First Steps Under Way

A First Steps seminar took place in the building of the Neva Church of Christ in May. Pastors from various Christian churches of St. Petersburg participated in it.

More than twenty people went through a training course of how to study with the new-born Christians; what difficulties might arise and how to overcome them. The emphasis was laid on the ministers that work in the prisons.

Brochure published with the help of Concordia Foundation served as a workbook for the seminar. This workbook in the best possible way captures all aspects of work with the new Christians; it can be useful in all sorts situations. For example, in assessing circumstances necessary for understanding of God’s will or in realizing that prayer should be specific. In other words, mentorship is a way of bringing people to Christ. prsemin2 prsemin1

THE TEENS WEEKEND WITH GOD

On May 1st, 2nd and 3rd teenagers from St. Petersburg, Russia, and Leningrad Region were visitors of the Poklonnaya Gora (The Hill of Worship) church. The Teens Weekend Conference took place at this churchSONY DSC during these three days. Led by their youth ministers, teens came to the Poklonnaya Gora church for the whole three days at the beginning of May!

Concordia Foundation gladly supported this Conference and brought brochures about Christian Faith, Biblical calendars, magnets with gtgold.ru site advertisement, when God is Near CD, special banner and invitations to BCC for the distribution among participants.

This fourth annual convention gathered about two hundred participants who came from Velikiy Novgorod, Petrozavodsk, Leningrad Region, and St. Petersburg – all of them are representatives from evangelical churches of North-West.pokl3

This year the holiday fell on the first of May – Labor Day – but the main topic of the conference was not the celebration of Labor. All three days of the conference were dedicated to sports. During the morning and the evening gatherings a lot was said about defense which is an important element of any contest or any competition. So we talked of what needs to be done in order to defend our souls. We strengthened our shield of faith in Jesus Christ and the armor of righteousness by praying, worshiping and listening various sermons.

A lot of games and competitions were included into each day’s program. The weather got all confused and tried to make it more difficult for everyone — snow blizzard happened on the second day of the conference.pokl2 It didn’t scare anybody – we just found hockey-sticks and started playing hockey!

Each day we had theme-lessons which were done in small groups. One of them was on the topic of intentional foul. We talked of how in sports rules are sometimes intentionally broken in order to force a rival out of action. In the spiritual realm, when we go against God’s laws, the outcome can be dire.

One of the organizers of the conference, Anatoliy Dmitriyev, remarks, “Teens hunger to learn Biblical truth, but it is important to know how to introduce this truth to them. They are eager to listen and learn what God has to tell them when the information is given to them in a simple and understandable format. Wepokl7 have no illusions thinking that just three days of the conference can change somebody’s life. Such change is a meticulous job which is done daily by parents, youth ministers, and the church as a whole. The role of a conference like this is to show some appropriate ways of relaxing and help teens to find friends. Also, it gives the teens a chance to see that there are other kids who share the same faith in God, and there are a lot of them!”

The leader of the team from the Mercy church, Evgeniy Astafiev, said, “We really enjoyed being together with so many people and making a lot of new friends. I was asked to oversee teens from some other churches and that was unexpected new experience for me; I had to, for example, get the evening reading of pokl4the Word and prayer time ready with the whole new team of teens. It was also interesting to look at sports through the spiritual lenses!”

Evgeniy’s team members also shared their impressions. Venya Kuznetsov: “Everyone was so friendly! There were a lot of games to play. And besides all that I learned that love is a hard work – when you love, you put a lot of effort into it.”  Danya Ezhov: “I was amazed by so much sport equipment. Enjoyed hockey most of all. I also learned that my faith in God and sports can be compatible, that it is not a sin to do sports. ”

 

 

God’s word in Prison Walls

Prison ministry is developing very well in a frame of Ministry activity of Concordia Foundation. Each day we are receiving a lot of letters from our BCC students with various requests. Many people are asking about Bibles, some Christian literature. Our volunteer Igor Baranchikov continues his attending the prisons with his Stop Program. Just recently he visited three prisons not far from Mzenck town (Central part of Russia).

First prison that he attended was specifically for the teenagers  where 70 persons presented on his Children hood program. On the next evangelical concert were presented 200 women. And third prison IK -7 was for men were presented on his program 300 persons. He represented Concordia Foundation  and talked about BCC and distributed our brochures and flayers. The people were very glad to contact with him as he bringing hope to their life and light to their hearts.

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X-Radio

 
Concordia Foundation continues to collaborate with X-Radio. A radio-program called Atheists are Against is  broadcasted live weekly at xradio.su, and on ttps://www.youtube.com/channel/UCKlN3g2ultnKi8HXqqaR-gg.

The program has its own audience that consists mostly of anticlericals and atheists—exactly the audience I had in mind when I thought of creating such a radio-program. Those who listen to this broadcast most often do not agree with the Christian point of view, nevertheless, they continue to tune in and listen—this gives us hope that maybe one day  they’ll re-evaluate their values.

These discussions also help Christians who listen to be strengthened in their faith, and to learn to respect the opposite view while being firm in their own. Andrei Polyakov, an “enlightened atheist,” often suggests to discuss a certain book of the Bible, and that opens up an opportunity to turn to the Holy Scripture itself and defend the Biblical view openly. Since Andrei is a real atheist, he promotes this program among his fold, and that enlarges our audience. Seventy programs went on the air up to this point, and now X-Radio makes a weekly rerun of them.radio_2