The first stop on Andrew’s trip to Russia, after a brief unloading of luggage at his hotel room at the Park Inn hotel—was to Charis Bible College, St. Petersburg. And not for just a brief hello. Andrew taught for three hours and made himself available for question and answer to the students afterward. This international group of students soaked up their time with him, and followed the sessions with questions they had been burning to ask for months. It is one thing to read, hear, and watch videos of the teacher who founded Charis Bible Colleges worldwide, it is quite another to have him in front of you, and willing to make himself available in a give and take discussion.
The Charis students meet on the third floor of a non-descript warehouse building housed among the massive bread baking factories that serve the entire city of St. Petersburg. While breaking the bread of life in these secure surroundings, students and instructors are bathed constantly in the mouth watering aroma of baking bread. And the Russians do love their bread. At every meal there is always a choice, “black” or “white.” All manner of dark breads, from rye to hearty whole wheat are preferred here. It is a fitting metaphor for the appetite these students display for the almost-too-good-to-be-true Gospel, and the deeper, more intimate relationship with God that it nourishes.
Filed May 24, 2012 by AWM Media Operations Manager, Stephen Bransford.