Greetings dear brothers and sisters in Christ! I am glad to
write you again about the mission in Karelia.
1. The Church
6-8, my trip to Kiev went smoothly. I was glad to participate as a speaker at
the conference. I spoke on the idea of “practical outreach”. Out of the 400
people attending, 60 expressed an interest in the missions work in Karelia. The
seminar went well and the youth genuinely enjoyed being there. I was also able
to share my personal testimony. At the end of May, I am tasked with getting the
groups ready that will participate in short-term missions work in Karelia.
Please pray for these efforts and for God’s blessing in doing His work.
looked into obtaining an old church building formerly belonging to a Lutheran
group. We have found that we won’t be able to purchase the property and have
ceased efforts to do so. I am grateful that God has shown us this and am
praying that He will aid us in getting a place of our own in the future where
we can have a home base for the church in Petrozavodsk as well as the mission.
lack of a dedicated building to hold Sunday services poses some problems for
us. Currently, we meet in my home, but as more and more people join the church
we quickly run out of space. I have met with brother Julian Erinchuk to discuss
with him the possibility of organizing another at-home church in his residence.
Brother Julian participated in missions work in Karelia prior to my arrival
here and promised to think about my proposal. If God moves him to aid us in this
problem, we could split the church up into two smaller groups and hold Sunday
services more comfortably.
Below is an updated chart of the
small groups in our church. We have two new groups, the “post-rehab” group and
the “new believer” group.
The rehab group is aimed
to evangelize to those suffering from alcohol and drug addiction in
Petrozavodsk and the surrounding area. They are also tasked with admitting
those in need of serious help to the center as well as helping integrate
post-rehab patients into society. These brothers work in lumber yards and in
construction. All of the outreach and help they do is funded out of their own
pockets and with help from donations.
group for new believers was created for those who have just recently come to
know Christ and who are in need of the most support and care throughout their
spiritual journey. We currently have three people in this group. Please pray
for their spiritual growth.
May 1 through the 3, we plan to organize a family-oriented conference as a part
of a trip outside the city. For this, we rented a small cabin and invited
guests from St. Petersburg. Attending this conference will be both the
non-believer and new-believer husbands of many of our female members. I hope
that everything will go smoothly and without conflict and that we can bring
these families closer together through the power of God’s word.
2. The Rehab Center
last letter, I wrote about the unfortunate accident with brother Constantine.
His leg has healed and everything is okay. We have sent him on a small vacation
to St. Petersburg to recover fully and brother Sergey has taken his place as
the leader in the rehab center. May God bless his work!
have some new problems here. The vehicle dedicated for use in the rehab center
has broken down. It won’t start and we cannot figure out the cause. We have
been using it heavily this winter and it seems like it just couldn’t handle the
stress… Russian cars aren’t built for Russian roads. Our brothers in the rehab
center have also been praying for an opportunity to build a new building from
logs or better wood. This winter we had many very cold days and nights and the
floor reached temperatures of -1 degrees Celsius (30 degrees Fahrenheit). The
walls of our building are only 4 inches thick and the wind blows through them.
We have put some effort into insulating the building, but it doesn’t help much.
You can’t keep putting new patches on old clothes, so we have decided that a
new building is the best way to go in this situation.
3. Youth Club “Rock”
reached a new milestone in this outreach effort. 12 kids have shown themselves
to be very active and ready to be leaders in this mission. For them we have
prepared a course of 7 steps to get them ready to take up leadership positions
among their peers. During the summer camps, we will help them develop the
skills necessary by putting them in positions as helpers to the leaders. They
are eagerly awaiting summer and the arrival of the youth missionaries from Florida
who they met during the mission trip two years ago.
We also held the first training/hiking trip with our youth. We are also
planning on a tougher trip from May 9 through the 11. We do these outings in
order to help the youth grow closer together and of course to relax and have a
good time. One of the goals of these trips is to invite youth that isn’t saved
and through a positive influence bring them closer to Christ and their
salvation. We are a little short on camping gear, but with God’s help this
problem will get taken care of. Karelia is a perfect place to go camping,
hiking, and to witness the glory of God’s creation.
4. The Mission
summer from June 20 through July 20, we plan to organize summer children’s day
camps in the Sortavalskiy region and in Meleorativniy. Even now, we ask you to
begin praying for this work as we prepare physically and spiritually. Please
pray for the support of the local administration and for support from the
Baptist churches throughout the neighboring counties. We can use all the
manpower we can get. One of the Lutheran churches where we were planning to
hold a day camp suffered a fire, so we are looking for another place where we
can do so. Please pray for them and us in this issue.
The end of all things is near. Therefore be alert and of sober mind so that you may pray.
1 Peter 4:7
Thank you for all your support and prayers! May God bless