Wayfaring Stranger

Prayer Request

Before we arrived, the Orthodox priests were making a fuss with Darin and the Kompas classes. They handed out fliers saying Kompas (Campus Crusade for Christ) was a sect and students should not attend the English classes. Darin talked to them and they seemed OK with the classes. They even said they'd write an article for their newspaper (or some publication ... details are sketchy what they intended). But everything was fine.

Last night a student in one of the classes was real nervous and getting a lot of calls on her "mobile". It was her parents saying she should not be in the class. Apparently there is a rumor and maybe some radio ads saying Kompas is a sect and anyone involved with them will be kicked out of the university and lose their flat.

The threats don't seem like they could be carried out, but the terrorist tactics may work regardless. So please pray that students would not give into fear and doubt but that they will be steadfast and continue with the classes and will attend the weekend retreat. Please also pray that the seed being sown will fall on good soil and that those with thorny or rocky soil will allow the Spirit to work in them and remove the barriers to eternal life.

Also, please pray for the retreat; aka. Forrest Fun Party. Pray that all the students will come and have a good time and get connected with Kompas and with a Stint-er who will follow up with them in the coming year.

I have been with these same students for 2 weeks now and the relationships and changes are awesome. At first there is a "formal" relationship that progresses with time into a real friendship. When we invited students to dinner at the beginning, they would resist or only order a drink or insist on paying their own bill. But yesterday we (Lindsay and Rodney) took our group to Morretti's and the students were picking out pizzas, drinks, everything. They freely accepted our offer to treat them. This shows me that they accept us as friends and we are past the formalities! I can't wait to see what this next year brings in their lives, God is certainly doing a good work here in Ekat.

Thank you to everyone that came and to everyone that gave so that we could be here!


Our Week

Hello all,

Our week has been really different this year. Instead of visiting different universities every day, we have "free time" each day.  HA!!!! Free time, yeah right. The free time is setup so that we can invite students to hang out and build relationships.

Well, some of our students have morning classes and some have afternoon classes. So Julie and I were "tag teamed" all last week. Some of the students met us in the morning and some in the afternoon. I bet we walked the city a dozen times. But the relationships this year are better than ever.

And, as a "coincidence", Darin just got a team of 6 stint-ers (1 year short term missions). And their main mission for this next year will be to personally follow up with the students from the English "Talk the Talk" classes. So I am really excited about what the coming year has in store for Ekaterinburg.

Unfortunately all the running has kept me from emailing y'all, but fortunately we have made great friends. When I get home, I'll put up my photos and tell you about the students.

But now, I gotta run. I need to break in the new teaching team. :-D

An Introduction to the Russian Soul

I was reading this booklet this morning and thought I'd share a couple of quotes from it:

Relating successfully to people in a culture riddled with the effects of shame means that trustworthy relationships are absolutely vital. Trust is built slowly. Russians will feel free to share their personal truth with us as they sense, over a period of time, that we genuinely care about them. And that we respect them. For many Russians, personal interactions are potentially very risky.

The great Russian write, Dostoyevsky, describes this tension. One of his characters says, And when he had poured out his heart, he felt ashamed of having shown me his inmost soul like that. So he began to hate me. He is saying that if a person reveals too much, too quickly, or if we pull his protective mask from him, he will feel exposed and perhaps even violated. In the Russian culture, relationships built in an atmosphere of trust are crucial.


Finally, remember that genuine expressions of kindness, respect, and love are what Russians have experienced so little of through the years, and it is what they long for now. St. Francis of Assisi's words apply here. He said, Preach Jesus ... and only when necessary use words. Russians need to see models of Christlikeness. They need to feel the love of Christ through your words and actions toward them -- through your life.

Now that you have purified yourselves by obeying the truth ... love one another deeply, from the heart. (1 Peter 1:22)

Ways to pray:

  1. Pray that the new teachers will be able to connect with the students from day 1
  2. Pray for Amy and Rodney ... they have been here 1 week and have 1 more to go ... pray for ENERGY! and that relationships will continue to grow
  3. Pray that ALL the students will attend the retreat (aka. Forest Fun Party!)
  4. Some students are inviting friends and they will be coming into a group that has already begun to "gel". Pray that they will feel welcome and will begin to develop relationships too.
  5. Oleg and Sana are Kompas staffers and need to raise more support, please pray they will raise what they need (and please prayerfully consider supporting them)

We made it ok!!!

Zdrastvooyte America! We finally made it in on Sunday @ 2AM! We had about 14 1/2 hours in the air and about 6 hours in layovers for a total of 20 1/2 hours! Some are jet lagged more than others, but we are all doing well. God has already answered a lot of prayers and I am sure He has a lot more planned before these 2 weeks are over.

The first day, Sunday, the weather was in the high 70s ... boy I didn't pack for weather like that! I was afraid I'd be hot all week. Only packed long sleeves and sweaters. But today and the rest of the time is only supposed to be in the 50s and low 60s, now that's the Russia I remember. No snow this time, too bad.

On Saturday during the student testing for the classes, Darin had several Orthodox priest show up and make a big scene. They handed out leaflets that said they (Darin) was a sect / cult. Once Darin got them settled down and explained who they were (Kompas) and that he personally was Baptist affiliated; the head priest said "Oh, we like Baptist" and left. But the damage may already have been done since there were ~ 20 students present.

  1. For peace as our new team members meet their English class for the FIRST time!
  2. As always, for health and beating jet lag
  3. That the students who saw the "show" on Saturday will show up and give the classes and the message a fair chance
  4. And most importantly, that we will be able to make relationships with our students and that they will smell the aroma of Christ ( and not Dallas :-D )

My sister Renae is in the hospital ... (update)

update! My sister gave birth @ 9:59pm last night to my new nephew Brayden Levi Kirkpatrick. Mom and new son are doing well. Don't have any pics just yet, but will try and get some sent to me so you can see them.

"On the Russian front", we need more students to sign up for the English classes. So pray that they will have a HUGE turn out for the Saturday testing. College classes don't start till the 19th, so hopefully there will be more students in town by this weekend.

From Russia (well actually Dallas just now), with LUV.

P.S. our Ekat team has started a blog. You can check that out while we are in Russia

My sister Renae is in the hospital ...

... but that is actually good news! It means my 11th niece/nephew is on the way! BTW, we know it is a boy. Pray for them, 4 boys to raise!
Renae and /current/ family

On the "Russian front" (couldn't resist!), I leave Friday the 16th for 2 weeks in Ekaterinburg Russia! Please pray that enough college students sign up for the English classes.

Ready to go!

Ok, so not COMPLETELY ready ... but getting there. I have a few more items to pick up and I still yet have to pack. But I AM getting pumped.

We have a great team this year (am I hope to post a lot of photos when I get back)! The team is larger than the past 2 years. It is large enough for the Russian Kompas team to create 6 classes (instead of 5)! This is the most English class offerings yet.

Not only are there 6 classes, but they are all in the same building. Which is a blessing because it makes the travel arrangements soooo much easier. I am sure this is a load off Darin's mind (the Kompass director).

Ways to pray:

  1. That more students than ever will hear the gospel and respond!
  2. Enough students enroll to fill the 6 classes
  3. That the classrooms will remain available for both weeks (sometimes managers get scared or intimidated)
  4. Students continue with the classes (some always drop out)
  5. Several team members have had personal and family crisises, pray for health and peace for them
  6. Travel safety and all connections are made
  7. God can do "exceeding abundantly beyond what we ask or think"; so pray that we think BIG and ask BIG!

A great big thank you to all who have given to and prayed for this trip already! Keep it up!!!!


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Biology / Intelligent Design