Due Influence

My parents’ generation, growing up in the 50’s where the shadow of the U.S.S.R. loomed ominously, was raised in distrust and fear of Russia and Russians. Cold, cruel and communist, surely it was a country and people not only mysterious and unkind, but opposed to the vibrant and free American dream for which their parents and peers fought.

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The Blessing of Father Andrei

I’ll never forget Father Andrei. Father Andrei is the priest of the Russian Orthodox church in Komsomolsk, the small rural town housing the orphanage that many of the kids from the ministry center in Ivanovo grew up in. He is a big, happy, laughing, gregarious man with long hair whiter than his age and one of those awesome greyish beards that frames and expands his amazing smile. Sort of a young Santa Claus vibe with a subtle dose of The Dude.

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20 Years of Ministry to Russian Orphans

A generation, a score, two decades, 20 years. It’s long enough to make a difference and be well aware how much work is yet to be done! In March and April 1994, I was working for International Bible Society living in and around Moscow. At that time, I began to realize that the greatest—and most undeserved—blessing in my life was my family.

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A Favorite Post!

I invite you back to a previous post, dear to my heart.  I have written often about our experiences with Orphans Tree, a ministry which supports older Russian orphan kids – once they are too old to live in the orphanage.  Their plight is bleak with little education behind them, precious few resources in the present and a  very foggy future before them.

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The Importance of a Mother

How can we ever truly appreciate the significance our mothers have in our lives? I realize this is not a very timely post being much closer to Fathers Day than Mothers Day, but the subject has been on my mind quite a bit lately.It was just over a year ago that my mom was diagnosed with stage four cancer and told she had no more than a couple years to live. This kind of news—after you get over the shock—gets you thinking, of course, about how important your mother really is.

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“What are you afraid of?”

This is a question I don't feel I ask myself often enough, a question we all face nearly every day. Or at least we should.

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Russian memoriesShawn