Eshelmans Return from Russia Mission
Cecil Eshelman, formerly of Pinehurst, returned recently to Moore County with his family after serving three years as an Assembly of God missionary in Khabarovsk, Russia (a city located in the Russian Far East, not far from Japan).
"There are lots of villages in Russia with no church presence," says Eshelman, 45, who gave recent presentations at Vineyard Assembly of Tramway, Sandhills Assembly of Southern Pines and Mosaic Ministries of Aberdeen. He and his wife, Tonya, who grew up in the former U.S.S.R., told of working with Russian orphanages, churches and homeless people.
"I saw a Bible for the first time when I was 24," says Tonya Eshelman, who says she became a Christian while translating a sermon for missionaries. She met Eshelman when he, on a short-term mission trip, visited her home town in Siberia. They have three children: Tim, 10; Vera, 8; and Deanna, 7.
The Eshelmans served previously in the Republic of Georgia and say they know soldiers in both the Georgian and Russian armies.
"I've preached in South Ossettia," says Eshelman, noting that Russia spans 11 timezones.
The Eshelmans plan to live for a year in Greensboro, confirm financial support as they speak in U.S. churches, and return to Khabarovsk for another three-year assignment, they say.
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