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My dear beloved by the Lord brothers and sisters in Christ!

pr4Grace and peace be to you from God the Father and our Lord Jesus Christ.

I received the letter and the lessons from you. The first thing I started looking at was the brochure called Breaking Down the Chains of Guilt; I found a lot of useful things in it.

Thank you so much for also sending a letter to my sister. Thank you for working so hard every day, for  giving yourselves up to serve all who you correspond with. Thank you also for your love and care!

To the end of my days I will be thankful to Concordia Foundation for you accepted me with open arms, cared for me, were understanding and kind to me.

From all of my heart, I wish you well-being and prosperity. May success and luck, fulfillment of all your dreams and purposes accompany you; may everything be well with your dearest! I love you and I am praying for you.

May the Lord bless you!

With Christ’s love,

Your brother Igor.

26.09.13

Gromyko Igor.

Music Club

The first event of a new project—GTGold Club—initiated  by the Concordia Foundation will be launched in St. Petersburg in October of this year.conz1

This project is a music club for young people; various events of this club will take place in one of St. Petersburg’s cafeterias. Christian musicians and music groups will have opportunity to perform during these events making Christianity known and attracting new correspondents to discussions of Christian faith. Cafe as a place to conduct these events was chosen on purpose—we did not want to organize these concerts in church buildings. We believe that cafe is a place where people can feel themselves safe and comfortable to seat and listen to music while having a cup of coffee; it is also a more familiar territory for young people, so they would be more prone to come to a place where they feel at home.conz2

Stepan Petrov, a member of St. Petersburg Lutheran Church of Ingria, took it upon himself to find a place for such concert and organize it. Being a musician himself, he knows what such event would require; he also has connections among Christian musicians which will make the search of the performers easier.

The first concert is planned for October 5. Heartline, a music group of St. Mary’s Lutheran Parish, will open the series of concerts.

Concordia Foundation is financially supporting the project by promoting its events, by printing posters and invitations. During the concert the audience will have a chance to learn about Foundation’s work, receive its brochures and get information about its website where through some video-lessons they’ll be able to learn more about Christian faith.

Meaningful Recreation — International Student Camp

International Student Camp called Meaningful Recreation took place at the beginning of July on the bank of Elanchick lake — one of the most picturesque places in Chelyabinsk Region.97UpTa2O4KQ

This camp is a joint effort that is being annually conducted by the Association of Student Christians.

P5GwoNc9h2gThe camp’s theme was based on C. S. Luis’s book Chronicles of Narnia.

Throughout the week campers were captivated by the dreamland of the Lion, dwarfs and talking animals, tree and water nymphs.

7sw4-3_zHtcBoth campers and counselors got to participate in the amazing adventures that Peter, Edmund, Susen and Lucy went through.

During the many discussions they talked about how all of the characters bear Gospel images in them—images that are real in everyday life.

Galina Kabaeva, a student of St. Petersburg Christian University who has just completed her 3rd year of Bachelor of Theology program, participated in this summer’s camp.Bf0jZQnIIIgrMObOLM23VI

Having acquired quite a bit of knowledge, Galina wanted to put it into practice, and the student camp with the focus on sharing the Good News was a perfect opportunity for that.

Galina got in touch with the coordinator of F2grXLPSGeIthe Association in Russia who has once also studied at the St. Petersburg Christian University, and asked if she could be one of the counselors.

A lot of vital questions concerning religion, philosophy and history were discussed at length. Knowledge that Galina obtained at the Camp activities consisted of not only intellectual events, but included lots of games and creative workshops.MaHJUZxY0NY

For all of its participants camp was an unforgettable time. Narnia is now in their hearts forever!

Camp “Friends Forever”

This years’ Christian Camp Friends Forever strayed very unusually for children. On August 10 all of them came to the base called Admiral Makarov where they were 0_9f011_e2f33604_XL-300x200met by a team of “custom officers”. All children had to go through customs and get a passport of the City of Friends citizens. In order to do that they had to have their picture.

After that there were some games during which kids got to know each other better. During the seven days of camp children were surrounded by warm, friendly and family-like atmosphere; each person felt useful and important.

0_9f00e_ff353ba3_XLDue to the well coordinated teamwork, camp program was full of all sorts of events. Pastors, Bradn Buerkle and Evgeni Filippov, led morning sessions and joint prayers, set up Bible classes and finished each day with the evening gathering.w each other better. During the seven days of camp children were surrounded by warm, friendly and family-like atmosphere; each person felt useful and important.

Sports instructors, Evgeni Lobov, Sergei Paikhalov and Irina Doilid, organized and hosted some very fascinating activities: fiery daily physical exercises, sport relays, dramatic plays, olympic games and a night game.

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Camp counselors, Olga Vinogradova, Olga Kryukova, Alyona Phaifer, Nataliya Sivko, Tatiana Dirksen, Larisa Filippova, made up for absence of children’s parents. They spent a lot of time with the kids—more than anybody else—teaching them about friendship and leading various workshops: drawing master-classes, a master-class on how to make gifts for your friends or stuffed animals, board-game classes or lessons of German language.

0_9f000_5789299f_XL-300x200At the end of each day counselors would encourage children to share their impressions of the day or difficulties they faced.

Evgeniya Eskina—thoughtful and carrying nurse—was guarding children’s health throughout the camp.

The program of Friends Forever Camp was coordinated by Anastasiya Rasinkova and Ekaterina Romanyuk.

Special thanks goes to the director of the Camp, Vladimir Vinogradov, who took care of all logistic matters and participated in the camp program.0_9f00f_ed7e2ab5_XL-300x200

We thank God for blessing us so richly during the camp, for each staff member and camper. Anastasiya Rasinkova and Ekaterina Romanyuk

Camp impressions:

Valeriya Serdyuk, “When I decided to come to the camp I couldn’t even imagine that I’ll make friends with all campers. Even though all of us were of various ages, it was easy to find common ground with everyone. I’d like to thank our counselors for coming up with such interesting games and for taking such good care of us. I even liked getting up early in the mornings. I wish the camp would last longer than a week. I am looking forward to the next years’ camp.”

0_9effd_2ca3d459_XL-300x200Yana Boretskaya, “I got to know a lot of people during the camp. I really liked the game that aimed to build trust. I began viewing some situations in life from a different angle after our Bible lessons. The session that we had talking about the Bible gave us opportunity to study it and to look at it from a different point of view. This camp helps me to overcome tough situations that come up in life. All of the counselors are such cool people!”

Alexandra Shipachyova, “I enjoyed living in the camp this year. We had lots of fun: we ran and played a lot. The counselors are such good and kind people, they would always help us and guide us. I wish the camp would last longer—a week is too short of a time, it felt like two or three days. I will miss it, I’ll miss all of the counselors and all of my friends. This years’ camp was one of the most joyful and interesting camps. I’ll be looking forward to the next years’ one.”

0_9f006_f5c216df_XL-300x200Anastasiya Rais, “This years’ camp went really well! Everything was great, but most of all I liked the games that we played and also evening sessions and times of prayer. I learned a lot through the activities of the camp: I learned that God is faithful to those who believe and trust in Him; He never betrays you, but always listens to you if you want to tell Him what’s on your heart. In sum, I liked it all! Everything was great! I like to come to this camp because everything is so good  and because it has the best counselors!!! I love all of you.”