Hello my dear friends!
Church body is doing well. We are always seeking and looking what we can do better and what else we should do. Recently we started working on our leader’s team building, discussing our characters and personality types to help each other better see their role and abilities as team members. We have started morning tea and coffee time to create a time when people could fellowship more, we are thinking about making one Sunday a month a praise and worship Sunday with prayers in small groups. We have hired a part time youth minister, who was already doing the job for about year and a half as a volunteer and have proved his abilities and hardworking personality and giftedness in that area. His goal now to grow our youth group to 50 teenagers and help them mature in Christ and grow in their life skills. Our leaders team has grown from 4 to 10 people. We have 5 more young people who teach in the Church for Lord’s supper and youth activities. Now some specific things:
Missionary permissions – we are waiting again for government to allow us to teach and preach for another year. We need to be careful and prayerful about that as first Kazak was imprisoned for two years because he was sharing the Gospel. Here you can read an article about him.
Church building registration was postponed because of change of the mayor of Almaty. We pray that it would be done this year.
Studying Bible with Anya (Light and Darkness part 1) – It’s probably harder and easier to teach your own children. It was easy with Nastya – she followed me asking to teach her. With Anya it’s different. As long as we studied when I picked her up from the school and took to Hardees – she was happy study Bible with me, but now when Zhenya and I decided it’s too expensive Bible studies, we stopped with three more lessons to go. And in what ever case she wants to be baptized on 29th of August… Because she likes the numbers..
Studying Bibles with Volodya has also stopped when his car broke, I think we had three of four lessons to go, but now he can never find time to continue.
Studying with Mariiam’s boy friend Aidar was hard as he doesn’t believe in anything and everything at the same time. I tried to prove him God’s existence and Christianity but didn’t have much success. So I have him a book to read called “Irrefutable evidence”.
Starting HIP ministry in Almaty. May be you have heard about this. It’s interchurch ministry – we will have Christians sign up to serve non-Christians, say you can devote two-three hours a month doing plumbing. If there will be a need – they will call you if it fits your area and your time frames. This is how we can show our love and care for the lost people. We hope to start it this year, but first need to recruit enough Christians.
Visiting private orphanage “Ark” – we have found another private orphanage that was founded about the same time as the Light House. They now have about 65 kids that are not limited by age and official status of the city orphanage. Directors did a training for us (Zhenya, Bolat, Aigulya and me) on how to work with children. We have also agreed that they will send us some of the children that they legally can.
Found new camp for Church spring retreat. Great place of better comfort and cheaper price, bigger territory and even sound and video and light equipment. This year our retreat will take place on May 7th–9th and you are welcome to join. The price for retreat is 36$ for two days including transportation and meal three times a day!
As usually we had three Christmas parties: Light House (photos), Leader’s and Church ones. All of them I loved. And then our tradition no to sleep on New Year night J WE went to see fireworks, ate a lot, watched movies and played games. Now I need to double my exercise to lose all those calories that I have gained J.
New LH children
Here you can see some Photos of our new children. Only for one boy (9 months old Dimash) the documents are done and he is in Foster care with us, other three, so far have to be at the orphanage for school days and can only live with us on weekends and holydays. The problem with them – that the orphanage hasn’t done all the documents for them yet. As soon as they will do – we would be able take them too. There is one more girl that Bolat and Aigul are planning to take, but right now they are very busy – Aigul has a lot of classes in her Univercity (it’s her last year) and Bolat is preparing Dimash for a surgery. He has a cleft lip and cleft palate. In the first surgery they will saw his lip and fix septum in his nose. Then we will do another surgery for his palate. We hope to have first operation next week. The good thing is that the ex-boss of Bolat (owner of a fitness center that he worked for for 9 years) said that she would pay for both surgeries!! It’s amazing how God turned heart of different people towards His servants! She also said that children can come to her fitness center and swim in the pull for free.
That’s about it for now.
Thank you for your patience with me!