It's hard to believe that our trip is half over, but it is. We have spent the last three days in our second home – Saransk. It's changed quite a bit since I was here four years ago. It was like coming home. Seeing old friends. Meeting new friends.
Pastor Vladimir is doing well, and New Life is as it was the day it was finished nearly four years ago. The paint still looks the same. The winter snow gives it that fresh new look. The rod iron gates are still that rusty brown color that is accented by the front door trim. It is so exciting to see what God built. He laid it on the hearts of the people in Saransk and in the US. The prayer for the people of Saransk is that the youth of the church and of the city would come to know the Savior. Please pray for the hearts of the youth that they will see their need for Jesus and repent.
For many years, Jim has been visiting Dema – a basketball coach & PE teacher at a local school. This trip, Dustin succeeded Jim in continuing the relationship with Dema, and will continue to build that relationship.
Dema is a good man. He has recently gone through a divorce, but his heart is soft to the gospel. Dustin was able to continue to build upon the existing relationship and gave the gospel a couple of times. It is amazing to see God at work in the hearts of people. Dustin, Yarik, Dema and myself hung out in the school gym and played basketball with some of his students. Our ministry isn't just sitting drinking tea and meeting with people, its also about relating to people through fun activities. That simple activity began to open the doors to further conversation both spiritual and life.
We returned to Anton's mom's (Svetlana) school. Each time i have been to the school, it has always been to a great presentation. This time was no exception. They discussed cultures and spring festivals. They had PowerPoint. They danced. They sang.
They shared poems. They shared the story of Russia and Saransk. They quizzed us like we were foreign dignitaries. They wanted to know about America, our families, our hobbies, our friends, and our favorite holidays. We had tea with the teachers. We signed autographs. We took pictures. We had a so much fun! More to come.
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