Greetings from the Caldwells,
dear friends, as summer draws to a close. We face changes and challenges, blessings and bounty, while we continue to trust the Lord and seek His guidance here in Eastern Europe.
The Georgian Conflict
Refugees from the Georgian conflict are receiving help from The Salvation Army on both sides of the border. Our officers in both Georgia, and Russia, have organized humanitarian aid deliveries for those displaced and otherwise afflicted during the recent crisis. We all await continued developments, but Salvationists persist in God's work for God's people-we are proud of them!
Found: One Slave
Incredibly, a man was lured or kidnapped into slave labor in Ukraine and guarded like a prisoner for two years. His mother related to Salvationist friends here that her son somehow managed to escape and walked home from Kiev to Moldova completely without money-several days of travel-where he collapsed into the arms of freedom. She could hardly recognize him despite the relatively short time he was missing. While we often focus on women and children caught in sexual trafficking rings, men likewise can be caught and dehumanized by such predators. We continue to battle such inhuman "commerce."
This DC Is Not Washington
Russian Division received a new Divisional Commander and a new Divisional Director of Women's Ministries. Captains Tony and Patricia Kennedy have spent the past week as our neighbors in the cadet apartment, catching up with us as they awaited a more permanent residence. You see, the Kennedys served in this Territory previously in Rostov (southern Russia), Georgia, and Ukraine-all within three years! Naturally they hope to settle in for a steadier term of service in Moscow. Hailing from Canada, Tony and Pat don't find our winter weather too intimidating. They love the people here, and both are prayer-driven people.
And that's not all! Majors Ron and Lyn Cochrane will serve together in Projects and Development starting in September. The Cochranes come from down under in the Australia Southern Territory and have served as Salvation Army officers for over thirty years. With four grown children and three grandchildren, Ron and Lyn will appreciate your support as they travel so far from family relations. They have led eight corps together, which provided them with a varied outlook on community-oriented ministry. Lyn nourishes a passion for sports ministries, while Ron cherishes community building. Both of these interests should serve them well in their new appointments.
Falling...in a safe way
That's just our way of saying Fall weather has already settled in here in Moscow, with leaves falling daily and frequent rains drawing out our umbrellas. Such October weather appearing this soon generates concern for the winter ahead. Will temperatures drop further than normal to recreate the arctic conditions of three years ago, or will we see erratic changes well into 2009 that keep us maintaining two or three warmth-levels in our wardrobe?
Dealing with "No" and "Maybe"
Moldovan, Ukrainian, Romanian, and Georgian officers are foreigners in Moscow, despite their residency in former Soviet republics. Accordingly, they must all secure the proper documents to live and work in Russia. Most recently, Russian governmental representatives announced that Moldovans couldn't receive work cards until further notice. Without such a card Moldovans may not be permitted to establish residency in Moscow, and we would incur significant loss of support in both Divisional and Territorial areas of service.
As for the Caldwells, we also face our challenges. Brad may possibly need to leave the country in a week to renew his registration...or he may be able to file paperwork and prolong his current registration until a scheduled trip near the end of September. No one thus far has been able to provide a definitive answer, and tickets should already have been purchased for such a trip. If the registration expires and Brad cannot find a ticket (summer vacationers leave very few vacancies this time of year), unknown complications will ensue.
Back to Normal (Bring on the Chaos)
Next week our cadets return to Moscow, and this time we mean ALL of them. Normally due to housing limitations and other issues we break the session into two parts, each group spending an equal amount of time together in Moscow for classes and practical training. Finally, thanks to a third apartment, they can all (with the sad exception of the Georgian cadets) benefit from the schooling environment simultaneously. Georgians will receive a specialized training regimen including guest teachers who will travel in for intensive blocks of classes.
--Anita persists with pursuit of her B.A. in missions, and she has done quite well when all circumstances are considered. We are grateful for advice and help on both sides of the Atlantic in support of Anita's time-intensive studies.
--We have felt such positive reactions and results from the Kennedy's arrival in Russia Division. They have many challenges ahead of them, but appear undaunted and braced by strong faith in the Lord and His people already in place around the Kennedys.
--We are grateful for the relative peace in Georgia today. While many conditions need further attention, we thank God for reasonable safety and ability to carry on in His work there.
--Four of our EET officers have returned from the Southern Territorial Bible Conference testifying to Southern hospitality and a holy atmosphere. The Sharovs and Lalacs were privileged to hear General Shaw Clifton speak numerous times, and came back energized for the coming days.
--Continued resolution is needed in Georgia. Please pray that all parties concerned will be led to productive decisions and relational peace.
--As 2009 looms before us, we Caldwells must plan many educational ventures. We ask your prayers for our plans, for the students we will encounter, for materials needed, and for all instructors who will share in preparation and teaching.
--Before December we will lose five appointed lay staff and two officers from our Territorial Headquarters. Please pray for the continuance of progress in their areas of responsibility.
--Please pray for the Cochranes as they pack and depart Australia for their decidedly different life here in Russia.
We continue to see the Lord at work, and we praise Him for His grace even as challenges scatter on our horizon.
Anita and Brad