“Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” John 14:27
Trip number nine!
God has once again provided, and I have a plane ticket for Samara, Russia. As many of you already know from Tanya’s e-mails and newsletters, Samara CrossRoads is diligently ministering to Russian teachers and teens. In spite of scaled-back salaries and makeshift working conditions, Tanya, Alla, and Natasha continue to press on toward the mark.
This year I am traveling sooner than I usually do, leaving April 30, and I will be making the trip alone. I will be teaching a 3-session Bible study, “Help for the Troubled Heart” to the CrossRoads teachers. This year I will also teach at the Salvation Rehab Center in Pestrovka, staying there for several days, and making myself available to minister to the rehabilitants and staff. Another possibility is participation in a weekend CrossRoads retreat for the students of the medical college in Novokuybyshevsk.
I have also been invited to spend a few days at an Orthodox convent, and to tour the Samara Orthodox Seminary when I am presented with a copy of the (bilingual) book of its history, which I edited last year. In the current climate of suspicion regarding Protestant churches (perceived as cults), I am hoping God will provide a better, more cooperative vision for Orthodox believers through my presence.
You matter in all of this! Your presence by your participation will make a difference for God’s Kingdom work in Samara. People there are scared. The global economic meltdown, while somewhat familiar to those who survived perestroika, has put so many out of work, sent prices through the roof, and cast a shadow over the glimmers of hope for a stable life. The Russian government offers no bailouts or unemployment insurance. But Christ offers his peace, “not as the world gives.” And that is what I hope to bring on your behalf.
I am so aware of the effects of our current recession and that many of you are struggling financially. But, if you are willing and able to participate in any way, regardless of the amount, please send your check payable to “Help is on the Way” to: Help is on the Way, 1529 Taylor Lane, Madera, CA 93637. Note: “Samara” on the memo line. You will receive a tax donation receipt and a personal thank you from Russia. Since I leave on April 30—earlier this time—it’s important to send gifts prior to April 15 so that the funds can be receipted and prepared for transport.
Part of the outreach of CrossRoads includes providing free Bibles to all who attend their trainings and see the Jesus Film. I have just learned that their supply of Bibles is nearly gone! Wouldn’t it be great to be able to fund that need and replenish the storehouse?
Whether you can or can’t help financially, will you pray for me as I prepare, travel, and model Christ’s words of comfort in tangible ways to Russian teachers, teens, children, and many others who will cross my path—always curious about life in America and what brings me to their city.
Thank you from the bottom of my heart for even considering partnering with me this time. Perhaps this is a bit “old hat” for most of you. But as long as God gives me strength and provision, I am compelled to continue on the path He set me on the day Tanya said, “We need someone to teach us the Bible…”