April
15
Filed Under (church, Missions) by Justin on 2008-04-15

It took many hours to upload, even with the full 3Mbps upstream link at the office, but I managed to get my photos from Moscow uploaded to Flickr late Monday afternoon. There are 581 photos in the set, so even if you put the slideshow mode on “Fast” you’ll be there a while.

I did some experimenting with my Canon PowerShot S410 this time. Almost all of the shots were done in Manual-mode, a big departure from always shooting in Auto. The main reason I did this was so I could use the “Vivid” color setting after reading about it on a site that David Szpunar linked to in the CITRT IRC channel. Even though I was using Manual, most other settings remained on Auto except for a few of the night-time shots which required some tweaking and the up-close shots which I shot in Macro mode.

Enjoy the pics!

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March
25
Filed Under (Geekspeak) by Justin on 2008-03-25

Finally got a few minutes. Things are going great so far. Can’t wait to get back and share what God has been doing here in Northern Moscow with everyone. Myself and the rest of the team can really feel your prayers, so keep them coming! I don’t have time to write a full post now, so I’m stealing the email Jeremy just sent back to Crestview folks. Actually, I don’t even have time to read it – so I hope he didn’t say anything embarrassing about me!

Hello Everyone! We finally have email access for about an hour! Everyone is doing great and things are going smoothly so far! I will have to say from my perspective this is one of the best trips if not the best we have ever taken from Crestview.

Friday- Thank goodness everything was here when we arrived and we got checked into the hotel fairly smoothly. Just a little problem exchanging money. We made it to Red Square and prayerwalked as we toured with a few from the Golovinski Church. I took them to MooMoo! which is a Russian cafe. We made it to bed early and crashed!

Saturday – We went to Ismailovsky Park and did a little shopping! We enjoyed shishkabobs for lunch. We then had an incredible opening meeting with the Golovinski Church. It was an incredible time in the spirit! Nothing could compare from the past for how the Lord moved in all of us during this time. We will explain more later.

Sunday – We enjoyed worshipping with the Golovinski church. However, it was a little lengthy at almost 3 hours! Dan gave his testimony and I spoke for a few minutes and sang a song! There was a guest pastor from Genady’s home town. He is the man who led Genady to the Lord. I am glad we got to meet and hear from him. On Sunday night, the ladies conference went very well. I think they had a hard time getting started on time, but that goes with the territory. Diane did a GREAT job i am told. Olga and I went to deliver a gift to Constantine, who is Brad and Lori’s elderly neighbor. He is pretty much confined to his home and lays down most of the day. He was very appreciative of the gift and wants Brad and Lori to come back soon. The guys met and brainstormed about men’s ministries at Mark’s apartment with 3 of the Golovinski men. We had a lot of good conversation and they were very interested in Dan’s testimony about his Emmaus experience and his accountability group.

Monday – We prayerwalked the Golovinski region, which is our partner region and gave out some Bibles. The Babushka party went excellent! There were 31 ladies there. We were a little rushed and late beginning but everything turned out fine.

Tuesday – We have prayerwalked the Levoboreshni region today, which is a neighboring region to Golovinski, It is also the region where the church meets. Everyone did a GREAT job again today. Wendy and Joy got to deliver a Bible to an elderly lady with Mark and I think they had an interesting time there. Tonight we will be having a prayer service with the Golovinski church.

Interpreters are awesome! Olga did a GREAT job getting us 3 interpreters that basically stay with us at all times! It makes things so much easier! Please pray for them. They are all Christians, but i am sure they are mentally and physically exhausted. Their names are Tanya, Natasha, and Lena

Mark is a great leader. He has been great at helping us get things done.

Please continue to pray for everything. Everyone is doing awesome and we are having a life-changing experience. We are praying for you on this end as well.

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March
19
Filed Under (church, CITRT, Life, Missions) by Justin on 2008-03-19

We’re minutes away from going to bed. We’ll be waking up around 3:30AM on Thursday morning to head to church to meet up with our mission team and leave for the airport. Yes, that time will probably already have passed by the time you read this. This will be our third trip to Moscow, the previous two in March of 2005 and October of 2006. Those if you quick with math will see that Crestview is averaging sending a team about every 18-months to assist with the church plant in the Golovinski region of Northern Moscow.

We’re super excited about the work God is doing there. If you go back and read this Four Things post from two years ago, you’ll see that one of the things I wanted to do before I die was “Attend church in the Golovinski region of Moscow, Russia.” That may sound rather simple, but two years ago, there was no Protestant, Christ-following church in the region. In October of 2006, I did it. Interestingly enough, I think I’m more excited to go back this time and take part in a much more mature body of believers.

Now the sort of sad part – I’ll likely be 100% off the grid for the next eleven days. No phone, no email, no #citrt, no internet of any kind. If you need to get in touch, I highly suggest you do it before 4:00 PM EST which is the time I’m scheduled to board the flight to Moscow @ JFK in New York. Otherwise, pray for a divine message to be delivered to me.

We’ll be back home on Monday night, March 31st and I’ll have a quick one-day turnaround before heading to Oklahoma City for Spring Church IT RoundTable. These next two-and-a-half weeks are going to be one tremendous experience and I can’t wait to see what God has in store for me, Bonnie, and the rest of our mission team. I hope you will all be praying for God to move in a mighty way in Moscow.

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December
14
Filed Under (Geekspeak, Missions) by Justin on 2007-12-14

I thought I’d take a few minutes and update everyone on my mission team’s plans for March of next year.

As I’ve mentioned before, we’ll be visiting Moscow the last week of March and we’ve been working hard making sure that we’ll have the funds needed. We got some coverage in the local newspaper and have been pursuing additional local fund raising opportunities. In just the past eight weeks or so, we’ve raised over $17,500 of the estimated $28,000 that we will need to go. We are well past our end-of-year goal and we’re now hoping to reach the $20,000 mark before December 31.

I really appreciate the support from everyone who has sent in a contribution, but more importantly, we appreciate the prayers. The fact that we’ve raised this much in such a short period of time is truly a God-thing and we give Him all the glory for it.

P.S. – Check out the new Yahoo! Shortcuts plugin if you’re a WordPress user… It rocks. If you’re not using WordPress already, this would be a good time to REALLY think about switching… You know who you are…

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November
16
Filed Under (church, Missions) by Justin on 2007-11-16

On a whim last week, I made contact with our local newspaper to talk about our upcoming trip to Russia. A few emails later, I had arrangements made for their new Star Car to come and cover our fund raiser on Saturday as well as an agreement that they would publish a “guest column” talking about our missions work in Friday’s Faith section.

I got my team leader on the phone and explained it all to him and he said he would try to find someone to write it. Deadline was this past Monday, and when I got home from church on Sunday night, no one had emailed me an article. I sat down for about an half-an-hour and hashed out a rough draft and after a few revisions, emailed it on to my contact at the paper. The final version, with a few edits, was published in today’s Shelby Star on page A9 as well as online: Crestview mission team will return to Russia.

So, your’s truly is now a published journalist.

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October
26
Filed Under (church, CITRT, Life) by Justin on 2007-10-26

I guess now is as good a time as any to let everyone know that Bonnie and I are planning to return to Moscow on another mission trip in the spring of 2008 if everything works out well. The current itinerary has our date of departure as March 20 and we’ll be home on March 31. That means we’re leaving less than five months from today.

We definitely have our work cut out for us as far as fund-raising is concerned. As of this moment, we have 11 confirmed team members, and at least five more are still considering it. One of those five is my dad! I really hope that he feels led to go, because I think it would be awesome to get to work alongside him. Our team leader currently has our goal set at $25,000, but that could easily go up beyond $30,000 if all the others decide to go.

I have no doubt it will happen – but it’s hard to see that far in to the future right now, especially with the holidays fast approaching. We have two events planned already: a yard/bake sale on Saturday, November 3 and our usual Poor Man’s Supper and Auction on Saturday, November 17.

Now, I know I have readers all over the United States, Canada, and probably other parts fo the world as well, so this is where you come in. I know you can’t attend our in-person fund-raising events, but you can still help in a couple of ways. First and foremost – pray. Pray for myself, Bonnie, and our entire team. We know that God has called us to this work and we want to be sure to stay in His will. The second thing you can do is give.[1] The Bible says in 2 Corinthians 9:7 that “Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.” We don’t want you to donate anything that belongs in your church, but if God has blessed you, please do consider going over and above your tithe and support the work that God is doing in Moscow. If you’d rather give offline, just leave me a note and I’ll get in touch with you. Finally, talk it up! Help me spread the word! The more people we have praying, the better. Also, I’ve setup a Moscow Mission 2008 page on the Crestview website to take online donations. I know a lot of you have blogs, so post a quick note linking back to this page so folks can find this information.

I really hope that most of all, you will be in prayer for us. From our previous two trips, we can tell you that it does make a difference. I’ll be sure to continue posting updates as our plans solidify and as we get closer to departure time.

P.S. – Oh yeah, I selfishly tagged it with CITRT so it would end up in the Planet feed. 😀

[1] All contributions are fully tax-deductible.

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October
06
Filed Under (Life, Stuff) by Justin on 2006-10-06

I have a just a few minutes and I’ve been awake for more than 30 hours now, so I’ll have to make this brief. The flight was uneventful and extremely smooth. We had about 80 or 90 empty seats on the 767, so we were able to spread out and I got myself an exit row all to myself!

Our friend Joy is sick and currently back at our hotel all alone. Everyone please be in prayer for her that she would feel much better tomorrow. The trip is off to a great start thanks to everyone’s prayers. Please keep it up!

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October
05
Filed Under (Geekspeak) by av8ur on 2006-10-05

Av8ur here. Our wantmoore friends are currently (as of 4:24pm EST) airborne over the eastern edge of Newfoundland on their 767, probably cruising at about 450 knots. Below is a shot Justin sent me from his cell phone – what a view they’ll have ;).

md88.JPG

As Justin mentioned before I’ll be updating here pending emails from Mother Russia. Stay tuned…

**EDIT**

I stand corrected, Flightaware just refreshed. It appears they were delayed about an hour and have just left. They just hit 15,000 feet and are climbing to 31,000 to push their way up to 470ish knots. Sweet 🙂

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