Today we stayed in Ryazan for Sunday worship. All three pastors in our team were invited to churches to preach — Greg to Hope Church, Jon to Resurrection Church, and me to Central Church. Jeannie accompanied me and gave her testimony before I spoke. Worshiping in Russia is always an inspiring experience. The service at Central was two and half hours long, and everyone was pleased with it! There was plenty of music, children’s involvement, and three sermons! At the beginning of the service a Deacon rose to speak, and I thought he might be sharing for just a couple of minutes. He gave a very good message that was at least 15 minutes in length! Then there was more music, then Jeannie shared her testimony. I preached, and following my message there was music again. Then Pastor Victor preached, and did a wonderful job! I thoroughly enjoyed the whole experience. Following the service Jeannie and I were invited to hear what God is doing through the halfway house ministry in the basement of Central’s building. At least three testimonies were given of young men whose lives have been changed as a result of the outreach to them. Central’s vision is to build an adjoining building to their facility that would be a larger halfway house for men and women. Currently there is only enough room for a few men. This project would be another excellent opportunity for a WV Baptist church to partner with a Russian congregation to do together what they could not do alone. Through this halfway house ministry, the kingdom of God is being advanced and Central church is growing. After the presentation Jeannie and I were served a hearty lunch, then were taken back to the ministry center by Pastor Victor.
At the ministry center the youth of Hope Church led a special presentation that recognized the members of the WVBC team. They shared with us humor, song and a lot of laughter. They were happy to have us with them, and we were thrilled to be with them! The team was unable to stay for the full event, for we needed to get back to Pavel’s apartment to make Skype contact with our churches back home. Following those calls we had dinner that was prepared by Greg and Pavel. The food was great, the fellowship was even better. After we had visited for some time, Jeannie and I returned to Lena’s apartment. We chatted with her about her day, then headed to our room. We have a busy day of travel planned for tomorrow.