:: i love you ::

Friday, July 28, 2006

Israel and Lebanon

 Isreal and Hezbollah
:: Captured Hezbollah Flag ::
How do you respond to a conflict like this? How do you rationalize the loss of human life? How do you deal with state-sanctioned terrorists? How do you bomb buildings and cities? How do you call women and children 'collateral damage?' How do you face God after committing such atrocities?

I am at a loss of how to respond to war. I know how I felt when the US went to war in Afghanistan, and how I felt when we send our troops to Iraq to topple a dictator. But, several years on... I am at a loss of how to justify any loss of life. Where do you draw the border line on defense?

I think it is much easier to be a safe American and to think about war, then it is to be outside of our borders and to think about war.

Paul Hindalong made a comment that struck me last week while I was at camp. He is a bit older, and so its a bit more fresh for him. But he said... "And to think, these were the people we had our missiles pointed at just a few years ago."

He was referring to the missile crisis of the 1960's, when the US and Russia faced off in a 'cold war.' I'm glad that we never actually went to war, I'm glad that [apart from 9/11] we haven't had American cities razed by bombs. I'm glad that growing up I never had to do bomb shelter drills.

But, my heart cries out for those in Lebanon and in Israel. My heart cries out for loss of life in the Gaza Strip.

How are you responding? What do you think about this? How do Christians react in the face of war?

CNN Recap article here.

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Thursday, July 27, 2006

Athens Greece, ARC, Lost Coin, and Russia?

:: Athens Refugee Center ::
Pretty soon after I arrived here in Moscow, I was given a heads up to an exciting opportunity within our team here in Moscow. As I have spoken to many of you about, International Teams: Russia has recently (the end of last year) come into fruition. IT Russia will focus on sending Russians to the four corners of the world. They had planned to take a trip to Athens Greece to work with the Athens Refugee Center (ARC) and with the ministry Lost Coin, which reaches out to women involved in the sex trade and trafficking. Prostitution is legal in Greece, but many of those involved are not registered properly, and therefore do not have access to the rights of the unions or health benefits. Read about that here. Download a PDF that profiles Lost Coin's ministry here.

The trip last January did not pan out. The Russian's were denied the proper visas required to let them travel from Russia to Greece. Only one member of the team (an American) was able to go. The team has not lost hope in being able to move forward with this ministry however, and are currently in process of trying again.

I have been asked to join the team in going to Athens, Greece! There is currently six people who are planning to make the trip. Four Russians, Stacie Shopp and myself.

Specific Prayer is needed for these areas:

The travel visas for the Russians: It is a cumbersome process to get travel arrangements to most places in the world for Russians. We have applied with a tour agency to Greece. The visas required are simple tourist visas, and even those are a pain.

The cost: It is a bit higher then we were hoping. Most of the Russians already had about 800 USD raised from last time, the cost now is around 1200 USD. I will need to supplement my trip with little extra as well. Most of it I can extract from unused funds in my budget, but not quite all of it.

The trip will happen at the end of August, the trip is from August 29th - September 8th.

I will post more details and exact costs soon. Thanks for praying.

If you would like to give, please send support to:

International Teams
411 W River Rd.
Elgin, IL 60123

Please put a little note that says: 'Russian Short Term Trip to Greece.'
You can also give directly to me by putting: Chris Warren in your memo line.

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Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Welcome to our apartment!

:: our busted toilet
Thanks to my new favorite photo program, Picasa, which is free from Google, I have loaded a very brief photo tour of the apartment Brad and I have been staying in while in Moscow. Check out the apartment here.

Today was our first down day since arriving in Moscow. It was good to get some work done on the computer and... Its good that we were here anyway. The owner of the apartment called and wanted to come by and have a guy install a water meter. Its good that he came too, because our toilet is busted. But, now (right this moment, as a matter of fact) the owner is repairing the toilet. So, that is one work project that we can take off of our list. Sweet! If he gets done soon, Brad and I are going to go our for dinner... And it will be the first time all day that we have left the apartment. It feels good to be able to simply rest and read.

I have compiled all the photos that I can from the three of us interns and from a Russian who was at the last camp in one place. Check out that Picasa Web Album here.


Matt from Team Spain has been featured on IT's blog. Check it out here!

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Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Самара - Samara Camp

:: Samara Sunset Skyline ::
Here are some photos (and here is a slideshow of them) from the camp that we did with a church in Samara. The church is one of the largest Baptist churches in the city of Samara. We had a feedback meeting tonight on how the camp went from our perspective, and what God has been showing us so far.

... On the way to Samara our flight was delayed for 10 hours. It was pouring rain by the time we made it to the airport, but we didn't know we were delayed until after we passed security, and they didn't give us an expected departure, they just kept anoucing that more information was be available in 30 minutes. So, every 30 minutes, they announced that they would anounce again in 30 minutes. For... 10 hours. So, that explains the sunrise photo at the airport, when our flight was due to leave at 11pm. :) "...S7 Airlines apologize... *dong*"

:: Camp - Survivor Style ::
The leadership team for the camp was really incredible. We arrived on the desert island 2 nights before the kids came, so we could prepare everything. The leadership team was about 25 people (including the six of us from Moscow), but the 20 or so from the church in Samara work really well as a team. They really love each other. There were no official interpreters at the camp for the Americans to really interact with the Russians, but the couple leaders who spoke nearly fluent English really helped us out a lot. The kids were anxious to try out their English too, and so, we seemed to connect well. We focused our efforts on praying for and encouraging the Russian leadership, and it was evident that it was working well.

I seem to be in a whirlwind of activity... I think it will die down for the week by Wednesday, but by Saturday I will be getting ready to head to another tent camp. I will try and get some quality posts in by then. We are compiling our pictures from this trip and from Moscow in general and I will be getting a bunch of them on the net someplace soon. I am trying out Google's Picasa Web Albums for the current batch of pictures, but they have a storage limit (it increases considerably for $25.00/yr), and I am all about free stuff. So if anyone has a great place that they store their online photos, let me know. I need something that does batch uploading, editing, and some organization tools. I have pictures on Flickr, Photobucket, and now Picasa Web Albums.

Friday, July 14, 2006

Check out more photos on Flickr.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Sunset, at... 11:00pm

The View 2
:: The view from my apartment ::
A few more photos added. Check them out.

Below is the latest email update that I have sent out.

**the links in the email did not copy, most of link here or the photo page anyway.**

Hello Hello!

Greetings from Moscow!

I have had very little free time since arriving here in the city, we have had a whirlwind of people taking us for tours and helping us get around and get adjusted. Today we have had a bit of free time, so, I thought I would update you all.

I arrived here this past week, and have been getting settled into an apartment near the Orange Metro line. It is a nice, safe (relatively), reasonably clean and desirable area of Moscow. I am living with another summer intern, Brad. He is from Ohio, and will be working with us for about 6-8 weeks. The only problems so far are... there is no hot water in our apartment. Most apartments in Moscow go for a period of time in the summer without hot water, usually they are working on the pipes and the water systems. Also, our toilet leaks. Out of the tank... not the bowl, it seems to be an easy fix, if we ever get time to search for the part and replace it. :)

We did a bit of touristy type stuff yesterday and today, so there are photos on my Flickr page here. I also did a quick update on my blog last night. We will be going to the Kremlin and Red Square tomorrow morning.

Friday we will be flying to Samara, a city southeast of here (about 3 1/2 hours by plane), to put on a "wilderness camp." We will be living on an island with no electricity, no buildings, no modern - anything. Bathing in the river, sleeping in a tent... it should be pretty fun. :)

I have inherited a set of grandparents (so it feels like) Paul and Marti have been living here in Moscow for the past 6 years working with CBI and ASR pretty closely, they have been wonderful this past week with the three interns. Paul especially has helped us acclimate to the Metro and bus system that is essential for getting around. Marti will be sending out some specific prayer requests for Samara, so I will pass those along before we leave.

The team here is very very busy... and I promise that as soon as I figure out exactly who everyone is and what everyone is up to... I will send out a little bio of each person.

Prayer Requests:
- For Samara.
- The team (about 4-5 people) is considering taking a short term trip to Athens, Greece. I may be tagging along for that trip in early September.

Remember to check my blog for the latest updates. You can also subscribe to my RSS feed.

The latest photos are here.

Tell me - what is going on in your life?

Chris Warren


Wednesday, July 12, 2006


:: Moscow State University ::
So I'm here. I finally got some pictures uploaded here. Flickr caps off at 200 photos... (I am still unsure, but... I think that they simply archive them?), so I will keep uploading my newer photos... But my older ones will be going to Flickr Heaven. That is, unless someone wants to gift me with a Flickr Pro account... :) (my username is chrismwarren@gmail.com)

I am getting settled into my apartment on the sixth floor, near the Kon'Kovo Station of the Metro on the Orange Line. Its a pretty old apartment that a couple of missionary guys have been living in, one recently went home for good, and one is home for the summer. We have the place to ourselves (Brad and Myself).

Its almost 1:30 here... So I need sleep... Tonight Anton (find him in the pictures), is staying at our apartment, we have had a good time checking out music together and teaching each other new words in our native languages.

Good night friends.

Monday, July 03, 2006

Subway Crash here in Spain

:: Valencia, Spain ::
In the time that I have spent in this country, I have come to love the people here. So, when I see a story like this... It breaks my heart. There was a subway crash here in Spain this afternoon, and over 30 people are dead... Some people have speculated up to 45. I'm relieved to hear that terrorism has been ruled out. According to CNN, a wheel broke on the subway train, the train then crashed into the wall of the tunnel, and the wall fell on the train. This accident could have been much much worse, as many people were on the way home for lunch, and it occurred near a busy station.

A few people have emailed me and asked if I am ok... Yes. I am nowhere near Valencia, I am located on the west (Atlantic) coast of Spain, and Valencia is on the east (Mediterranean) coast.

The Pope was scheduled to visit Valencia this coming weekend. I hope that this accident does not scare anyone away from going to Valencia to visit The Pope. More then ever, we need to pray for these people.

Terra Nova
:: Terra Nova ::
Many Spaniards simply do not think about religion at all. The little they have been exposed to is either a) an ineffective and stagnant Catholic Church, or b) a scary, cult-like evangelical smothering. They do not count it as important. Especially the young generation. That is why places like Cafe Terra Nova are such important meeting and connection places here in this culture. Please pray for the cafe here. They are struggling to survive in a very competitive environment, they want more then ever to remain open, and they would love to see this happen simply by being more profitable. €There is a sea of unexpected business complications that have continued to plague the cafe, they are getting more treacherous to negotiate. Pray for Spain.