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News from Russia

April 26, 2003

Dear Friends and Family:
Greetings from Moscow. Spring sprang a couple weeks ago, temperatures were in the 50's and the grass began to green, now we are back to highs in the 30's and a feel more like Fall than Spring. Today we are alternating between sunshine and cloudy & snow falling. We have all enjoyed the cool/cold and fairly consistent weather here, this year, much more than we thought we would. We celebrate Easter this coming Sunday here in Russia.

This week the air was electric with excitement as the Moscow Training Center had it's first annual Pinewood Derby Race. The children and many adults carved and created scale model (approx 6" long) "soap box derby" cars for the great race, while one of the Dads built a very nice 35 foot long track. Everyone was very creative in their designs and felt that theirs would surely win. Thursday evening was Race Night and 53 cars were ready for weigh in and judging for most creative. Dennis Ho (Misha's brother) won most creative, children's class, for his Coke Bottle car. Lisa Butler won in the adult class for her very detailed Violin car. Other entries were a pizza slice, Oscar Meyer weinermobile, a hand painted Russian spoon, a killer whale, a 100 dollar bill, a coffin, and automobiles, buses and trucks of every description. After much screaming, clapping and cheering, numerous runs and eliminations one of the Dads (Mr Bolger) won with a futuristic looking automobile, another father (Mr Cheney/the weinermobile) came in an extremely close second(after several ties) and Mr and Mrs Butler's spoon came in third. Rachel Butler won in the children's class with her killer whale that she had carved, painted, repainted, added weight, subtracted weight, etc, etc, etc for the week prior (I think she enjoyed creating it far more, the winning came as a great surprise to everyone). She had a small glass bunny glued to the whales head and the whale would periodically hop as it raced down the track. The climax was a race between the winner of the adults and children's class, it was again extremely close, Rachel won once the other car twice. The prayer at the start was that in everything God would be glorified, and He was glorified in the way everyone shared secrets for greater speed, tools, helped each other and were extremely good sports no matter how soon they were eliminated or if they were winning or won.

Life goes on here at MTC as usual yet there is a sense of "winding down." There are May Day activities in the school and city in general, several holiday weekends coming, final exams, major spring cleaning projects, a state inspection of the school, our Character Class hour ended for this year on Friday. Please pray for us that we would finish the race well.

The children have been assigned the responsibility, and we are using the morning hour that was Character Class time to work with them in our home, to memorize 1 Corinthians 13 (the Love Chapter) in Russian, prepare a personal testimony of what God has done in their lives this year and to practice greeting others joyfully and with good eye contact. The desire is to train them for future ministry and speaking in public, the doors appear to be slowly, but surely, closing to outside missions work here and the children will be Russia's future missionaries to their people. Families, in the USA, who will be hosting the children this summer, will be asked to provide opportunities for the children to speak at their local church or other gatherings.

Thank you for your continued prayer and support, may God richly bless you.

Serving Him in Moscow
The Butler Family

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