Friday, February 29, 2008

Prayer Requests

The prayer of a person living right with God
is something powerful to be reckoned with.
(James 5:16)

Please Pray:

1) N. 19 yrs old – left rehab program on Wednesday for some guy she met while in the hospital, the day before she was supposed to visit her daughter. Please pray that God will protect her from harm and that she will come back into the program.

2) E. has been denied parental rights of her daughter. According to court she cannot appeal.

3) M family was all very close to God once. Now the family is all falling apart with one child often in psycho ward, one in group home, and others not well taken care of, and the mother so bitter that she is totally oblivious to the destruction in her family. They have all turned away from God.

4) We're starting Sidewalk Sunday School next month. Please pray that God will give us as a team wisdom as to how better reach people this upcoming semester.

5) P. used to come to church faithfully every week. Now she cannot get on the bus because of the problems with her back. Please pray for healing.

6) my green card situation is still unresolved... so if you're not weary yet - please keep praying

Six-month-a-versary :)

What a word... basically to say that Bryan & I have been dating for 6 months.

A friend of Bryan's from Arizona sent him some money with a note "Do something fun with Helen". We decided to take this money and use it to celebrate our six months together.

After some discussion we decided to go to The View - the revolving restaurant in the middle of Times Square. Here're some pics.

Thursday, February 28, 2008


It's 20 degrees that feels like 9 (because of the wind)... and it's cold out there...

Bryan had to be introduced to "babushka style" when he forgot his hat :)

Other than that - it's all good. Tomorrow we'd have been dating for 6 months (oi).

I will be leaving for my last Connect Group in Palladia rehab today. I'm sad about it because I loved spending time with the ladies and sharing God's love with them and I will miss that. I'm happy because I know that Ali will keep going there. Please pray for the ladies to keep growing in God.

God bless you!

Monday, February 25, 2008

The Happiest Place On Earth

Disneyland is a work of love.

How could I say I have visited California without seeing Disneyland... Bryan & I were blessed by his family with passes to Disneyland for the time we were there.

I have very mixed feelings about Disneyland. There're things about the grandeur of it all that bothered me a bit. Yet, I can't help but admit that Disneyland very well could be one of the happiest places on earth. Being there, going on all the rides, seeing characters, shows, even landscaping was a very special treat for the little girl inside of me.

I wonder if there's anything in Disneyland that doesn't come in mickey shape :)

Random Thought: As I read Disneyland's catchphrase "The Happiest Place on Earth" I couldn't help but wonder - why can't the church be the happiest place on earth. I think it should be...

Andrei & Sarah's Wedding

There is nothing more admirable
than two people who see eye-to-eye
keeping house as man and wife,
confounding their enemies,
and delighting their friends.
(Homer, 9th century BC)

I have just returned from a great vacation in California. Bryan & I had to go to a wedding of our dear friends - Andrei & Sarah. We met them at Metro and their relationship helped us develop our friendship.

Andrei & Sarah + Bryan & I
Their wedding was so beautiful & personal. It was so wonderful to see them commit their lives to each other. A new experience for me was being in the wedding party.

I never could have thought how many little details are there to keep track of. Oi...

It's you I like,
It's not the things you wear.
It's not the way you do your hair,
But it's you I like.
The way you are right now
The way down deep inside you
Not the things that hide you
Not your diplomas...
They're just beside you.
But it's you I like,
Every part of you,
Your skin, your eyes, your feelings,
Whether old or new.
I hope that you'll remember
Even when you're feeling blue,
That it's you I like,
It's you yourself, it's you
It's you I like!
(Mr Rogers)

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Palladia Valentines Party

Our Connect Group in Palladia Rehab is happening every Thursday.
This week it meant we were having it on Valentines Day. So we decided to throw the ladies (and gentlemen) a Valentines Party... to protect the ladies I have decided not to post any pictures here that could easily reveal their identity...

... instead - here's the picture of cupcakes we made for them :)

They were so happy. Bryan & I made little Valentines for them (with God asking them to be their Valentine), and they were so excited like you wouldn't believe it. Some kept repeating that they wouldn't eat "God candy" and keep it forever :) One said that this was the best gift she's received in a long while... Please continue to pray for these wonderful ladies to grow in the knowledge of Christ.

I want to know what love is...

This year was my very first real Valentines Day (very American thing that is slowly finding its way into countries of the former Soviet Union now but was not common while I lived there). I wasn't quite sure what to expect or what was expected from me. Everyone was giving me ideas as to what a perfect Valentines Day should consist of. My heart was pounding. What was I going to do?

I guess I was so overwhelmed by the pressure to make it perfect that I didn't do much (oops). I did make a decent Valentines Day breakfast... hope that counts...

Bryan seemed to like his heart-shaped pancakes (oi, a little while back I would laugh at anyone who'd do something like that and now look at me...)

Bryan, on the other hand, exceeded all my expectations (or whatever ideas i might have had in my head about what it would be like)... I got it all - card, chocolate, flowers...

... and a lot of undivided attention... and that's only in the morning.

After work, I came over to Bryan's house and he had a candlelight dinner set up for me...

...and we even had homemade chocolate fondue
The craziest thing we've done: we started watching Hitch and there's that scene there that has Sarah and her friend at Rice to Riches. We look at each other and...

It was wonderfully spontaneous. After Rice to Riches we walked down to Battery Park and then took a train to our respective homes.
The sweetest thing: Ephithany (a teenager from the Bronx who insists on calling us Mom & Dad) wrote Bryan a step-by-step Valentines Day instructions. so cute :)
So there's most of my Valentines Day adventures. I will post some news on my Valentine Day Party @ Palladia Rehab in a separate post.

Monday, February 11, 2008

The Battle Cry

Over this weekend I have gotten an opportunity to help out at the Acquire the Fire event for the Greater New York area.

It was quite an experience. When we first came to the Continental arena - it was empty...

... yet just a few hours later it was FILLED with teenagers and youth ministers. Some of our young people from church attended as well...

The event was called The Battle Cry... for the young generation of people who do not know Christ. In the words of Ron Luce, the founder of Teen Mania Ministries and Acquire the Fire, "With the battle for their hearts and minds more fierce than ever before, this generation is at a crossroads moment that will shape the future of our country."

We worked really hard, my feet were burning by the end of the day, and I barely had any time to sleep... but it was totally worth it.

Friday, February 8, 2008

My Reads

I like reading so I thought I'd share with you what I'm reading from time to time...

My friend Deanna gave me this book, and I've been so busy that it's been sitting on my shelf for a while. Then it migrated to my desk (mainly because she was visiting and wanted to read it too). Finally I have started reading it.

Even though the struggles described by the author may not be as intense in your life, the principle, however, is true. We (men and women) are very much influenced by the society and the standards it introduces. Oftentimes we refuse to step out and be the best we can be for God because we're insecure in ourselves.
Here's a quick random quote from the book: "A gentle and quiet spirit is exhibited as you place your complete trust in God. When a woman stops struggling to be what everyone else thinks she should be, and instead lets herself enjoy what God wants her to be, she portrays a gentle and quiet spirit."


The new book by Pastor Sunday Adelaja, CHURCHSHIFT and its corresponding CHURCHSHIFT GUIDE are available starting TODAY (!), February 8, 2008.

I have copied the information below from their book launch web-site ( Also my blog has a link to pastor Sunday's church web-site (God Embassy) - check it out!

The fabric of American culture is in decay – evident to people from outside the US even more than those of us inside the nation. We CAN stop the moral slide by helping to reform 1000 churches of all denominations.

When you help the revolution by purchasing CHURCHSHIFT during February 8-22, we will give you a FREE 12-month membership to, so you may access online the resources of Pastor Sunday's world-changing video and audio messages.

February 8-22 – especially February 8-10!!!
1) click the links below, or in the sidebar to the left.
2) Forward your receipt to
3) You will receive an email from us with your login information to access ALL of Pastor Sunday’s online English messages!

That's it! Three easy steps to help change the nation by helping to change the way we "do church"!

Ten Benefits of CHURCHSHIFT!
CHURCHSHIFT will help transform nations by introducing a new way to do church.
CHURCHSHIFT reveals how to “pastor without tears.”
CHURCHSHIFT helps avoid splits and division.
CHURCHSHIFT changes our view of our ministry.
CHURCHSHIFT inspires us to believe for supernatural outcomes.
CHURCHSHIFT equips church members to impact the seven spheres of society.
CHURCHSHIFT teaches Kingdom values for societal transformation.
CHURCHSHIFT activates the potential of the local church.
CHURCHSHIFT helps change nations by emerging from four walls of a church building.

Palladia Update

So Ali & myself went to Palladia again yesterday, and we're back to our regular time in the afternoon. But what's even more amazing is that all the ladies who signed a request to come to church on Sunday got approved. So if you prayed - THANK YOU. And if you didn't you should because obviously prayer works.

Sidenote for all of you who is unfamiliar with our ministry. Every year Metro Ministries hosts what is called a Night of 100 Stars. We invite approximately 100 ladies from different rehabilitation centers in NYC. The ladies are recovering from drug & alcohol addictions, life of prostitution and abuse. For a day we pamper them (do their hair, nails, make up, take their portraits) and then in the evening do a banquet in their honor. In years past most ladies were responsive to the gospel but because of the lack of follow up they have fallen back into their old ways. This year Ali was able to establish good connections and we've been able to come weekly to talk to them and bring them to church. It's amazing for me to see how excited these ladies are to go to church.

Yesterday Ali asked them if they'd still keep going to our church if we stopped feeding the and do other things. 90% of the ladies raised their hands. Praise God!

Please pray for my friend Earnestine from the rehab. Yesterday she found out that her sister was severely beating Earnestine's 8-year old daughter. Earnestine had a meeting yesterday where she was told that she can't get her daughter back after the rehab. Final decision. No appeal allowed. Earnestine was devastated. When I talked to her, she said, "That's too much of a price to pay for smoking crack"... do pray for her as the only dream that kept her motivated to stay in the program - a chance to reunite with her daughter and start a new normal life - seems to have been crushed.

Monday, February 4, 2008

Prayer Requests

Please Pray:
1) for the ladies and gentlemen in Palladia Rehab Center - we've recently seen a lot of opposition there... they've moved our connect group and just yesterday they've cancelled our church pick up... it's so important to be able to keep coming back to them every week and nurture them in God's love... a lot of these people have such hunger for God because they see that He alone could help them
2) for my green card - it's taking a bit too long and i need a definite answer soon to be able to stay and continue my ministry in US

Quick January Update

I'm not much of a blogger and I don't have regular access to a computer - but I will do my best to keep up with it...

So here's a quick scoop on what happened in my life this past month:

Part 1: Arizona

Yes - that's right. My year started in the warm state of Arizona. I was able to go there to meet Bryan's family and see the Grand Canyon.

Dream come true... Here's a picture of the two of us @ the Grand Canyon. Grand Canyon was very beautiful... and very cold...

Part 2: Back in NY

After I came back from my vacation, I set into 2 weeks of intense lesson writing. We've been working on a set of lessons for Sidewalk Sunday School for the year 2008. I am able to visit my Sunday School kids again (that's exciting). There're a lot of things happening in church. The main ministry news for January is that God has opened a door for me to be able to help in a Connect Group in Palladia Rehab Center in the Bronx. Most of the ladies from there came to our Night of 100 Stars in December, and it's been a true blessing to be able to keep coming to them and ministering to them. We're planning a Valentine's Party for them in February - hopefully I'll have some pictures.

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