It has been fun to be back in Russia, and a real blessing to get to travel and visit the churches with George
for the pastor's meetings!
We arrived back Friday, after visiting churches and Pastors in four cities in four days!
Here's a brief outline of what we saw and heard:
arrived from the States, and we went straight from the airport via train to Moscow, where we caught the express to Kaluga.
Pastor Dima and his
wife, Nadia just had their third little baby boy.
shared a message about God's 'exceeding great and precious promises' from 2 Peter 1, and they had the baby dedication too.
It was awesome to see all my friends at the church from the times we've spent in outreach to the city.
Yura, who has served as a translator for us during the outreaches, has been going through some health issues lately, but seems to be doing a lot better, praise the Lord!
At first they were worried that he
might have developed MS, but he
says that the doctors don't really know what his
problem is, (this all stems from his
car accident a couple of years ago).
So please pray for him to be completely healed!
is in his
last year of University, and coming up to his
Monday: After spending the night at Pastor Dima and Nadia's house we took the early train back to Moscow where George met with the pastors of the Moscow Calvary Chapels, and Pastor Ray Curran from Tambov.
decided that instead of holding a May Pastor's conference here at the dorm this year, it would be better to travel to the Pastors to discuss things happening in the churches, and plans for long term church planting.
George is hoping to start a program to bring young men from the States to come to Moscow for a year-long Pastoral internship where they would have intense language training, discipleship training and preparation to go into a Russian city and start a new Calvary Chapel.
also working with those already in churches to raise up young Russians to travel and do the same thing.
and I arrived in Perm, where it was actively snowing!
After the service George
met with Peter and other leadership for a meeting, and I went back to Tanya's house.
On the way Barb saw a lady standing near the grocery store, who had a little boy in one hand and a sleeping toddler over her
other shoulder - she
Sasha, one of the young men from the church asked her
trouble was, and she
shared that she
was in the city, away from her
home, and her
husband had left her
, and she
had no money to make it back to her
children were well dressed and cared for against the cold, but Sasha and Barbara bought them some hot dinner from the grocery store, and brought them to the bus station with some money to get home.
Friday: We had a staff meeting, where George
vision for the next year of outreach and ministry - the launching of the Pastoral Internship program, and the sending out of more people to plant churches in Russia.
Russia is still open to the Gospel - to evangelization and church planting - foreigners are still welcome, and it's legal to reach out to the Russian people, of whom the majority still claim atheism or are nominal Christians.
There are tons of open opportunities, and it's encouraging to see young men like Max, from Tambov
, who is moving to Tver on May 15th to restart the church there.
He's had a relationship with the church there for a long time, and the small group of believers there is excited to have him come be his pastor, and start to hold services again.
I just got home today from a side trip with George, the Director of CCCPM, who was preaching at the Calvary Chapel in the city of Nizhny Novgorod.
Tyler, one of the interns here, George
and I took an overnight train south where we met with the believers at the church, some of whom had come to serve with us as translators on out first trip to the orphanages this summer.
It was great to see them again, fellowship with their congregation, and pray with them as they send out Sonia (who translated for us) and her
older sister Dasha, who are heading to Austria to do an internship at the Calvary Chapel Bible College
George Bryson, who has worked alongside Sorrow Underfoot as an Oceanside-based administrator with Calvary Chapel Church, said that the band members' efforts are beyond their years.
"I couldn't be happier to partner with them," Bryson
"They have just given themselves to reach out to Russians in general, and to these children in the orphanages, in particular.
Even though I haven't known them that long, we're pretty tight now, because we've spent a lot of time together."
As for the musical aspect of the band's endeavors, Bryson
said rock 'n' roll music is an especially effective way to connect with Russian teenagers.
"There's no way you're going to reach young people without playing music that somebody my age wouldn't normally listen to.
The young people love it," said Bryson
, who is 60 years old and has been working in Russia for 20 years.
"The kids love their music ---- everywhere they go, they have a following," he