Kevin, Yulia, Daniel and Valeria – Island of Sakhalin.
** Just Life…… For all the cross cultural challenges that missionaries face, in the end they are exactly like you in many ways. For example, a Sunday morning like today when our kids are fighting, we are late getting out the door and our car battery chooses to breathe its last. Sound familiar? There is a word for this: Life. So when you pray for us, remember that we are a lot like you. What are your needs? Ours in many ways are exactly the same. In the end, we all need to rest more in God’s grace every day. Thanks for praying!
UPDATE: DECEMBER 2021
What a Year!
One of the obligations of each man in Russia is to serve at least one year in the Russian military. One young man from our church returned home last week from his one year obligation. While serving, each soldier is given an archaic, non-smart cell-phone and a tiny amount of access to the outside world. When I talked with this young man on Sunday, he looked good and was very happy to be home, but he remarked that he is trying to catch up on the last year. So much had happened and it felt as if he had been living in a hole!
So what did happen this last year? This is the time when
many of us reflect. Here are some of our highlights:
• Kevin was granted permanent residency giving much more
freedom to live in Russia indefinitely.
• A new class of students was started with men who show
serious potential for ministry.
• Yulia started two ladies bible studies which have continued
• Kevin and the Deacons of the church engaged in a peacemaking process between the former and current pastor.
While the end result was not ideal, we trust God is at work.
• Pastor Alexey was confirmed as Pastor for another four
years—a great relief to us.
• Daniel, Valerie and Philip continued to make great progress
in their Russian schools.
• The whole family enjoyed skiing—something we can all to
• We visited the USA—probably our biggest highlight of the
year was seeing family and friends and visiting churches
during the summer months. It was also a time for us to
recharge after three years in Russia.
• Our church is starting small groups—this is a significant
step toward improving the health of the main church here
which is vital if new churches are to be started.
• Our expat group restarted—after a year of not meeting
because of COVID we started meeting again. We’ve been
encouraged by new families that have joined and though
we are small, this is a spiritually vibrant group that is
reaching out to expats around us.
You are a part of our last year as well because God is using you
to encourage and sustain us through prayer, financial support,
friendship and even working alongside us as some of you are
doing. We look forward to what God will do in 2022!
Praise God for a good class with our students on the doctrine of
Man, Sin and Salvation. Pray that we can finish this class in January and have 2-3 more classes before Summer.
Pray that God would give these men and others the desire to do
great things for him in ministry on Sakhalin.
Pray for the new small-group ministry in our church. We are
meeting every-other week and Kevin is co-leading a group of
about a dozen people.
Pray for Pastor Alexey—the chief pastor on the Island and the
pastor of the main church that we attend. Pray that he will
lead wisely and boldly with vision for what God will do.
*Thanks for Praying for our friend Tanya and her boyfriend James who were visiting Sakhalin. We had some good interaction with them and pray God will work in their hearts.
*Thanks for Praying for our expat ministry—we are encouraged by the group that is gathering and have had several visitors in the last few weeks as well. We are taking a break but will resume ministry in mid-January. Pray that we can connect with new expats arriving and that can wisely engage in this ministry.
Lastly, Pray for energy and recovery for our family—November and December have been rough months with colds and flues going through our family as well as a back issue that Yulia is recovering from. We are looking forward to (and really need) a restful holiday break.
THANK YOU FOR YOUR CONTINUED PRAYERS AS WE CONTINUE ON THIS JOURNEY THAT GOD HAS SET US ON! GOD IS AT WORK!
Kevin and Yulia Brubaker in Sakhalin