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Entries in Russia (23)

Tuesday
May292012

Russia Trip 2012: Gospel Truth Seminar, Izhevsk

The victories of war are celebrated in Izhevsk.
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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 A Russian family poses with the statue of Mikhail Kalashnikov. (Click to enlarge)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 The factory in Izhevsk where the AK-47 was first manufactured. (Click to enlarge)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.

The gymnasium that hosted the Gospel Truth Seminar in Izhevsk. (Click to enlarge) Inside the gymnasium, a thousand gathered to hear the word. (Click to enlarge)

Velodya translates the local pastor for Andrew and David
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Velodya translates Andrew’s teaching for the crowd.
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Russians came from many time zones.
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Emile Menzhgil translates Andrew’s books.
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Elena Tsiz helps a pastor choose from Andrew’s books. (Click to enlarge) Russia is a book culture.
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Victor & Natasha brought students from Naberezhnye Chelny to pray for the sick. (Click to enlarge) Students from Naberezhnye Chelny mingled with the crowd. (Click to enlarge)

Tuesday
May292012

Russia Trip 2012: Lunch at the Russian "Sanctuary"

Andrew and Stephen return from inspecting Nagornum facilities, old and new Russia. (Click to enlarge)Each day in Izhevsk, after the morning session of the Gospel Truth Seminar, Andrew was taken with his team to Nagornum, a retreat center belonging to the Work of Faith Church. There a faithful staff would prepare a Russian feast of fruit, vegetables, caviar, beef, bread, various main dishes, salad and dessert. Pastor Vitaly, of Work of Faith Church, provides this sanctuary to visiting missionaries and visitors as well as to church groups and others. Nagornum has been a special retreat for Mike and Carrie Pickett when ministering in the area. During our Gospel Truth Seminar, a nanny provided round the clock care for Elianna, enabling Mike and Carrie to concentrate on the details of the conference. For our team, Nagornum provided an authentic taste of Russia. (These picture of food are courtesy of David Hardesty, who failed to photograph the main courses because he was too busy eating them, especially the mushroom and chicken croissant.)

Filed May 29, 2012, by AWM Media Operations Manager, Stephen Bransford.

Andrew and team gather for lunch.
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Fruit …
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Pastor Vitaly and his wife host the meal.
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Beef …
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Caviar (tastes like salmon eggs, yikes, it is salmon eggs)...etc. (Click to enlarge) Dessert!
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Tuesday
May292012

Russia Trip 2012: The Road to Izhevsk

A rest stop on the highway, we discuss our ‘sweet Jesus’ moments. (Click to enlarge)A three hour drive on the Russian highway from Naberezhnye Chelney to the city of Izhevsk gave us yet another look of the old and new Russia. Mike and Carrie had scheduled a Gospel Truth Seminar in this city, where they hope to establish an extension school of Charis Bible College. When we first arrived, Andrew was to sow the seeds of the almost-too-good-to-be-true-news with a group of local Charismatic pastors.

The distance between the two cities was merely seventy miles, but the travel took three full hours because of the narrow two lanes, rough tarmac, and hazardous mix of trucks, cars, and farm equipment. We hired a Russian driver to haul us and our luggage in a Russian Lada van. Russian drivers are quite skillful. We speculated that ours might A better rest stop, where Mike, Stephen and Andrew discuss the unique overhead infrastructure found throughout Russia. (Click to enlarge)qualify for the Daytona 500 (or was it the Hazard County demolition derby? He certainly sharpened our prayer life.) As David Hardesty put it, “There were a number of ‘sweet Jesus’ moments on that ride.

Our arrival at the Charismatic Church shocked us even more. Travelling through the city of 1.5 million people, we passed ornate Russian Orthodox churches. But the Charismatic Church was located on the undeveloped side of town—the part with no pavement. That is because in the new Russia, the old Orthodox Church is using its political clout with Putin’s government to pass laws against the rising tide of non-Orthodox Christians. They refer to them as “cults,” and laws are passed to forbid them assembling in public buildings, or even in some of the better private places. We were appalled at the location of this vibrant community of believers in Izhevsk.

Filed May 29, 2012, by AWM Media Operations Manager, Stephen Bransford.

Slow moving farm equipment on highway to Izhevsk. (Click to enlarge) City of Izhevsk in the rain.
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Russian Orthodox Church in Izhevsk.
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Russian Orthodox splendor in Izhevsk.
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Russian Orthodox Priest in Izhevsk.
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Typical old style Russian home in Izhevsk.
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A typical Russian broom from Old Russia.
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Street leading to Charismatic Church in Izhevsk.
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Charismatic Church in Izhevsk.
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Mike, Carrie, Andrew and Volodya address pastors in Izhevsk. (Click to enlarge)