Wednesday, November 26, 2008

The Marquis de Custine

A French dude's take on his time visiting the Russian Empire in 1839:

If ever your sons should be discontented with France, try my recipe; tell them to go to Russia. It is a useful journey for every foreigner: whoever has well examined that country will be content to live anywhere else. It is always well to know that a society exists where no happiness is possible, because by a law of his nature, man cannot be happy unless he is free.

Such a recollection renders the traveller less fastidious; and, returning to his own hearth, he can say of his country what a man of mind once said of himself; 'When I estimate myself, I am modest; but when I compare myself, I am proud.'

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Support Update

We are at 98%. Almost there! As of this evening we still need to raise:

- $95 in monthly support
- $500 in one-time support

Thank you for giving your money to support us and for praying for us.

Negative Calvinists

Ben Witherington posts on John Piper's explanation of why so many Calvinists are so negative [towards others with different convictions]. They are both very thoughtful on why this happens. This is something I've thought alot about with a friend from Grove City and on my own. Witherington says:
"...we should be placing our faith in God, not in a particular theological system. There is a difference. In the former case the faith is largely placed in whom we know and whom we have encountered. In the latter case the faith can be too often placed in what we believe we know about God and theological truth."

I think he is right and this is a temptation. It's tempting to have faith in what I know about God and do for him, rather than in him and being with him. That doesn't mean I don't have theological convictions but it does mean that I know my limits and my being. I'm a sinner whom God has saved and is in the process of sanctifying. Of course I need to know things about God to know him, but there is a thin line between trusting in God and trusting in my correct convictions about God.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Support Update

We are currently at 96% of our total support. We need to raise $225 of monthly support before we can leave for Kiev. Thanks for your prayers and financial support!

Friday, November 14, 2008

Presenting Our Ministry this Sunday

Kristen and I will be doing a short presentation this Sunday afternoon during the Chinese service at our Church. If you could pray that we would clearly present our heart for our future ministry in Kiev, Ukraine. Thanks!

Friday, November 7, 2008

Russia as the Aggressor?

A new article by the New York Times today raises some questions about who is primarily responsible for starting the war in Georgia. I think, in the United States anyway, people were generally quick to assume and believe that Russia was the aggressor and was flexing its muscles against its neighbor Georgia and not acting out of self-defense. The vast majority of people I talk to about Russia, Ukraine, and Eastern Europe assumes this. This general inclination to automatically assume aggressiveness on the part of Russia is probably best seen in Sen. John McCain's reaction to the war (And Barack Obama's albeit less hasty reaction).

Anyway, it's helpful to read this article as it points out the tension that had been mounting for months prior to Aug. 7 and also the shelling and missteps taken by President Saakashvili of Georgia that led to Russia invading S. Ossetia.

Thursday, November 6, 2008


That's where our current support is. We've raised all our one-time support and need $400 more in monthly support. Please feel free to click on the make a donation button to the right if you are interested in supporting us. Thank you for your support!

Ukraine and the Financial Crisis

I just read this article about how the global financial crisis is affecting Ukraine. While things do look pretty gloomy there in the short term perhaps this crisis will bring about much needed reform in the long term.

Prefield Training

We just signed up for Prefield Training in Brussels, Belgium. It runs from January 14 to February 10. During that time we'll be learning about church planting, culture, language acquisition, team dynamics, and will be mentored by existing Church-planters. Should be fun!!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Election Day is Here!

Today is the big day. No matter who wins it's pretty exciting to see and experience the election process we have in the US. You can follow it all online at CNN if you're so inclined.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Russia: The Land

Here is an audio slide show done by James Hill of the New York Times on the Russia that we don't see all that much in the news. In this slide show he talks about the changes and challenges of agrarian life in rural Russia. Ukraine also struggles with many of the themes he talks about and the pictures are quite amazing too!