Tomorrow I board a plane here in my city – fly to Calgary, Alberta where I will have lunch. Then at supper time I will board another plane and fly to Munich, Germany. There I will have breakfast which will really be supper. Then quickly on another flight to Moscow, Russia where I will have supper which is really breakfast. My internal clock will be a bit confused by the jet lag and the 9 hours dofference in time. It is even worse coming home but that is another story.
When going overseas to minister a person has to be really flexible. This morning I found out that our living accomodations in Moscow are no longer available and so we are looking for another place to stay. That’s okay – someone is working on it and I don’t arrive until Wednesday evening their time. Things will work out somehow. Meanwhile there is much to occupy myself with here – packing for 20 days (always pack for an extra 2 days in case flights don’t connect, or the weather changes and grounds you), locating materials to teach while there, banking… the list is up to 15 items (I wrote the list while traveling yesterday to minister in two places … driving allows for thinking and planning time).
Meanwhile – we have added another staff member to Ralph Howe Ministries – someone to help us with translating manuals and teaching materials. It has been a long search to find someone who is trustworthy, will do a good job, is willing and able to fit into the way we work, and someone who is not only a good translator but who my administrator can work with as he will be managing the work load and delegating what needs to be done. So, our budget continues to increase -as does my faith to believe for the needed monthly income.
13 years ago I prayed and ask the Lord to open the doors of the nation of Belarus to my ministry. It is not an easy nation for non-Russian speaking people to enter – especially if you are born again and are going to preach the gospel and minister salvation. This summer I ministered to two young people – a young man and a young woman. Both seriously committed and talented believers – leaders already. As they were leaving the camp a little earlier than most others I spoke with them to find out that they were brother and sister, they were from Belarus and that their father was a pastor. I briefly mentioned my prayer about ministering in their nation. The invitation to do so came in by email on Thursday of last week. I answered it and, of course, agreed to go. Dates are being negotiated. We have orgainized dates that I am available to minister overseas right through to January, 2012 and already we are booking into the end of 2010 before the year has even begun.
We have learned how to get connected while in Eastern Europe. We managed emails and internet the last time – with an investment in a new and better phone. It took several trips into the city near where we were ministering to get the right settings in the laptop computer – but we were successful. This means I don’t come home to the pressure of 300+ emails (15 a day that need to be answered – the rest, delete). This is good as often I am 50 to 100 behind when I leave for one of these trips and take them with me to answer while sitting in airports.
I am working hard at sorting out priorities and time frames and delegating so that I can manage all that seems to arrive on my desk and on my heart. Has not been easy. It is an ongoing struggle – and struggle is the right word. However, I have a new laptop (last week’s focus in the spare time) as the old one was fried and no longer holding a charge. So, we will need to program this new and faster one to do the email thing once I arrive in Moscow. The other hopeful thing is that I traded up to a new Blackberry and with a Sim card (which I purchased) I am told it too will now work in Eastern Europe – pulling in my emails. So, it is hopeful I will be able to stay in touch and current and communicate with others while away.
I am believing that we we will be able to iron out any glitches in the technology very quickly upon arrival so that I can post the daily blogs I always write while away… and then, if you want to, you can stay up-to-date with what is happening with us and through us (and to us, at times) and pray for us if so led to do so by the Holy Spirit. Please pray for strength (spiritual and physical) and wisdom and that many, many lives will be permanently impacted by the 15 days of ministry (services 3 times a day, every day). We want nothing except that God would be glorified and the Kingdom advanced in the country of Russia and the country of Georgia. Thanks.
Just one more sleep – and then it is on the road again…