Friday, December 3, 2010


In the beginning of November I was hired as an English teacher for our neighbors' 4-year old son.
The father came to Dad and asked him we would be willing to teach his son English. He negotiated with Mom and Dad that I would teach twice a week an hour a day (I am getting paid.) Mondays and Thursday from 5 to 6. The first time there I was warmly received... by the Dad. The son (Andrusha) was what you'd call, um, not the best behaved. After the first several time his, uh, disobedience smoothed out. What was hard was that the Dad is not worried about Andrusha's behavior, including when that kid "runs away" claiming he is no longer "friends with anybody!" Dad just lets him and tells me not to worry about it. The father, however, is very friendly and gracious, and almost every time he gives me tea or something like that. And when I trek the ever-so-long-10-second walk he always stands at the door and watches me to insure safety.

In the apartment is just us three all the time, --he (dad), me and Andrusha -- except when the father left to go to the store once, and it was just us two. Andrusha is slowly starting to except me and listens to what I say. Please pray that I will be successful and that I can teach not just English, but the faith to the family.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Adoptive moms meet non-adopted orphans

Last Tuesday night the director the Harbor, Melinda, brought 2 women, Lisa and Carla, from Minnesota to talk with 4 Harbor graduates. Among the Harbor graduates was our very own Yuri and 3 other girls -- Ira, Natasha, and Nastya. Lisa and Carla each had adopted a child from Russia and raised them along with their own biological children. The adopted children have very rebellious attitudes and are displaying violent behaviors that are often found in Russian adoptives. Lisa and Carla had asked to meet with the Harbor graduates to ask a few questions about their growing up in the orphanages in the hopes understanding why their children are acting this way. The women also lead a support group for other adoptive families in MN who are experiencing negative outcomes from the adoptions, most from Russia. 

Seeing that I helped translate some things, I participated in the discussion to a small extent. What was nice was that Lisa and Carla had a list of questions with them so they would go around the circle asking questions. Some questions were: What was your daily routine at the orphanage? Did you feel loved? How did they (in the orphanage) think of you? What were yours dreams when you lived in the orphanage? (Yuri reported that his dream was to watch TV all night long.) 

The atmosphere was very open, and the graduates talked freely. One of the graduates (Nastya) told us that she had always been the girl to be put in contests the one who the director "liked". Why? She was the sugar daddy. The girl who gave the orphanage a good face. The girl who they show of but never let her get adopted. No these people (the orphanages people) don't really care for the kids. They just see them as the way to get money. Now maybe some do , but as a whole they don't. And the kids know this.The caretakers were mean and gave no freedom and told the kids in their face "You are a failure. You won't be anything." Those people were wrong! These kids are amazing, smart and are making a way in the world.  They are far from failures. Some kids believed them. Nastya told us that see knew that the caretakers were wrong and she would lead her room to punish the caretaker when ever the caretakers would do some thing mean.Such as pouring clothes detergent in the hall way.When the caretaker came he or she would get dumped with water so that he or she would slip in the hallway.they could not punish the kid cause they didn't know who did it.  Now this was no "naughty kids at the orphanage " this was for a reason and they knew it. They told us that they were cold at night and were always hungry. One girl said she was told that the cook was stealing food. She didn't believe them till she was 15 when she worked in the kitchen and saw it with her own eyes. They said that the kids would make fun of the cook when they saw him leave with big bag of food(the cook was fat). One the girl said that the director and the caretaker would say "Your mom is is a bad woman!" At 15 she was told that her mom was long dead.  The kids who did get adopted would spit in their face and say "I don't care. Hearing things that I all ready knew from the mouths of the kids them selfs was painful. You can understand why these kids (the adopted ones)would be violent.Probably cause their angry. I know I would be. I would angry, suspicious, and hurt. Pleases pray for Lisa and Carla and their kids and also for the orphans (in the orphanages and out) 

Monday, August 30, 2010

CRM World Conference

As all of you guys probably know, my family is a part of a organization called CRM. The organization is divided in to several groups all around the world. (Almost) every year the groups meet separately and every 4 years the whole organization meets together. This summer the whole organization got together in Malaysia - Langkawi.

Our flight arrangements to Langkawi were terrible, and the layovers
were simply nightmares. It was a relief when we finally arr
ived in Langkawi, but sadly we weren't able to get to our room immediately, because the previous guests had not left yet. We had been on the road at that point for 44 hours, and that was only the last of several disappointments along the way. While waiting for our room to open up, we swam in the pool, which felt very good, seeing that it was very hot and we had not been able to
wash the whole trip.

We were there a few days early to relax, but when the conference started, we had lots of fun. The children's program workers were really great and because of that encounters with God were not rare at all. Aside from being next to a beach, swimming in a pool every day and seeing friends every day, the best part about it was what we were learning. The children's program group taught us how to pray intensely, and during those times several of us saw things (like landscapes or colors), and once we told what we had seen, one of us usually would be able to tell what it meant.
I appreciated it because I hadn't been able to have as much intense praying before, and it was nice because there were other kids there, and so I wasn't alone in praying. I sometimes feel lonely at home when I pray, and that really helped me. I know how to pray more intensely now, and I didn't use to receive colors and pictures like I can now, and feel I have a stronger relationship with God. I feel that Langkawi really changed me, and even though I'll be 15 at the next world conference, I can't wait.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010


Even though this is a little late, I got baptized in July - on July 4th at a lake with a big sign that said "No Swimming! " ( : It was near a metro stop that was not from our own metro stop. The pastor of our church had a group of 7, including me, meet at the metro, and together we walked to the lake. Because it was Sunday, many people were there just sunbathing, so we were not entirely alone. I was last of the seven of us and was nervous about the whole thing for no real reason. I think it was really cool that I was baptized on July 4th, on an American holiday in Russia. It was a religious experience, but on a day Russia knows nothing about. So I did it in Russia, where I had become a Christian.

It had been a rough day for me about two years ago when I was 9. Dad came in a talked with me.I told him that i wanted to accept Jesus. After that I had to get baptized so when our church said there would be a baptism I singed up.  I'll remember that forever.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Guest post: Kerith on pink and kissing

(dictated by Kerith, age 8 1/2)

Warning: only for boys to read (who don't like kissing)

It's rather hard to explain, but pink - an only girl's color - I count that can transform us boys into girls, or boys that like kissing. Why? Because the only place we boys see pink, is on - girls. We see it on bed covers, we see it on pillows, on shirts, we see pink patches, and everywhere in a girl's room, and worst of all - wallpaper! (Thank goodness my sister doesn't have pink wallpaper.) Usually when I accidentally touch pink, which, sadly enough, is very often, I feel this warm patch on the spot where I touched it. And it stays that way for a little while! It seems during that time, it is dissolving its powerful poison into us boys' bodies. I don't know what it does inside your body. I don't have the scientific materials to investigate that. 

Volume II: Kissing: what to do about it.

The way I count it, when you kiss, it sends atoms from your body to the next person's body. Sooner or later, in about 10 million kisses or more, there will be a hole in one person's body, and a big bump on the other. And also, when you see kissing, it seems to me it poisons my mind and makes me want to kiss. But worst of all - on the lips. Ugh. Usually with wives and husbands, it happens when one of them leaves to the office or a grocery store or something. Even a short trip down to buy some butter or something small. Kissing happens at bed too -but that's usually on the cheek from our mom. 

I'm starting a club to stop all of this. It's called the Girl Scouts. Get it? We're on the lookout for girls to capture them. So if you want to join, write me.


Monday, April 12, 2010

An honorary 6th grader - forever

Two weeks ago my class (the 5th grade) went to see Alice in Wonderland, the new movie. It was made by the same creator as another movie that was very scary. My parents didn't want me to see it, and I didn't want to either. We called Tatiana Vladimirovna, 2nd in charge, and asked if I could attend the 6th grade for a day. And since I had always wanted to be in the 6th grade, but couldn't, even though I am in the 6th grade by American reckoning, I was overjoyed that I would be in my dream class. My best friend is in the 6th grade, and the kids are more of my maturity level.

That day I had so much fun. But on Saturday, I cried, knowing that I would have to go back to immature 5th grade. The 5th grade didn't fit me, and the kids have not been nice to me, and it wasn't getting better, except maybe a teensy weensy bit. Not a lot of people get along, even though there isn't a lot of people. In the 6th grade, even though they may have little spats, they are all the same underneath and all act the same. The 5th graders are so different from each other that when they get in fights, they don't get resolved easily. I wasn't very much liked there. Not that I wanted to be, but I just wanted to be one of the 5th graders. (How do you blend in in such a small classroom? In a large class, there are more people with whom you can find a fit.) Anya is in the 5th grade, and she is not with Anita, remember? And there is Galya, who never treats me well. The girls ignore me, unless I do something accidentally to Galya, and then she gets all huffy. And then the 3 boys, who normally I don't talk with. They tease me most of the time, and the make fun of the teacher and yell at her, and I have seen one of them make a face at here directly behind her back. 

I talked with Dad, and tried to explain that I wanted to be in the 6th grade. I wanted him to at least understand and talk with the directors. He said he would pray about what to say, and I was subdued for the moment, glad that I had at least gotten it out there. Either way, even if I hadn't been put in the 6th grade, I would have been flexible and would have cheerfully stayed in the 5th grade. I think He was saying, you are going to have to trust me, no matter what. 

Actually Dad didn't have to do anything. The next Thursday, the 2nd and 3rd grade took a field trip to a children's home, and me and Mom and Dad were invited. Another mother was there who had asked me once why I didn't hang out with the other 5th graders. I had explained that I fit with the 6th graders better. She brought this up with Tatiana Vladimirovna. That's when the miracle happened. Tatiana Vladimirovna spoke up and said that she agreed as well. So without Dad even saying anything, I all of a sudden found myself the next day in the 6th grade. The night before, I was so excited, I could barely go to bed. 

I felt like God was saying, "you trusted me."

Friday, February 5, 2010

Going back to my old church

Recently, my family returned to our old church, and it was a very big shock. A lot of people were still there, and a lot of people had left. Some people that were on the praise team I had never imagined on the praise team. Some people were doing the same things, and others had changed so much. It was wonderful to see old friends and again it was a shock to see everybody almost three years later. A lot of my friends were gone. Knowing that some of them were gone and that we probably wouldn't see them again until heaven was hard to swallow. Then again, just being back in our old church was hard to swallow.

Right now I know that it will probably be a few years before I go back, and lots of people will probably be gone, but that doesn't matter. The point is that I really miss my old church, and it was wonderful to see people. I plan to come back to that church sometime, and right now that isn't going to happen. What really counts is the fact that it's always going to be in my memories.

My church hadn't changed in the way its fellowship went. We still same the same songs, and I still felt that we had some great singers in our church. right now as I look back on going back, I realize that I may be mad at God in some ways for allowing me to leave my church and friends. And then again, I'm not mad, because I know that where God has put me is the right place, and even though that I'll never constantly attend that church again, I'll still consider that my church, because I attended it for three years, and that will always be where "church" was.

Coming back to America was probably the hardest thing I had done in two and a half years, and holding a drunk's hand isn't' even an exception. I'd do that again a million times. But coming back to America isn't easy. Of course it isn't the people I would love to see the people again. I'd do that again a million times, probably a zillion times. But coming back to where I lived, seeing our across the street neighbors, seeing our old house, and seeing old friends is really hard, because they are now old friends, and yet they are still friends, but not people you will see regularly like most friends.

I'm getting off topic, but this sort of relates. See, when God put me in Russia, He had a big plan, and he know what I was going to feel. Even if at the time I didn't see it myself. Now fast forward three and a half years, and I almost understand why He wanted me to go through all that pain. Because it's written in the Bible that trials mature a person, not exactly in that way it's written, but it means that when you have a trial, suppose there's a bully at school, and he threatens you, and hurts other kids, including you, you may think it's the most rotten school in the world, but God is preparing you for something. Now you may not realize it, but God has a plan for you.

While I'm at the fact of moving and all this stuff, I want to say something that Dad has been urging me to say for the past 4 months: I have stress problems, and i let it out by pulling some of my hair. This does not mean you have cause to worry. Think it not contagious. I'm perfectly normal in a lot of normal ways. But could I ask you guys to pray for me? Stress problems can happen to anyone, and even though you pray about it, it can still come up, and only God can take care of it. I believe that God is already taking care of some things.

Moving on, I want to return to the fact that I miss my church already, and will remember you guys all the time. Not even my church right now can replace the wonderful memories you have left in my life. You all are amazing people, and even though I am pretty far away most of the time, you are not far away from my heart. You are pretty much in the center of it. And that raps up this blog mine.

Now excuse me while I go find the tissue box.