Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Splash 2012

This is a game we are playing to raise money for people who can't afford camp tickets. I love how our youth made this awesome video. They did an awesome job. We have 2 weeks left until camp!
By the way, I am in the game! I have yet to make a move.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Take Up His Cross

"Then he called the crowd to him along with his disciples and said: “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me and for the gospel will save it. What good is it for a man to gain the whole world, yet forfeit his soul? Or what can a man give in exchange for his soul? If anyone is ashamed of me and my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of Man will be ashamed of him when he comes in his Father’s glory with the holy angels" 

Mark 8:34-38

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Bible Note

I love those random Bible notes I always find tucked neatly inside my Bible. What I love even more is searching through another person's Bible and finding treasures of insight and wisdom.

"'I have the right to do anything', you say. But not everything is beneficial. I have the right to do anything, but not everything is constructive. No one should seek their own good, but the good of others. 1 Cor. 10:23-24"  (Mia's Bible)

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

That One Girl

That one girl is the girl I met on our trip to Buryatia and she renamed my pillow pet without my consent.
She's the one I can stay up with till four in the morning. 
She's the one that laughs at all my dumb jokes. 
She's the one that would sing you a lullaby to sleep.
 She's the one to eat jam and bread with in dark closets even though there is a light switch. 
She's the one that will cook up a storm.
 She's the one that is so beautiful but she won't believe you.
 She's the one that I can make up raps with in a squished car with boxes falling on our heads. 
She's the one you can quietly listen to music together with.
 She's the one I would drive 3 hours to and not even care.
 She's the one I learned to chop (like a pro) with. 
She's the one to pray and study the Word with.
She's the one to teach you amazing Russian songs that you have never heard before. 
She's the girl who deserves an amazing man. 
She's just that girl that I can connect with and I see us in the future never loosing touch no matter if we are married or not. 
She's the girl who has the same dream as I.

That one girl is Mia.   

Time to Encompass

Words that encompass our trip to Russia:
Making every moment a yolo moment, eye-opening, becoming a family, love, miracles, hair flipping, "pray for me" face, Lake Baikal, pozi, ice cream, cookies, vafli, tea with cream, coffee and jam, smoked fish, the epic breaking bread picture, digging deep into the Word, journaling, Isabella, the power of God through prayer, the sound of a motorcycle, sleeping bags, the cross, Mia being thrown in the air, sharing Jorge, praying for Deanna, Awesome Guy Day, Night time story of Chuchilo, Jesus is my captain, bumpy roads, one amazing pastor, love story, never knowing the time, cute Asian looking ladies, writing songs, deep question time, splashing in the river, cows, ponchos, sliding down the stairs, wet wipes, buying plastic cups and bowls, relaxing on a log, the bear dog, those nineteen year olds, getting hit by lighting while holding princess umbrella, dancing at every moment, learning to chop like a pro, that one nap with the sound of rain hitting the tent sides, blowing up the banya, Dashenema drawing portrait of Dasha, Awesome Eddie day, fried potato breakfast, loosing the abtechka, eating a banana, Katya weeping her goodbyes one day and then coming back the next day to weep some more, "Ya Mami roskashu", writing "Redeemed" on church wall, that wedding song on the piano, Guysiki song, shopping, first impression discussion, guys throwing rocks all the time, talking to village girls, little Galya's face while she danced to our songs, Vlad's laugh, Anna eating, the hook up, our huddle after street evangelism, pretending Tolik was a rock star in Moscow, Valentine always encouraging us, the music video, mutant mosquitoes, giving away our clothes, Tay-Tay, doing interviews, always sharing, there was never a dull moment! ...             

These words and phrases may seem strange to you but each one has a story behind it. You have permission to ask questions if you are curious.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Excerpt from The Normal Christian Life

What is faith? Faith is my acceptance of God’s fact. It always has its foundations in the past. What relates to the future is hope rather than faith, although faith often has its object or goal in the future, as in Hebrews 11. Perhaps for this reason the word chose here is “reckon”. It is a word that relates only to the past- to what we look back to as settled, and not forward to as yet to be... This is faith- to believe that you have already got it... Faith always says, “God has done it.”

From where I am in the book right now, the author is dissecting Romans 6:6, and 6:11. I really got into this book during our airplane ride home from Russia and I've been reading it little by little since then. It's one of those books that you have to take in little by little. I highly recommend it. It's also one of those books where you underline sentences and jot down notes because Nee's insights are so simple and mind blowing. 

Friday, July 20, 2012

Miracle on West 30th Street

I was brainstorming ways to blog about Russia and thought ok I'll do Russia Part I then Part II and so on... but the idea just made me not want to write at all. That part by part thing just does not work for me and this trip. So I instead will share random moments worth sharing.

It was the beginning of the trip, in fact we had not left the country just yet. I was unsure of what to expect. We already drove to New York City and we had to simply pick up our Visas and passports. It sounds easy, but you have never had contact with the Russian National Group. They are strange. Whenever we called to set up our Visas, they would find a way to confuse us and say something different from the person we talked to five minutes ago. One said "You do not need a picture" the other said "You do need a picture" and much more. It was a painful process. So from our point of view, we had to pick up these important documents within a few hour time frame and catch our plane ride to Moscow and this would be a challenge with these people. Who knows... maybe they would change their mind again and say "You need your grandma's first dog and second cousin here in order to pick up these hyper-sensitive documents." and we would utterly fail and miss our flight. And be stuck in New York City for the next three weeks, pretending to be in Russia. (We began thinking about our Plan-B strategy just in case that happened).

We got to the building before the office opened so we stood around and got bagels and coffee. People would walk by and we would check if it was open once in a while. There was even a lady in a white dress who stood around with an eye-patched man. They kind of made out while we ignored them, waiting and worrying. Then Dasha and I went again into the elevator to go to the second floor to check if the office was open. This time the lady in the white dress joined us in the elevator. She got off on the second floor. Dasha and I looked at each other as she headed towards Russia National Group office door and started to open it with her keys. We, with much delight started talking to her (the office was still not to open for more than two hours or so), and she was the manager. After asking for our Visas and Passports, she simply handed them to us. Not only that, but she gave us all the other ones as well.

Looking back at the moment, it was awesome how God planned it all out. The manager was there early with eye-patched man, going into the same elevator as us, and handing us every single persons passport without questioning us. God is just awesome in the way He does things.

And He showed us that before we even crossed the border. In the journal Dasha called it "Miracle on West 30th Street (!!!)"... Well said Dasha.

More to come. :)

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Putting Up Cross in Buryatia, Russia 2012

I would really love to post more about Russia but I need some major down time to do that. So watch this video and you will feel like you were right there with us :) We were laughing at one point in the video because after Sergey's speech, he began walking in the wrong direction and someone said "Hе в ту сторону!"

 June 2nd, 2012 "I will never forget climbing the hill with the team, in Podlapatki. I had no idea that we were putting a cross on the hill. I got the change to nail in my first nail ever into the cross. Of course I failed horribly (shocker) and Tony had to help me. But as I was trying to nail in the nail I was imagining nailing my sins to the cross. My fears, doubts and burdens. It was a powerful and humbling experience." -Tanya

Sunday, July 1, 2012


Yes, I am blogging from Buryatia, Russia! Thank you so much for your prayers. I have personally seen God's hands move during this trip, and I believe intercessory prayer plays a major role in that! I have so much to say and have so little time. Because of that I want to simply share with you something that has branded my heart today.

After Sunday morning church service here in our home (we have been sleeping in this church for the past week) we went out to eat. Russia restaurants rock. Just sayin :) And since it is a day of rest and all, we decided check out the city. We went out to one of Lenin's statues. It was a rough part of town. When I say rough, that is quite the statement because Russia's "normal"= America's "rough" if you catch my drift. A man who lived in Seattle and moved to Buryatia with his family to be a full time missionary was our guide.

Here at the top of some steps, with cracked roads, graffiti and sad little houses below, we prayed. We raised our hands and prayed for Buryatia. The fire of God moved through us as we prayed, and I believe that more churches will be planted here sometime soon.

After this small excursion we visited the market to look around. On our way down one of the streets, I saw a one story building. The windows looked vintage, something I would instagram. Actually they were just very old and falling apart. In one of these windows something caught my eye from a distance. I can't deny that this thing that caught my eye was something that would be stuck with me forever. At this window stood a dirty little boy. Half naked and wide-eyed, he stared at us walking by. The window was a perfect size for him because as he stood, a part of the window opened for him to stick his head out a little. Our group all saw him but I lingered behind, thinking about what I could do for this little boy. I do not know who he was, I do not know if that building was an orphanage and I do not know if he was physically or emotionally abused. But I felt a deep sadness for this little being. I was engulfed in thought until I saw Nik stop at a little grandma's stand where she sat on the floor trying to sell random objects. There we actually found a toy truck. We bought it for 20p which is equal to about 63 cents. As Nik and I walked back to the window, I expected the little boy to jump with joy. But he did not. He could not say a word as we asked him his name and handed him the toy. In his dark eyes I wanted to see a hint of happiness, but I instead saw confusion. He took the toy and simply keeled down at the window pane and set it down near his knees. Then he pressed his face and hands into to window to stare at us. I can see his dirty little forehead and nose squishing into the glass, this image has been haunting me.

Since I am thinking about him anyway, I am praying for this little boy. I pray that he has a bright future, that the love of God would be shown to him. I also think of him at this moment as he holds this toy and thinks of the strange smiling people who gave it to him. I hope that he saw Jesus in us.