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Documents, Documents and more Documents

A big part of serving in a foreign country is staying on top of documents. Documents are not the most exciting part of the ministry, but an important part. This has certainly been true lately, as we have had a lot of document work that needed completed.

One of the more important documents was Lilianna’s residency that needed to be renewed. The extension process takes a minimum of two months to be approved. Once approved, we flew down to Krasnoyarsk to pick up the residency document.

In addition to Lilianna’s residency extension, Cassie’s and Lilianna’s passports were soon to expire. For us, that means a trip to the embassy in Moscow. Since we already had to fly to Krasnoyarsk, it made sense to combine the two trips.

We turned in everything that was needed for the new passports in Moscow and returned to Krasnoyarsk to pick up Lilianna’s residency

extension. Once her residency extension was in hand, the only thing left to do was fly back to Vanavara to register her place of residency. …

Update to Our Most Recent Prayer Letter

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God has richly blessed our ministry, and I would like to share with you what God has done. While we were in a mission conference last week, I showed our video and in the video I explained the new legal situation, which requires religious meetings to be held on commercial property. You may recall from our recent letter that we have found such a building, but we needed to raise $25,000 to purchase it. God began to move in this meeting in a marvelous way. In one night, they raised $22,000 for this building. Praise the Lord! That, with what we already have raised, more than meets the need to buy the building. We are praising the Lord for this answer to prayer. 
God has also blessed us with some additional funds for the vehicle project. We now have $6,900 of the needed $10,000. Glory to His name. God truly is able.

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Thank you for praying for Matt and me as we traveled back to Vanavara on the winter road. We made it back safely, Praise the Lord! Matt and I drove straight through, trading off driving, so that the other could rest. Considering the conditions of the winter road, we made pretty good time.

The road was clearly melting. We drove through a lot of mud and slush, but underneath the mud and slush, the ground was still frozen solid. (In the warmer weather, much of the road is marshland, and only a few specially designed vehicles can make it through.)

We are glad to be back. Thank you for your prayers.
I wanted to thank every one for their prayers for our coworkers, the Northcutts. The Northcutts are getting settled in to a temporary apartment while they decide what to do next. They have received some  supplies from the city. (As I understand it, one driver didn't charge them anything for the delivery.) Between that, and what they were able to get out of the old apartment, they have been able to set up a temporary living situation.

I am flying out tomorrow  to the city to help Matt Northcutt drive his truck back up the winter road. You may remember from an earlier blog post, that both Matt and I are having trouble with our vehicles. He had to send his truck down to the city on a flat bed for repairs. At the time of this writing, they are putting his truck back together, and it should be ready to go by tomorrow.

Please pray for this trip. The road conditions are not the best, as the road is melting away. Our truck driver friends are saying that this weekend will be their last pu…

Winter Road Update

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This year's supply run was quite rough.  On our first trip, I ran into some mechanical difficulties en route. About 255km (160 miles) outside of Krasnoyarsk, the wiring harness caught fire. I immediately hit the kill switch, (a UAZ van has a factory installed kill switch that cuts all battery power to the vehicle) and got it off the road. Matt Northcutt and I cobbled the wires up enough to get it to a nearby city. A few days later, I limped it the rest of the way to Krasnoyarsk. (A special thanks to Kevin Jones and James Pranger for their help in getting it back to Krasnoyarsk.) I had a new wiring harness put in, and returned to Vanavara loaded with supplies. 
Upon my return to Vanavara,the van developed some different problems that I am working on now. In addition, Matt Northcutt's truck developed an engine knock. It is looking like he may have to send his truck down to the city on a flatbed for repairs.
Because of the problems with both of our vehicles, we were not able to …

Life in the North (Part Two)

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The winter road is open! Matt Northcutt and I are getting ready to leave out on a supply trip to the city tomorrow morning. It is about a two day trip there, and another two days back. We plan to drive the winter road portion on day one and drive the rest of the way to the city on day two.

From what our truck driver friends have said, it sounds like this year's road is in really good shape. We just learned that the short route is open, which is big news since it normally does not open until after the New Year Holiday. The reason for it opening early is that we had very little rain fall this summer, which in turn means that it does not take as long for swampy areas of the road to freeze over.

I have spent the last few days going over the mechanics of my van, as well as going through our emergency gear, making sure that everything is in order and properly working. Also, for safety, we will be taking two vehicles. This way, if something were to happen to one of the two vehicles, we …

Life in the North (Part One)

Summer is an important time of the year in the North. We have a short season to get everything done outside before winter hits and everything is frozen. We have been quite busy this past summer. Things are starting to calm down after the frenzy of summer projects.

One important part of the summer activities is our garden. I have written about the cultural importance of a garden in the past, but in Vanavara it is even more important, as food from the stores are brought up the winter road or flown in by airplane. As a result, it is more expensive. A garden is an important part of our food supply for the winter, it is not just a hobby for us.

We had a few unexpected surprises. There was an old greenhouse on our garden spot. I knew that it would need to be replaced someday, but I thought that I could get a few seasons out of it. As it turned out, it collapsed in early spring. Fortunately it collapsed before the time to plant, and I was able to replace it.

Another unexpected surprise was …