Dmitry Bespalov is one of hundreds of Russian prisoners who study the Bible through our RBS. Bibles and Christian books printed by Eastern European Mission had been provided for the prison library in Stavropolskiy region, where he is an inmate. A few months ago he shared sad news with us – all these books had been withdrawn from the library for investigation. The authorities wanted to be sure that the books did not contain any extremist propaganda and generally were okay for inmates to read. Dmitry and his friends were very discouraged. They thought they would never see these books again. Recently we received a joyful letter from him – all the books returned, approved by Russian Federal Penitentiary Service! God be praised.
ITCM is that focus of our mission which provides continuing education to church leaders through 8 week on line courses nation wide with respected church scholars. Students of ITCM in St Petersburg recently had the opportunity to host "debates" with members of the Sceptic Society of St Petersburg. Members think of themselves as people who believe only in evidences. According to them, to rephrase a famous statement by Feodor Dostoevsky, the words “sceptic” and “atheist” are synonyms. They "love" debates. On October 16, twelve of them came prepared, with their “sharpened swords”. We shared our opinions, arguments, and answered each other’s questions. To my opinion we demonstrate to them that we did have evidences to believe in what we believe. To our mutual surprise, everything went very well. All of us became friends. We now plan the second debates. We learned their impressions of the meeting from their comments on social networks:
"Christians are not that scary. They can reason. They say 'I don’t know', when they don’t know.They respect you, even if you have a different opinion."
We were glad to discover this in ourselves. Thanks to all ITCM professors who taught in St.Petersburg, who gave us not only knowledge and arguments to talk to the sceptics, but conviction and understanding that God loves all, even those who don’t love Him in return. (Photos)
Luka Bolshakova, who oversees the CRCRussia development of resources for congregational singing in Russian, recently led a chorus in Belarus. During the May Retreat in St.Petersburg guests from Belarus invited the Neva Church of Christ chorus to Minsk to sing a concert for Church of Christ congregations there, in an evangelistic outreach and… to teach local Christians new hymns and improve the singing of old hymns. Though expensive for a chorus to travel, the Minsk brethren had a special contribution and covered all the expenses. We found it to be a good idea to have a chorus teach another chorus. A group of altos worked with altos, sopranos with sopranos etc. They studied their parts separately and then got together to combine all parts. As Yulia Belova, CRCRussia graduate, who sings soprano said, “If you want to feel enveloped in God’s love, come to Minsk”. (Photos)
If you would like to partner with us in this work of God or learn more about us, please email me at email@example.com or I would be pleased to FaceTime (remember we are at least 9 hours difference here in St Petersburg)! You can also click below through other social media or see our English website at CRCRussia.com.