Arrival in Kazakhstan

I arrived in Karaganda on Wednesday morning, early (6 a.m.) after an all night flight. I spent about 10 minutes trying to get through passport control. It seems that when I left the country in June 2005, they forgot to stamp my passport, and they were trying to figure if I ever left the country. Of course, I could have shown him the stamps in my passport to America, Budapest (twice), Prague, Germany and Kiev (several times!).

After he let me in the country, I had a wonderful breakfast waiting me at James and Julie Kim. It was great to see them. James took me to my apartment, and I tried to sleep, but could not. Later the Kim’s took me to the grocery store. Then I had lunch with my friend, Max.

Later, I tried to rest some more, but I guess I was too pumped up about being in Kstan that I could sleep. I got up and prepared what I was going to share at the evening service. James had arranged for Saltanat to translate for me. Winds up that I didn’t really need her and the service ran long and I only had about 10 minutes to share.

Thursday, I met with James and Vanya. Then I took Vanya with me to eat lunch with another friend, Zhenya. Zhenya was a tremendous help to me when I lived in Karaganda last year. Zhenya got married while I was gone, so we had much to catch up on.

Later I met with another friend, Geidar and then I went to play basketball with the guys I played with last year. Unfortunately, there were only 5 of us and so we played 2 on 3, full court. I don’t think I have ever played full court with such few people! I was tired and VERY sore the next day.

Friday, I got the car and went to several stores to get some things for the apartment. Then I met with the folks at the computer firm. Many of them speak English, and so we got together so that they could practice their English.

The internet connection here is slow and I have been trying to use it at home, but I keep getting disconnected. So, it has been a little frustrating. I have found an internet cafe that will allow me to use my own computer, which makes it more useful for me to download my emails onto my computer!

Monday I am going to Astana to meet with several brothers who are wanting to start new churches in the capital city. Pray for God to speak to all of us to see if this is where the Lord wants me to join Him in His work.