Dear Friends and Family,
Spring is much appreciated after six months of dark skies and short days. It has come to Ukraine with the apprearance of yellow flowers, green grass and green leaves! Back in Moscow, the sun is shining and there is hope for our own Spring. President Bush seemed to be following our travels. He arrived the same day we arrived in Ukraine and today he is in Russia! Unfortunately, he did not invite us to join him. Here is our news....
The Caldwells have work visas that have allowed us to leave and return to Moscow without any questions or challenges. It is not in our passport but a lovely little thin piece of green paper with our photo and stamps. We have no idea how it really works but we are thankful to have it. If what we are told is true, we will have it renewed this November when our work permits are renewed and we should no longer need to leave the country to do this. Of course, Moldova is so used to our coming at this time of the year to teach, they will expect us to come.
Ukraine Leadership Seminars...
We spent the week teaching in Ukraine with both positive and not so positive results--but God is good, and at the end of each session we felt sure that we had accomplished something for the Lord. On Thursday, we held employee training for four people. Of course, we wondered if it was the best use of the day. However, a young woman who was a book keeper spoke up at the end of the day. She is not a Christian but had discovered that she was not spiritual but self-focused, and that she wanted to learn to give more. We don't know what session most influenced her, but it was a very positive turn for this new employee. We were content that God had placed us there for this one girl.
Ukraine Rings Easter Bells!
Over the past few months, the Salvation Army's Divisional Commander Major Marie Willermark has built a relationship with the manager of a Kiev Mall and he has invited TSA to ring the kettle bells on Easter. The goal will be to fund a child's camping experience. Sweden has sent kettles and bells so it is an exciting step for the Ukraine Division. Pray that it will be a great success!
Because our Salvation Army is so young, the question of the year has been, what does a Salvation Army Corps look like in the Eastern Europe Territory? One of our teaching sessions with officers and local officers includes corps planning. First, each corps write down their present activities. Then we review together the Territorial Minute for the Corps Standard of Meetings. This includes both the normal programs in every Salvation Army and new programs that could be considered. Together, the local leader and the officer, choose a few new activities they would like to see take place in their corps. Third, each corps must include the time they work on book keeping, statistics, public relations, etc. This is a good process because few soldiers really know the full responsibilities of their own corps during a given week. Finally, we pray over the plan, they each sign it and give it to their divisional leader. These have been very exciting sessions!
EET and International Powerpoints
Our training includes a series of powerpoints with photos of the corps ministry in our territory and around the world. All corps employees need to know the worldwide Army....and all corps soldiers need to know what the Army is doing throughout the territory. Each corps goes home with a CD that contains the same powerpoint for the soldiers to share with their corps. This has also been very exciting! We hope next year to provide an social service and public relations powerpoint as an idea sharing tool! No, these corps do not have projectors but they all do now have computers and they will gather around their monitors to see the Army world!
Texas Team Serves in Russia
We are looking forward to a team of officers and soldiers joining us from USA Southern Territory led by Majors James and April Taylor. They will be with us April 15-28th and will teach and work in Moscow and St. Petersburg. Texas is one of our Partners in Mission and we are thankful for their willingness to come and share the gospel with our people.
According to the Moscow Times, Russia needs churches and some businessmen have found a way to remedy the situation....pre-fabricated wooden churches that can be built in 24 hours. There is an urgent need for churches in the "bedroom" communities that were built during the soviet era. There are no churches in these areas and people must travel to get to the churches in the center of the city. They will hold 150 to 200 people.
1. We do thank the Lord for the good things that are taking place in Ukraine. God continues to use The Salvation Army around the world to reach the poor in body and spirit.
2. Our two cadets from Moldova who are ill have returned well enough to continue their training. One had pneumonia and the other an acute kidney infection. Pray that they will continue to gain their health.
3. Anita is traveling to the USA this week for the Women's Clergy Holiness Conference in Nashville, TN where she will see her sister. Following the conference, she will see Gracie Maye, our granddaughter, for the first time! Our Training Principal Captain Svetlana Sharova will be traveling with Anita. They will gone April 9- 18th.
1. Pray for the Ukraine Divisional Commander, Major Marie Willemark, the officers and soldiers of Ukraine. May God give them courage and strength.
2. Pray for the Russia Divisional officers and soldiers. Pray for the Divisional Staff. Pray for that God will bring us a Divisional Commander filled with the Holy Spirit and ready for God's work to be done in this country.
3. In a surprising decision, Jaron's landlord who leased the apartment where he was living is returning to her home in California and so Jaron must move by May 1st. Please pray that he will find a place to live. He graduates May 16th but enjoys his work in New York City.
We praise God for his daily faithfulness in our lives! We thank Him for friends and family. We are so grateful for the opportunity to serve overseas. May God bless each of you!
In His grace,
Brad and Antia