The city of Izhevsk is a munitions city. It was planned and created deep in the Russian heartland during the buildup to Hitler’s invasion. Here armaments were assembled for the defense of the nation. The factories remained beyond the reach of German long range bombers. It is said the vast Russian land defeated the Nazi Armies as much as the determination of the Russian people.
After the war, Mikhail Kalashnikov invented the now famous AK-47 assault rifle in this city. This weapon is said to have redefined armed conflict around the world. Now in his nineties, Kalashnikov lives as a celebrity in Izhevsk. He claims that the simple elegance of his design was influenced by reading the Bible, and by reading classic Russian literature.
As we drove to our Gospel Truth Seminar in Izhevsk, we were told that the sponsoring pastors had not been allowed to use the newer halls available in the city. The hall they rented was a rickety gymnasium adjacent to a city jail, complete with armed guard towers and razor wire. Little did it matter. A thousand people filled the hall—some were local, and some drove from regions of Georgia, Ukraine and as far away as Armenia—which was like driving from Los Angeles to New York City to get to this meeting. Many of these had seen Andrew’s Gospel Truth program on CNL television.
But a quick poll of the people revealed that Russia is more of a book culture, than a television culture. Russia has always honored writers, and Andrew’s 11 published Russian language books have proven to be a most important source of spreading the good news in this land. For that reason it was a special pleasure to see Emile Menzhagil and his wife Lena in the crowd. From Ufa, Russia, Emile has been responsible for translating each of Andrew’s 11 books into Russian. He is a true hero of grace. Only eternity will reveal his reward for such a solitary task.
The praise and worship provided by the local church was excellent, perhaps the best we have heard anywhere. Really! After Andrew completed each teaching, many miracles were seen as the CBC students from Naberezhnye Chelny laid hands on the sick and saw them recover.
And so we prepared to return to St. Petersburg for our final Russian meetings.
Filed May 29, 2012, by Media Operations Manager, Stephen Bransford.