Mom and Dad are so proud! Our daughter, Sarah Virginia Wicker, graduated from Union University with a Bachelor of Arts in English and Psychology on May 23, 2009. Sarah, as you all know, is an amazing young lady. She finished her degree in 4 years despite a transfer and change in majors. She spent the last 2 years working as a Resident Assistant for one of the dorms and working at Union Station. She was there when the wind blew strong (tornado), assisted in the clean-up/rebuilding, and encouraged many through the difficult days that followed. She has been a faithful member and servant in her church- Cornerstone Community Church, as well as being the best big sister in the world. More than all that, Sarah loves her Lord and desires to serve Him with her all. To that end she has applied and been accepted into the Masters of Christian Counseling program at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas. She is now spending her summer in Jackson, TN working as a nanny and plans to begin her studies at SWBTS in the Fall. If you would like to send Sarah a note of congratulations her address is: Sarah Wicker 123 Fairmont Street Jackson, TN 38305
Phone – 870-736-0965 Email – firstname.lastname@example.org
Thank you all for your prayers for our family over the past few years and please join with us in celebrating this mile-post in her and our lives.
The following is a copy of a letter we mailed out to our colleagues today.
Dear Colleagues, Greetings from Moscow! It seems strange to be on this side of one of these letters, but here goes. With much prayer and consideration and after 10 years serving with the IMB in Russia, we have come to the conclusion that our time here has come to an end. We will be going on a leave of absence starting April 15, when our current visas expire. There are many contributing factors to this decision, but in the end, we believe this is simply the next step of our lifelong journey following the lead of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. We have been so blessed over these past years to work with some of the finest people on the planet. You have blessed us, ministered to us and helped us grow in our faith and we will treasure the memories we have made with so many of you. Please know that we will keep you, your families and your ministries in our prayers. We look forward to being back in North Arkansas for a while, living with and helping Tim’s mom and dad. We are excited about being closer to family for the next couple of months and are looking forward to Caleb coming home at the end of May when we can all celebrate Sarah’s graduation from Union University. After that, only the Lord knows. We sincerely love you all and wish you God’s very best. S’Bogum! The Wickers Tim, Lisa, Rachel and Tessa
Tim, Marc and Jimmy made it to Udmurtia today. Jack and Mark, pastors from Arkansas came in a couple of days ago to do a seminar on spiritual gifts. Tonight was the first session. Both men did a great job. Jack was even introduced as the "Bishop of Arkansas" - guess he was promoted since we left Arkansas last summer. We are here helping some, but mainly trying to get some video and pics for a piece on their ongoing partnership with the churches here. God is using partners like these guys all over the country of Russia. You don't even have to be a "Bishop" to help lead one. S'Bogum for now Tim
Had a good day yesterday. Met with the Senior Pastor and learned a lot about the Khanti and what God is doing among them. Plans were made for the week. Did a little night time sightseeing in Surgut. Right now it is minus 30 F outside. We are getting ready to head to the Surgut Museum of Local Lore to learn more about the history of the Khanti people. Thanks for praying for us on the trip and the family back in Moscow. S'Bogum Tim
Pull out a map - find Surgut, Russia. Hint - East of the Ural Mountains, Northwest Siberia. Oil fields, gas fields, and frozen tundra. Tim is headed there with Marc and Jimmy this evening to see about a partnership with the Russian Baptist church there working with the Khanti people group. Please pray for Lisa and the girls while Tim is gone. Pray for a safe trip for Tim and the team. And Follow the progress of the trip (if we have internet connection!) at: www.engagerussia.blogspot.com www.engagerussia.org S'Bogum Tim for the gang
Tessa turns 13! Our youngest is now a teenager. She is such a joy to have around. She is growing up so gracefully and is full of life and fun. Mom and Dad could not be more proud! Here she is on her b-day and with her BFF Ali.
A night or two before Caleb had to leave - one last trip to Red Square. Winter has finally settled in, it has been running in the teens Fahrenheit the past couple of weeks. For the most part we holed up, watched movies, tv, played games, and just enjoyed the warmth. Winter break is just about over for the kids. We aren't mentioning the "s" word just yet, still the weekend to go. The Engage Russia initiative is gaining momentum. Our team has expanded to Tim, Marc, Sarah D (doing research), and Jimmy B (photographer). Keep an eye on www.engagerussia.org - right now it is sending you to a blog, but soon and very soon it will be a full-fledged website with videos and prayer guides to download and use in your church. More later . . . Enjoy the weather, whatever it is - - -
New Years Eve 2009 - Red Square. It was a little insane. We got there about 11:40 PM. Red Square had been closed off for a long time. So we hung out with the THOUSANDS of other unfortunates on the streets outside of the Kremlin/Ohotni Ryad, downtown Moscow. Enjoy the short clip! Happy New Year!