Theory without practice doesn’t do anyone good, that’s why it’s important to get out of the classroom and apply our knowledge to real life situations.
This is exactly what a group of our CMI students did last month as they crossed the border from Ukraine into Russia to help plant a church in a different country and a different culture.
Transformation church near the city of Perm invited our students to come and help them do outreach in the town of Vereshagino, which is located about 100 miles outside of Perm, Russia.
Our CMI team met up in Kharkov and then crossed the Russian border by car. Everyone was thankful for God’s protection as we traveled over 30 hours one way covering more than 2,200 km!
We were all glad when we finally rolled into the church around 11pm on Saturday evening. Our Russian brothers in Christ greeted us with some delicious Russian pelmeni! We knew that the next week would be full of ministry and new experiences as we anticipated what God was about to do.
Our students ministered in two churches on the outskirts of Perm on Sunday morning, then Sunday evening we drove 100 miles out to the town of Vereshagino. We set up camp near a small lake about 15 mins from town.
Each morning for two hours we went through part of the Good Soil seminar which focuses on training believers to better communicate the Gospel to unbelievers. In the afternoons we headed in to town where we put to practice what we had learned that morning by talking with the locals and sharing Christ’s love with them.
Transformation Church from Perm led games in the park for kids with a Bible story afterwards. Russia law does not allow for religious teaching of children 14 and under without the written permission of their parents. Thus we had to turn away the younger children who didn’t have their parents with them.
We wanted to do something to show the town God’s love for them, so in addition to personally talking with many people and sharing the gospel our students got busy and helped clean up the local park. This proved to be a great way to strengthen our testimony and gain the respect of the people.
Please pray for the town of Vereshagino! We just received word from one of the pastors of the church in Perm. He said they are traveling weekly to Vereshagino where they now have 13 new contacts as a result of the work our students did last month.
Pray also for our students who were on this trip. Several of them are thinking about missions. Pray that God would raise up a few missionaries from young men and women in Ukraine who can serve in places like Vereshagino!
Check out a few more pictures on our Facebook page!