Greetings to all our friends around the globe! Thanks for your continued support and contact as life progresses for the Caldwell family and God's blessings keep arriving right on time. Here's the latest news as lovely summer months linger on...
Visitors The Salvation Army Central Territory sent a seven-member youth team to the Eastern Europe Territory, and we hosted the team for supper one evening. This particular team visited Moldova, then Central and Southern Russia, conducting service projects, camps, and evangelical outreach. Following their supper at the Caldwells, the team explored Moscow at night, seeing Red Square brightly lit against the setting sun. They are a great group!
Vacations Majors Rich and Brenda Herivel soon fly towards America to visit family and a new grandbaby-just arrived yesterday! Rich serves as our Territorial Finance Secretary, and Brenda carries the load of Russia's Divisional Secretary. Also, two Moldovan couples will travel to The Salvation Army's Southern Territorial Bible Conference and share their gifts of song during several meetings at Lake Junaluska. Captains Sasha and Svetta Sharov and Valerie and Vicka Lalac look forward to representing the Eastern Europe Territory in this ministry. They will also spend a few days of vacation with Lt. Colonels Harry and Barbara Brocksieck-former EET Officers' Training School leaders --in Colorado.
Farewell, but not goodbye Captain Pasha Gorbunov is packing his bags and boxes as he prepares for the journey to his new appointment in Volgograd, where he and his soon-to-be-bride Lyuba will share the corps ministry. He has served us well, translating thousands of words for books and articles, playing music in worship and public meetings, managing information technology challenges for our DHQ and Officers' Training facilities, and generally injecting the hope of faith when others leaned toward despair. We will miss Pasha, but expect to hear from him as he pursues this new path.
Student escapes! Daily following her hours in our Mission Training and Education Center, Anita returns home to pursue completion of her B.A. through online classes. This past Saturday, Brad encouraged her to break out and see the world...so we escaped to a beautiful park an hour south and enjoyed homemade potato salad, ham sandwiches, strawberry filled donuts, and crisps by a small waterfall in the woods--sheer tranquility.
Her classes go well, and her elusive textbook (which we have tried to order since early June) has finally arrived in our office postal delivery. Celebration!
Weather, anyone? Perhaps you already have some, but we would gladly share some of our weather with you-at least the humidity factor. Constant rain has rendered our skies muggy and heavy, which leaves us dripping and dehydrating. We are thankful for cold water and electric fans. A small air freshener in the office blesses us with reduced temperatures, but generally the heat steals our energy by early afternoon. Fall weather will be welcome.
New arrivals! Soon Captain Tony and Patricia Kennedy, who assume leadership of the Russia Division. Tony and Pat have served in this Territory before, and they anticipate renewal of some old friendships as they settle into Moscow.
(Don't) take a card This week we received a report that no new work cards will be issued to foreigners by the Russia government for the foreseeable future. This is because Russia has established a "cap" on the number of foreigners allowed to receive such status, and that number has been reached. We don't know how this will affect Moldovan officers working in Russia, nor how those from outside our Territory will fare in seeking extended work clearance. We have heard conflicting information suggesting that work cards will resume in a month or two, but we have no assurance of an outcome either way.
Corny When we buy fresh corn we anticipate sweet white kernels and a juicy soft consistency. But consistently we find the corn in Eastern Europe older and a darker shade of yellow. All sweetness has passed by, until what remains is that which we term "field corn." This simply seems to be the corn on the cob that folks here prefer. We laughed and joked as we experimented with varying combinations of butter, salt, and "Equal" brand sweetener, searching for that elusive familiar taste of corn from "down home."
--We remain in good health. Often summer colds and other distracting illnesses cut into our sunshine months, but this year we remain remarkably well.
--Our youngest son Jaron has found work continues to settle into San Diego. Justin finds corps work in Tennessee going well. Jason and his family enjoy their service among youth in Eastern Kentucky.
--Valeria Lalac and Captain Adrian Roman were married this weekend. Anita was Adrian's training principal, and Valeria's parents headed up the work in Romania while we served in Moldova. Valeria will enter training in September 2009.
--Herivel grandchild's safe arrival.
--Arrival of Anita's textbook, preventing the need for her to drop her first online class.
--The corps in Odessa, Ukraine, has no good place to meet, though people are waiting to come and join in. Corps work there has been active for many years, but during the last two years the officers serving there, Captains Sergei and Irina Hohotva, have lacked a building or meeting hall of any kind. They conduct some small home gatherings, and yet more people are waiting to participate in Salvation Army gatherings than their home will contain.
--Majors Vic and Ellen Tidman continue to face challenges in St. Petersburg five hours north of us. Recently they were denied access to their own corps building, which The Salvation Army owns, because a letter of permission was missing. In past events in Moldova we had to gather a list of each expected attendee-up to 800 people for one congress-and submit the list significantly in advance of the event to be cleared. We ask that you pray for a smoother resolution than this for the St. Petersburg Corps.
--Captains Tony and Pat Kennedy have had their visas delayed another two weeks. Please pray for their unhindered arrival and fruitful ministry once they settle in.