To Know Christ & To Make
~~~ March 2005 <Fishers of Men>< Update from Estonia~~~
><>Dear Friends in Christ,
Greetings from one of God's frozen chosen in Tallinn, Estonia! It has been so cold the last few days that the cold north Polar wind off the Gulf of Finland has caused our normal temperatures to dip well below zero. We can even feel the cold wind coming through double-paned windows in our apartments. The sea ice extends now as far south as Riga, Latvia...Brrrinski!
I wanted to send my year end update to you over 3 months ago. However, I'm just getting over a 3 month bad bout with the flu, congestion in my sinuses & lungs, chronic cough & fatigue. It has been some rough, but God has been answering many prayers in my behalf by giving me renewed strength/stamina more & more each day. Hallelujah!
God says in His Word in Ecclesiastes 2:1 that: "There is a time for everything and a season for every activity under heaven." This has been especially true these last 10 years serving Him & His people in the former Soviet Union. It has been a wonderful adventure of faith, challenge, & countless acts of His amazing grace personally experienced on the mission field here.
A wise Chinese proverb says: "The journey of a thousand miles starts with a few small steps." That journey to the former Soviet Union began in 1993 in Henderson, Nevada & led me to Bulgaria, Russia, & now in Estonia.
Time has certainly quickly flown since I took those first steps of faith back to the foreign mission field! So, It's hard to believe that this season of my life on the foreign mission field here is now coming to a close.
As some of you already know, chronic health problems & fatigue compounded by a cold, wet, dark climate, lack of enough financial support for life & ministry here, & big shift in our ministry focus to a specialized student & military ministry are just some of the main reasons why God is using to redirect my footsteps home & calling me back to His mission field in North America.
He has made His will known to me & I am at great peace, have a quiet confidence & deep-down joy in the leading of His Spirit through His wonderful Word to the next place He has prepared for me in His vineyard.
As I reflect back on this past year, I marvel at God’s amazing grace in my life & ministry here. Here are
some of the more notables highlights I praise Him for this year:
#1-Being point man, trail-blazer, p.r. & net-worker for our pioneer Navigator team~~~
#2-Co-facilitator/host for our discipleship groups of “eager-to-learn”, vibrant young adults from Allika congregation~~~
#3-Precious “man-to-man” time for sharing, Bible study, & prayer with Souza-my dear Nigerian brother & Andranik-a special Armenian brother & professional pianist who both work at the Grand Tallinn Hotel~~~
#4-Given a special tour of the Estonian Parliament by Mari-Ann Kelam an Ameican /Estonian lawmaker friend & reformer…Witnessed the 2 historic votes that day by the Rigiikogu-Estonian Parliament which voted to officially join NATO & the European Union~~~
#5-Successful Summer Camp Ministries & Big Tent Outreach ministry with 29 American brothers/sister co-workers in Christ from Bethel congregation in Bradenton, Florida~~~
#6-Two ministry trips to St. Petersburg, Russia…One to help celebrate the 300th Birthday Anniversary of the city & the other near the Artic Circle…It was a joy to take Bibles, New Testaments, Children's Bibles, Jesus Films, & Living Word teaching resources on both occasions to brothers & sisters in Christ who could not afford them or have access to them. It was also a great privilege to encourage them in the Spirit & the Word & bring medicine/humanitarian aid to them as well!~~~
#7-Receiving my official press/journalist credentials for the International Association of Christian Journalists as a contributing American journalist/editor in Estonia for the Alpha-Omega “Eternal Call” Christian newspaper in St. Petersburg, Russia. This paper is like a sanctified street tabloid that speaks to the hearts & minds to unbelievers & tackles tough issues based on the Word that the churches are afraid to address or speak about! I’ve been writing special interest/outreach articles for this paper for 3 & 1/2 years now.
“Slava Bogu”- “Praise the Lord!” the Holy Spirit is using this paper to reach into the lives of thousands of street people, alcoholics, drug addicts, prisons, & the highest levels of Russian government. Many people have come to know Christ as their Savior & Lord through the witness of this paper!~~~
I am currently winding up my ministry, packing my ministry books & necessary household items for shipping back home & preparing to fly back to Texas on Sunday-February 29th. I will be taking some much needed time off to make the rounds of doctors & specialists, have tests done, & take a much needed rest & medical sabbatical.
I will still be with the Navigators & will need everyone who has been so lovingly & faithfully supporting me with their monthly giving to continue doing so that I can continue to pay my medical insurance, medical, & living expenses during this sabbatical.
I will be going back to Texas & staying temporarily in Midland with my folks. My new e-mail address will be: email@example.com & my phone number is: 1+432+694-4158.
This is all for now...There will be other follow-up <F.isher O.f M.en>< updates as I make the rounds of the doctors & specialists on my medical sabbatical. Thank you for your continued faithful monthly support. It is not only meeting the needs of my living & medical expenses, but they are helping me to keep my medical insurance coverage with the Navigators.
I will keep in touch through e-mails, phone calls, & Lord-willing, I look forward to seeing many of you in person in the Spring/ for a "fresh fishing report" from the Baltics. Until then, may God abundantly bless & keep you in the apple of His eye & safe in the palms of His loving, nail-scarred hands!
Love & Blessings in Jesus!
Don R<><Rejoicing on the Rock in Tallinn!
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