Thanks to all who prayed for our Millennial Convocation, which took place in December. One grand scale answer to your prayers was God’s provision of visas. In fact, we were told there was no way the government would grant visas to our staff from the CIS. After all, we were bringing over entire families and therefore people could be tempted to remain in the United States illegally. Sadly, one staff worker and one spouse did not receive visas. Yet God was still glorified as all the rest of our staff and their families did receive visas! We were overjoyed to meet more than 40 of our brothers and sisters from Russia and Ukraine—praise the Lord!

The first few days, many of us were in a daze. It was amazing to see our entire missionary staff (minus one) gathered, speaking different languages, praising the Lord and looking ahead to our five-year task of reaching every city (outside of Israel) where 25,000 or more Jewish people live.

Messiah’s Shofar” is our Russianspeaking music team. When we heard them singing songs like “Behold God is My Salvation” in their ownlanguage, we thought how Stuart Dauermann, former longtime staff member who wrote the song, would have enjoyed hearing their voices blend in the familiar melody and harmony. The team performed some of our old standbys as well as some new music they have written. We were blessed by their dedication and creativity, as well as that of the entire Russian-speaking contingent. Also we were blessed by their patience in wearing the headsets that made simultaneous translation into Russian possible.

The convocation was packed with great teaching from some wonderful men and women of God who gave up their time to be with us. We had workshops from the staff as well, covering practical lessons from “Avoiding Leadership Mistakes” (by a leader who candidly discussed lessons he learned the hard way), to workshops on what it means to be set apart for service to God.

Perhaps the most important prayer is one we really should not discuss overmuch, and that is how we prayed for God to work in our hearts. It may not be wise to publicize that which has to do with people’s personal spiritual lives. Humility, which we need beyond measure, goes out the window so easily when we talk about God doing this or that in our hearts and lives. But for those of you who prayed that God would be present and would be in us during this time, we do want to thank you. Many of us did meet with God in a special way during the Millennial Convocation. We need you to keep praying that God will continue a work He began there, and that it will bear fruit as we serve God and one another. Pray that God will continue to transform us more into the image of His Son, as we reach out to the lost with the good news that God wants to save His people from their sin.