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Sunday, June 17, 2007

Sunday In Russia

We had a great time at church today. The worship was wonderful. The place was packed with about 70 people squeezing into a hall which seats 50. The church is growing every week. This is unusual in Russia during the summer because people here have gardens which they work in every weekend. They do so in order to grow food for the winter. Usually church attendance here drops by as much as 50% during the summer months.

Today Pastor Dmitry preached a really good message about spiritual growth. After the message Dmitry gave a call to repentance and 4 people asked for prayer to receive Christ and repent of their sins. Each person who prayed received a New Testament and an invitation to a house group and a New Believers class.

In Russian churches it is traditional to pray for those who have a birthday. The names are often announced and the people come forward so the pastor and congregation can pray for them. Well, I surprised Karen today by letting Pastor Dmitry know ahead of time that Wednesday will be her birthday. We were listening to the usual announcements and Karen realized that her name had been mentioned as a person having a birthday, much to her surprise. It was fun to watch her go to the platform and have Pastor Dmitry acknowledge her birthday. Our friend Volodya, one of the rehab leaders also had a birthday, so they were both prayed for by Dmitry and the congregation. Afterwards Lena, Pastor Dmitry's wife presented Karen with a bouquet of Roses for her birthday.

This is Oleg. We met him 3 months ago when he entered the drug rehabilitation program run by Cornerstone Church. We have watched him as He accepted Christ, became drug free and started growing spiritually. Today at church we celebrated his three month graduation from the first course of the rehab program.

After church Karen and I went out for lunch at Rostiks, a local fried chicken restaurant chain which is actually owned by KFC.

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