It is late evening; the last time I wrote to you we had recently arrived to Cheboksary. Since then, another 5 days have passed and Brain, Shane and I are now on a warm, comfortable train, making our way back west to Moscow and to the last two days of our stay here in Russia.
You will remember that before I left for Russia, my prayer and theme for this trip was to reach out to as many people as we could who did not know or have a personal relationship with our Lord and Saviour. I know many of you were interceding for this on our behalf as well. I have to tell you with much joy and praise that our Lord answered those prayers! Over the last few days we have visited four different universities between Cheboksary, the capital city of Chuvashia, and Yoshkar Ola, the capital of Mari El, and have spoken to and shared the gospel with between two and three hundred students and teachers. I can’t tell you the energy it takes to do this;.. to speak all day long, from morning to evening, to different classes filled with young people and to keep the energy up so that each and every one of them goes away feeling like they have participated in something special, but the Lord allowed us the inspiration and spirit to do it.
The Dean and Teacher in the University
The universities took up much of our time over the last week, but we also visited with many Christian brothers and sister's and with village families. Shane and Brian were especially impressed with our visit to and the hospitality of one village family whom I met and became friends with last year. We actually paid a couple hundred rubles to one villager with a plow to clean a kilometer or so of snow from the road to this family’s farm so we could comfortably drive to their home and spend the evening in fellowship with them. Nina, the mother of this family, has repented and become a Christian and the children are attending church, but Vadim, the father, though very open and welcoming of our visit and the sharing of the Lord’s gospel, is still struggling between the ancient forest worship of the Mari people and the new Christian faith of his family. At the end of our evening with this family we all stood together in their living room and prayed, Vadim included. I hope to include some photos of Vadim, Nina, and their children in this post.
Now we are on our way to Moscow. We will spend a bit of time showing Shane the city, but have plans to visit with some Christians and our dear sister and translator, Anna Kyzmakova is trying to arrange for us to visit the music academy where she studies to speak with her peers and teachers. I’m not sure if this update will be posted before then, but if it is posted, please do keep this academy and Moscow visit in prayer.
Shane and Brian (you guys look like you really belong!)
May the Lord of Love and Grace bless each and every one of you,
Gregory.. with Brain and Shane in Russia.