Tuesdays With Moisi ~Collages

Yesterday May 25th, 2020 would have been Moisi’s 97th birthday. I threw together these collages from photos I could access off my current computer. They are not in any particular order from the Nineteen Forties thru 2018.

This was Moisi’s last birthday on this earth. He was 95 in 2018 and he died in June of 2018.

 

The Fellowship of the Unashamed

I am part of the “Fellowship of the Unashamed.”
The die has been cast. I have stepped over the line.
The decision has been made. I am a disciple of
Jesus Christ. I won’t look back, let up, slow down,
back away, or be still. My past is redeemed, my present
makes sense, and my future is secure.

I am finished and done with low living, sight walking,
small planning, smooth knees, colorless dreams,
chintzy giving, and dwarfed goals.

I no longer need pre-eminence, prosperity, position,
promotions, plaudits, or popularity. I now live by
presence, lean by faith, love by patience,
lift by prayer, and labor by power. My pace
is set, my gait is fast, my goal is Heaven, my
road is narrow, my way is rough, my companions few,
my Guide reliable, my mission clear. I cannot be bought,
compromised, deterred, lured away, turned back,
diluted, or delayed.

I will not flinch in the face of sacrifice, hesitate in the
presence of adversity, negotiate at the table of the enemy,
ponder at the pool of popularity, or meander
in the maze of mediocrity.

I am a disciple of Jesus Christ. I must go until
Heaven returns, give until I drop, preach until all know,
and work until He comes. And when He comes to get
His own, He will have no problem recognizing me.
My colors will be clear.

~

 The Author of this work is a Rwandan man in 1980 who was forced by his tribe to either renounce Christ or face certain death. He refused to renounce Christ, and was killed on the spot. The night before he had written the commitment “The Fellowship of the Unashamed” which was found in his room. Bob Moorehead had written this in his book “Words Aptly Spoken” c. 1995

Paul said: For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes…Romans 1:16

Our pastor quoted this piece at the end of his sermon for Memorial day this past Sunday. I thought it was appropriate to post on this Tuesday With Moisi. Moisi never looked back after becoming a disciple of Jesus Christ his Lord. He was not ashamed of the Gospel.

Tuesdays With Moisi ~ The Checkbook

This photo of our parents with grandchildren was taken at our sister Kathy’s house in Whittier. Our sons, Kathy’s daughters and Vera’s daughter and son.

On the deck of our first home in Washington state. My parents came to visit with my sister Kathy and her daughters. Dear’s mom, Verna, was living with us.

Neither of my parents were formally educated. When they came to the USA they had to learn the English language and they also had to pick up reading skills and writing skills. For much of my early childhood my parents used cash for everything. Bills were paid at a store in Montebello that took care of those types of transactions. Water, gas, electricity, phone, etc. all paid with cash. Other payments were made at a bank.

When my parents finally got a checking account to help our pop out I wrote out every transaction he would need to know that he could keep inside his checkbook. I showed him how to fill out a check.

Ten dollars and 50/100

Four hunderd fifty and 00/100 etc. etc.

All in cursive.

It was a long list of possible check amounts that he might need to write.

A long time after I did this he showed me that he still had that sheet where I had written out all those possible check amounts for him. Over the years he learned how this all worked and didn’t need my list anymore but he kept it.

Love the fact that he was known for having his checkbook in his shirt pocket!

Tuesdays With Moisi ~ Melissa’s Tribute

This is a photo and tribute our niece Melissa wrote about her Dzeda, our Pop, Moisi, on May 7, 2014.

“My Deda….he loves his Bible. Tonight he told me that he doesn’t rush when he reads. ‘I meditate on it,’ he says. His goal from now on is to start memorizing more of it. He’ll be 91 at the end of the month and questioning his purpose on this earth without Baba is a daily struggle. Yet despite his broken heart, he has never lost sight of what is truly important. He presses on, striving to live for Christ every single day. The man never ceases to amaze me. He is a true inspiration.”

This photo was taken of our Pop in his bedroom when he was still living in the senior apartment in Brea, California. He would soon move in with our oldest sister and her family, Melissa’s mom.

My prayer for you is that if you are meditating that you would only meditate on the Word of God, something from the Bible.

“Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer.” Psalm 19:14

“For it is you who light my lamp; the Lord my God lightens my darkness.” Psalm 18:28

“My son, be attentive to my words; incline your ear to my sayings. Let them not escape from your sight; keep them within your heart. For they are life to those who find them, and healing to all their flesh. Keep your heart with vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life.” Proverbs 4:20-23

“Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me -practice these things and the God of peace will be with you.” Philippians 4: 8-9

Tuesdays With Moisi ~ Katie and Andrew’s Wedding 2012

This last week our daughter and her husband celebrated 9 years of marriage. Katie and Andrew were legally married at the magistrates office in Jacksonville, North Carolina before Andrew’s 1st deployment to Afghanistan. We planned a marriage ceremony and celebration one year later in Seattle. That weekend in March of 2012 was packed with gatherings of family and friends who came from near and far to celebrate. We were so grateful to God that Katie’s Babushka and Dzedushka could travel to be at her wedding and that Andrew got back in time to get leave to come to his wedding ceremony!

It was a lovely wedding on a cold clear windy March 11th in Seattle on Lake Union.

Moisi, Katie’s Dzeda (grandfather), prayed a blessing over Katie and Andrew.

These were all of Moisi’s people at the wedding.

Did I mention it was really windy?

Katie and her Dzeda (Moisi) at her first Christmas and birthday.

Moisi and Nadia were able to attend our niece Debbee and Lenny’s wedding in 2013 and that would be the last grandchild’s wedding the two of them could attend before our mom was ushered into Heaven in September of 2013. They watched some of grandson Caleb’s wedding in August of 2013 from their apartment via the internets. It was too far for Moisi to attend our son Daniel’s wedding in 2015. Moisi was able to attend grandson Joseph’s wedding in January of 2017 since the wedding was in California.

A good word from Spurgeon during these trying days of the COVID-19 Pandemic:

God is with the true, the just, the holy, to deliver them; and he will deliver you. Remember how Daniel came out of the lions’ den, and the three holy children out of the furnace. Yours, is not so desperate a case as theirs; but if it were, the Lord would bear you through, and make you more than a conqueror. Fear to fear. Be afraid to be afraid. Your worst enemy is within your own bosom. Get to your knees and cry for help, and then rise up saying, ‘I will trust, and not be afraid’.

HT: Jeremy Leffel Photography

Tuesdays With Moisi ~ Moisi and Me

A look back at some photos with my Pop (Moisi).

I’m having a birthday later this week so I decided to find some photos with me and our Pop in them for my Tuesdays with Moisi post. Our mom is holding brand new me and it looks as if I’ve upset my brother Fred with my crying and my sister Vera is shushing me. Our Pop looks a bit strained in this photo. I wonder who is taking the photo. This was while we were still living in East Los Angeles, 1951. This was about 3-1/2 years after they arrived in the United States.

So my little babushka was here in the USA when I was born judging from this photo. My mother’s only brother, Paul, is standing with my cousin Valia and my aunt Nina is holding my cousin Walter. My cousin Alex must be the one standing in the front. I’m crying again but I think I have a good excuse since that sunshine is blinding my poor infant eyes! Zena Katkov is standing next to my little Babushka.

I started out as a towhead. Is the pole in the center of this photo the focus or am I?

Someone needed to hone their photo taking skills. Stories are told about how I’d take off away from home and give my parents a scare.

We moved from East Los Angeles to Pico Rivera (Montebello Gardens). This Easter photo was taken in the front yard of our home.

Don’t know where we traveled to for these photos but we end up amongst tall trees so I’ll guess we were in the Angeles National Forest.

Looks like I got to hold the thermos while our mom took this photo or maybe she let Kathy take the photo.

Wherever we traveled it was hot since the girls are all sleeveless.

Camping at Big Bear?

I’m on the happy side of this photo unlike the three on my left.

Berry picking somewhere in California.

A pigeon on my head. I’m not a fan of pigeons these days. All dressed up for church with our patent leather shoes. Why do I have a pigeon on my head when I’m in my Sunday clothes?

In 2011 I received a card with a check from my parents for my birthday. I copied what my mom wrote and am adding it to this post for my memory:

From my parents…лена моисееьна Gods blessings on you for your 60 birthday. We hope you have a wonderful birthday We love you very much папа мама Bagdanov and they enclosed a check for $60 My parents are so adorable.

I love that she added Bagdanov. 🙂

Me and my Pop in 1973 and 2016.

I’m thankful for the good relationship I had with my Pop. I’m sure I drove my parents to their knees many times but God was faithful in bringing me back in good relationship with Him and them.

Tuesdays With Moisi ~ Siblings

On Sunday the first of March my two older sisters and I went to visit our Aunt Anna who lives with her granddaughter close to our sister Kathy. Aunt Anna or Nura will be 95 on April 25th. She was thankful for our time with her and we decided to take this selfie. While there I also took a couple photos with my phone of her framed photos. The quality of the photos is not great since there is glare from the glass in the frames.

This is our Aunt Anna from many years ago with her husband Pete. Uncle Pete died in the late 70’s.

The photo above was taken when Moisi’s brother Mike was able to get a Visa to finally visit in the USA. This was in 1982ish. Uncle Mike is in the center of the photo with the dark jacket on. Uncle Mike spent several years in Siberia after he decided it was safe to return from Iran to Russia in the early 40’s. He was arrested upon entering Russia and sent to Siberia. His sentence was supposed to be for 2 years and ended up being several years. Our Pop and the rest of his family had not seen Uncle Mike for 40 years and this visit was a grand reunion of siblings and our babushka. She is seated with the head covering on. Aunt Anna is above her in the turquoise. Uncle Mike’s wife is seated next to babushka. The rest in the photo are all of Moisi and Nadia’s children and grandchildren as of 1982.

The photo above are siblings and sister-in-laws and a nephew and his wife in the 1990’s. This was a dinner my parents had at their home in Yorba Linda before they sold that home and left for Russia to do missionary work. Going around from left to right.  Nura who was married to Uncle Vasilli, our cousin Vera and Alex, Moisi, Uncle John and his wife Kati, our mom, Uncle Alex and his wife Ouliana, and barely visible Aunt Anna. Aunt Anna and nephew Alex are the only ones who are still alive from this photo.

Moisi and his siblings at our Mom and Pop’s 60th wedding anniversary celebration in 2003. John, Anna, Moisi, and Alex. Anna is the only family member still alive. Of these four siblings John is the oldest, then Alex, our Pop and Anna the youngest.

Aunt Anna has survived all three of her children and one of her granddaughters, too. She talked about the fact that she’s the last one left of her generation of friends and family. She is still as sharp as a tack! My sister Kathy reminded Aunt Anna that her mother (our babushka) lived to be 98 so Aunt Anna might live that long, too.

I’ll be on my way back home this morning. When I get back I’ll post the photos from Vera and my beach walk on Monday. A beautiful day.

Tuesdays With Moisi ~ Russia

Moisi, our pop, in the living room of their home in Russia. Our mom sent me these photos with a note that I just found this week. Precious. These are from the late 90’s when our folks did missionary work in a village in Russia.

Mom in her kitchen cooking up some varenya, syrup. She made meals for large crowds on those little burners.

Where she stored the flour and the sugar.

She wrote on the back of the photo, which I appreciate.

She sent this photo for our daughter Katie.

In their living room.

Our mom never had schooling in the English language. The way she learned to read and write English was mostly from wanting to read recipes and following those recipes and also with Bible studies. She saved cards and letters from us and model her writing after them. She did a great job!

Happy day to you.

 

Tuesdays With Moisi

This is a post from the past that I’m adding to my Tuesdays With Moisi for cataloging purposes.

The following story was transcribed by my sister-in-law Kelly as she listened to my parents tell some of their story on immigrating to the U.S.A. in September of 1947. My parents were visiting my brother Steve and SIL Kelly on Labor Day September 5, 2011. I believe the anniversary of them coming to the USA was September 6, 1947.

“Spent the afternoon with  Mom and Pop and wanted to share some of what they had to say.  This is the unedited copy filled in as Pop was talking…so excuse the grammatical errors, if I wait to edit you may never see it.”

(This photo is taken after my parents and sister Kathy settled in Los Angeles. This was sometime in late 1947 or early 1948. My mom is pregnant with my sister Vera in this photo and Vera was born in February of 1948.)

“Pop said he’s never shared all these details because…no one asked.  What started the retelling is that tomorrow marks the anniversary of their first arriving in NewYork…Sept. 6, 1947.  They arrived in Los Angeles on the 12th.

When Mom and Pop left Iran they got a flight on a Red Cross cargo plane..the propeller variety, that had dropped off supplies and was heading back to New York.   It was very loud he said…no seats, just benches along the sides.  Due to refueling and frequent stops it took 4 days to fly from Tehran to New York.  At  most of the stops they got out and ate…and in four places spent the night. He said they had 27 people on the plane and it was full.”

“This is the basic itinerary.  (Pop had made a detailed journal of the trip, but lost it in the last few moves.)  From Tehran to Cairo…spent the night.  From Cairo to Rome..spent the night, got to drive by St. Peters.  From Rome to England, where they were not allowed off the plane so they had to head to Ireland to a US military base.  They spent the night there.  From Ireland they went to Iceland, then to Greenland…where they again spent the night.  From Greenland they went to New York.

Upon arrival in New York they were taken directly to the train station.  Unfortunately, the ‘coupons’ that one of pop’s brother’s, my Uncle John, secured for them weren’t signed, so they couldn’t be used. They were suppose to be vouchers for travel purchased in Iran from an agent.  So since the coupons didn’t work they were stuck in the train station with no money, no food, with a one year old. Mom and Pop were 23 and 24 at this time.

Some nice people helped them and Pop had a card with the name of a Russian church on it.  They took them on the subway to the church and arrived in the evening just as the minister was locking up.  There was no time to find a home for them to spend the night so they took them to a hotel.  Mom said, ‘They put us on the 9th floor, I was so scared..”  And the other couple they were with were on the 14th floor.  The next morning was a Sunday so the streets were empty and Mom said she looked out the window and down and there was trash blowing along the street.  Very frightening to look that far down.

The minister showed up with milk and bread, they hadn’t eaten the day before, and they remember that delivery making them feel like orphans.  They had no money, no food, and Pop only spoke a little English.  (Which he had learned working on an American Military Base in Tehran…I’ll get to that.)

The pastor took them to church and that night they stayed with a family.  On Monday they put them on a train to Chicago.

Two vivid memories of their time in New York…  It was the first time Mom had seen toast, and she couldn’t figure out how they got it perfect on both sides.  She also got stuck in a revolving door and couldn’t get out.  She said, they weren’t educated enough to be in New York.

In Chicago another group from a church met them, fed them, gave them a place to stay, and then put them on a train to Los Angeles.  It should be noted that Kathy was very good during all of this, only cried a little.  At some point in this US leg of the journey they were able to contact people in LA to wire them money for the train tickets.  Pop figured it took them about 2 years to pay back all of the costs of their trip to the States.”

(This is a photo of my sister Kathy in a park in Los Angeles, California. Love how the older folk sitting on the benches in the background all have hats on.)

My parents were the first of their families to arrive in the U.S.A.

“In the course of telling this story Pop mentioned other jobs he’d had so I made him list them in order…here is roughly the job history.

His first job was driving horses plowing the fields in Russia.  There were four horses hooked to the plow.  He worked plowning.  (Think clowning)  He also worked threshing the wheat.

Then he worked as a shepherd.  A group of families had cows, sheep, and goats and it sounds like the kids from each family took turns watching the animals.

When they moved to Tehran he worked as a babysitter/houseboy doing whatever the woman of the house wanted him to do.

Later, in Iran he had a job feeding cows.  Then after they were milked he would walk around town to the customers they had and sell milk from a bucket by the cup.

After that he went to work on some of the Shah’s land doing farming.  When it wasn’t farming season he would deliver sand and bricks to road crews.

Then he had jobs on Military bases…he worked on the American base in the kitchens washing out the pans. They would feed him while he was there, and give him food to hide on his body to take out to his family.  (Not technically allowed to take the food, but the cook was nice.)  It’s also where he learned to speak some English.

He also worked on the Russian military base as a mechanic.  He said he ‘fix em’ Chevy’s and Studebaker’s, when they had been in accidents, we fix em up.

His last job in Tehran was in a brick factory.  It was far away so he needed to have transportation.  He said, he and Mom lived in an apartment with 4 other families above a sauna house owned by a Turkish man.  He sold Pop a bike that he had stolen…  When I asked, ‘he stole the bike?”  He said,’Yes, but he sold it to me real cheap, and nobody would recognize it because they changed the color.”  He rode the bike to work every day.”

Ellen’s thoughts…

When I think of what my parents went through to get to the United States I’m so grateful. Grateful to God for giving them the courage and faith to face the unknown. Just the language barrier had to be scary. They had a little toddler and my mom was pregnant with my sister Vera during this journey. Sitting on a bench in a loud cargo plane with 24 other people with a little one in diapers, amazing. They had no idea what kind of life they were going to have in the United States. They had only lived in villages where maybe there were a few 2 story structures and here they were in New York City with tall buildings. When they arrived in Los Angeles my dad worked odd jobs in carpentry and construction. They helped the rest of their extended family immigrate to the U.S. over a number of years. Each of these family units lived with my parents until they could get into a place of their own. My mother’s father was killed in Iran after my parents came to the U.S. My mother’s mom immigrated to the U.S.A. with my Uncle and Aunt as a widow. So much hardship endured and they persevered over the years and have always expressed their thankfulness to God for bringing them to the U.S.A. They had 9 children total. Their first daughter died in Iran when she was a toddler. Here are the 8 of us in age order…this is an old photo taken in 2003 at the 40th birthday party of Leonard and Lana, our youngest siblings (twins).

Kathy, Vera, Fred, Ellen, Tim, Steve, Lana, Leonard

My mom and pop in 2006 in Dallas, Texas.

IMGP9771

My mom and pop at my niece’s wedding in April of 2013.

We had a 90th birthday party and early 70th wedding anniversary party for my parents at the end of April in 2013. We were so happy to have had this celebration as my mom took ill later that summer and never recovered. My mom went to be with her Savior on September 13, 2013 on my parents’ 70th wedding anniversary. Our pop joined our mom in heaven in June of 2018.

Tuesdays With Moisi

Today I’m posting photos from our Mom and Pop’s 60th Wedding Anniversary Celebration we held in our brother Leonard’s backyard in Downey, California. September 13th, 2003.

My parents had just returned from their last long term mission in Russia and moved in with our brother in Downey.

The photo above is of most of their children, grandchildren, and spouses. Some of the grandchildren aren’t in this photo and some aren’t born yet. No great grandchildren have been born as of 2003. Vera and Lana’s husbands aren’t in this photo. Our brother Leonard was not married at this time. Our daughter Katie, sitting on the far left, was the youngest granddaughter at this point. Sitting on the far right is grandson Joseph, who was the youngest grandson.

It was fun to capture the photographers, our cousins and their kids.

Our folks were worn out from their responsibilities in Russia and we were happy to have this time for them to relax and enjoy being served.

In this photo above Moisi is at the head of the table with his sister Anna next to him. Next to Aunt Anna is our Uncle Alex and his wife Aunt Ouiliana. Next to her is her brother Mikhail Samaduroff and then our cousin Alex. Next to Moisi is his oldest brother John and his wife Katie.

In this photo our cousin Alex’s wife Vera got in the shot with our sister Kathy’s Mother-in-law Sophie. Our mom is at the head of the table in this shot, too. Today in 2020 our cousin Alex is the only one who is alive in this row.

In this photo next to our Aunt Anna is Mr. Petakoff and his wife Genia, friends of the family.

Our Aunt Anna (and brother Leonard in the background) are the only ones alive today in this photo and Aunt Anna will be celebrating her 95th birthday in April.

Moisi’s sons (my brothers) not in order of birth, Fred, Steve, Leonard and Tim.

Once I scan more photos from this event I’ll add them to this post. Many grandchildren and nieces and nephews were at the party, too.

Grandsons and grand nephews.

Many of Moisi and Nadia’s grandchildren.

My parents lived in our brother’s home until he relocated full time to Dallas, Texas and sold his home in 1996. At that point we found our folks a senior apartment that they moved into in the town of Brea, California.

Tuesdays With Moisi

September 13th, 2003 was our mom and pop’s 60th Wedding Anniversary. My parents had recently returned from their last trip to Russia and moved in with our youngest brother in Downey, California. The dinner celebration was enjoyed in Leonard’s backyard. I am in the process of copying photos from this wonderful celebration to share soon. This is most of the family at the time of this event which even includes our brother Fred’s family. Our son Dan is missing from this photo. No great grandchildren yet.