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Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Ministry Trip - Tambov Russia

I just returned from a quick trip to Tambov, a city about 300 kilometers below Moscow and an 8 hour drive from Nizhny Novgorod. Karen stayed back in Nizhny Novgorod as she was scheduled to continue her women's ministry seminars on Saturday. I made the trip with pastor Dmitry and several others from Cornerstone church.

This was the longest drive I have made in Russia. Some of the roads were very good, but some of them were terrible, absolutely bone-jarring. At times we were reduced to going 15 miles per hour for 20-30 kilometers as we dodged pothole after pothole.

The weather was great for the drive, sunny and about 65. This is perfect weather for driving a car without air-conditioning. It was interesting to see some of the Russian countryside. Unfortunately because we were in a hurry I didn't get any good photos of the actual drive.

Tambov is a city of about 600,000 people and was founded about the time the Pilgrims came to America. It was a very clean and nice city as opposed to Nizhny Novgorod which is pretty dirty. There were lots of clean, landscaped parks and in general the city has a nice feeling to it. The drug problem is not as bad as in Nizhny Novgorod either.

City Street

We went to Tambov to join in the 2nd anniversary celebration of a local church which is part or the Cornerstone movement. I attended specifically to build some new relationships and to resources the local church with some teaching materials. We were able to gift to the church 16 copies of "Foundations of Pentecostal Theology" and 300 copies of the excellent small book, "Praying Effectively for the Lost."

The second book is by our friend, Lee Thomas. Lee was a Southern Baptist preacher for over 30 years. Today he is in the itinerant ministry teaching across America about prayer. Lee wrote this small book and has distributed over 1/2 a million of the books worldwide. His ministry graciously funded the translation and printing of the book in the Russian language. We recently received 10,000 copies of the book and have begun distributing them to churches with whom we have contacts. There is a link to Lee's ministry on the left side of this page. Lee is planning a trip to Russia next year to teach and preach for us.

The church celebration was fun and the relationship building was great. I stayed in the home of Pastor Valery and his family. There were nine of us in his small 3 room apartment for 2 days.

Here are a few more photos.

Pastor Valary - Church planter from Siberia
Our Friend Anna
talking about the book
Praying Effectively for the Lost

Sunday Church Service
The church meets in a rented auditorium

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