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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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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Filed Under (Asterisk, church, Missions) by Justin on 2007-12-17

I was perusing some of the blogs on Church IT Planet feed this morning and through Jason Lee’s blog, I landed on this post from Mike Gold about Willow Creek’s IT staff going on a technology-centered mission trip to the Dominican Republic. One of the things they did was install an Asterisk-based phone system! Too cool!

This has my wheels turning now – would it be possible for a bunch of Church IT RoundTable folks to get together and form a team that could go and do something like this? If so, how would we find a place to go and meet a need? I know our friend Andrew Mitry is in some remote place in Africa as we speak on a two-month trip where he is doing some technical things for a Coptic mission there, but how cool would it be to go on trip where we can flex our IT muscle and impact the kingdom?

I do have a heart for missions and I have loved every minute of the past trips I’ve been on, but to have my passion for missions and love for technology to meet in the mission field would just be absolutely amazing.

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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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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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