River of Joy base from the road

River of Joy base from the road
Picnic Patio goes to work

Sunday, May 22, 2011

May 21: No parusia but providence & peripity trumps perspicacity

This week we learned a pastor from the US Midwest predicted Christ would return on May 21, 2011.
The words of Jesus Christ forbids any prediction of the day or hour by man or angel, or even himself.
 "But of that day and that hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father."  Mark 13:32.  BTW, our Father's name is not Harold Spring unless I have been misinformed.

HOWEVER there was an occurrence this week that points to the fact that we are living in the "last days." Some athiests got wind of pastor Spring's errant prediction. They threw parties they called mockingly, "Rapture Parties." These parties are themselves proofs, not of any exact day or hour, but that Christ will come SOON! Mark 2 Peter 3: 3&4 where it reads,
"Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts, and saying, Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation." Before you discount this thought based on atheist rejection of creation itself, be mindful that creation is only one translation of the Greek word "Krisis," that was used in the original text and which can also be translated, "formation."

I had wanted to make this a really restful Sabbath but the guys had left the place a mess and I had a worker left here. Oleg Loboda, my young, old friend was working on Saturday because he had taken a day off Thursday to do Jail ministry. I fixed him lunch. Tempura fried chicken, River of Joy potatoes and broccoli in mayonaise sauce. He liked it lots. After lunch he did a little more plaster work and left in time for the 3:15 bus. I settled in.  But shortly came a knock. Constantine invited me out to a table in our yard where his family, a guest from Sudak and Alina were celebrating Dasha's 14th birthday. I joined them of course.

We had a good time and then I was at last free for the day so I thought. The gravel truck had deferred until Monday and Alina was feeding her geese. Tolik was off working on the coast. Nothing more could bother me. Sigh.

Another knock! Daveeeed! Alina's way of announcing herself. "Entre Vous!" The door half opened and Alina said, "David there is a Kamaz full of gravel out there (Pointing to where the cows get their mid-day milking). Probably it is yours!" I went out on the road to find the driver, Lenur's short statured grandpa hiking up the road from his gravel truck. After the obligitory handshake I expressed my surprise at his early visit. He said he tried to phone Lenur but he was not answering. I knew that already because Lenur said he would be here Monday morning early to help grandpa.  It was up to me to get the gravel close to the work then.
I showed him where to back in and went for wire cutters to open up a gap in the fence.

He expertly backed and turned and got the gravel close to the future picnic ploshad. Back down near the road I paid him among a herd of milk cows returning to the village, but as soon as I started back for pliers to wire the fence back together, some cows followed me through the gap in the fence! Herders followed them through shouting excitedly. Cows started running all over mooing and bellowing and raising a ruckus. There went my quiet Saturday.

This was today about 15 hours after the hole in the fence incident. The cows were moving much faster on the way home last evening. The gravel came at least a ton short.  Not the first time I've been cheated during building activities here.
 Finally the cows left through the same gap. That is, all but one left. One cow started up the hill on our side of the fence parallel to the returning herd...moving towards our entrance gate. Her herder shouted at me to let her out. I did that willingly. My patch of the fence began shortly afterward. It was not in any way expert but I did get it done before nightfall. The cows seem to be staying on their side of it today anyway.

Last days prophecies in Isaiah mention Sabbath keeping as important.  I hope to get there next week.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Building in May 2011

Building went into high gear this week. Last week we were still just getting started
In preparation Alina gardened and Sasha moved a mountain .
In 2011 Spring came late. Money for building 
seemed to come in coordination with weather changes.
To become a guest room the woodshed is getting higher walls.
Using a hand saw, Lenur is sawing off a chunk of "rakushka"
a sedimentary stone commonly used for building here in Crimea.
 It has air holes in it and has pretty good R value because
 of all the air holes in it. Its not every day you see a man cut
stone with a hand saw.
the woodshed will become a place for guests!
Firewood, tools and dog had to be relocated.
The excavated dirt from around the woodshed is being used for fill 
to level out the picnic square, the area we are preparing for campers 
to eat their meals out of the way of  foot traffic.
To get there you must go through two arches.
This is where the dirt is going. The future picnic square.
Gravel for it arrives today
Soon we hope to pave it with flagstones
The gray patches area above the arch is where 
the penoplast insulation panels have not yet been put in place.
They will  substantially lower our heat loss next winter.
Andrae prepares a concrete pour for the picnic square perimeter. 
Andrae is a talented local builder but he confesses to being a materialist. Please
pray for his salvation. The white painted cabin behind him is where I live. We plan to
give it a new mission tile roof this summer. 

Lenur and Sasha raise the roof of the woodshed as it becomes a guest room.
It is small but will have character and a huge picture window onto a beautiful garden.
The building in the background is the garage..or more accurately for how we use it
our builder's warehouse.

Well, I need to go fix breakfast. Please pray we get this done in time for camp this year. 
Blessings, David

Oleg Loboda and I go way back. I knew him early in my Crimean ministry.
He and his wife Oksana met as coworkers on our laser team. As I right this he is playing
and singing to men in prison. l;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;
He is a talented composer of Christian children's songs andhas  very popular band. 
He akso has two children now so he works in the building trades to make enough money.
The insulation material is very light. It will be plastered over.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Out of my comfort zone then traveler's angels!

This morning It was cold and drizzly here in Crimea. I could have made it to the 7:25 AM bus to Simferopol on time but decided not to. I waited for the somewhat less convenient 10:10 bus knowing I would have to make a bus change to get to Simferopol. I was 15 minutes early at the bus stop. By the time the bus arrived, 8 minutes late, the bus stop was full of people as was the bus...standing room only. As I climbed on the driver was arguing with a passenger. I would usually mention that I was going to Balka (the next little village) but needed to connect to Simferopol. I just said, " Balka." I got off at Balka to find people huddling out of the rain in the bus stop. They informed me that the bus I wanted had already come and gone. But they suggested I shout at the next car. An old Moskvich came. They all shouted and the driver stopped. They shouted at him, "Zelenogorsk" as I ran to get in. I didn't know I wanted Zelenogorsk. I thought Simferopol but I was on the way to the next bus stop where the bus to Simferopol SOMETIMES stops for a few minutes.

Ten minutes later we saw it WAS there waiting...for me? I shouted, "Thats my bus!" The Moskvich driver parked about 20 feet in front of it so as to block it from leaving I guess. I was unable to get out of the car (no handles on the passenger side). The old driver, who had refused payment for the trip, ran around the car wavng at the bus, to let me out. I thanked him, ran for the bus and engaged the bus driver in a short explanation while I paid for the trip to town. I MEANT to say, "I am having an adventursome trip." Because the words for adventure and revival are similar in Russian I said, "I am having a revival-like trip!" That turned out to be a prophetic word. I was on my way to pray for Hussein Amanov's mother. She was healed two+ years ago when I visited her with my then 86 year old mother, but her legs had started hurting her so badly she cannot walk. I was on the way to pray for her again.

When the bus arrived in Simferopol I walked quickly to a bus stop where buses to her suburb stop. The first bus (No.104) didn't stop when I flagged it! I grabbed the second bus...No.27. But when it got to Beloe it went to the other side of the village. There other No. 27 buses waited before making their return. I was still a long way from the Amonov home and it was drizzling. I muttered that I had made a mistake and the driver heard me, his only passenger by then. He said, "Whats wrong?" I said, I needed to go to the other side of this village near the highway." He said, "Then you should have taken bus 104." I said I flagged it but it didn't stop." He turned around and asked why I was going there. I said, "To heal a granny's legs." So for the second time since i have lived in Simferopol a bus went off route to take me where I needed to go." He also gave me back my bus fare and dropped me off near the Amonov home! I went in rejoicing at our Lord's grace. Granny was sleeping alone in the house when I arrived. Hussien was in church on the other side of the city. I knocked and shouted but no answer.

Finally Hussein's niece came across the road to let me in. Granny was curled up tight on the bed. When we awakened her she started crying. She turned over. I was looking at the face of death! Her white wrinkled face never looked worse. Her round frightened eyes were surrounded with deep black creases. she cried, "I am dying like a dog, unwanted and alone." I quickly anointed her with oil and commanded her to be healed in Jesus' name. She complained some more, but more quietly. She started feeling better, drank some tea her grandaughter fixed. Next I ahook her legs and commanded them to be healed. She said they started burning. I spent some time just touching her shoulder and listening to her, answering her questions. When I left she was much better, asked after mother Ruth. I told her about my wonderful mother. She sends her love. God is wonderful. She started repeating, "God give her health." The black circles had gone from her eyes and she looked way better.

She needs to be baptised but she has been afraid that her Muslim Tatar neighbors would ostracize her. Once again the fear of man has held sway in a life and nearly killed the victim. I hope to persuade Hussein to baptize her once she is mobile enough. She is not far from death's door even yet. She knows Jesus cares for her and that He is still alive. Please pray for Babushka Amanov...for her salvation and that she will take that so important step for a Muslim...to be baptized in water in the name of Eesa Mahdi (Jesus the Messiah).

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

"The World is too much with us..."

My morning's meditation was about a Wordsworth quotation,  
                    The world is too much with us; late and soon,
           Getting and spending, we lay waste our powers:
          Little we see in Nature that is ours;
                    We have given our hearts away, a sordid boon!

Too much of my time is spent on getting and spending.  If I could but accomplish all I must
do without chasing off to the bank or running around buying supplies... twould be superb. 

Today I must go to the bank and see why they do not show the money  in my account from the international bank transfer last week. I must run around and buy building materials and other stuff and top off my internet and telephone accounts as well. Sigh.  

Yesterday I hosted a picnic barbeque with Olga Byvyaltseva. Dr. Yuliya Vyaltseva was also to have come. She had taken sick the previous day and stayed home. I thought of what a help these girls had been to me through the years. Olga for instance had helped in adoption work and had interpreted for me when I preached...before I knew Russian well enough to go it alone. 

Now Olga works for an oil company. She makes pretty good money for here now...but what a ministry she is passing up to be getting that money.   

I am concerned about Olga. She is already 30ish and still unmarried. It is hard to understand this as she is a beautiful blonde with dimples and has a fine Christian personality. Yesterday I took her photo a few times while we walked around the ROJ campground. (below).  

Later after the picnic, after Roman sang and played choruses with us we took a taxi to Belogorsk where we were let out on the highway to catch a ride on a bus to Simferopol. I was going to Wil's to spend the night, get on the web like now, and spend money. Olga was going home. It began raining as we left the River of Joy site and I prayed it would be dry when we got to Belogorsk. It was dry, but several buses passed us by. I had not counted on full buses. It was the last day of a 4 day holiday and everyone was going home at once. It started to rain, then hail fell. Olga pulled out her beat up umbrella and it helped us a bit but I still got pretty wet as I was on the weather side of it.  I was beginning to feel bad that I had not engaged the cab all the way to Simferopol when our driver reappeared. He took us to Simferopol after taking his dad home down a muddy road full of holes and assorted farm animals. I was grateful for another travel adventure as I bought some pelmenie for our table then meandered up the road to Wil's place. 

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Two Weddings too early

When Sasha Burodin from Brilliansk, who now serves the Lord as a missionary in Kurskoe
asked if he could do his wedding ceremony/party at ROJ I agreed. However he decided to
do it on April 30th and his fellow worker Maxim Logunkov wanted to share in it with his own
wedding party. Wow, a double wedding sounds good but cannot be the easiest thing to organize.

It was not.

I asked the guys to reconsider about the timing. 'This year we had a hard winter...well pumps
stopped working and there are lots of things still not repaired.' Besides, the weather had not fully
turned warm. But these guys were determined and had already sent invitations...so we went ahead
with it. Here is what happened.

On the 29th the Tatar woman and her nephew who were to do the food preparation arrived
and the food came in shortly afterwards. But we had a flood in the kitchen and nearby toilet.
The sanitary pipes had backed up.

Just so you know I am still not quite understanding how to position photos in this so if the wedding photos appear somewhere below that is why.

It was a funny day. We had worked hard to make it nice...painting the houses a nice wedding white and cleaning up all the assorted pails and building apparatus. We had a drizzle in the morning but the weddings weren't supposed to start until  2 PM  so we prayed for dry weather. God answered. Still it was a bit cool for some. The guys had built a temporary shelter for the pilov pot because it cooks on a fire outdoors. The food was getting done. Then about 1 PM the guys started playing the guitar and singing near the bathhouse. About 2 the wedding party came on in dancing to the guitar. They all gathered there in the yard and danced for maybe 30 minutes. Sasha's bride Elena showed up with a faded blue denim jacket over her bridal gown. This was obviously to be a real country wedding. I had dressed up in a suit and tie. Turns out I was overdressed.
I changed and took off the tie at my earliest opportunity. Russian for tie is "Galschtook" I always thought the sound of that word appropriate. It is how my neck feels when I have one on.

Maxim and Svetlana had known each other from childhood. Maxim grew tall. Svetlana did not. And now they are married. They stood apart at the altar...perhaps so their size difference would not be so obvious...didn't help at all. I tool their photo from below knee height on Svetlana's side. It made her seem only a head shorter than Maxim. Best I could do.

Two weddings, two pastors and two sermons. I was reminded of the anecdote.."A pastor dies and goes to heaven. St. Peter shows him to his eternal home. His new home in heaven turned out to be a humble cottage!
Next door though was a magnificent mansion. He asked about his neighbor. Peter said, That belongs to a taxi driver. "I don't get it" said the man of God, "I worked in the Lord's vineyard all my life and this man...well he just drove cars for a living!" Peter said, "When you preached people slept. When he drove people prayed."

We were going to have Edem, the Tatar electrician in to see if he could fix the pump at the center well that evening but when he called I put it off. The weddings were still going on and I was bushed.