we have returned to the States.
To be honest, our plans right now are not very clear. We've had some
great successes, but our situation is changing rapidly. Not sure
if/when we will be able to return to Russia.
It seems like Russia has been in the news a lot over the last year.
Among other things, diplomats have been expelled. In the midst of all
that, my (Cecil's) resident permit was cancelled and I was told to
leave. In effect, I was deported. Later I was able to return on a
visa, but that was only good for a period of time, and I had to leave
again. This time the entire family has come to the States.
Before leaving Russia, we were able to turn over much of our ministry to
national workers. Some of the work, such has the Bible School, has been
lead by Russian nationals for some time. A few other things were fairly
easy to turn over since we have been doing them jointly with Russian
churches. Other work, such as the dacha project, required us to step up
our schedules. And in a few cases plans had to be put on indefinite
We are very glad to report that rehabilitation work is going on at the
dacha project. We feel that this is a major project that has been
successfully launched and in operation. While those who are now leading
this work will likely add their own flavor to it, we feel good about it
and the national workers who are now leading it.
We are settling into a place in North Carolina. Our son, Timothy, has
already been State-side. He prepared the house for our return. Some
folks with a local church helped him out, for which we are very
grateful. Having a house ready is a nice thing.
We have some plans for ministry such as distribution of Christian
materials in the Russian language via internet and via postal service,
and possibly some support services. Since Tonya has Russian
citizenship, she doesn't need a visa and is available should AGWM have
need for someone to go to Russia on any urgent business or to travel as
a translator with a short-term team.
But we are also in a time of re-evaluation of what the Lord would have
us to do. As well as a time to deal with some health issues. Please
pray for us to hear God's voice, deal with transition, and know His
plans and directions.
Once we get more fully settled in, we hope to send another update. Feel
free to contact us.
The Eshelman Family