Friday, September 26, 2008

There is light at the end of the tunnel

Just wanted to let you all know that there is, in fact, light at the end of this tunnel and that God is good. We're in the process of making some big changes, but we can't exactly share details yet. I promise to let you know just as soon as everything is official. Much love to all of you, thank you so much for your prayers and support--you cannot imagine how important they have been. My best wishes for a great weekend for all of you!

Much love!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Stress does some weird things....

Ok, so here's the crazy part of the week--last Tuesday I went to the doctor with this wonky rash on the right side of my chest and arm...guess what? I had shingles! The Doctor asked if I had been under any stress, since that can trigger them. I said, "you have no idea...."

Luckily, we caught it quickly and the antiviral stuff has worked (although made my stomach funky). I have learned that I probably need to deal better with my stress level, and that I probably also needed the weekend of sleeping a bunch.

No specific news right now, but we will keep you posted and let you know as soon as we know something...
Much love!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Please keep us in your prayers...

Hi Everybody.

Just wanted to let you know that there have been some setbacks here with the adoption. We're in the process of re-evaluating what we are going to do, but we would ask for your prayers as we make some serious decisions about where we go from here. We're not giving up, but we are changing directions. Please know that we appreciate all of your support, and that you are so very important to us.

God's blessings and peace

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Ok, this is just silly!

Apparently, Russian banking giant "Sberbank" is doing a new promotional drive for the bank in hopes to inspire confidence and "cutsify" the bank. They're using little creatures they call, get this, "Sberbies"---or maybe they could spell it "Sburbees"? Most people who saw these on the website just thought they were kinda creepy. I have to agree....What do you guys think?

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Review of the summer---Mission Trip to Moscow 2008

Members of the Russian and the American leadership team for the camp at Lesnoi Gorodok, just outside Moscow...I miss all these people so much!
Americans in Russia--we dressed up for "International Night" at the camp--Kevin and Jen are into the spirit, here!

Some of the camp kids singing at the dedication of the Vnukovo United Methodist Church

Last night at the camp worship--a picture of the stage--these were tealights that they lit as part of the worship service

The new Vnukovo sanctuary--isn't it beautiful? And we got to be part of the dedication!

Mike, our fearless leader, accepting bread and salt at "International Night" from Anastasia, one of the Russian leaders at the camp.

In the Kremlin on a Sunday---Irina hangs out with the Americans!

Ok, this was in the Kremlin, and they couldn't resist channeling John, Paul, Ringo and George...we really want t-shirts with this picture on them!

The Kremlin from the river as the sun is setting---wow!

After our trip to the souvenir market--it was a "hat" kind of day!

Hi Everybody! So sorry that it has been so long since I have posted anything. It has been a wild and crazy summer.

Just a few days after we got back from camp, I was headed out the door for Russia! Unfortunately, this wasn't for the adoption, but it was for an amazing mission trip with the people from LaCroix United Methodist Church in Cape Girardeau, Missouri.

We were in Moscow for more than two weeks--the first week was spent working on the Vnukovo United Methodist Church's new sanctuary and existing building, and then the second week we did the second installment of the youth and young adult church camp at Lesnoi Gorodok. Finally, the last full day we were there, the new sancutary at Vnukovo was dedicated in an amazing ceremony with music and food and prayers and fun.

What can I say? Amazing group of people on the American team, amazing friends old and new in Russia, and God just moving and working and pulling all of this together. If anyone has questions, we also spent a couple of days just seeing Moscow: Red Square and that area, the ballet, a boat trip down the Moscow River, walking down Arbat Street, the souvenir market at Izmailovsky (we stayed at the hotel near the market, so it was literally right outside the door!), exploring the metro, eating at McDonalds, ordering pizza for delivery online from Pizza Hut (go figure!), and wandering through GUM and the Kremlin. We also flew in and out of Domodedovo (a new experience, and a great improvement over SVO, but it was still pretty crowded when we were there--but, no luggage lost, and nobody held up in customs) on the new American flight out of Chicago. Again, an improvement over the trip two years ago, but it is still such a LONG flight to Moscow (that's really the only BAD part of the trip!)

We also spent lots of time getting to know (again) the people and youth at the church, and the kids at the camp. The worship and teaching times at the camp were so Spirit-filled, we had such a great time, and even the food was better this time---sadly, though, I had no REAL pelmeni (just those at the hotel). I miss those kiddos already--thank goodness for facebook, and for the fact that it is keeping some of us in touch now that we're home!

I wish that I had time and space to tell you everything that happened--I will post just some of the pictures, so that you can get some sense of what an amazing experience these few weeks we were there. If anybody has any questions, I am more than happy to answer--