david maxey

November 14, 2007

Police Raid

Filed under: Uncategorized — davidmaxey @ 11:57 am

There is a chronic shortage of parking space in Khabarovsk. Due to rampant care theft, it is unthinkable to leave one’s car parked outside on the street. Instead, people pay more than $3/night to park their cars in a guarded parking lot, or, if they own a garage, they park it in the garage. The problem is that literally every new day ushers in more and more new vehicles, and, consequently, the guarded parking lots are overflowing with cars. The only option left is to purchase a garage. However, in order to purchase a garage you have to have a plot of land to put it on (remember most people live in apartment complexes here), and getting a plot of land “legally” can be almost impossible. Therefore, if you are a car owner and you can’t find a free space in a guarded parking lot, you don’t own a garage, and you don’t want to leave your car out on the street for thieves to steal, well, you’re going to have to get creative fast, which is precisely what a lot of people are doing. Their creativeness is generally manifested in a form of 21st century squatting, which basically entails occupying a small plot of vacant land which doesn’t belong to you and building a garage on it.

Just a few days ago, we were assaulted by garage squatters near the church’s property. Right outside of the gates that lead onto our church’s property there is a tract of vacant land that serves as a small buffer zone between our property and the road that it is situated off of. Apparently, this buffer zone was simply to tasty a morsel for a car owner to resist, and a few days ago, we were rudely interrupted from our work by the grind of heavy machinery. We managed to dash out of the church office just in time to see an huge crane lift a bunker-style, concrete garage into place right outside our gates. In response we called the police. What happened next came as a complete surprise.

First, the police were late. The garage was already installed when they arrived. Second, they did little more than give the offending squatter a legal “slap” on the wrist, which is basically a one time fine of about $30. Third, after they slapped the squatter, they turned their attention on us, the ones who called them on the scene. Two policemen stormed into our office building, and began demanding that we show them all our church’s official documents, by-laws, etc. I was proud of our accountant/children’s minister, Olga, as she unsheathed her rapier wit and began to demand that they produce their ID, a warrant, etc. Eventually, we all cooled down and they left in one piece, but it was surreal to say the least. It turns out that the police harrassed the very people that they were sworn to serve and protect, and the crimial element, the squatter, was left practically untouched and in possession of a garage in a prime location. It’s no wonder that the police are not well-loved by the general population.

After they had gone, I asked the staff to gather for prayer. In the face of hurt feelings and negativity, I felt that it was crucial to respond with good and blessing. The Bible encourages us to overcome evil with good. So, we began to proclaim blessings upon these civil servants in response to their hostility. One thing I can say for sure, when we were finished I felt like an overcomer instead of a door mat. You can’t lose by practicing the Word!

November 8, 2007

Adventure with a Pesky Office Chair

Filed under: Uncategorized — davidmaxey @ 6:16 am

Not too long ago, I posted a blog about my personal office and how it was sparsely decorated. Now, I can shout the victory about how God has provided us with the finances to buy new office furniture. Right now, in fact, I am sitting behind my brand new desk, perched on a imitation leather swivel chair with height adjustment. Just behind me is the first book shelf I have owned since moving to Khabarovsk 8 years ago. It is stuffed with books like “100 Legendary Knives” to “The Art of Prayer”. It really is a miracle to me how great our God is, how generous and caring. Just a few short months ago, our office was empty.

In addition to my office, there is another office room for our accountant/children’s pastor – Olga Kolesnikova and for our administrator/orphan ministry leader – Sveta Malcheva.  Their office is even smaller than mine, but by a miracle of engineering ingenuity they have managed to both fit into it. Not only that, but we bought them new furniture too. Each has a dark, cherry-wood desk and the same kind of swivel chair that I have. In fact, Olga’s swivel chair is the point of this post…

Right after we bought Olga’s chair and she had spent some quality time “breaking it in”, it became apparent that the chair had a defect. Namely, the padding on the chair’s back began to pull away from the plastic frame. In lieu of this discovery, we contacted the furniture store and asked them to come and repair/replace the faulty chair back. Promptly a delivery van pulled up to our office, removed the guilty part and drove away, promising to return the next day with a new replacement part.

The following day, the delivery truck again materialized at our doorstep. Two men in blue coverall’s came in caring the new replacement part, fitted it on the chair and left. After they had gone, we poked and prodded the new chair back and discovered that it had the same defect as our old chair back. In fact, after close examination we discovered that it was exactly the same chair back they had removed the day before! They had just wiped it down with a damp rag and returned it in exactly the same condition it was in when they took it.

As I was pondering this event, it donned on me that this is precisely the way the world and its lusts operate – they promise you everything, but in the end their promises are empty and unsubstantial. There really is only one true answer and His name is Jesus! Jesus has the power to take a broken, sinful life and make it a new creation. He won’t just wipe away a few streaks of grease and a film of dust from the surface of your life – He gives you a brand new life that is perfectly created in His image and holiness. What a deal!

Court Date

Filed under: Uncategorized — davidmaxey @ 5:43 am

I suppose that it would be redundant of me to apologize for not posting in a long time. Although, since we recently installed a wireless ADSL connection in the church office, it is much easier for me connect and therefore post. Hopefully, you’ll be hearing from me more frequently.

Some people take there blogs incredibly seriously and put a lot of work into them. I am one of those people that use their blog as a cyber cork board, intended to be used for tacking up random tidbits of information. Eventually, I hope to be tacking up pictures we well as text.

Anyway… to the point! This Friday we have a court date scheduled for 12:00 p.m. Hopefully, a final decision will be made and it will be in our favor. Since November 11th is our church’s birthday, I can’t imagine a better present then to obtain our land as private property. Our faith is strong. Our confidence is high. We are surrounded by the favor of God. We shall overcome by God’s grace.

A victory in the court of law by a Protestant church in Orthodox Russia would have a huge resonance in our city and throughout the land. It would be a victory for every Protestant church that faces extreme opposition from the Orthodox church and from the authorities in general. Not only that, but it would be a huge step forward for our church. I can’t imagine anything that would strengthen our faith more than a solid win. At any rate, we believe that God’s care for us and His provision will never falter.

As soon as we know the outcome of the court decision, we shall let you know. Let’s stand in faith and see the salvation of the Lord!    

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