life is so filled with ups and downs, good news and bad news. Well, let's start with some good news. For Cecil to keep his resident permit and live in Russia, he needed to pass a test of Russian language, government, and history. Good news! He passed the test. It was a long test with many questions, and in the Russian language, but he managed to do it. So the Russian government should let him renew his resident permit (once he submits all the papers, and it is a pile of papers). Tomorrow afternoon we plan to submit the request for renewal.
Bad news. Our car went missing. Cecil was running some errands downtown. When he walked back to where he thought he parked it, it wasn't there. After searching for a while, we asked the police to help. They haven't found it yet, either. It has been listed as stolen. So for now we're taking buses and taxis.
Construction continues at the ministry center we are building. Hoping to put the roof on in the next few days. It's been quite a bit of physical work for Cecil (carrying boards, driving nails, climbing ladders, etc). It's not a big building, but it is a house. Thankfully we've had some help from local volunteers. Please pray we don't have rain until the roof is closed in.
We've had some things happen to slow down the work. A fire in the neighboring field we ran to help put out. Materials were stolen at night. Etc. So, please pray that the work is able to finish quickly to completion.
We helped host a three-day conference at Hope Center on how to minister to unreached people groups in the Russian Far East (it was held this month). We had a variety of groups represented, and a variety of speakers. This should help to coordinate and motivate evangelism and church planting.
(above) One of the speakers at the conference.
Now that summer vacation is over, our orphanage outreach has resumed. We go once a week to three different orphans with LifeSkills and Bible training. Orphanage workers have recognized the importance of teaching independent living skills to the orphans, and doors are open to us.
Please pray that our car is found, that construction proceeds smoothly, and that doors to ministry remain open.
Cecil, Tonya, Vera and Diana Eshelman
An interesting history moment:
Francis Scott Key (who penned the "Star Spangled Banner") wrote a detailed account of the Battle of Fort McHenry to Thomas Jefferson's cousin, John Randolph, October 5, 1814.
John Randolph was a U.S. Congressman from Virginia who went on to become a U.S. Senator, 1825-1828. President Andrew Jackson appointed John Randolph as U.S. Minister to Russia, 1830.
Francis Scott Key shared his faith with John Randolph:
"May I always hear that you are following the guidance of that blessed Spirit that will 'lead you into all truth,' leaning on that Almighty arm that has been extended to deliver you, trusting only in the only Savior, and 'going on' in your way to Him 'rejoicing.'"
Rep. John Randolph wrote to Francis Scott Key, September 7, 1818 (Hugh A. Garland, The Life of John Randolph of Roanoke, New York: D. Appleton & Company, 1853, Vol. II, p. 99):
"I am at last reconciled to my God and have assurance of His pardon through faith in Christ, against which the very gates of hell cannot prevail. Fear hath been driven out by perfect love."