savior’s love and care. He is sufficient!

Ministry News

In September we opened a new chapter in our ministry in Vanavara as we became the only Americans in Vanavara (for the time being). Our coworkers, the Deans, left for a 6-month furlough at the beginning of September and will be back to Krasnoyarsk at the end of February in time to buy supplies and truck them up before the winter road closes.
While we miss them greatly, we are glad that they have the opportunity to both spend some time with family and raise some much-needed support.

At the beginning of October, we celebrated our annual Harvest Sunday, and we were excited to have Kevin Jones come up from Krasnoyarsk to spend the weekend with us and challenge us from the Word of God.

The Lord has also opened up the opportunity to begin teaching English to a middle-school age boy through a contact at the post office. So far he is the only student that we are working with, but others have enquired and shown interest, so we are excited to see how the Lord will continue to use this opportunity. This is a completely new experience for us, so your prayers would greatly be appreciated as we also learn how to teach English as a foreign language.

Family Corner

Winter seemed long in coming this year and the snow was late, but that enabled us to get some fall pictures done before the deep freeze set in. The constant weather fluctuations of cold then warm have been affecting everyone’s health to some degree, so we are all ready for some steady cold winter weather of -20C or lower. As of right now, we do have snow on the ground, but not super cold temperatures.

Another blessing thus far was that we were able to enroll Elliot in the local children’s sports program and he has started taking cross-country skiing lessons with other kids his own age. He has been nothing short of thrilled with the opportunity and we are thankful that he has an opportunity to interact with more kids in the community and also burn off a lot of energy (for which mom and dad are the most thankful 🙂. The instructor approached me (Matt) and offered to let me borrow some skis and go with them on their lessons, so for the past couple of weeks, Elliot and I have been skiing together. This further integration into the community has been a great opportunity for both me and Elliot.

Furlough Plans

Although it is hard to believe, our next furlough is coming up and we are starting to make plans towards that end. While we don’t have exact dates yet, we are planning to be back in the States in the Fall of 2018 and would be available for meetings from September 2018 through January 2019.

Please remember that due to our immigration status we are only allowed to be out of the country for no more than 6 months. Unfortunately that means that we will be unable to visit all of our churches, but we will do our best to try to report to as many as possible.

If you are interested in having us come to your church and present the Lord’s ministry in Vanavara, please contact us as soon as possible so that we can begin to set our schedule. The best way to contact us would be through email, but I am open to a phone call as well. Please remember the time difference and that we are 12 hours AHEAD of Eastern Standard Time (2pm EST is actually 2am for us).

Furlough Dates for Meetings:
September 2018 through January 2019
Contact information:
phone: 704-751-0479 (12 hours ahead of EST)


As always, we truly appreciate your faithful prayers and support of our ministry.  We are honored to be your representatives to the people of Siberia.

Prayer Praises

The peace that passes all understanding when we simply rest in the Lord

The new opportunity to teach English

The opportunity for Elliot and me to take skiing lessons

The wonderful Harvest Sunday that the Lord gave us with Kevin Jones

Prayer Requests

God’s grace as we live and minister in Vanavara

A— and his family

For clear direction as we seek to follow the Lord’s leading in the ministry

For new opportunities to share the Gospel with others in the community

For our testimony in front of others in the community to accurately reflect our Lord and Savior

Please be sure to download the PDF version of the prayer letter HERE to see all of the pictures and graphics in the print version.

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