Witness of a prisoner

Till I started going through the lessons of this Correspondence Bible Course I was not a Christian. Before I came to God I was tormented inside, not able to find peace; I pled and cried onto God and He heard me and taught me how to forgive. In an Evangelical Baptist Church in our prison I got your address and a coupon for the Correspondence Bible Courses.

These lessons helped me to know about the Christian faith. Reading through the materials of these lessons I began thinking and meditating and what’s even more important I began applying Christ’s teaching and God’s will to my own self.

First of all, lessons helped me to understand God’s Trinity nature: God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit. I’ve also understood that each person is God’s temple and the Spirit abides in him.

While going through these Correspondence Bible Courses I was able to solve my spiritual problems. I was able to figure out that Christ is a sovereign master of my heart.  The Correspondence Bible Courses helped me to believe and become stronger in my faith. I want to begin a new life — the life with Christ — and this life is the eternal one.

In the courses I went through I most of all liked their simplicity. An author “chews up” the spiritual food and nourishes the students helping them to grow; he also gives them a chance to contemplate. And memorization of the Bible verses helps that the author asks of them helps to also think and grasp the meaning which though simple is very deep.

I really enjoyed all of the lessons. May the Lord Jesus Christ bless you in this work that you are doing for Him! I believe that after these Correspondence Bible Courses a person can be quite ready to attend a Church regularly, though some people might need a spiritual mentor.

I am not separated from God now; as soon as I get released I’ll come to Church. No matter what people might say, I am a Christian for “there is one God and Christ is my Lord!”

May His name be hallowed for ever!


18 October, 2011

Animated “Kingdom”

Well known Russian actors participated in the voicing of Elena Sokolova’s novel An Eternal  Kingdom that took place in a studio of the Radio House in St. Petersburg, Russia.

Women’s roles were brilliantly voiced by Valentina Panina – an actress of V. F. Komossarzhevskaya St. Petersburg Drama Theater – who played in a great number of  Russian movies.

Men’s roles were masterfully played by an Honored Artist of the Russian Federation, Arkadi Volgin, who played more than 40 roles of both national and international repertoire; since 1960 he is an actor of St. Petersburg Alexandriisky Theater.

Before the voicing started, Arkadi Volgin said, “When I first read this novel I really liked it.” And his feelings towards the novel and the attitude of his charming partner-player had an effect on how they both played their roles. Events described in the novel gained a new color due to the skills of these wonderful actors. Their inspired approach made all of the characters alive and gave them a special meaning. Angelica, Costas, Feofen, Shafa, Cornelius the violinist, a creepy pirate and many others – all of them became alive for a short time in the swirl of dramatic events of this nearly gospel narrative.

The author of the novel, Elena Sokolova, and the Director of Concordia Foundation, Igor Savich, burst into sincere applause when the final line of the novel was read. There is a challenging job awaiting ahead – to prepare this recording for broadcasting. An experienced sound engineer of the Radio House, Irena Dmitrievna Stepanova, will be working on it.

Shepherd’s Songs

Under support of Concordia FoundationSt Petersburg group  Zhigulin and Co began its work on the new album Sheperd’s Songs. The group is playing their own type of the acoustic underground with some elements of  folk songs.>>

The translation of poetry and lyrics is an especially complicated
task, these are just a few lines that we found can most easily transmit into English the general mood of the album:
“… Could you take me straight to God’s abode, where my Keeper stands
waiting at the threshold…?”
“… And we will sail upon the sea, we will follow You upon God’s path
carrying the light within our hands…”
“… Without time, without space, without terms and rules. It wasn’t because of promises − He simply left a fresh breeze beyond the window, with sheets flapping on the lines just like children at play, and a sun that flares at its rising…”
” … The eternal light of a beautiful star beckons toward a far-off land; the wise-men travel on, and their tracks remain on the heart…”

An interview with the leader of group Konstantin Zhigulin:

What does the audience think about your works?
Opinions vary… In one of the commentaries to one of our videos on the Internet I read, “Now I know where “folk” songs come from … This is amazing.” Can’t say that I was too happy about this comment, I guess I was rather surprised by it.

So you do not regard yourself as a folk-artist?

Even though there is an element of folk in my music, my works are absolutely personal and unique. And yet the new collection of songs was called Shepherd Songs for a reason, there is something folkish in them…

What meaning do you put into the name of this new album?

The word ‘shepherd’ includes some meditativeness, looking around — intensively searching yourself. I always wanted to write something simple, something that seemingly on its own comes from the very heart. One word goes after another, one phrase after another phrase — like beads on a thread… In the field of thoughts and feelings that come out of the very depth of the soul I looked for means of using the principle “I make it up as I am going.” I tried to minimize the number of obstacles between the heart of the person singing and the person listening to the song.

Each word in a way dictates the following word and you sing, and sing, and sing… The first song that I wrote in this manner was “Marusya” from the album Fables and Tales then another song — “Across the azure sky” from the album Day.

Which song from the new album will keep the log rolling?

Which of them will become a song like the previous ones? Well… I don’t know yet. We’ll see…

All of the main songs for this album were written in one evening. That was amazingly joyful and in itself became a strong impulse for sharing the songs with others by singing them.

Evangelical Workshop in Rehabilitation Center

On October 2nd, Concordia Foundation lead an “Equipping the Saints” seminar in a rehabilitation center Morning Star.

This center is located in Yost-Izhora — a village on the bank of Neva. It was basically at this place that a young duke from Novgorod, Alexander Yaroslavich, won the battle over the Swedish army in 1240 receiving his title — Nevsky. This is very symbolic, because even today there is a continual battle over the souls in the rehabilitation center along with celebrations of victory, when one more person decides to turn away from drugs and alcohol and Holy Spirit induced them to entrust their life to Jesus.

Thirty five people came to this seminar: both those who once went through the rehabilitation program and the ones who are undergoing it at the present time, though they have already became Christians. All of them expressed the desire to learn how to spread the Good news, so that they could share the Gospel with their relatives and those people who come to receive treatment at the center.

One of the topics that stir great interest in the participants was the Evolution Theory. A lot of questions were asked about the Theory both during the lectures and during the time of fellowship. As is obvious, the Evolution Theory is still a major stumbling block hindering people from accepting the Biblical truth about them being God’s own creation.

All participant received various materials, including a brochure Particles of the distorting mirror that lists arguments against the main claims of those who support the Evolution Theory.

An Eternal Kingdom

This is the title of a short novel by Elena Sokolova published in the author’s collection called Footsteps in Time. The novel is allegorical to a certain extend; it touches on deep problems of our everyday life. The author raises moral questions and offers ways of solving them. The idea of Christian values rooted in the Bible permeates this piece of work — values like kindness, love, help with no-strings-attached and care for others. And even though God is never mentioned in the novel, it is clear that it is His concern for His Creation that gives hope and comfort to those who believe to His messenger. The following passage from this novel gives us a glimpse of dramatic events that happen on its pages:

Decent citizens established associations and unions that proclaimed the principles of goodness. Even though these societies supported honest citizens, an economic meltdown happened in our dreamland one day. Things almost ended up in a civil war.

And it is at that time, in the very pinnacle of the chaos, a mysterious king came to this country from an unseen and unreachable land.

He walked from one settlement to another telling people about his kingdom. He said that it doesn’t have any boundaries and will have place for every person. And if it would ran out of place then the king will prepare new spaces. He also said that in his kingdom no one gets sick or dies.

And there was the king himself, inviting each and every person to become his subject.

Multitudes of people came to listen to him.

One day thousands of people sat near the walls of the main city in the dreamland located at the foot of the mountain in a beautiful blossomy valley.

The king along with his associates stood near the rock in such a way that everyone saw him and that the sound of his voice reflected from the rock was heard throughout the valley.

The king was dressed in simple clothes, he wore sandals on his feet and had no jewels, but his gaze, his gestures and his voice showed the dignity and grandeur of the sovereign and prosperous person who had pure mind and a generous heart.

People listened to his every word with profound reverence. He was saying the following:

              “It is good to be kind, merciful and generous. That what the real treasure is. And I am capable of preserving this kind of treasure. Those who give their possessions for the development and growth of my kingdom will become my subjects and will receive their right for the eternal life, and for this temporary life I will give them what I see necessary.”

                        “But what guaranties do you give?” — was heard from the crowd.

                        “There is only one guaranty — my word. You either believe it or not.”

                        “I believe you,” — said a young woman and came forward.

                        “I do believe you,” — she said again.

The language that this novel uses is simple and easy-to-understand; it doesn’t leave us, readers, indifferent toward its characters and events. Taking into account the highly moral meaning of this work for today’s society the Concordia Foundation decided to financially support the audio recording of this work in order for it to be broadcasted on one of the leading channels. Watch for updates on our website so that you know when to catch this event.