6 weeks, 5000 miles, and 300 sq ft—the Top 10 List (Part 1)

Over 7 weeks ago our family of 9 launched out on the first leg of an amazing adventure of living in full reliance on God. Blessed with the generosity of dear friend, we packed a few earthly belongings, left our family homestead in the care of another family, loaded up a 31 ft motorhome and a mini van and headed southwest to Phoenix, AZ. After 5 days of driving, slowly escaping the grip of winter, we arrived in the driveway of our mission leaders that would be our home base for the next six weeks.

This blog could also be entitled 40 days in the desert…

Unlike fish in a pond, which will only grow so big in limited space, we feel our family really blossomed and grew inluke in the desert remarkable ways through these experiences. Here are ten memorable ways God blessed our family as we trust Him on the journey!

10. The Glory of God’s creation! The kids had amazing opportunities to experience the vast, majestic and varied topography and creatures throughout the traveling days. Within an hour one morning crossing New Mexico, we saw a bald eagle fly over us, hundreds of pronghorns, a coyote, prairie dogs, and deer. Other animal highlights included a 6 ft rattle snake that was encountered by Josh and then the rest of the boys and Dad, on the path at Signal Rock in the Saguaro National Park near Tuscon, AZ and herds of elk grazing along the road into the Grand Canyon. Rusty and the five older boys had two days of hiking in the Grand Canyon, our family walked down into Carlsbad Caverns in southern New Mexico and we enjoyed a family hiking day at the Saguaro National Park as well as many “small groups” of various kids hiking to explore the peaks around Phoenix and near Tucson. On the way home we had a fun day in Kansas with big sister Beth at the Milford Nature Center. The take away is that God’s creation in the US is diverse and beautiful—from desert to mountains, to canyons and buttes, to prairies and farm land! All creation does glorify the Creator God!

9. Less is more! (Subtitle… “Well, well, well…”) In packing up for the trip we limited everyone with the number of clothes, shoes, toys and entertainment they could bring. While laundry for 9 is still a pretty regular occurrence, it was nice to not have so many things to pile up. Dishes need washed right away or they won’t be clean for the next meal. Sweeping and vacuuming only takes a few minutes and dusting, which I hadn’t even anticipated needing to do but discovered is the biggest household battle in the desert, only takes a few minutes too when your living space is 300 sq feet. You can only clean the toilet if you are kneeling in the hallway. You can’t get out of bed, unless the person you are sleeping with gets out first. One child can be in the way of the other getting to the bathroom, just by being in his own “room.”  The fear was all the family togetherness would wear on our patience with each other, but instead we found the close proximity lent itself to deeper conversations and richer moments of family bonding. That’s not to say that there were never moments of frustrations— like the morning Rusty and I woke to find Matthew in our bed saying, “Well, well, well… I see what happened here,” as he discovered he had wet our bed and both Matthew and I needed a shower! Or the night that Luke yelled that he was cold until someone got up to get him a blanket or Matthew called out that he was thirsty until someone got him a drink. (Three guesses on who “someone” was in both of those incidents). Yes, some members of this family really get stinky feet and other people have really loud gas in the morning, but overall we really did discover, in very special ways, the value family togetherness.

8. God’s provision is often more generous than we could ever imagine. We brought some food for the journey, but one concern I had was the cost of living in a large city like Phoenix. Content to live on beans and rice and other low budget food options, we set out to trust Him as our provider God. Much to our surprise and complete delight, God had much bigger plans for our family. On Monday of our first week of training a delivery of excess food, donated by local ministries who partner with grocery stores to supply food banks in the greater Phoenix area, blessed our family with more than we could ever ask or imagine! There was ground beef, chicken, fresh veggies, cheese, crackers and snacks. God provided lamb to grill for our family’s annual Valentine’s Day dinner. He sent Kristin’s favorite cheese (brie) and Rusty’s favorite snack (avocados). The kids were treated with Oreo’s and a box of corn chips and other “special treats” that we almost never buy! The donations came every Monday and we were always so blessed by the variety of food God sent to us. We ended up having to spend almost nothing on food for our entire stay in Phoenix and we were able to eat like Kings! Praise God for this sweet expression of his love, care and provision for our family!

—that you, being rooted and grounded in love,  may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us,  to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen. Ephesians 3:17b-21 ESV emphasis mine.

7. Passionate Jesus-Followers come from all types of backgrounds. Our experiences in Phoenix exposed us to a much broader dynamic of people than we’re used to in small town Pennsylvania. Not only is Phoenix racially and ethnically diverse, we were exposed to Christian unity expressed by people from a wide variety of Christian traditions. It was refreshing and inspiring to interact with believers who worship in Anglican, Baptist, Non-Denominational and other varieties of Christian churche11071624_10153193205689540_2902042797256960609_os. It was stirring to sense the bond of Christ that unites us beyond our differences in tradition, practice or even minor theological variations. We agree on more than we disagree on. And the power of love and unity of Jesus followers is a far more powerful witness to a watching world than polarity and competition.

6. Absence may make the heart grow fonder, but closeness makes a marriage stronger! There’s a distinct lack of privacy that comes with sharing a small space with a lot of people. And we have found that changes in residency and work, along with the natural transition period that goes with any change will either draw you closer together or drive a wedge in the marital relationship. After all, our spouse is the easiest person to “unload” on when the stresses start to build up. However, having your best friend share the good, bad, and blessed experiences with you can actually be the most beneficial part of any family upheaval. A good friend, who’s walked the missional path with her family, once gave us theDSC_0036 soundest advice we’ve ever been given as a couple; “No matter what happens, never let anything, any situation, any circumstance or anyone come between you. You must commit daily to keeping your marriage strong. Never neglect it, never ignore it, and never let it take the backseat to the mission work or even your children. A strong marriage is the most important thing you take to the field and you must intentionally fight to keep it that way.”

Check back soon to for the next 5 things we learned

and experienced on this amazing journey– including the life altering #1.

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The Finish Line…

There’s something powerful about a finish line. For our family the finish line in training and transition is in sight! We fly to the Philippines on April 7th! 
This was Rusty's welcome back to the village last Spring....

This was Rusty’s welcome back to the village last Spring….


In so many ways reaching this finish line will begin a new race, one run at a new pace in a new culture, one run away from the familiar of family, friends and home church. A big part of the last few months has been team building, seeking people who would hold us up in prayer and intercede for the Ati people as we love them and show them Jesus and His ways. We believe in the power of prayer and must trust that our friends will be faithful and not forget us or the work that God is doing among the Ati. 

 
There’s one other finish line that is in sight now too, and that’s discovering all of our financial partnerships. We now need just 8 more families that will commit to pray for the Ati people and be willing to pledge $100 per month to reach them for Jesus. 
 
Would God have you be one of our finishers? We know HE has a plan for us, for you and for his precious Ati children! Thank you for your willingness to hear from the Spirit and your obedience to Jesus where He has called YOU!  
DSC_0036Connect to us by through our ministry site
www.cjmi.org or email: dozenrussells@gmail.com

Acts 20:24 “But I do not account my life of any value nor as precious to myself, if only I may finish my course and the ministry that I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of the grace of God”

The journey to be

My dad had a lot of sayings when I was kid. “Dad” stuff like, “It’s 6 of one, a half dozen of another,” and “Caught between a rock and hard place,” or “Kill two birds with one stone.” You never realize how much you think or communicate in idiomatic expressions until you move to a different culture! Clearly some idioms are easier to decode. And interestingly enough, every culture/ language group has its own form of idioms.

One of the most memorable and forming proverbs of my Dad was, “You can’t take it with you” meaning of course that the riches of this world can not be taken with us into eternity. Interestingly, this idiom has a Biblical foundation in Proverbs 11:4

Riches do not profit in the day of wrath,
but righteousness delivers from death.

The idea is that all of our striving for things here is fruitless. In fact, the only thing we can take with us to eternity are people!

Yet in this western culture of pursuit, we can easily transfer the pursuit of “things” to the pursuit of “people.” This I believe is closer to the heart of God, yet still missing the mark on some levels. It’s the tension of “doing” vs “being.”

American culture is obsessed with prestige and ranking which makes us driven, goal oriented and project based. Please hear me, I do not believe these things are evil. I believe that our focus on them is out of balance. I believe that God has created us for so much more than riches, status and success. I think it breaks His heart when we settle.

I was recently introduced to a new proverb that I want emblazoned on a wood plague to hang in our home in the Philippines.

It’s not what you do, but who you are that matters.

So whether I serve Jesus to the poor and needy indigenous people of the Philippines

Or if I serve Jesus by changing diapers and caring for the kids He sent me.

He does not value one higher than the other.

It’s who I am that matters.

A daughter of the most High King, highly favored, deeply loved– worth the sacrifice of His son.

Whether the world calls me “missionary” or “mom” or even notices me at all…

And when I get it out of balance, when I believe the lie that its what I do that matters most, I miss out on the richness of the love of Jesus. I exchange His peace for the drive to succeed.  I settle for the praise of men over the love of the Savior.

I have been spending a lot of time in 1 John lately. I am impressed with the number of times that John uses the word “abide” It’s 22 times between chapter 2 and the end of chapter 4!!

According to Strong’s Concordance the Greek word is “meno” and it means “to stay, to remain.”

It’s a passive action of resting, staying with, close to— a picture of intimacy with Christ.

My heart connected to His heart. It’s being with Jesus.

My prayer is that I will grow in my desire to want to be with Jesus more than I want to serve Him. I suspect I’m not alone on this journey. Let’s pray for each other! Let’s encourage those around us to go deeper with Jesus every day!

It’s getting REAL…

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWe have a lot to be thankful for these days. Knowing that the trials of transition have a way of stealing my joy, I purposed to have a heart of gratitude a midst the hectic days of relocation, training and preparation. We often think of November as the season of thankfulness, but I’ve been convicted over the years that a grateful heart goes a long way toward keeping my focus on Jesus and my eyes above the circumstances of my life.

Today’s ministry preparation task was budget planning and fund raising focus. This is my least favorite part of the work and I’m thankful that through the years we’ve seen God graciously and generously provide. I’m not a “numbers person” by nature so the very idea of creating budgets, plans and strategies makes me wish that there was truly a way that I wouldn’t need to know the details and just blindly trust God to take care of the details.

The exciting part of all of this is that we are indeed coming toward the end of the process…. there’s an end in sight and even airplane tickets bought! Soon we will be with the people group we have been called to and love, soon all the prayers, preparation, and planning will give way to praying with, sharing the Word with and loving the Ati people.

I’d like to thank you for following us on our journey. I know many of you faithfully pray for our family and more importantly for the Gospel to be light to the Ati people. I can never express my gratitude for your partnership…  your prayers evoke the power of God in ministry!

If you’d like to be a part of the giving team, there’s still a special place for you there. See the attached file for more information and know that any place you share with us as we seek His Kingdom here is a true blessing for which words are not enough…

CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFO: Start-up Fund

The Many Faces of Training

It’s week two of our training time in Phoenix. We’re getting settled into the rhythms of life here, though no two days look the same! Since there are so many of us here, there are so many ways to look at what’s been happening with the Russell Crew.

Here’s a look at life in training so far from the  youngest to  the oldest…photo 1

Matthew (4)spends his days playing outside. The Alianza family gathered scooters, skateboards and balls. This along with the big box of sidewalk that Mimi sent along, keeps Matthew pretty busy while the “school kids” work on their lessons.

Mark (7) is the extrovert of the family (and the only true ‘morning person’ in the family). He is thriving here with so many new people to meet and talk to endlessly. He’s thrilled with the Alianza’s three daughters, especially his new best buddy, Aimee.

Luke (9) has had an interesting break-through in his time here already. For some reason, he has become determined to improve his reading skills and has made some real progress in this area. Right now he’s reading his Bible and filling out the take-home paper from church… all on his own! This is a huge answer to years of prayer!!

photo (4)Jon (11) is enjoying the neighbor’s basketball hoop and has already began a gardening outreach here! Determined to have plants to tend in all this summer-like weather, Jon and Rusty have planted tomatoes, peppers, lettuce, onions and zucchini as well as some marigolds and petunias.

THE TEENS

Jared, Levi and Josh spent the day at a local Christian high school sharing about the work in the Philippines. Lord willing, this school will send a ministry team to serve along side of us in the Spring of 2016. It was interesting to hear the teens reminisce about our first term with the Ati and discover new ways to share their love and knowledge of the Philippines with their peers. Outside of school work, the teens have developed rich relationships with the Alianza family, which includes nearly nightly rounds of cards or “Spoons,” coffee runs to Dutch Bros or hikes to the desert peaks that surround the city. The older kids have been helping with some service projects too, helping Rusty fix a drain/septic issue here and some handy-man, upkeep jobs connected with the another ministry work here.

The kids are plugged into children and youth ministries at Bethany Bible Church and Rusty and I are involved in several Bible studies in addition to our weekly training sessions. Josh is going to check out the local college age ministry with the older Alianza girls next week.

Josh has really OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAblossomed here, in addition to some fun, relational stuff, he’s been a real blessing to the community by fixing several issues with people’s cars. It’s been neat to see him put his love of mechanics into service for the blessing of others.

In addition to regular home school teaching (in the bright, warm sunshine outside at the table outside of the motor home), Kristin has been working on keeping up with communication through email and blog and putting the finishing touches on the newly launched ministry site at www.cjmi.org

Tonight Rusty will assist one of our teachers at a multi-church outreach to celebrate Ash Wednesday. He will assist in the offering of communion at North Phoenix Baptist Church in their hosting of a community wide event to reflect on the coming of the Easter season.

The preparation has been a lot of time of reading, studying and discussing the role of Biblical reconciliation among people groups and churches. We’ve had a lot of time to explore what the Scriptures say about unity in the body of Christ. It’s been our practice to follow the teaching of Dr. Randy Smith of Grace Church Sebring, in addition to our local home church and now in addition to our training studies. Interestingly, Dr. Randy recently preached an excellent message on Philemon and the importance of unity in the body and reconciliation. Check it out here…

http://sebringgrace.sermon.net/main/main/20303467

Sunshine and Growth

One thing that Phoenix, AZ has in abundance is sunshine. Rusty commented earlier this week that he’s not sure he’s OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAever seen so many crystal clear, sunny days in a row having grown up in Central PA. The wide open ocean blue sky and the squint producing yellow hot sun make it hard to feel “down” in the same way as is common to many in the cold, gray, drab northern states this time of year.

But Arizona isn’t green unless it’s irrigated. For all the beauty of the sun, it alone can not create growth.

Our climate here is a bit of picture of what’s happening inside my spirit. On one hand there is generous amounts of blessing. So many things on this journey have gone more smoothly than I ever would have imagined. We enjoyed safe travel, good health, minimal sibling bickering, limited marital strife. Since our arrival we’ve been blessed with the renewing of strong friendships and the budding of new relationships of discipleship and training. In many ways our experiences so far have been clear skies and sunshine.

But I’d be remiss if I allowed you to believe that there’s never been a cloud in my heart.

I have had moments where I’ve thought, “What in the world have we done???”  These are brief moments of panic when I think about the enormity of having packed up our whole earthly world and moved to the other side of the country in a motor home. Followed by the realization that this is just “phase 1″ and the next step in our journey will be moving back across the Pacific to our little island home. Away from family, friends, conveniences, and the familiar. To a place where God is calling our hearts, a people we dearly love, in a culture we’ve come to embrace, and yet is all so very different, strange and sometimes hard.

These moments of fear are short lived and not very frequent, but I would be misrepresenting the work of our Lord, if I allowed you to believe that I never fear or doubt or wonder. Thankfully I have a patient and loving Father who protects me from terror and skepticism and uncertainty. I am drawn to the feet of Jesus and reassured that I am the loved daughter of the Most High God and that He will never love me any more or any less than He does right now. I’m spurred to remember that He is using each sunny day and each dark night to make me more and more like Jesus. Every thing I face is all for my good and God’s glory. Do I trust Him enough to know what’s good for me and walk in whatever path He leads me on?

Some days the answer is an enthusiastic yes!

Some days it’s a weary yes…

and some days it’s yes– by faith alone.

He is worthy of my trust. He is worthy of my praise! He is worthy!!

And if our God is for us then who could ever stop us? And if our God is with us then what could stand against us?

Home is where…

photo (3)

Matthew waves “Hi!” to his family and friends from the front lawn of our temporary home in Arizona.

After five days traversing our beautiful nation, we finally arrived at our destination in Phoenix, AZ on Saturday around noon. Our journey took us through 8 states, two time zones and an entire climate change! Along the way we enjoyed the sights of rolling mountains, open plains, majestic rock formations and the variety of the desert. We parked the motor home in the driveway of a new friend, Wal-Mart, Camping World and at the foot of a national park. We ate sandwiches, salads and lots of Sam’s club chicken! The kids watched movies, did school work, and stared endless out the windows at the passing landscape. Levi got 10 hrs of driver’s training in four different states! Josh became a real road warrior, logging more than 30 hrs of drive time following the motor home in our mini van! The real driving hero was my dear husband, who drove every single mile of our journey in the 31′ motor home! Whether battling cross winds, pot holes, city traffic or boredom, Rusty never complained! Two thousand, five hundred fifty-nine POINT two miles later, we are parked, and more or less settled into the next phase of our journey with Jesus.

The kids were amazing on the trip (the DVDs and TV help immensely) and have been even more surprising since we’ve arrived. Our first morning in Arizona we enjoyed a wonderful breakfast meeting with one of the founding missionaries in the work with the Ati tribes in Malay, Philippines. Now almost 80 years of age, we were honored to have breakfast with the man who made the first translation of the Book of Mark into the Ati’s native language. The children weren’t shy to meet this man whose story they had heard read aloud in his gripping novel, “Soon Comes Sunrise.”  They patiently colored or listened as we talked with him and learned more about his experience in the tribe and shared our vision for continuing the work he and his family began so many years ago.

oranges

Oranges are to Phoenix what zucchini are to Pennsylvania. And we sure are blessed!!!

Then on to our host’s home and fun “Spaghetti Saturday” get together with many from the mission’s team and community. Through many, many introductions, the Russell Sprouts were never shy and they willingly shared their names and ages and often much more!  Our extra extrovert Mark is in his prime, lots of people to talk with and Matthew has enjoyed entertaining with his crazy stories and silly songs! Our children have found a new home here, in just four short days. We’ve been made to feel at home here, in a place so far removed from the icy but beautiful agricultural valley of the Cove. The church here is large (as is the city) but the community is close, warm and welcoming. It’s a special touch of His grace to us and a beautiful picture of the Body of Christ in action

We’re so excited to sit under the teaching and mentoring of a team of Christian leaders who have decades of experience in cross-cultural ministry to the poor. We’re eager to be equipped to share the Gospel of Christ in impactful, meaningful ways by sharing our lives with those God has called us to walk along side in the Philippines. We’re encouraged that our older boys are catching the vision for their role in ministry and a deeper personal relationship with the Living Savior. He is shaping us, making us more like Jesus as we face transition and change, blessing and provision, exhortation and vision casting.

We’re a long way from home, but are finding in new and beautiful ways that we are really most “at home” when we are following Jesus.

And we’re off….

After some delays due to winter weather and too much stuff to finalize at home, we’re off and on our way to Phoenix! Due to our late start and forecasts we are taking a direct southerly route today before heading too far west. The kids are enjoying the novelty of the RV and Josh and Levi are following in their own little adventure in the Town and Country, no doubt enjoying country stations on Sirius XM.

And so it begins, a new, exciting season where all our earthly goods are in storage or a 31 ft camper. A season of focus and preparation, a season of growth and building. An intentional season where we allow Jesus to plant more of himself within us– to know Him in deeper ways, in order to be more effective in His Kingdom for His Glory!

Back by popular demand… The Adventures of the Russell Bunch!

cropped edit fave 1The Lord has placed our family on an amazing journey. Jesus took two broken sinners and began a transformation in their hearts and lives. Next He called us to trust Him for our family size. Then over the next almost two decades, He blessed us with ten wonderful children!

He called us to home school our brood– we believe we’re to be raising warriors for the Kingdom. But then He called us to live out that calling as a family, when He called us to the mission field in the Philippines.

Our first term in the Philippines was an amazing time of growth and

Our son Josh surprised us just before Christmas when he asked if he could join us on the mission field part of a year! What a great surprise from God!

Our son Josh surprised us just before Christmas when he asked if he could join us on the mission field part of a year! What a great surprise from God!

learning for our family. We experienced things we could have never really learned or understood if we had stayed in the States and tried to raise missions minded kids. We fell in love with the Filipino people and more specifically God drew our hearts to an indigenous people group called the Ati.

Then the Lord brought us back to the States– back to the house, the church, the family and community we love and call “home.”  We learned to live within our home culture again, but with new eyes, new hearts and a new passion. He asked us to reach out to those “away from home” in our culture, experiencing in our home country what we had experienced abroad. The Lord kept a piece of our hearts in the Philippines too. He gave us new relationships with people who love the Ati like we do. Jesus gave us time to heal, prepare and seek His will for our future and ministry to the Ati.

Today we stand on the brink of the next adventure with our Lord….

One week from today we will pack 7 kids and Mom and Dad into a 31′ RV and head to Phoenix, AZ for training with our mission team. Our home will be occupied by another Christian family and this time when we say good-bye to the house where Jared was born, the yard with all the memories of fun summer days and exciting winter adventures– we know that this may very well be good-bye forever. We’ve been so blessed by God to not only find a wonderful Christian renter, but they’ve expressed interest in an eventual purchase of our homestead, freeing us up to do God’s work without the entanglement of owning a property half a world away. We serve an AWESOME God!

This morning, while distractedly working on school with the kids, I discovered some youtube videos about RV living… even one from a family with 6 kids! It was inspiring, yet it also struck a little fear in my heart! As I look around my very spacious, soon-to-be empty home, it’s hard to imagine living small with such a big crew. But the Lord taught us a lot about simplicity, needs vs wants, and flexibility while we lived in the Philippines, so I’m confident we will make it work. We will certainly need extra measures of patience, grace and mercy within our family relationships, but we know from past experience it is in these times, that He refines us and makes us more like Jesus. For that, we should rejoice!

I’ve had many people ask us to blog our adventures and I agree that this experience, both RV living in the US and moving our family back to the Philippines, are definitely experiences that should be written down to reflect upon His goodness and provision as well as capture the memories for a lifetime. If others are inspired to be BOLD in their faith, then praise the Lord! Please know that we are imperfect people…. anything that we do comes from the strength, power and leading of the Lord. It’s all about Him and if there’s any glory– it is ALL for Him!

So buckle up and join us for the ride, if you’d like! You know what we always say…. “The more the merrier!!!”

Russell Family Mission UPDATE!

Rusty traveled to the Philippines in late April to reconnect with the people we were ministering to and with during our first term. The goal of the trip was to encourage the believers there, propose a ministry of reconciliation and seek God’s will for future ministry. Mike Alianza, from CJ Ministires, was also in the Philippines during the same time. Both men reported that God is at work in the lives of those they met with.

It was a sweet time of reconnection with the Ati again. “Baby” Amy (orphaned at birth) is growing up and her family calls us her American Lolo and Lola! (Grandparents)

Lito, the Ati man who was hospitalized for nearly 9 months, is home. He is not able to walk or work and his family is practicing grace and forgiveness as they care for him. Praise God the bondage to alcohol has been broken! We are still praying for complete physical healing and spiritual restoration for Lito.

Rusty met with ministry leaders and sought their opinions regarding future ministry in the Philippines. He was blessed to be able to encourage Pastor Rolando and Teresa as they are facing trials in their school ministry. Please join us in prayer for them, as they restart their school and feeding ministries in a new location. Pray that they will not become discouraged and that God will provide for them in every way!

Thanks to the generous gift of one of our supporters we were able to help a family get back under roof. Elsie’s nipa home had its roof torn off during the typhoon last November. Since then the family has been living “under the stars” with no roof over their heads. Another ministry had donated building supplies and we were able to help them hire a small crew to replace the roof.

There are so many stories that could be told of the lives, challenges and blessings of our dear Filipino friends. Thank you for remembering to pray for this ministry to the poor, outcast, and broken.

FAMILY NEWS!

BEN AND MEREDITH ARE MARRIED!!!

They were blessed with a rainy day, but a beautiful indoor service at MGBC and a fun celebration of their new life together at the Stern Barn! The newlyweds will reside in Sebring, FL were Ben is on staff at Grace Church Sebring and Meredith will look for a teaching job.

Carrie graduated from the Great Commission Bible Institute in early May and then traveled with her class and teacher, Dr. Randy Smith for an educational tour of the Holy Land. She is now back in Martinsburg. Carrie is working at Home Instead senior care and is seeking God’s plan for her life. She has been offered a position in an orphanage in the Philippines, which she is prayerfully considering.

Adam and Josh are working on a fast-track plan for graduation from high school this winter. Both have jobs in fields they love. Levi is currently on mission with City Life tour, a 3 week inner city ministry team. The rest of the “Russell Sprouts” are growing and enjoying life in the US as we pray for God’s leading for future ministry in the Philippines!

 

HOW CAN YOU BECOME INVOLVED IN WHAT GOD’S DOING IN THE PHILIPPINES?

We are partnering with CJ Ministries to help the Ati owned and operated preschool in the village of Carla. Their light materials building was completely destroyed in the typhoon and yet they preserved through the school year and the parents helped by rebuilding a temporary structure. The new school year began in June and there are a record 70 students enrolled! CJ Ministries is currently raising funds to build the Ati community a more permanent preschool structure. 

In the meantime, the teachers are asking for more chairs. If you would be willing to make a donation to help provide chairs for the students, please contact us or see the link on CJ Ministries website. 

We need to raise about $150 for this chair project.

www.cjmi.org

We are also seeking sponsors for the high school students in the Ati villages. We have 16 students in grades 7-9 that need a prayer partner and encouragement. Would you consider this unique opportunity to mentor a high school student in the Philippines?

 Contact Kristin for more info!