Monday, July 25, 2022

New plans (and transition)

 Dear Friends,

we have returned to the U.S. from Russia.  It seems we will be staying in the U.S. for quite a while.  The situation had become complicated.  I'm sure you've seen some issues on the news.  God has kept us safe and given us open doors just as we needed them.  Thank you for your prayers!

We plan to work with and assist at Lumbee River Christian College.  I've interacted with them in the past and we get along well.  I really enjoy the campus and the students and staff there.  We will still be with missions, but there is a process to transfer to U.S. missions.  The transition takes time and paperwork.

New plans always involve transition.  Transition isn't the easiest thing, but we are safe and sound.  We are also very thankful to the support we receive from so many individuals and churches.  We do hope you will continue to be able to support us as we start a new direction of ministry.

Please pray for us during this time of change.

Our own children are doing well and continue to develop their education and make plans for the future.

I hope we can stay in touch with all our friends and supporters.  It is so good to have friends, and we have them all around the world!

Blessings to all!

Sincerely,

Cecil & Tonya


Thursday, November 25, 2021

Happy Thanksgiving

                                                                                               November 25, 2021

Dear Friends,

thanksgiving is one of the favorite holidays in our family.  In 25 years, no matter where we were, in the middle of Siberia, in the Far East of Russia, or in the Republic of Georgia, we tried our best to find a turkey, cook a big meal and come up with a few things to thank God for.  Since most of the time our extended family was overseas, we always prayed for God to send some people to share the meal and the meaning of this wonderful celebration.

          This year is different.  Because Cecil’s visa regulation changed, we ended up in the United States around Thanksgiving and we are spending it with our family, which we are especially grateful for.

          When we came from Russia a couple of weeks ago, though unusual for the U.S., shortages of supplies and workers seemed not a big deal, compared to other countries where we have been.  We think the United States is still a country of abundance and the attitude of gratitude still prevails in our land (at least in the month of November).


Here is a photo taken of us last week with some friends in North Carolina.

          We thank the Lord for each one of you who pray for us or support us in spite of COVID related difficulties, and who believe with us that God can accomplish great things in Russia and around the world.

 

                                                          May God bless you,

                                                          Cecil & Tonya Eshelman

 

P.S. Have a Happy Thanksgiving!

Sunday, November 21, 2021

A couple of interesting links

We are back in the States for a little bit to keep my (Cecil's) visa good and legal.  We really enjoy being in Russia and hope to return in a little while.

Here are two recent links about us in Siberia you can check out:

Facebook

CL Siberia 02'21 VMT | Facebook

Enjoy!


Friday, November 05, 2021

Back and forth.

We are back in the States making sure that we keep our visa legal.  It is good getting to see family.  We look forward to returning to Russia sometime.

Until then we will be meeting with family and working on some projects and preparing for the return trip to Russia.  Our list of resource materials continues to grow, so that we'll be equipped for the work when we return.  Good Christian Russian language books, movies, and such are helpful to the church and rehab center there.  We keep looking for more materials, so if you have any suggestions, just let us know.

It is so good to see loved ones after being apart for a period of time.  Our children seem to be making progress on their education.  My (Cecil's) mother is doing well and hosting us for a while.  Tonya's folks in Russia also seem to be fine.

So far as we know we are COVID free.  We get our shots as the doctors recommend.

By the way, here is a short (17 minutes) but good video to watch:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K2NRzOOvwvk

Please pray for good travels and open doors and the anointing of the Spirit for us.

Blessings,

Cecil & Tonya

Wednesday, October 06, 2021

Exploit: A bold or notable deed.

 

                                                The Eshelman Exploits                   August 2021   

Dear Friends,       

          hello from Siberian Russia.  By the grace of God and your generous support we have managed to be in Russia and go through some open doors of ministry.  In August we hosted a youth event in our place on the farm.  Having teenagers in our house has kept us busy. 

The big event recently was an evangelistic outreach in the local community.  We hosted a team of twelve young people on summer break from local churches who wanted to be involved in ministry.  The pastor suggested doing an outreach, and they were interested.  The young ladies slept in our living room and guest bedroom while the guys stayed downstairs in the men’s center.

This team does cleanup in town to create a good name for themselves during the morning, and then do street evangelism in the afternoon and youth activities in the evening (games, sports, and campfires).  Everything went well until we did a quest game named “Keys to the Kingdom” which is an outdoor game where the kids find keys through games and Bible discovery.  Some of the parents complained to the mayor, but she allowed us to continue provided we not be radical.  In the long run some of the kids did end up attending church events.  Your generosity impacted both the youth that attended the event as well as all the youth they meet as they did outreach on the streets. 

Another highlight of the summer was a three-day church camp for families who have children with disabilities.  With your support we helped to sponsor the event so it could be held in a nice retreat center.

          The farm rehab center where we live continues to go well.  The men in rehab are busy with farm work, such as tending cows and working the garden.  As they say, “on a ranch the work is never done.”  There is also a lot of renovations on the building taking place (electric work, roofing, painting, and some plumbing issues).  I must say the building is becoming a nicer place to live. 

          I was recently asked to make criteria of success for our events, I said an activity can be called a success if:

1.     Nobody got hurt.

2.     Nothing got broken.

3.     The gospel is presented.

4.     Everyone wants to come back again.

So far, we consider our events to have been successful!

          You can continue to send financial support to:     

                   Assemblies of God World Missions

                   1445 North Boonville Ave.

                   Springfield, MO 65802-1894

          And put 292481-9 on the memo line (to insure it is assigned to our ministry account).

                                      Thank you so much for your support!

                                                                   Sincerely,

                                                          Cecil and Tonya Eshelman

Monday, August 23, 2021

Summer Slips Away

Dear Friends,

Summer here in Siberia has gone, Fall has come, and Winter is just around the corner for us.  Things are going well here at the rehab center.  We've brought in the harvest on the farm and have piles of hay for the cows this winter.  The ministry is going slowly, but going well.  My kids are in school (and college) in the States.  Tonya and I are doing well here in Siberia. Blessings to all of our friends and supporters. We especially enjoy the teens that come to the local church and have gotten involved with a youth Bible Study.



The children's church is a blast!



The farm continues to be successful.  Of course, on a farm the work is never done. And renovations on the building is coming along.




We hope to get the concrete set before the frosts begin.

Thank you for your prayers and support.

Blessings,
The Eshelman Family



Sunday, July 04, 2021

On The Farm

Dear Friends,

You've probably heard it before, "on a farm the work is never done."  Well, work on the farm continues (garden, cattle herding, renovations, you-name-it).  The rehab is not financially self-sufficient, but is working in that direction.  And the spiritual atmosphere has become uplifting.  Summer is here, so we have the occasional cookout.  The residents of the rehab love a good cookout, and helped with the fire and the BBQ. 


We've seen improvements in several areas including the building renovations, spiritual atmosphere, quality of the food, fellowship, and organization.  What we find must exciting is the increasing interest in a Bible study and church attendance.  We're seeing intellectual development and improved planning as well.

The youth group at the local church is growing.  The local pastor and us have been organizing weekly youth meetings and occasional other activities, such as a trip to go swimming at a nearby lake.


It is neat that the kids take time to assemble at the rehab center for their own meetings.  While adults meet on the first floor, youth meet on the second.  We did a lesson on the importance of giving compliments and encouragement.  Part of the lesson was writing a compliment or encouragement on everyone else's back (everyone had a sheet of paper taped on their back).  It was a blast!



It is also exciting to us that one of the youth group who has grown up in an orphanage is headed to University.  Here is a photo of her with Tonya,



Things are calm here in Siberia, and thankfully everyone around us has been healthy.  Thank you for your prayers.  These have been times of peace and growth.  Oh, talking about growth, the garden is doing well and we have eaten some of the first-fruits already (radishes) with other veggies coming along.

We ask for prayers that these would be times of peace and health in Russia where God's truth would spread and all would be well.

Peace be with you!