Thursday, September 15, 2011

'Round Russia with Him

Dennis Hilman has provided us with a final report and update: A small sample is here, but the length is too long to post on this blog. Please email and request an email of this report!

...a well-attended 3 day youth camp began in the same church. There were more than 30 participants. Here some of them weave friendship bracelets. But much more than bracelets were woven. We spent much time in the Word, times of testimony and times of prayer among other things. As we sat together I was deeply touched by the incredible open-hearted depth and complete honesty these young people demonstrated - often in the face of very difficult life experiences. For most of them faith - for some new-found - was definitely not taken for granted. On the last evening almost everyone present came forward for personal prayer as we gathered round and laid our hands upon them with individual petitions to our Heavenly Father and the blessed assurance of the Gospel. A deep experience woven in all of our hearts for life! (picture above)

From the peaceful forests of Gananina Jaama we travel one hour east of Ekaterinburg to the "famous" village of Gagarka. Countless are the times we have held services in this humble home since 13-year-old Marat first invited me here in 2001. This was actually our tenth anniversary celebration. From left to right in the picture above you can see Brian, Kostya (you will soon see him again), Marat's cousin Zhenia, Marat, his babushka, a guest Marina and Marat's mother Nadya. I am speaking in Russian from the 23rd Psalm. Jaclyn is beside me.

This was a rather remarkable occasion since it was Marina's first time at such a service. She is the mother of 5 children but came alone that day. The Word apparently touched her heart deeply and after the service she opened up to Greg and Svetlana - confessing deep doubts, fears and sins that had overtaken her life. After a long and intensive counselling session in the kitchen she was able to hear from the very heart of Jesus that all of her fears, guilt and sins were totally forgiven and washed away in the precious name and blood of Jesus! She then inquired about baptism for her and her five children. We assured her that at our earliest opportunity in the future, when the children can come, we will fulfill her desire for them all to take part in that holy sacrament.

Again: email for your full copy! (21 pictures!)

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