We arrived in Ivangorod, Russia on May 15, 2013, to continue working with Pastor Yakov Demianchuk, Overseas Director of the School of Christ. We had a great time at home seeing my family, but ready to get back to Russia and to the work God has called us to do.
A campground was donated to us ten years ago and all the churches associated with us use it all summer for a time of getting closer to the Lord. The theme for this year camps was Paths to Power, taken from the School of Christ.
Beginning the last week of June and continuing till the end of July, one local church after another traveled four hours north of St. Petersburg to separate themselves for God’s Word, prayer, and fellowship. Our family stayed at the camp the whole time to minister together with the leaders of each church. On the weekends, while waiting for the next church to come, we traveled around the region preaching in new churches that Pastor Yakov is responsible for.
The churches in Russia are not seeing growth by leaps and bounds, but there is a definite, steady increase of solid, balanced believers. We are constantly asking for God’s divine intervention to help us bring in the harvest. Still, we were a bit overwhelmed this year in the Youth Camp. With one hundred and twenty youth in tight quarters, with not enough toilets or showers, even water was a problem, it is necessary to keep them active and challenged. On two separate evenings, Yakov took thirty campers on an evangelizing trip to the cities where our newly planted churchs are located. Another evening we all went to the nearby lake to baptize several of the youth, which included my two oldest boys.
The last evening of the youth camp, the Holy Spirit moved in a clearly supernatural way, beginning with a group of 12-13 year olds from Ivangorod. All week they had been hard to handle, not interested in the Bible lessons at all. At the altar call, suddenly they broke down, weeping loudly and repenting. As the wave of emotion passed, we started to dismiss for supper, but nobody wanted to leave the meeting tent. Others started seeking more earnestly and the Holy Spirit passed through the tent in waves. The leaders just stood still and watched in amazement as God filled one after another with His Spirit. This went on until two in the morning, and the changed attitudes were evident for weeks to come. This move of the Holy Spirit was just what we needed to encourage us and convince the doubters who had never seen a real move of God.
Here are a few pictures of our time there. Many thanks that you have been faithful to His calling.