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Entries in Russia (23)


The Warmth of His Love

“God wants me to give you a word—just one word,” a woman told recent Charis graduate Denise Mize. “Maybe you know what it means,” she continued. “The word is Russia.”

“Throughout my first year at Charis Bible College, I had a strong desire to go to Russia on my second-year missions trip,” Denise said. “So, when the time came to submit our choices, I wrote Russia right at the top. [While] waiting to hear, I never really doubted that it would be Russia, and it was! Knowing God gave me a word through a woman I had never met gave me peace and joy. I knew He had a purpose for me in Russia.”

Like a blanket of snow that freezes all living things in its tracks, religion has been covering Russia, crippling God’s children who so desperately desire the love of their Father. This is where Charis sent a team of second-year students, who took with them the light and warmth of their heavenly Father.

After the students arrived, they were divided into teams and sent out for two days to minister to one family, being reminded that deep relationships take time. When Denise and her teammate Shalom entered the home of Masha, a dear Christian woman who lived in a small village outside Izhevsk, Denise instantly felt a special connection to her. “I just couldn’t love on this woman enough,” she recalled. “I soon felt that two days just wasn’t enough. I didn’t want to leave. My love for Masha was greater than any inconvenience.

“When we first arrived and realized the bathroom was a crude, wooden outhouse in the frozen backyard, I quoted Philippians 4:13 and promised the Lord and myself [that] I would not complain. Now I think, Outhouse? No big deal! If given the opportunity to go be with Masha again, I would jump at the chance—and I would bring some of those disposable toilet seat covers!”

Not only did Masha receive the healing she needed, but Denise noticed that Masha was also receiving the Father’s love through them. Denise insisted that their translator, Sergey, read Proverbs 31 to her.

“As he read the verses describing the skills [the virtuous woman had] of preparing food and sewing for her household, he pointed to the food on the table and lifted up her crocheted rugs [that] we had been admiring,” Denise said. “After he finished the reading, he translated my words: ‘Masha, you are a Proverbs 31 woman. You show the love of God to others in so many ways.’ I will never forget her smile. Masha and I both cried when we said goodbye. I think about Masha and pray for her every day.”

As a supporter of Andrew Wommack Ministries and Charis Bible College, you are a part of bringing life and healing not only to the nations, but also to the students who visit them. Recent Charis graduate William Bellamy, injured in a snowboarding accident just before his trip to Russia, asked for prayer for his shoulders while he was there—and something quite unexpected came his way.

“As the people began to pray for me, I received total healing in both shoulders instantly,” recalled William. “While they were praying, one woman put her hand on my lower back directly where I had major pain from an injury I received during the Iraq War. The area began to get warm, and instantly the pain
was gone.”

We may never know the full effects of what happened in the frozen tundra of Russia this side of eternity. However, we do know that this is just the beginning, as more and more students are realizing who they are—and Whose they are—and are going out to proclaim it to the world.

Click here to find out how you can help support missions trips like this through AWM!


Lessons Learned on the Mission Field in Russia

Charis Bible College second year students, Stan Mael and Donna Hanna from CBC Colorado and Boris Alekseev, from Charis Bible Training Center in St. Petersburg. February 2014 (Click to enlarge)While there is not enough space here to detail God's call on Stan Mael's life, we'll suffice it to say that it was his calling that prompted Stan to state on his Charis Bible College application that one of his goals in attending CBC was to come to the end of himself. According to Stan, the myriad of first year courses and new relationships he made at CBC, laid the groundwork for that transformation. As he continued through second year, however, Stan realized that coming to the end of himself was not something he could do on his own, and that he may not even know when or if it happened. Stan said, "We all have habits, hang-ups, and hoopla to deal with, and I certainly have my share of inadequacies, but it's like Andrew says, 'I may not have arrived yet, but at least I've left the station.'"

As a second year student at Charis, Stan was required to take a foreign missions trip. Of the destinations available to Stan, his preferred choice was Russia. And just as God had placed that desire in Stan's heart, He also made a way for Stan to go in February 2014.

For several weeks prior to the trip, God had showed Stan that his task on the mission was to be a blessing—not a show off. Stan understood that God was telling him that his experience was going to be different, that he would indeed come to the end of himself in Russia. Regardless of how many years Stan had been a team leader, department director, business owner, children's pastor, etc., God instructed him to let it all go, and just serve. In fact, the night before the trip, as Stan was lying in bed, the Lord showed him that he and the CBC-Colorado team were going to work in another man's field.

"Russia is Mike and Carrie's field. It is Victor and Natasha's field. It is Pastor Svetlana’s field. We were merely passing through, and our purpose was to sow seed, water, fertilize, and watch God reap the harvest," Stan said.

Amid the many salvations, baptisms, and healings, the CBC team saw during their stay in Russia, Stan also learned the following five things:

You teach the Word, but you minister love.
Not everyone is called to be a teacher, but each person is called to minister the love that God has shed abroad in their heart. We are ministers of reconciliation. Let God’s unconditional love for you spill over in all of your relationships.

You can rely on the Holy Spirit for inspiration and direction.
Going to a foreign country and not speaking the language, you’d better be relying on someone. We had a translator for most of the time, but when one was not available, we had to rely on the Holy Spirit to know what to do.

It doesn’t matter what the story is, God’s big enough to handle it. He doesn’t need your eloquence, He simply needs your trust.
One morning our hostess came in frantically waving her arms and trying to explain some crises to us. Our translator happened to be gone, so we just looked at each other and said, “Let’s pray anyway.” We gave it to God, who already knew the situation, and let Him handle it. Ten minutes later she came back in and everything was fine.

Leave your dictionary at home. The simple truth will do every time.
This shouldn’t take a lot of explanation, but I will say, that in conjunction with the rest of these, just let your heart be your guide. Trust the Holy Spirit and lean not to your own understanding.

Whatever happens, good or bad, you don’t need to commend yourself, defend yourself, or justify yourself. That’s God’s job.
Regardless of your chosen profession, you will have opportunity to be offended. What you do with that offence is more important than the offence itself, so my advice is to just give it to God and let Him deal with it. You will also have opportunity to be lifted up in pride. The same advice applies.

While the primary focus of CBC's mission trips is on serving and blessing the communities the students visit, it is often the students that learn the most from their adventures overseas. To learn more about the school or the missions program, visit the Charis Bible College website.


Colorado Students Travel to Russia

CBC-Colorado students arrival in Russia. (L-R: Stan Goodman, Leonora Britton, Kimberly Kral, Clint Zeller, Cristina Goodman, Deborah Peters, Joanne Lawrence, Zoe Newton, and Dino Bridges [Not pictured: JB McKoy, Mark Jones and Sharayah Stitt]). (Click to enlarge)On March 2, after more than 30 hours of continuous travel, a mission team from Charis Bible College was back at home in Colorado Springs. The 14 person team, led by CBC Night School Director, Mark Jones and CBC-intern, Sharayah Stitt, had just returned from a week's worth of ministry in Russia.

The Colorado team was hosted by seasoned missionaries, Carrie and Mike Pickett, the Directors of Andrew Wommack Ministries Russia, and the CBC extension school, Charis Bible Training Center in St. Petersburg. The Picketts provided the visiting mission team with many opportunities to share God's unconditional love and grace with the Russian people. The Colorado second-year students taught the first-year students at CBTC in a classroom setting, they visited a drug rehab where they shared with individual Clint and Garrett praying for a young mother at the church in Korelia.
(Click to enlarge)
groups of men and women, and they also visited a church several hours north of St. Petersburg.

Having heard the wonderful testimonies from previous mission teams, Colorado student, Clint Zeller, went to Russia anticipating having an amazing ministry experience. What he didn't expect was the way in which the Lord would minister to him. Through his time in Russia, Clint began to understand his relationship with Jesus in a new way.

"This trip helped me realize that I can stop questioning everything that comes to me, and just rest in Him. I don't think we realize how cluttered our lives are until we have a chance to step away, even Clint speaking on grace to first-year CBTC students through his interpreter Jules. (Click to enlarge) for a short time, and completely focus on Him. So many times we allow our minds to get in the way of what God is telling us, but His voice becomes much clearer when we can put everything aside and just allow Him to move through us. No matter what He calls us to, we can rest in the fact that we are blessed no matter where we are. We don't have to worry about anything because He is with us. It took a trip to the other side of the planet for me to figure this out, but it's definitely something I won't forget," said Clint.

One of the places the team had the opportunity to minister was at a small village church in northwestern Russia, in the Republic of Karelia. The church recently started a small Bible school and Stan, Cristina, and Kimmy, praying for healing for a man at the church in Korelia. (Click to enlarge)was hungry for more teaching of the Word. The students spent a couple of nights teaching, sharing testimonies and praying for the people in the congregation.

For one CBC student, JB McKoy, the visit to the church in Karelia provided the opportunity to minister one-on-one to a former prison inmate. JB said that the man, Dema, had been in prison for the past six years. He had been on and off drugs, and he was afraid of falling back into drug dependence. JB was able to pray with him over the course of the two nights in Karelia and he was able to encourage Dema in the sufficiency of God's love to keep him on the right path.

JB also enjoyed ministering in front of a larger crowd at CBTC. "I had the wonderful opportunity to share my life-changing message on renewing the mind with over twenty Russian first-year students, plus the team and school JB McKoy (right) sharing his message with students at CBTC.
(Click to enlarge)
staff," JB said.

JB put everything he had into his message and its delivery and was excited to see the students' expressions as the message began to resonate with them at what JB perceived to be a heart level. He saw the students writing down the many Scripture references he shared, and he knew the Word would have a tremendous impact. At the conclusion of JB's teaching, he gave each student a gift, a matted print he had made of a butterfly picture with a Scriptural message of hope and encouragement written in Russian.

Clint and JB's experiences are just two more examples of the wonderful way the Lord weaves his love and grace into the ministry that takes place on the mission field as CBC students go forth proclaiming the Good News.