Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Reflections from a Writer in Moscow

It seems there is a problem in the stratosphere and I'm not currently able to update my website.  

But I really wanted to get a newsletter update to the world so I am posting it here.  It's not exactly the same voice as my blog, but I think you'll like it ok.

Let me know if you have any questions or if you'd like to partner with me for the next year in Moscow.   I know God will bless you in return.  
Reflections from a Writer in Moscow
May / June 2014
Kris A. Newman

Greetings from Moscow!

I trust that you are enjoying the same lovely spring/summer weather as we have been blessed with in Moscow.  They tell me it is unseasonably warm and I’m ok with that.  It is incredible how quickly God can change the landscape from winter to summer. 

Although the regular school session ended on May 30, we still have three weeks of summer school classes to manage before I am free to come home.  The end of the year, of course, causes me to reflect on this season of my life.  One year ago I had no intention of leaving Thorp for any reason, I enjoyed working at the law firm in Eau Claire, loved the writing assignments for 5ive for Women magazine.  My life had fallen into a very predictable pattern.

I had no idea that God was setting a new thing in motion that would change everything.  I never imagined I would be in a classroom with students from literally around the world.

I am humbled that He chose me to be here this year.  When I consider the many new friendships and connections He has provided with people from all over the world, I am humbled.  When I consider the conversations about His grace I have been able to share with honest, transparent seekers, I am humbled.  When I consider the healing I have received for my back when “just one more prayer” was prayed, I am humbled.  God has been good to me this year.  In return, I hope that I have used the right words, shown the greatest amount of love, returned good at every hand and been a vessel of honor for His glory. 

My return flight lands in Minneapolis at approximately 6:00pm on June 25th.  I have to tell you, I’m looking forward to a lot of American faces and places.  And yet, I know I’m not quite done here. 

Moscow is a hard city in many ways.  It takes a lot to build a foundation of trust.  There is a long history in this country of hurt, deceit and treachery.  It’s ingrained in their culture. To find the beauty, one must look beyond the walls, reach beyond the surface. You can’t Photoshop reality.  I have done my best to reach out and make several connections with people around the city.  They are from many facets of life.  Mostly, they want to practice their English with me and, in return, help me with my Russian.  However, I have lived long enough to know that every friendship made is an opportunity to share grace.
This point was driven home for me at Easter time.  On Good Friday we had a special devotion where the students each read a portion of the Easter story from the Children’s Bible.  As we read, we discussed what the story meant.  At the conclusion, the Sudanese Muslim girl looked at me with eyes wide, “Does that say that Jesus died for me?  For all of us?” 

I assured her that is exactly what it meant.  She became very quiet and thoughtful for the rest of the day. 

When it was time for dismissal she had one more question.  “Miss Kris, that story about Jesus, is it real or is it fake?” 

Clearly, God has sent me here for a purpose.

But, as always is the case with God, there is never only one job to be done.  I have also been actively involved with the United Pentecostal Church of Moscow and the local missionaries, the Robert Moses family.  Using my limited computer skills, I helped them create a website for the church among other sundry tasks to enhance their visibility in the community.  Due in part to this exposure, several saints from the Philippines and one from Venezuela have been added to our church family here.
As an Associate in Missions with another year-long teaching contract before me, I am excited to see what the next school year will bring.   However, this can only happen if I raise the necessary budget to cover another year on the field.  I do receive a salary from the school, but it doesn’t quite cover the cost of living in one of the most expensive cities in the world.  My budget for the upcoming year is $13,700. 

I am also in need of prayer partners.  There is no such thing as having too many people praying, and I appreciate the words of encouragement and support received more than words can say.

As we close off another Moscow month, here are the current prayer requests:

Pray for strength and wisdom for the Filipino sisters who are attending our services.  They often travel for three hours to attend service.  Their lives here are very difficult.  Often they only have one day a week off from work and it generally isn’t on Sunday.  Pray that they will be able to attend services.    
Pray for safe travels for me and my colleagues as many of us are heading out of Moscow for the summer. 
Pray for us to be able to bridge the cultural gaps as we share the Word.
Pray for my students to continue to seek God for themselves.

Thank you for everything.  Your prayers and support mean a lot to me.  There are days I feel like I’m being carried on someone else’s strength and I know it’s your prayers at work.  Drop a note to me here or through my e-mail at

Also, please visit the church website and see what’s happening in Moscow.

In His Service,