Today, Saturday, we stayed in Ryazan. This morning we attended a meeting of pastors from across the Ryazan oblast. The first item on the agenda was how we might better work with one another in our WVBC/Russia partnership. Better electronic communication was seen as essential — the partnership thrives on personal interaction via email, Skype, digital pictures, websites, etc. Up to this point on the trip Jeannie had been wondering what kind of special contribution she could make — surely three pastors didn’t need any help talking, or training others in sharing the Gospel. Then she mentioned in the meeting the needs of pastors’ wives, and how they often suffer silently with all the pressures of ministry. The men resonated strongly with her comments, and then we all discussed ways in which we could offer support not only to the pastors, but to their wives. The demands upon Russian pastors are great, but the demands upon their wives are even greater. Apparently they have not developed the support network that many pastors wives possess in West Virginia. Even there however, pastors’ wives have their own set of challenges and frustrations. So the idea of expanding the WVBC/Russia partnership to include interaction between pastors’ wives has great potential.
Following the meeting of Ryazan pastors, we had another delicious meal in the Ryazan ministry center. Although our second evangelism training session was scheduled for this afternoon, most of the pastors had to leave and get back to their congregations. The training was fairly well attended, but was not as spirited as last night in Korablino. Following the training we went back to the homes in which we were staying. Greg and Jon went with Pastor Pavel, Jeannie and I with Lena. We relaxed the remainder of the evening and prepared for a busy Sunday.