Testimony of Kyznetsov Ivan Vasilievich

Ivan KuznezovI came to know God through faith in Jesus Christ as the Savior of all mankind. I would like to have a deeper knowledge of Christian faith in the Lutheran Church. I am interested in this particular church because people from it are making efforts to understand me and to help me in my spiritual journey as I am trying to find my calling in Christ.

I am a person of ripe years, but I enjoy learning from those Christians who can pass spiritual strength on to others not only in words, but through God’s grace also. People in the world can’t comprehend this. I would definitely like to keep in touch with you, but I don’t know if you need a student like I am, since I am so old. Though I can say for sure that my desire to know God is like of a young man.

I correspond with a pastor from the Lutheran Church in Krasnoyarsk, Billy Melaanen. I dream of planting a church in my home village after getting out of the prison. I don’t know whether I’ll be capable of doing this or not, but I am willing to try. I am going to talk about it with my friends from the Lutheran Church and with pastor Billy—we have good relationships with each other.

I do not want to write much about myself—now is not the right time to talk about that. I see that things that are happening in this world do not depend on me nor does God’s will. Most important for me is to follow those commands that I see in God’s Word and to grow in strength remaining in the Spirit of truth. This is not easy for me to do here in the prison camp, for a lot of people here still love darkness more than light. They, for example, like listening to songs that I find hard to listen to due to their dirty message.

Your Bible Correspondence Courses helped a lot in strengthening my faith. Your ministry is very important and useful for those who do not yet believe in God. Our world lost such concepts as compassion, mercy, love, etc. A lot of people think only of material matters—their main concern is to get as much money as possible. That is why I have to work hard to pass on to them the spiritual knowledge that I obtained through lots of hardships and struggles throughout the years.

Easter Greetings from Russia

Work with the children at risk

The latest news of our work with the children at risk are the following:

Recently, we had to close the day center in Petrozavodsk. It was a very difficult time for us. We rented the place where we were meeting with the kids, but the owners decided to sell it, so we had to move out. Petroz1Temporarily, we reduced our meetings with children to two days a week getting together with them at the Red Cross building. It is quite a ways for most of the kids and we have no means to provide transportation for each child.

All in all, we are trying to understand what to do next since, based on the price and location, there is no place that is suitable for us in the city.

We talked to various school directors about letting us use their facilities, but they can’t help us since our organization is registered in St. Petersburg.

In spite of all these difficulties the center’s theatre group toured orphanages in St. Petersburg and Petrozavodsk with the Christmas program. Though we do not have a place to meet with the kids, we try to get together with them every week and do some outdoor activities!

News from the youth club in the town of Meliorativnyui, Kareliya; the activities of the club take place in the town’s library:

Petroz2“We got acquainted with a similar club in Petrozavodsk. Right now only their club Svetlyachok (Lighting Bug) comes to visit our club Skala (The Rock), but we are hoping to be able to visit them in the nearest future also.

We see that children from both of our youth clubs need to get to know God on a deeper level as the Most High God and as their Father.

All of the workers are trying to understand how we can help them to do this. I think that the special time to mentor these children that God interested to us is at hand, and this is a very responsible mission and it is not always an easy one. We want to do it right, and ask you to help us in this task!”

Andrei Golenko, the Director

News from the youth club Svetlyachok (Lighting Bug) in Petrozavodsk:

We get together once a week on Saturdays in the building of the Salvation Army; we also try to meet at various houses. One Orthodox priest allowed us to bring children to the Church’s place. So the place of our meetings vary. Even though it is far for most of the kids to come, they still make an effort to come. And that makes us very happy!Petroz4

Also our Svetlyachki (Lighting Bugs) started going to the town of Meliorativnyui where we have activities together with the club of Andrei Golenko. We go there every Sunday. Our children have all become friends already! We also plan to go there during the week to make crafts with children from both clubs. They really like to be creative!

Andrei suggested to gather the most active and seriously seeking kids once a month and help them in their search. We already had our first meeting and afterwards we all had fun at a climbing wall!