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Tuesday, December 15, 2009

At 11:30 PM on December 2 we arrived back in Nizhny Novgorod after a month long trip to America, and at 5:00 AM on Dec 5 we boarded a train for a 43 hour ride out to Siberia to visit the cities of Novosibirsk, Omsk and Tomsk as well as their outlying areas. Our purpose was to teach and preach in some of the churches of the Cornerstone Association and their rehabilitation centers.

Our first stop was in Tomsk where we visited some local rehab centers. When I say local, I mean anything within 75 miles of the city. One of the rehab centers could only be reached by driving across a river, about a quarter of a mile wide, on the ice. We had read of people in Siberia driving on rivers, but this was a first for us. It was pretty scary!

Pic taken over the driver's shoulder as we were preparing to drive across the river. The dot in the distance is a car coming towards us.

On Friday 11th Dec, we were taken from the city of Tomsk to a small city called Kolpashevo, 350 kilometers away. The drive to get there was about 5 hours and, in Russia, the only place to stop along the way and go to the bathroom is at a roadside outhouse. It has no heat and no seat. It is simply a hole in the floor and you hope that you don’t slip on the yellow ice! As we were driving the car got colder and colder and when we arrived we learned that it was 40 below zero. Trust me. That is very cold!
Roadside rest rooms!!!!

Right before you get to the city you have to cross the River Tom and that is done by ferry. The river is kept open with a small ice breaker boat that travels back and forth in front of the ferry to keep the way clear because the ice forms so quickly on the river. The temperature of the water was only about 35, but the air was so extremely cold the river was steaming.
The ferry is approaching our side of the river.

It was so cold that the wood fired heating system in the house where we were staying couldn’t keep the house warm and I’m guessing that it was about 50 at best in the house. There was a thick layer of hoar frost on the inside of the windows. By Sunday the temperature had risen to about 10 above zero and everyone was rejoicing at how warm it was. The furnace was finally able to make the house warm again.

This is frost inside the bathroom window when it was -40 F
The sun never got any higher than this during the day. This was taken at noon time.

The sun, after sitting just above the horizon all day, at 3 PM would suddenly blaze into a fiery glory and rapidly sink out of site

To be continued as our trip progresses................

Thursday, December 10, 2009

We are in Siberia and it is COLD!

Karen and I are currently in Tomsk, Siberia, Russia. It is COLD here, -25 today!

We arrived in Novosibirsk on Sunday the 6th after a 2 day train ride from Nizhny Novgorod. The trip was uneventful. About all you can do on a train is sleep and read, we did both. It was interesting watching the temperature drop the further east we went. In Nizhny Novgord it was 32F when we left and it dropped about 1 degree from every hour on the train. When we arrived in Novosibirsk it was -18.

We only stayed in Novosibirsk long enough to catch a few hours sleep, a shower a meal and then we were off by car to Tomsk. The drive was about 4 hours on snow and ice covered roads.

Tomsk is a large city of about 600,000 people and the regional capital. In Tomsk we are hosted by the "Church of Praise", pastored by our good friend Oleg Tikonoff. Pastor Oleg is a former drug addict who came to Christ 11 years ago. After 1 week in a drug rehab program, he went back to his hometown and began tp preach Christ. Within 4 months he had started a church! He was less than 5 months old in the Lord. Today that church is very active, with a congregation of over 600 people and a long list of ministries. From the original church 10 more churches have been started and thousands of lives have been touched by the gospel.

We have been teaching in the local Bible school and will teach today in one of the drug rehab centers operated by the church. Tomorrow we will go to one of the daughter churches in a town called Kalpashava, were will will spend the weekend. We will teach 7 Bible school classes, minister in the rehab center and preach in the Sunday service. Hopefully we will also be able to go to a banya, and we are sure we will have lots of fun and eat more than we should.

We are having a great time on this ministry trip. Next week we head back to Novosibirsk where we will teach in several rehab centers.

We have not had enough internet time to upload picture. hopefully we will be able to so soon.

Saturday, December 05, 2009

Leaving on a slow train...don't know when we'll be back again

It has been almost 6 weeks since we have posted anything here. We were in the U.S. for 5 weeks. Karen spent time with her mother, our kids and most of the grandkids.

I spent 11 days in Los Angeles with 7 Russian pastors. We spent 3 days at the Los Angeles Dream Center, visited Saddleback Church (pastored by Rick Warren, author of "The Purpose Driven Life"), were we spent the day meeting with the leadership, and we spent 1/2 a day meeting with Foursquare Missions. It was a very fruitful trip. Afterward I met Karen in New Hampshire and we spent the Thanksgiving holiday wth our family before we returned to Russia on December 1

We have been home in Nizhny Novgorod now for 52 hours and in a few more hours we leave by train for Siberia! It is cold there now -10F or colder. We will be in three major cities, Novosibirsk, Tomsk and Omsk. We will teach in a Bible School, preach in churches, minister in drug rehabiltation centers and present a marriage seminar.

We will be gone for 3 weeks or more. We don't yet have a return date, so we haven't purchased return tickets. We may be home in Nizhny for American Christmas, or we might not return until after the New Year. Either way we are looking forard to seeing what the Lord has in store for us on this trip.

Hopefully we will have the opportunity to post some stories and photos over the next few weeks. Pray for us that the Lord will minister through and to us.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

First Nations Team - Orphanage Visit

Yesterday, October 29, we took two members of the First Nations Team to visit a local orphanage. This orphanage is a special needs orphanage. The children here have been removed from other schools or orphanages because of behavioral issues or handicaps.

Cheryl Bear and Tawnia Carrier shared native songs, dance and stories with the children

The staff treats these children as if they are their own and the kids are very well behaved and seem to be reasonably well adjusted.

The orphanage is always underfunded and can use clothing and other items such as yarns, and embroidery threads. If you have any interest in helping, send us an email to

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Russian Women - Drug Addicts Set Free by the Power of the Gospel

Here are a few photos of some of the young women who are in the local drug rehabilitation centers operated by Cornerstone church. These young women range in age from 18 to 27 and all were addicted to heroin. They entered the rehab with little hope of ever being free from drug addiction, but through the power of the Gospel they have been set free.
'Pastor Michael,' surrogate dad

The rehab program consists of two 4 month sessions. During the first four months the rehabilitant is not allowed to leave the facility. If they do so they are out of the program. During this four months they are in a daily program of Bible reading, prayer, group study, work and character development.

When they graduate from the first four months they then continue the program living outside the rehab, in a group home for one week where they continue group learning and work in the outreach program to those who are addicted. The opposite week they live at the center acting as mentors and small group leaders for the people in the first four month program. In doing so, they learn to apply basic discipleship principles and become pastors of a small group.

After graduating from the second four months there is an optional third course of four months. Those who enter this step become senior leaders. They run the day to day operations of the center and report to the supervising pastor. Upon graduation from the third step of rehabilitation, often a small group of leaders decide to attend missionary training school together.

At the school they learn the basic skills needed to church plant and to start a new rehab center. Upon graduation from school they will then move to a new city, open a rehab center, evangelize drug addicts and plant a new church. The Cornerstone Association of Churches has done this now about 60 times. They are one of the fastest growing association of churches in Russia.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Cheryl Bear & First Nations Team in Russia

The Barnestson Family
ministering in a local church called "The Vine"

For the last week we have had the privilege of hosting a team of Indigenous, First Nations people from North America. Randy and Cheryl Barnetson, their three sons and two other women have joined us and are ministering in local churches, rehab centers and will be presenting several evangelistic outreaches.

The team has already spoken at two churches, a drug rehabilitation center and done one evangelistic outreach with a team of Russian church planters.

For the next 10 days we will all be busy sharing the Gospel through First Nations culture, meeting new friends and learning about Russian life and culture.

Cheryl Speaking at the local Messianic Congregation

The Barnetson Family ministering in Song

Pastor Evgeny Blinov local Messianic Pastor

Cheryl and her boys rocking out at an evangelistic outreach

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Foursquare Leaders from Holland Visit Russia

Ministering in Song

Ap and Anita Verwayen, Foursquare leaders from Holland, recently visited us in Nizhny Novgorod. Karen and I helped to facilitate the publishing of their book, The Art of Marriage, into the Russian language and Ap and Anita decided to present a marriage seminar in conjunction with the release of the book.

While they here we also had the opportunity to take them to several of the ministries of Cornerstone church where they taught and ministered.

Ministering at the Seminar with our friend Anya

Teaching at the Homeless Center

with our Co-worker Sveta

Praying with a Young Woman as she repents and comes to Christ

This homeless man, now living at the Social Center also repented and submitted to Christ

Karen, Sveta and Anita praying for a sister

Teaching at a rehab center

Praying with a former drug addict

Praying for one of the leaders, Dima, a great young guy

Group photo at the rehab center

Thursday, October 08, 2009

Another Russian Adventure.

Today while showing Dutch friends a bit of our city we seemed to have parked in a no parking zone and as a result our car was towed away by the police! This was distressing as we had friends whom we needed to be with, it was raining, and we needed to take our friends to teach at a marriage seminar in just a few hours.

Having never had our car towed before we had to call several Russian friends and ask what to do. We were told that first we needed figure out which lot our car had been towed to, go to the storage lot (by bus), identify our car, prove that it was ours with multiple documents and then we would receive a piece of paper from them. We would then have to cross the city to take this paper to the central police department, show them all our identification, passport, drivers license, car documents, etc. and they would complete some more paperwork, stamp it with an official stamp, we would of course pay a fine, and only then could we return to the storage lot and present this paper and retrieve our car. We apologized to our friends and showed them how to walk back to their hotel and off we went to find our car.

We had an idea where it may have been taken so we took a local bus to the general location, but had to walk for a while trying to find it. It was amusing when I stopped one young man and said, "excuse me, I am a foreigner and I don't speak Russian very well, can you help me?" He laughed and said, "I don't speak Russian very well either." He was from one of the southern provinces himself and wasn't a native Russian. We asked several people on the street to help us and finally found someone who knew where we needed to go and so off we went again by foot.

We found our car, received the necessary paperwork and then had to find a way across town to the central police station. It was evening rush hour so we decided for the sake of expediency to hire a taxi. The driver was a nice guy and interested that we were Americans. He drove us across town and when we arrived he said to us that he would wait for us and then drive us back to get our car.

At the police station I asked one young police man to help me and he just laughed and asked for my documents when he realized my Russian was terrible. After reading everything and asking me where I was from, he took us into the station, gave our papers to someone else and said, "wait here." In about 10 minutes another guy came out, handed us the completed paperwork and told us we could go. No fine, no payment, no trouble. We were surprised.

So, back in the taxi and an amazingly quick trip across town during rush hour we got to the storage lot and the taxi driver says, much to our surprise, that he would wait to make sure we got our car. The reason we were so surprised is because in this culture strangers simply do not help each other. The storage lot manager was another nice guy helping us to fill out all the forms (Russia loves paperwork) and then asked me to sign my name and we were free to go.

We were astonished. In a country that thrives in bureaucracy and making life unpleasant for its inhabitants we were able to retrieve our car in a little over two hours and didn't have to pay any fine for the towing. Life in Russia is always challenging, sometimes stressful and then you get some really interesting breaks as you see the favor of God working for you. So, happily, ended another Russian adventure.

Monday, October 05, 2009

Teams, Books and Baptisms

Tonight Karen and I will take an overnight train to Moscow. Tomorrow morning we will meet some friends, Ap and Anita Verwayen who are Foursquare leaders from Holland. They have authored a book, "the Art of Marriage," which we helped to get published in Russia.

Ap and Anita are coming to Nizhny Novgorod and this weekend they will teach a seminar for believers based upon their book. We are looking forward to this time.

On Sunday at church we had 15 people receive certificates of baptism upon completion of a course, and then obeying the Lord by being water baptized. Most of these believers are brand new in the faith. It is exciting to watch the church continue to grow.

On the 15th of this month we will meet another team in Moscow, Randy and Cheryl Barnetson, their boys plus two other ladies. The Barnetsons are coming to Nizhny Novgorod to evangelize using native Indian culture and music. It promises to be an interesting time.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Amazing Grace - Another Changed Life

This week we sat and talked with one of the brothers who found freedom from drugs through the ministry of the church and rehabilitation center. This is his story.

By the time I was twenty years old I was a hard core drug addict supporting myself primarily by pick pocketing and stealing the cash. One day while riding a bus a young woman and I realized that were trying to steal the same wallet! We thought that was pretty funny so we got off the bus together at the next stop and began to talk. We discovered that we liked each other and started living together, stealing and doing drugs.

After some time my girlfriend became pregnant. We had no desire to change our lifestyle, and neither of us wanted the burden or responsibility of a baby, so we decided to simply end the pregnancy with an abortion. Before we were able to do this we were both arrested. In Russia the law gives a lesser sentence to a pregnant woman so my girlfriend took all the blame, received a short jail sentence, and I was set free. Although the prison sentence was short, by the time she was released it was too late for her to get an abortion so we were stuck with an unwanted baby. Soon a little girl was born, but as unrepentant drug addicts we had no use for a baby so we left it with my mom and continued in our life of crime and drug use. I see now that even in my life of crime and addiction God was watching over me and today I thank Him for His mercy by not allowing me to murder my daughter.

I was arrested a second time and because of the long sentence my girlfriend decided to not wait for me. Instead, she started living with a good friend of mine. While in prison I remember burning with anger at her unfaithfulness and planning my revenge, how I would stab her to death after I was released. Fortunately, I never carried out my plans and we just went our separate ways.

I continued in my drug use and crime for years being utterly self absorbed; totally uninvolved with my little daughter. Her mother had also completely abandoned her. Since I persisted in using more and more drugs I was in and out of prison several more times and I understood that someday I would die from an overdose, but that was just the way life was. I had no hope for life; no hope for freedom from addiction. While my life continued to spiral downward my mom had been faithful to raise my daughter who was now 10 years old.

I began selling drugs to support my habit but I got caught and arrested. I was afraid because I knew that this time it would mean a very long prison sentence so I began to pray and said, “God, I don’t know if you are real, but if you are and you get me out of this mess, I will serve you." All I can tell you is that God in His grace and mercy works in mysterious ways. Not only was I able to avoid serving this long prison sentence, but the conviction for this particular crime disappeared from the court records. In my limited way I was sincere in this prayer, but sadly, as soon as the crisis was over I forgot about my promise to God.

One day a young guy, who could see that I was a drug addict, came up to me and handed my a small yellow flyer which read – Real Hope – Freedom from Drugs. He told me to call the number if I was tired of my life as an addict and that the people there would help me. As low as I had become in life, I still hadn't hit the bottom so I wasn’t really interested but I stuffed the flyer in my back pocket.

It wasn't long after that encounter when I resigned myself to the fact that my life was no longer worth living. I decided to hang myself and get it over with. I climbed up on a chair, tied a rope over a pipe and around my neck, and was about ready to kick the chair away when I stuck my hand in my back pocket. By this time I had completely forgotten about the yellow flyer so I can not explain why I did this, except to say that God was with me and remembered my prayer. I recalled that this young man had said I could find help, so I decided to call the number.

I spoke to a very kind brother, named Zhenya, who told me that they could help me. He seemed like a nice guy who was genuinely interested in me so I decided to enter the rehabilitation program and it was there that God finally got a hold of me and began to really work in my life. It was there in the rehab center that I learned about Jesus Christ and it was there in the center that He set me free from drugs. The first stage of the rehab course is four months long, but after only two months, with good intentions, but bad judgment, I violated one of the rules and I had to leave. During these two months I had become a follower of Jesus Christ and the work that God began in my life had really changed me. I started going to church and trying to serve God. I reunited with my daughter, who today is 14 years old, and now we have a good relationship. I have been completely drug free for three years. I have my own small business as a long distance truck driver and own my own truck. I love my new life, I love my work, I love my daughter and most of all l love God and thank Him for the great things He has done in my life.


We hear testimonies like this every week. God is doing amazing things as the Gospel brings hope and life to hundreds of ex-drug addicts. At the same time, every week on the local news, we see young men and women without hope who have ended their lives Thanks you for standing behind us as we serve the churches who minister to these young men and women.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Prostitution in Russia

As we drive around the city of Nizhny Novgorod and to areas outside the city limits we occasionally see young women selling themselves openly on the streets. At least five times during this past week we saw working prostitutes soliciting overtly during the daytime on pubic streets.

Within the city itself there are several locations where prostitutes congregate regularly. It is sad to see these young women standing at the bus stops obviously trying to get the attention of men driving by who might be interested in what they are offering. Many of the young women look to be college age, noticeably dressed and openly soliciting business. We often wonder if they are earning money in the only way they know how, are they drug addicts, or worse, are they slaves.

Outside of the city you can often see young women standing by the side of the road, waving down trucks and cars. They usually hang out near truck stops or major intersections, but occasionally you will see a sad, young women standing in what seems to be the middle of nowhere selling herself.

The women outside the city are nearly always more rough and desperate looking. We believe that many of them are being pimped out into sexual slavery. A large case of forced prostitution and mass murder was uncovered in 2007 near the industrial town of Nizhny Tagil according to the Russian newspaper, Komsomolskaya Pravda. A gang of pimps had abducted girls and forced them to work as prostitutes in their brothel, killing the ones who refused. A mass grave with up to 30 victims was found. The law in Russia prohibits prostitution but we have read that the fine is only about $65. Aids and other sexually transmitted diseases are rampant here. Addicts and sex workers are prime targets for HIV, hepatitis and AIDS.

It is difficult to imagine the forces in life that drive some women to prostitution. Obviously one of the big factors is drug addiction. Pray with us as the Cornerstone church planting movement continues to bring the good news of the Gospel to those who are addicted. The Gospel brings hope to the hopeless and breaks the chains of addiction and spiritual bondage. Every week we see young people who were addicted to drugs set free by the power of the Gospel.

Sunday, August 09, 2009

Ministry in Russia

We have been very busy for the last few weeks with our regular load of ministry responsibilities.

Of course, Sunday is a day of worship and we gather together with our friends at Cornerstone Church. Church attendance this summer has averaged about 185 people. This fall Pastor Dimitry has decided to go to two services because the rented hall is getting too full on Sundays.

Today's church service was in many ways pretty average. We had about 190 people with about 15 visitors. The worship was loud and exuberant, if not always in tune. We celebrated one graduation from the Social Center - a six month course which teaches homeless people how to get back on their feet and back into society.

Homeless Center Graduate

We also saw four former drug addicts graduate from the drug rehabilitation program. All four of these youg people have graduated from the second course and will continue to serve the church and the center by ministering to those who are going through the rehabilitation program.

Former Drug Addicts Now Serving Christ

Pastor Dmitry preached a short but powerful sermon about the grace of God and casting your sin upon the Cross of Christ. Many people responded to a call for prayer and were encouraged to trust Christ completely for the forgiveness of their sins.

Pastor Dmitry also gave a call of repentance for those who had never trusted Christ and nine people responded and prayed a prayer of repentance. Afterwards the entire church celebrated communion together.

9 People - Most of them addicts - Praying To Receive Christ

Every Wednesday we visit the Social Center for Homeless People and the new Dzerzhinsk drug rehabilitation center. We spend time in fellowship and teach for at least an hour each visit.

With Our friends at the
Homeless Center for Social Rehabilitation

Dzerzhinsk Drug Rehabilitation Center
On Fridays we visit the Bogorodsk drug rehabilitation center. This center is the main one operated by Cornerstone Church of Nizhny Novgorod. It takes almost 1 1/2 hours to drive to this center. The center usually has about 30 people who are going through either the first or second course of rehabilitation. We often sit for a while and have tea and talk with the leaders, then there is a time of worship led by the rehabilitants and afterward I teach for 1 1/2 hours. Often after teaching we have a question and answer period where I will take any question about the Bible or the Christian life and try and answer it for these new believers.

Bogorodsk Drug Rehabilitation Center

This week we will begin a regular time of teaching at the new drug rehabilitation center in the city of Gorodets where there is a new church being planted. This will probably become a regular Thursday appointment.

Pastor Oleg (left) and His Church Planting Team

Mondays are sometimes a day off and sometimes a ministry day, depending upon the need. Tuesday is a study day for me as I try and prepare most of my teaching outlines on this day. We are currently giving pre-marriage counselling to two couples and because of their work schedules we find ourselves skiping our day off to meet with them.

We love what we do. We wouldn't want to be doing anything else or living anywhere else at this time in our lives. Our ministry is fruitful as we help disciple a church full of new, young believers.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Siberian Adventure

We have just returned from a 15 day trip to the Siberia region of Russia which is all of the Russian land mass east of the Ural Mountains. When most Americans hear the word “Siberia” they assume that it is always cold there, but the truth is that in the summer it can be quite warm. We experienced weather from the mid 70s to the low 90s on this trip.

We had a full schedule planned where we were to present a marriage seminar in the city of Sharipova, preach in Achinsk, and then attend both a pastor’s retreat and the annual conference of the Association of Cornerstone Churches which is the indigenous church planting movement we work alongside.

Our trip began with an overnight train to Moscow and then a 4.5 hour flight to the city of Krasnoyarsk. Even though we had crossed four time zones we were still just a little more than 1/3 of the way across Russia!

From the airport we continued by car, about 300 kilometers further east, to the city of Sharipova. It was a planned Soviet city of about 50,000 people, built only 26 years ago, but it quickly went into decline after the collapse of the communist government and is now plagued by unemployment, and drug and alcohol abuse.

In Sharipova

Pastor Zhenya and his wife

Karen and I had three exciting days in Sharipova. Every evening we taught a seminar about building “Foundations for a Healthy Marriage”. The Sharipova church is small, less than 30 people, so we were surprised and pleased that 40+ people came out every night for the seminar, many of them unbelievers.

First Evening of the Seminar

Teaching with our Interpreter, Valentina

she was very nervous, having never worked with an American before

On our second day in Sharipova we were interviewed by the local TV station and they ran a 2.5 minute spot on us that evening on the local news! On the last evening Karen and I spent over two hours praying for people individually at the conclusion of the seminar.

Preparing for the Interview

We were hugely impressed with this new church and its pastor Zhenya. In a very decrepit shell of an apartment building that lacks doors and most of its windows, the church has a youth ministry. The city allows the church to use two rooms that have heat and electricity.

This is the Building - like a destroyed housing project

Our apology for the poor picture it was taken at midnight

This small church remodeled these rooms and here they have a large children and youth ministry to the poorest of the poor in a poverty stricken city. Most of these children come from broken families with addicted or absent parents. Some of the young girls are being pimped as prostitutes. The church holds youth services, Sunday School, after school fun programs and provides food for kids who never get enough to eat.

Youth Rooms the Church has remodled

Kids do crafts and eat here

Pastor Zhenya wants to hold a summer camp next year for these kids. The church could use ten tents. Pastor Zhenya didn’t ask for our help, but if you would be interested in providing a tent or two let us know. They can be purchased here for about $75.00 - $100.00.

On to Achinsk

We left Sharipova on Saturday morning and drove to Achinsk were I preached in two services on Sunday. The Achinsk church is large and has two services with a total attendance of almost 600 people. Despite being sick with food poisoning, and losing my place in my notes, the Holy Spirit moved and ten people repented that morning, some of them weeping as they prayed and asked Jesus to be their Lord.

Preaching in Achinsk

I was really sick

Signing Bibles for Teens after the service

Before the national conference began on Thursday,we attended a gathering of Russian leaders at a hostel outside the city for two nights. It was a fun time of relationship building and some teaching. We all went to the banya, and we had a large cookout Wednesday evening.

With Pastor Oleg from Achinsk

He is a former drug addict who now leads a 450+ person church

Leaders Cookout

Karen with Russian friends

Russian Pastors - all former drug addicts

More Pastors & Leaders

On Thursday we returned to the city for the start of the annual conference. The conference was attended by over 1500 young Russian believers. The first night pastor Oleg asked everyone who had once been a drug addict or alcoholic to stand up. About 1400 people stood to their feet! The atmosphere was charged with excitement and joy as they have had their lives dramatically changed by the Gospel.

At the Conference

The blue tint is from the plastic roof on the pavillion

Friday and Saturday were conference days. We had times of really wonderful worship and the teaching and preaching sessions were great. Karen and I were pleased when one of the pastors, who was from Sweden, preached in English. What a treat for us!

Saturday afternoon we said our goodbyes in Achinsk and drove 4.5 hours west with another young couple to the city of Tomsk. During the conference Karen and I received an unexpected invitation to visit this city and minister there and were delighted by the opportunity.

Lena and Maxim

We drove with them to Tomsk

Tomsk City Limits

While there we attended two church services and ministered in two of the church rehab centers. The Tomsk Cornerstone church is the first church that was planted out of Achinsk ten years ago and today the church is more than 650 people. The church publishes a monthly magazine, hosts a radio program and has many other ministries as well as over 100 house groups meeting during the week.

Sunday Church Service, Tomsk

People who responded to call for Repentance

Our friend, Pastor Oleg Tikonovf

Fromer drug addict and criminal - now leads a 650 member church

With our friend Alonya - City Center - Tomsk

The Tomsk church owns a large tract of land and two buildings about 4 kilometers outside the city. In a miracle of God’s provision these buildings and land were purchased by the church for what it would cost to purchase a two room apartment! One of the buildings houses a rehab center and a center for homeless people. The second building, which has never been finished, is even larger and is currently in the process of being built out for occupation. It will have apartments, office space, a meeting hall and dorms for the growing church and rehab ministry.

This building houses recovering addicts and homeless people

This Building is being slowly built out - for offices and rehab ministry

The church has plans for a 2000 seat auditorium on this property

Karen with sisters at the prison halfway house operated by the church

Here we are with the entire group of former prison inmates

They now have hope for a better life -

Thanks to Jesus Christ and a church who cares about them

1:00 AM Tuesday morning we were taken by car 100 kilometers to a train station were we caught a 4:00 AM train to Krasnoyarsk, ten hours and 600 km back east. In Krasnoyarsk we stayed overnight in the local rehab center operated by the Krasnoyarsk Cornerstone church. We really enjoyed our time with the young church planters who are sacrificing so much in order to see the Kingdom of God advance.

Brothers and Sisters

at the Krasnoyarsk rehab center

The smaller brick building in the center

houses the Krasnoyarsk rehab minsitry

Early the next morning we headed to the airport for our long trip home and after traveling nearly 3000 miles in 18 hours we made it back to Nizhny. We were tired but, pleased with the great things that God had done. Despite the length of this post we could tell many more wonderful things that happened on this trip, but those stories will have to wait for another time.