July 15, 2011

Marcum News at FOV

Greetings from Russia. Many friends here send their love and prayers your way. Including us.

The days and kilometers seem to have run together since our last news update. We spent two weeks in Ukraine, passed through Hungary, and then on to our God appointments in Khabarovsk Far East Russia.

We send a special thank you to all those that have been faithful in prayer covering. And those who have sent notes of encouragement. Both are like treasures that we covet daily. We have had some tests on this trip and it is through the power of prayers that God has delivered us from illness, granted us much favor in many areas, kept us safe and provided for our needs. He continues to give us our portion of wisdom and strength to complete projects and serve the people He puts before us.

There are so many stories but there is not room or time to print them all.  I Thessalonians 4: 18 says we should “encourage one another with words”. So in light of that we are excited to share and hope you will be encouraged by what you read here.

We begin our journey home tomorrow. July 16. Lord willing we plan to be back in the states July 18 . It would be great to share face to face. If you have an open spot on your calendar let us know. We would love to see you.

Until we meet again…. May you know the love of Jesus Christ and be blessed in His name.

 Dale and Janice

UKRAINE ….Blessing in the Midst of Storm by Janice Marcum

Our time in Ukraine was not the typical mission trip where we are busy all the time. Instead we were hit with illness by the end of the first week and were stopped in our tracks. Times like this make you wonder “Why are we here, Lord?” or “Where is the favor we asked for?” We were unable to complete work projects or participate in the tent conference. We did not get to participate in social events and had limited family time. “What is the purpose?”  Then we remember, Jesus said “in this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” (Jn 16:33).

We can choose to complain and question or to look deeper at the blessings that came in the midst of trouble. We choose to rejoice and give God the glory for great things He has done. After all, it is His ministry. With His help, cement was poured, tile was laid, and toilet set. Some electrical work was done, and supplies purchased for the completion of the church bathroom. Details for the team were carried out, and meals prepared. There was time for fellowship and prayer with Karan (speaker at the Roma conference) and Bruce (eye glass clinic).

I (Jan) was part of the prayer team and shared the Gospel bracelets during the eye glass distribution. It is an amazing time of evangelism.  A widow shared how her husband died suddenly of a heart attack. I knew her pain and testified how God brought me through the same thing. Our Spirits connected as we prayed and cried together. Another mother was concerned about her children lost in the world of sin. Again testimony and prayers gave encouragement. Ale and I were blessed to pray for conference speakers.Dale and I were able to pray for the speakers at the conference, restore an old friendship, visit New Beginnings orphan project, and enjoy our grandson (and his family too).  We saw the anointing of God upon the ministries of Michigan Bridge, Pastor Brugosh, Karan and Bruce. Lord willing we will work together again. Even in the midst of trouble God overcame. Trouble….we all get it, but what will you do with it?

 RUSSIA  AT  A GLANCE...by Janice Marcum

Our time in Russia is nearing the end. Each day has been filled with projects and chances to share the love of God and the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Quickly we want to share a few glimpse of what is happening. When we get back to the states and a better internet connection I will post all photos to the website.

We built a new fence for the Samuel House Children Center

The women of the church meet bi weekly. Jan taught Bible study.

Family Ministry meets bi weekly in homes. Fellowship,  and Bible study.

Three picnic tables were built for two churches.

DREAMS BECOME REALITY…by Janice Marcum                                                           

Dreams do become realities. Last year their dream was to have a kitchen with a table large enough for the family of seven to all eat at one time. This year Zhenya’s dream was to have cabinets, stove and refrigerator in that kitchen. The Lord has blessed us to help with both of these dreams.

Each day as another cabinet goes into place or a door is hung there is such joy on every face. One by one the children check out the work. Each joking about how they might use the cabinet. Papa thinks it would make a nice storage for his hunting supplies but Mama says ‘NO”.  This is her kitchen dream. Each day she sits and watches the work, helping when necessary, and mentally stocks the cabinets.

They have had the refrigerator in the living room, the stove in another small room and the sink in a hallway. Now they will all be in the same room. Imagine the joy of having such luxury.

The children enjoy climbing the ladder of fetching supplies from time to time. The little ones call “Janice” as they peek around a corner just to let me know they are still there. They are quick to offer a helping hand to sweep the floors, especially since Dale gifted a few rubles to his helpers.

Working together in their home has taken our relationship to a new level. Pastor’s use of English has increased since last year as well as our limited Russian. Hand signals and pictures work wonders. Often translators are nearby to help when our vocabulary runs out. During mealtime or over a cup of tea we have some great conversations. Sometimes Dale shares a story or a joke but eventually the conversation returns to our awesome Lord and Savior and the blessings He has provided.

From the large picture type window we installed in front of the kitchen table last year Pastor watches the activities outside. In the process his eyes have been opened to needs around them. Children have no where to go and little to do. They spend hours playing in the dusty streets. Mother’s walk their babies up and down the rough street because there is no where else to go.

From the window Pastor also sees the land the Lord has blessed them with. There is a large lot they are not using. He has often asked the Lord “What is your plan for all this land?”  Recently God showed him the answer and has given him a dream for next year. The land will be transformed into a play and picnic area for the neighbors to enjoy. This will open opportunities for youth ministry, neighborhood events, and most of all sharing Jesus.

Scripture says without a vision (dream) the people parish. Without Jesus the people of the village will parish. God is the giver of dreams and now God has instilled a new dream in Pastor to offer hope to the people. Our dream is to be a part of it all.