Dear Mom and Dad, Yesterday, August 2, I was able to speak with Varia in prison. She was thin and pale, but her eyes were shining with the peace of God and an unearthly joy. My heart bleeds when I think about her. She is only nineteen. As a believer, she is still a spiritual babe. But she loves the Lord with all her heart and chose to take the most difficult road right away. Please pray for her. They have taken all her things away except the clothes she was wearing. We have taken up collections and sent her packages, but I dont think she receives all the things we send. When I asked Varia if she regretted what she did, she said, No, and if they free me I would do it again. Dont think that I suffer. I am glad that God loves me so much and gives me the joy to endure for his name. I thank God that we have the peace to understand this. If we are in Christ, no sufferings or frustrations should stop us. I can only pray that my faith would be as strong if I were in her place. We now believe that Varia will be sent to a labor camp in Siberia. I believe God will give her the strength she needs to endure. Your MariaChristianity is not a one hundred yard dash. It is an endurance marathon. Scripture teaches that there are times we soar like eagles and run without growing weary. However, there are also times in our lives where long, lonely stretches loom before us. At those times, we are doing well just to walk without fainting until we gather more strength. This is the image of those under persecution. During persecution, we are simply learning to take the next step without giving up. Simply enduring is a major victory that brings glory to God. If you are undergoing a trial you dont understand, hang on and hang in there. You are getting stronger each daysometimes without realizing it. Soon, you will soar again.