Winter Road Report #1 – December 2015 Prayer Letter
December 30th, 2015 Prayerletters No Comments

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

Winter Road Trip #1


Let me start off by saying a big thank you to all who prayed specifically for our travels on the winter road up to Vanavara and back. The Lord protected on the roads and we traveled there and back on varying road conditions without incident.
We headed out on Tuesday, December 8th, which was a day later than we had planned, because it took all day Monday to load all of our supplies into the truck.  After driving 225km (140 miles) to the city of Kansk, we met up with the truck driver and followed him the rest of the way to Vanavara.

The trip was long and rough on the way up.  We drove until 12 midnight the first day, then pulled over to the side of a woods road and tried to sleep in the vehicle until about 6am Wednesday morning.  We then pulled out and headed up to the last city before the winter road (Ust-Ilimsk). We arrived in Ust-Ilimsk around 5pm, fueled up, ate supper and headed out on the winter road. The first part of the winter road was logging roads, so it was easier going, but once we got off the logging roads, it was extremely challenging and rough.

Around 10pm, we were about 150km outside of Vanavara and we left the truck driver because he had to drive even slower to protect our stuff due to the rough road conditions.  We took off driving and averaged about 25kph (15mph) because the roads were extremely rough and difficult to navigate in the dark.  It took us until 5:30am, Thursday morning to arrive in Vanavara and we promptly unloaded my vehicle and slept until noon.

The truck arrived around 2pm and we began to unload all of our stuff into our apartment until 10pm, then we moved over to the Dean’s apartment and unloaded a few things before calling it a night.  We finished unloading all of the Dean’s stuff Friday afternoon and got right to work remodeling the Dean’s apartment.  

One huge blessing was that some long-time friends from college and missionaries to Moldova, Jacob and Viola Hughes, were able to come over for a visit during this time. While Viola stayed in the city with Katie and the kids, Jacob traveled up to Vanavara with us and he was a tremendous help unloading the truck and getting things started with the remodeling.

Unfortunately, Jacob could only stay until Monday, the 14th, but his flight was late in the afternoon, so we still managed to get in a few days of work before he had to leave. One thing that completely amazed him on the trip up to Vanavara was the vast expanse of Siberia and how that we can drive for hours on end and see nothing but trees and forested taiga.

We began the remodeling in the Dean’s apartment with their bathrooms (split shower and toilet rooms) and kitchen. Due to several plumbing fiascos, we didn’t get as far as we had hoped, but by the time we left Vanavara on the 21st, we had completely finished the toilet room and 98% of the shower room, and had made a start on the kitchen.  I’ve included some pictures of the progress.

The road back to Krasnoyarsk was much improved and we made better time – completing the winter road section in just under 10 hours.  We overnighted in a hotel in the city of Bratsk on the way back after 14+ hours of driving, then got on the road at 6am on the 22nd and drove the remaining 12 hours back to Krasnoyarsk.  

Overall, our vehicle ran very well and the temperatures were warm for the time of year (averaging -10C, with drops to -30C on the way back). Upon our return and inspection of our vehicle, I discovered an oil leak coming from the turbo-compressor and the rear main seal on the engine. I am trying to get that fixed as soon as possible, but with the New Year holidays here (January 1-9), time is running out to try to get it in to a mechanic. Please pray that I will be able to get it in a fixed before we head out again.

Our next trip to Vanavara will be January 11 – February 2, 2016. My dad and a crew of 3 brothers will be coming over for that time-frame to help us finish the remodeling in both our apartment and in the Dean’s apartment. We praise the Lord that they have all been able to secure their visas and plane tickets, and we are excitedly looking forward to their visit here.

Thank you for your prayers on our behalf during this trip.  It was amazing to see God open doors while we were up there this last time – we made more contacts with people who can be a long-term help once we move up there.  And, just to add to the excitement of our move, we found a building for sale right in the same area as our apartments that could be a perfect location for a future church building!  I am scheduled to meet with the sellers when we go back to see if it is a viable option for a meeting place.

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

Safe travels on the road to and from Vanavara

A much-needed time of fellowship with Jacob and Viola Hughes

Only very minor casualties with a couple of items due to the rough conditions on the winter road

Much work finished in the Dean’s apartment

Prayer Requests

The oil leak on the Patrol (our vehicle) to be fixed before we leave in January

Safe travels for the crew coming over in January

Wisdom as I purchase the last few remaining supplies needed for our apartment remodel

Bro. Dean to get his vehicle road-worthy by January 11

Please be sure to download the PDF version of the prayer letter HERE for pictures of the winter road and of the remodeling in the Dean’s apartment

Leave a Comment

Your email is never published nor shared. Required fields are marked with *