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Waking the Bear

This is a newsletter about a family living in another culture. Just like you, the people we impact for Christ are a result of living as Jesus Himself would live, treating people with respect, sincere love and pure truth. The only thing unique about us is that we have been called to do it in another country to people with less access to the Good News. Here are a few of our stories, prayer needs and future hopes. Thanks for reading and passing along the info... A Quarterly Newsletter...sometimes

We Have Wheels

Bikes Needed

Issue: Who’s Counting Winter: 2007

Packed Out

5 college guys from Chi Alpha at Sam Houston University will be joining us for 3 weeks of ministry in May. We are planning several Mountain Bike Trips We have an excellent Area “Packed out” is a relative Director who raised money as outreaches... term to the size of room you for us to buy a good used Cont. Page 2 are meeting in, nonetheless, van. Thanks to everyone who our church has been packed has ever given towards a for weeks now... missionary’s vehicle, you Cont. Page 2 have no idea how much it means. Nick’s grandma thanks you, too.

Grandma Larceny & Ex-Pats Driving our right-hand drive mini-van through a blinding snowstorm at 3:00 am in the middle of a forest , on the edge of nowhere, in the Muslim Republic of Adegei with a Russian merchant marine in the passengers seat, his 4 year old daughter in the back and 91 year old grandma-in-law laying on her pee soaked mattress, discussing the pros and cons of Stalinism, the hypocrisy of the Russian Orthodox church and women, all Nick’s chosen topics of conversation for the 3 hour drive, I think to myself...”thanks Joe”, half sarcastic, half sincere. Working with ex-pats is a mixed basket, a grab bag of ministry opportunities. First off, what is an “expat”? It is international jargon for a person who doesn’t reside in their homeland anymore, but would rather live abroad. Moscow has an ex-pat community of some 50,000; there are even 3 evan-

Waking the Bear

Kids Blend

Youth Club “7” Grows

Our kids are really doing it. They have made the shift from Americans living on another planet to kids who compete in swimming competitions, attend a Russian school...

Every other Saturday night we take part in a youth club. Good times. We play games, drink tea and close with a Bible study. There are always new faces and good questions. Pray for it!

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gelical English-speaking churches there. Here in Krasnodar it’s a different story, so when an English-speaking ex-pat meets a nice American family like ours that likes to play dominos until 1:00am, they tend to come around and hang out. We have always had friends in the ex-pat community while trying not to become too involved because we are living here to spend time with Russians, not Westerners.

Self portrait taken while driving to pick up the sailor, the kid and grandma. I didn’t have anything else to put here because it just didn’t feel right to take a picture of the grandma. However, it’s also our philosophy to be open to ministry in any shape or form it might come in. Here in Krasnodar we have hit it off with 2 Australians, one American, and one Brit. I don’t want to

go into depth here as it’s not the point of this story and for the sake of their own privacy. They are all here for different reasons, all from very different pasts, yet all inoculated against “religion”, some mock Christianity, all joke about it. The neat thing is they introduce us to all their Russian friends and broaden our circles of relationships on many levels. One has a wife, the other a fiance. The American and the Brit have multiple girlfriends, all young Russian women that Christine has become friends with. Back to our story, Joe, one of the Australians, is an English teacher, and he had a student, Nick the sailor, who needed help. Nick had a problem and Joe had told him that his dogooder American friend could probably help him with it. Then Joe went back to Australia for the Holidays. Christmas day Nick called me. The situation: Nick’s wife’s grandma, who had raised her, was sick and living alone in a city several hours away. The grandma’s son and daughter are both alcoholics and were trying to starve her to death so that they could take her apartment, a common end to the elderly in Russia. Nick and his wife wanted to take care of her, but needed to bring her back to Krasnodar and it had to be done in the middle of the night so that they wouldn’t have to fight the son. I arrived at grandma’s in the City of **** around 2:00 am. It was the first time I had met any of them. They served me cheese and

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Grandma Larceny Cont. instant coffee with canned milk. After the snack I took grandma by the feet, Nick grabbed her arms and we gingerly carried her through the snow and to my van hidden in the shadows. There was one awkward moment when Nick had gone back into the flat for a few minutes and his small daughter woke up in the van with her sick grandma and a strange American with a really bad accent. I managed through it by talking about puppies and kittens which probably just furthered the child’s “Twilight Zone” experience. We had some excellent conversations on the road back to Krasnodar. I helped carry Grandma into her new home, Nick tried to pay me, I told him that I didn’t do it for money, but for the chance to express God’s love for him and his family. On my way home after 6 hours of driving through the night I managed to get stopped by the GAI, the local and totally corrupt traffic police. They checked my documents, all 8 that I need with me to drive a car. Everything was in order. At 5:00 am I fell into bed, grateful to be home and yet part of something bigger than myself. Since that night Nick and I have met several times and talked at length about Jesus, sin, and God’s purpose for each of us. He will leave soon on another six month stint on a cargo ship. If you think of Nick, pray that God will get ahold of him as He did another hardened sailor who gave us the words to Amazing Grace, just pray, “Lord, for Your Name’s sake do a John Newton number on Nick.” You can call it the “NNN” prayer.

Bikes Needed cont. We have young men who don’t know Jesus eager to join the trip. We have solid Christian guys, Russians and Americans ready to ride. We have maps and mountains. We just don’t have bikes! If you can help buy a bike it would mean a lot. Mean a lot to who? Who would you be reaching out to with Christ’s love if you helped us buy an entry level Trek? Guys like Pazik, a 22 year old University student who moved to our city to escape the crime, mafia, daily terror, armed bandits, and joblessness that has spilled over from neighboring Chechnya into his Republic of Dagastan. Dagastan is 100% muslim, therefore Pazik is muslim. I met him at the gas station where he works for 60 dollars a month. He thought it was pretty funny that an American lived here and actually drove around a 50 year old Russian motorcycle. We struck up a friendship and a few weeks later he was playing soccer with our Church team that plays in a city league. He is pretty antagonistic towards Christianity, but he keeps coming around. Or you might be ministering to a 19 year old guy

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like Denis. Also a University student, a Russian, an Atheist, a “man of science” as he puts it. He says he can’t have faith, he needs the hard facts of science to convince him of anything. “Faith and religion are good for people to help them in life, but it’s not absolute truth,” Yet he keeps coming around to talk about this stuff. Our plan is to camp, hike, bike and converse around the fire. To show these guys a great time in Christ Jesus, to let them hear from their own peers how Christ has changed their lives from bondage to freedom. We need to purchase at least 10 bikes. We have secured a discount already; the bikes range from $200 - $350 each. If you can help buy a bike or part of one we would greatly appreciate your early investment in this summer’s harvest. These bikes will remain in our care and possession and will be used to impact Russian youth for years to come. Thanks for considering this project. If you want to help, please drop us an email at Russia@blepo.com

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Russia’s Future

“Club 7” Two guys playing a game where you have to keep your candle lit while drinking a Pepsi and trying to blow out your opponents candle. Why is it called “Club 7”? I don’t know and neither do they.

Kids Blend Daily we are amazed by the Russian coming out of our children. They are choosing our babysitter’s native tongue rather than just speaking to her in English with a Russian accent. Brooklyn, the two year old, is actually interpreting! We ask her how to say an English work in Russian or vice versa and she does it, though her sentences are usually a mix of both languages. I think we have successfully immersed them in the culture with Russian school, swimming, music and Russian lessons and now we have just started an English club for the kids in our neighborhood. You can pray for them... they still talk about America, land of cousins and Chuckie Cheese, but if given the choice of living here or there, they would have to hesitate and I really don’t know which one would win. That is an answer to prayer right there!

Packed Out We attend a small church, around 30 people. It was started 3 years ago by two pastors fresh out of Bible school. Finding a place to rent is always a struggle in Russia because the Orthodox church has everyone convinced all protestants are a cult. One girl from our church was told by her grandmother that it would be better for her to be a prostitute than a protestant believer. We are now looking for a new place to rent because there is not enough room for everyone. Every Sunday we have 8 or more new visitors. Please pray that we will find just the right location.

Yurik, Katya and Anton, 9th grade students from a public school where I teach English; okay, where I speak English.

Christine and Natalie. We met Natalie through a British ex-pat. She has now become a good friend of ours, has visited our church and often been in our home.

Steve & Christine Hayes Maddie, Cady, Aubrie & Brooklyn email Russia@blepo.com blog hayeshere.blogspot.com telephone 7-960-497-35-11 Krasnodar, Russia Support Info AGWM account #2936334 1445 Booneville Ave. Springfield, MO 65802

Waking the Bear

Grandma Larceny  

Driving our right-hand drive mini-van through a blinding snowstorm at 3:00 am in the middle of a forest , on the edge of nowhere, in the Mus...

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