The hard news is that Anton Moroz, Ruslan and Olga’s young adult son, a 2016 graduate of Covenant High School of Faith Presbyterian Church (PCA) in Tacoma, WA, has been diagnosed with tuberculosis. This means every adult member of Ruslan’s family (all pictured in the lead photo of this email) has now contracted this disease. Anton is being treated in Vladivostok.
Ruslan wrote Tuesday August 22nd to update me on Anton's situation:
Thank you Blake for your participation and concern.
Anton passed a two-month course of treatment for tuberculosis. We hoped that the medication would be enough for his affected lung to recover. But after the course of treatment, a 0.5 cm hole remained in the lung, so it was necessary to perform an operation. Yesterday Anton was operated on, and when he came to, he was placed in the intensive care unit.
Since the lesion was not large, it was possible to do a laparoscopy rather than a lumbar operation. The hospital did not have the necessary medical instruments for this so we bought them ourselves.
Yesterday we could not get through to the doctor who was doing the operation, so we do not know the details. Anton was talking in the evening, but he was weak.
[The entire Moroz family has been treated for TB over the course of the last few years.] After my treatment I was dismissed as a healthy person. Olga still has to be registered with a doctor and in the fall she will undergo a course of treatment with pills. Yana [Ruslan and Olga's adult daughter] is fine.
Now Oleg (in men's morning group) is in a tuberculosis dispensary. At Oleg's work, seven people, including Oleg, are sick. I do not know how his children are. They recently had another daughter. She was born two months early, but now she is developing normally.
Although it has not yet hit the news, it appears to be a tuberculosis epidemic. Sasha works in a kindergarten and says that many children get sick. On the houses many write notices, so that people check themselves and their children.
Let us remember that for the cause of the Gospel, and the glory of God, Anton's parents, Ruslan and Olga, with his sister Yana, moved to one of the most destitute places in Russia, Romanovka, to plant the only church in the town. Now, in God's providence, all have contracted this ravaging disease by living there.
In the USA in 2014, there were 493 deaths from TB. In the Russian Federation in 2015, there were 16,500 deaths from the same disease* In Russia, one is far more likely to perish from TB!
The USA is in a part of the world where tuberculosis has been controlled so that whole families do not come down with it. How are we to respond to trials like this that our brothers and sisters in Russia face? One way is described in Matthew 25:35,36:
For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.