Another year has come and gone. This year has been good in a lot of ways and it has been a sad year in another way.
First, the good year part.
The church that we started in Lappeenranta has done very well. The church building that we bought has been fully paid for and is now free of all debt. The people are working together to make it even better.
This summer we had our first summer camp for children with the help of a team from Palm Coast, Florida. The members of the team were young and all Russians living in America. So they all spoke Russian. That made it better to work with the children. The camp was great and we had a lot of kids come.
As you know, my sister and her husband Greg and Jennifer Frick, moved to Finland to help us. They have been a great help. Greg is teaching the Wednesday night Bible study and Jennifer is teaching the Sunday school for the children. They are both very good teachers and everyone loves them.
This year has been hard in that my health has gone down. I have a great deal of pain in my back and legs making it hard to stand for a long time. I cannot stand to lead the whole Sunday service. I have been to the doctor and had x-rays. There are four discs in my back that have grown together causing the pain.
God has raised up men in the church who can lead the church, so they have taken over and now I only preach on Sunday. This is good as the whole idea is to work yourself out of a job.
Sergey, one of the men who came from Palm Coast, Florida has been coming for the past seven years to work with small churches in Karelia, Russia. Karelia is land area that is located in both Russia and Finland. He has wanted to move back to Russia and work in Karelia permanently. When he realized that Lappeenranta is part of Karelia, he and his family began to pray about coming here to live and work with our church and in Russia. They are Russian, but have lived in America a long time. They are praying about coming and Sergey being the pastor here. Our church people like Sergey very much.So it seems God is working everything we need to take our place here in Finland.
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International Gospel Outreach (IGO),
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Below is our
Camp Team from Palm Coast, Florida
Rehab Leaders at
Some of the men who went through the rehab program.
Children’s Day Camp in Lappeenranta
Tatyana & Sergey
Greg and Jennifer Frick
Sue and I have prayed a long time about coming back to the US. Our job here is finished and the time is right for us to come home. I have been here 20 years and hate to leave. But when I look back, I can see hundreds of people who have come to the Lord as their Savior, and we see them working as pastors and teachers and working in churches all over the Leningrad state. That is a good feeling to see how God has used us all these years and how He has let us be a part of the work He is doing here in Russia and Finland.
We are working on getting a house in Mobile to live in. We don’t have a car or any furniture, but we know God will provide; He has all these years.
Our plan right now is to return to the US in the first part of February. We will continue to do ministry work through International Gospel Outreach (IGO) in Semmes.
Jennifer and Greg will stay here after we leave. They will continue to work with the church here and help the new pastor.
We want to thank you with all of our hearts for the prayers and support you have given us over the last 20 years. We will need both your prayers and support for the future as well. Praise God for letting us be a part of His work and praise God for Him letting all of you be a part of His work here. Together all of you and Sue and I have helped to further the Kingdom in this part of the world.
Is not the body of Christ so beautiful when it all works together for His Glory?
In May, the Drug and Alcohol Rehabilitation Ministry had its 10-year celebration at the Central Baptist
Church in St. Petersburg. We were able to attend this celebration. There were over 300 people there
that had gone through the program. And that did not include everyone. It was such a blessing to see
many of the people that we had worked with over the years and to see them living for God.
Please continue to pray about starting the drug and alcohol rehab center in Lappeenranta. We talked
with one of the leaders from Russia last week. He said that they are getting a lot of calls from people
that are interested in getting help. He seems to think that we are just a few months away from starting
the center here. We would like to have it started before we leave.
It’s hard to believe that Jennifer and Greg have been here over one year. They have been such a
big help. They will be in the states for the month of November. It will be quiet without them here.
Please pray for Sergey and his family. They have such a desire to come to Finland to minister
to the people in the Karelian area. They will need to raise their own support in order to come.
Pray that God supplies whatever they need.
It is a bittersweet time for us. It will be sad for us to leave everyone that we have ministered to
over the years, but thankful for the time that we have had here.