Tuesday, August 26, 2008
The above 3 pictures were taken a couple of weeks ago when we attended some closings at village water projects which were funded by the Church and are now completed. We accompanied the Fluckigers from Idaho, fellow humanitarian missionaries - they did all the work with these projects - and invited us thinking we would be replacing them - but this week we received word that a couple from Blackfoot, ID are coming - happy news! This is of most of the senior missionaries in the village of Odzoon, one of the countless Armenian monastaries in the background. We all listened to the local priest do his chant inside the 4th century structure and then upon his invitation we sang "I am a Child of God" with some harmony. We were en route to our Senior conference that didn't really ever happen due to the Russian/Georgian conflict that same weekend. Our Mission President had to evacuate all the missionaries out of Georgia later that same day. In fact he even saw a couple of planes in flames on his way to T'blisi. This kind of news is not good for recruiting senior missionaries to Europe East Area! Things are still up in the air as to when the Georgia missionaries will be permitted to return - right now they are tagging around with the Armenia elders until they get word to go back. One of the senior couples that was up there has been sent to Prague to process missionaries from Russia coming there every 90 days to renew their visas. We will also be receiving missionaries from Russia renewing visas. We were told that 8 will come every week for the next year - all this air fare must be costing the Church tons of money. Russian law actually states that all foreigners have to return to their country of origin every 90 days and remain there for 90 days before returning to Russia, but as of now the law is not being fully enforced. It is easy to see why the Church now only calls missionaries to serve in Russia from Eastern Europe. All is well here in Armenia.