Dear Friends & Prayer Partners,
We have asked you many times to pray for and consider giving to the Schalbyetski family, and this time we are sending you a picture of them. Last month our first prayer request listed was: “Please pray for the children of Ukraine. There are tens of thousands of street children and “orphans” because of such widespread drug and alcohol abuse, and now they are facing the bitter cold winter weather just ahead. If you want to do something tangible to help, you can send an offering to help Anatoly and Larrisa Schalbyetski complete their bigger house to accommodate their growing family of children they rescue. Half of their old house had been demolished in May so they were living in half a house (overflowing) while building the new one.”
Now we want to share with you the recent letter we received from Mulberry International, another excellent ministry we have partnered with to help orphans at Dyetskii Dom. They are also now partnering with the Schalbyetski family, and we rejoice in that fact. If you want to help this family, you can send it to us (Overseas Outreach) or to Mulberry International at P. O. Box 43623, Louisville, KY 40253. Be sure to designate your gift for the Schalbyetski family.
Following is a copy of the letter from Mulberry International:
“Being an Orphan in Ukraine”
“A bell rings to start your day. The same bell will signal ‘lights out.’ The bell will tell you when to eat, go to class or do homework. It even tells you when you can have play time. You know you will be verbally, physically or even sexually abused by the other orphans
and adults you are supposed to trust. This is life in a Ukrainian orphanage.
“At the age of 16 or 17 you will ‘graduate’ from the eleventh grade. The Director will wish you well as you begin life outside the orphanage. Most likely you are illiterate and can’t even tell time. You’ve been trained to answer to a bell.
“Over half of the girls become prostitutes and have an average of seven abortions. An even higher percentage of the boys will get involved in drugs and gangs and end up in prison. Is it any wonder that one in seven will attempt suicide before reaching the age of 21?
“The government tries to hide this problem, so it’s difficult to get an accurate count. Over 200,000 is a common estimate of the number of homeless or institutionalized children in Ukraine.
“Mulberry International supports Ukrainian Christian families who care for these children through permanent foster placement or adoption. The children grow up knowing they are children of a loving God. Orphanage graduates will make children but they won’t make families. Children raised in Mulberry homes will have the foundation for a Christ-centered family.
“We need your help. In 2012, we began urging local churches to raise awareness of this problem. We are encouraging more families to get involved, but most need financial assistance. Please consider making a year-end gift to Mulberry. If you are not already one of our partners, please prayerfully consider including Mulberry in your 2013 giving budget as well. No gift is too small when it can impact a child’s life for eternity.
“Don’t grow weary,
Charles McKibben, Executive Director”
“At the Risk of Being Politically Incorrect – Merry Christmas”
This is a statement I have been hearing on the radio recently. My response emotionally is, “So what? Why should I want to be ‘politically correct’ according to our current corrupt culture? Risk??? We here in America still have such tender skin when we need tough hide! Try being politically incorrect in Saudi Arabia or North Korea. That is risk! Why should I bow to current corrupt culture to comply with political correct doctrines when I still have so much fleeting full freedom to fight for fullness of truth and righteousness? Do I want to be politically correct by refusing to say ‘Merry Christmas’ or refusing to call sin ‘sin’? (Remember, it’s just an ‘alternative lifestyle.’)” Where is the grit and courage of a Patrick Henry to say, “I know not what path others may take, but as for me, give me liberty or give me death!”?
Do you know what is wrong with “politically correct’? It isn’t! It is politically, morally and spiritually corrupt. Do you know where the politically correct doctrine originated? Probably not – I didn’t either until very recently, but I did have enough Biblical and historical and philosophical information to identify politically correct doctrine as raw, unvarnished Marxism. An acquaintance in a local business told me that political correctness comes directly out of the little red book entitled, “Quotations from Chairman Mao Tsetung”! He also told me the book is still available on Amazon, and I should look on page 147. I ordered my own copy. Here are a couple of sentences from page 147: “Without the style of hard struggle, it is impossible to maintain a firm and correct political orientation.” ….. “What really counts in the world is conscientiousness, and the Communist Party is most particular about being conscientious.” Page 1 of this little book says, “The force at the core leading our cause forward is the Chinese Communist Party. The theoretical basis guiding our thinking is Marxism-Leninism.”
Do you realize that Mao was the worst mass murderer in history? Yes, he orchestrated the murder of far more people than Hitler and Stalin! Why should we want to compromise God’s inspired Word to comply with “political correctness”?
“Beware lest anyone cheat you through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the tradition of men, according to the basic principles of the world, and not according to Christ. For in Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily; and you are complete in Him, who is the head of all principality and power.” Colossians 1:8-10 (NKJV). Remember, “in Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily.” “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God……And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.”
John 1:1 and 14 (NKJV). Approximately 750 years before the apostle John wrote those words the prophet Isaiah wrote, “For unto us a Child is born, Unto us a Son is given; And the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” Isaiah 9:6 (NKJV). Therefore, in the name of Jesus (Whose name is politically incorrect to mention), Who is Emmanuel (God with us), I want to wish you a wonderful MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!
Polluted “Politically Correct” Christmas
’Twas the month before Christmas when all through our land,
Not a Christian was praying nor taking a stand.
The reason for the season no one could say – the PC Police had taken that away!
The children were told by the schools not to sing
About Shepherds and Wise Men and Angels and things.
It might hurt people’s feelings, the teachers would say. December 25th is just a “Holiday”.
~ Author unknown
From Our Mailbox
Hi, Rick and Della!
We share your serious disappointment in the election results. Obama bought his re-election. Imagine that: I thought he’d steal it!
As you have encouraged me, I’d like to encourage you: God is still in control! He lifts up leaders, and brings them down (we can only hope!)
“By me kings reign, and princes decree justice. By me princes rule, and nobles, even all the judges of the earth. I love them that love me; and those that seek me early shall find me.” (Proverbs 8:15-16)
“The king’s heart is in the hand of the LORD, as the rivers of water: he turneth it whithersoever he will. Every way of a man is right in his own eyes: but the LORD pondereth the hearts. To do justice and judgment is more acceptable to the LORD than sacrifice.” (Proverbs 21:1-3)
The following verse (Prov. 21:4) describes our President – who acts more like a king than a president -quite well, I think: “An high look, and a proud heart, and the plowing of the wicked, is sin.” Obama looks down his nose when he talks, and seems to think he’s better than anybody.
We must keep our Country in prayer, and remember that God is still on the Throne; He is still in control. And, He loves us. We must continue to pray for the Church, and even more so for the unsaved, that in this time of stress and ignorance, they will have a personal encounter with the True and Living God.
Keep looking up!
Love in Jesus Christ,
I enjoy your newsletters. Yes a sad day in America for sure! I know we all say God is in control, true, but still hard to swallow!! Thanks for your insight!
THANKS RICK for your exhortive & Biblical words & illustrations- & the fruit of your labor- jim/Helen Brown
Your Labors sound truly productive- May it always be to the Glory of God & the Truth of Christ- jim brown-friend of Rick/ Della
There is so much truth in what you say, and I agree we are never to give up the good fight inasmuch as it is within our ability to do so, and with His power to “soldier on”! Thanks so much for sharing these words of godly wisdom and exhortation. We truly believe that we are living in perilous times, and we continually pray for the nation of Israel and a Christian revival in the United States. Yes, true joy and peace and overflowing hope can only come when we trust in Him and in the great power of the Holy Spirit…thank you for that wish and reminder! We’re so thankful for yours and Della’s friendship over the years and feel so blessed that we can in some small way share in your ministry for Him. Truly, every day is a day of thanks!
We look forward to seeing you whenever you come our way.
Yours in Christ,
…..Grandchild #14 due in December. Frank just returned from his 6th trip to India – teaching missions to kids. Our plan is to visit Rapha House Cambodia in Feb. ’13. I am retired. Frank should be! Now he works for our son Tom, now owner of the business. Serving a Great Savior continues to be our life’s goal. Life is short – eternity isn’t. God’s blessings on you this New Year.
♥ Frank & Karen (Miller)
Note from Rick: Frank and Karen Miller shine as examples of dedicated servants of our Lord Jesus Christ. They are exceptionally hospitable to missionary families, and we have several times been the recipients of their gracious warmth in their home in Vernonia, Oregon. They love our Lord, His church, His purpose for living, and His mission. Frank serves as an elder, loves children and faithfully continues leading the Children’s Church (as he has done for years). Now he has turned the leadership of his business over to their son so he can spend more time serving our Lord at home and abroad. (Retired friends – are you paying attention? ☺) Heaven will be our rest and retirement! Let’s work while it is day – the “night” is coming when no man can work!) I have Frank and Karen’s picture on my desk to remind me to pray for them – and especially to thank God for them. (I also have the Schalbyetski family’s picture on my desk for the same reason.)
Tribute to Yevgeny & Katya Ustinovich
Last month you received a copy of a letter written by Yevgeny Ustinovich, who has become Georges Carillet’s right hand man at Commonwealth International University. He is now a professor of Bible, Theology, Apologetics, Comparative Religions, etc. He is not only brilliant, but also a committed Christian expositor of the Word of God. Not only that, but he and his lovely wife, Katya, have become more than just casual acquaintances. I’m honored to claim them as my personal friends. Both of them are members of Simferopol Christian Church and co-workers in the gospel at CIU.
Katya has graciously served me at the university as receptionist, secretary, travel agent – and all around servant of Jesus with a captivating smile. Now she serves full time at home as wife and mother – and some of you who also receive Georges’ prayer letters have been praying with us for Anton, their five month old son, who was born three months prematurely and has had a major struggle for life and health. Please pray that he continues to improve.
Yevgeny is one of the best interpreters I have ever seen and heard in many years of using interpreters. Not only is he articulate in both English and Russian (as well as Biblical languages and others), he has an amazing memory. When an English presenter (like me) forgets to stop after a sentence or two for his interpreter, but gets so wrapped up in his message that he spews out half a page worth of verbiage (too much for most interpreters to remember), we can just nod to Yevgeny and he will accurately interpret the rest of what the other interpreter couldn’t remember.
Yevgeny and Katya, may Almighty God multiply your godly influence beyond your fondest dreams.
Yours & His, Rick
Memories are Made of This!
Saturday, December 1st was a memorable day, as our children and grandchildren hosted a wonderful 50th Anniversary Open House for us. (Our actual anniversary is December 14th, but the 1st worked better for our son Randy to be here and for special out-of-town friends to come.)
David and Sandy opened their home for this celebration, and they spent many hours in preparation to make everything “extra special”. About 60 friends and family members came to share this time with us, and we are still receiving beautiful cards from those who couldn’t make it to the celebration.
Thank you very much, Randy, David and Sandy, Cheyenne, Christin, Scott, and Trinity! We are most richly blessed!
The following is a portion of an article written by Victor Knowles and printed in “The Knowlesletter”, November/December 2007.
“Friends, I’m sitting at home tonight listening to some beautiful music on a CD that was given to me a few years ago by Russian composer Eugene Goncharenko, minister of music at the Evangelical Christian Church in Moscow. I don’t understand a word of what I’m hearing, but my heart is bursting with emotion and an occasional tear escapes my eye and slides down my cheek. Now you tell me how that can be. How can someone be moved to tears by words sung in a language he doesn’t speak and can’t read?
“The answer is quite simple. These are God’s people who are singing and it’s the language of love – ‘Love divine, all love excelling, Joy of heaven to earth come down!’ (Charles Wesley). Wherever the people of God lift their voices to Him in song, love comes down and spreads itself all around – even into the heart of this American writer on a cold November night.
“Russians love their music. It has sustained and inspired them through the bloody and ruthless regimes of Lenin and Stalin. A Russian choir can reach me more than any American praise team. They have seen more hardship and experienced more suffering than I will ever know. Fulton Sheen has observed that the only recorded instance of Jesus singing was the night that He went out to His death. Russian believers have sung through revolution, starvation, confiscation and deprivation. Hymns of faith have sustained them in the barren gulags, prison cells and forced labor camps…..”