Disciples in Perm, Russia, take a deliberate approach to reaching others through weekend mission teams. And build new relationships along the way.
Greetings, dear friends! Life in Christ is a wonderful thing. We are doing so much that would never be possible if we didn’t have God. With this letter, we also share this life in Christ with you!
In the fall of this year, we started a project in Perm called “The Weekend Missionary Team.” This is a great time for disciples from the Ural churches to serve both the disciples and the lost in our city. Once a month we invite a group of 8 brothers and sisters from the Ural churches to Perm in order to share with people about Christ, study the Bible with them, and spend time fellowshipping together on Saturday evening with our guests. We believe that this time really brings us together.
On this weekend, 20-21 October, disciples from Ekaterinburg and a married couple from Omsk came to us. They came to evangelize on the streets. It was an incredible time. The disciples shared that they were very impressed by the beauty and cleanliness of our city, and by the people’s positive response. Although some were not willing, still others joyfully received the disciples and what they offered—that is, the word of God! We were very excited that, despite the pouring rain on Saturday and the bitter cold and strong wind on Sunday, some people still stopped and sacrificed a bit to speak with us, pause, and thoughtfully and honestly answer questions about their lives, faith, and convictions.
Meeting new people, evangelizing, praying, and studying the Bible have brought us a lot of spiritual and emotional strength.
On Saturday evening we celebrated a fantastic occasion—Tanya Pakhtusovaya’s 20th year in Christ. She and her entire family graciously invited everyone to a real feast. It was very fun to get to know Tanya and each other better. It was a great time for the brothers and sisters!
We began Sunday morning worshipping God with songs, prayer, and communion on the bank of the Kama River. It was so deeply touching that many who came decided to continue working as missionaries. At our Sunday service our weekend missionaries served greatly with their gifts and talents.
Here are some of their comments about the Team:
It really inspired me, I loved it! Before my wife and I came to Perm—before we had definitely decided to come—the thought that we could be on a missions team put it on my heart to share with people the good news. We had some doubts about the trip—there were definitely some inconveniences. But, thanks be to God, we arrived and it was great. I see a hundred times the fruit in my own heart from this trip! God blesses even those, honestly, little sacrifices. There was a deep, practical, inspiring lesson about evangelism. We had a great time with the disciples. We were united in prayer and in thought. We gathered, God put on our hearts a strong desire to share our faith, we went, evangelized, gathered again, shared stories...It really encouraged me. We were together, we were a team. It’s true, the disciples in Perm really need this program, but for me it was just as important.
To this day, my heart is overflowing with feelings and emotion! I ridiculously enjoyed the missionary weekend! Although it was only a small part of a greater vision…
It was a special time for me and God: certain verses from the Bible became clearer in a new way, Roman’s lesson and the sermon on Sunday gave a lot of useful practicals; I wholeheartedly prayed to meet open people who would want to read the Bible and change their lives, and God answered…Even in a day and a half we [the disciples on the team] had become close friends, so when we had lunch together on Sunday I could only express my feelings like this: “Let’s build a few tents and stay in them and not go home!" The disciples in Perm were very hospitable and ready to help in any way possible! I still remember Roman’s delicious coffee and interesting spiritual conversations with him and his wife Elena. In such a short time in Perm, my dream to be a member of a mission team wherever God wanted me came true!
The entire program, despite its kinks, was very inspiring and strengthening. There were only positive feelings, and disciples where inspired to come again. They shared that they had acutely reevaluated the goals of discipleship: love God—fulfill His commandments and share their faith—and love their neighbors—share the good news and encourage each other with faith. We are very grateful for the hospitality of the Makliaevs, Pakhtusovs, and for the help and service of Larisa and Vitalik.
How wonderful it was to see fruit! We really hope that you returned home strengthened in faith, with a feeling of unity and participation in God’s mission.
PS: If this article has made you want to participate in a weekend mission team, you can click here for more information [http://uralcoc.ru/anons-perm-mkvd.html] (Site in Russian)
You can roughly translate these Russian sites, by going to Google Translate [translate.google.com] and putting in the URL.