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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.


Amrita said...

Rejoicing with you as I read this. To God be the glory great things He hath done.

Margo in Maine said...

I give the Almighty Praise for these who have found life in Jesus..words cannot really express how exciting this is....that one day we will all join around the throne and rejoice together....God's blessing to you and His strength and provision in this powerful ministry and to all who labor together with you on the other side of the world...USA