Sharing with joy

share1Almost two years ago one of the parishes in Finland gave their old organ to St. Michael’s church. The organ was non-operational, but it was one of the fifteen existing unique horizontal organs made by the Rigger firm. Not too long ago a son of the well known craftsman from Austria who constructed this organ many years ago came over to St. Petersburg, Russia. He brought replacement parts for the organ, and after a week of mostly around-the-clock work the organ came back to life and rolled with the new strength.

The organ player of St. Michael’s church, Sergei Varshavsky, was able to play it this past Sunday. All who were present were amazed by the organ’s clear and surrounding sound. And thus this Sunday felt really and truly celebratory. Only two of such organs remain in the whole Europe: one in Germany and the other one in St. Petersburg, Russia.

Musical concerts hosted by St. Michael’s church serve as a very important element of Concordia Foundation’s music ministry. Free concerts take place in the building of the church twice a week, and a lot of music lovers come to those. In the lobby of the church building they can always find flyers inviting them to join the Bible Correspondence Courses, brochures and other materials published by the Foundation. Anyone can ask questions and will not be left without an answer.

share2jpg

share3jpg

Is There Still Hope?

May the groans of the prisoners come before you; with your strong arm preserve those condemned to die. (Psalm 79:11).

With the support of Concordia Foundation a new brochure called Is There Still Hope? was recently published. This publication is intended for use in prisons. The brochure is being distributed for free. We plan to use thePrisn1 Stand Still program in order to spread it around.

This is what Igor Baranchikov, the programs’ creator and facilitator, says about this program that Concordia Foundation helps to implement:

The goal of our programs is to get a message across to people: that there is a way out of most situations — the way that is shown to us through spiritual values built in our hearts and minds from our very birth.

The main thing is to tell people about salvation and freedom from sin in Christ. We do it through songs and testimonies — they usually serve as a vivid example for the prisoners. During our performances the atmosphere in the audience changes radically, and we are so glad to see how the faces of people get brighter and brighter.

Any prison is a completely different world, the world that lives according to satan’s rules and codes, but the power and might of Christ are hundreds of times stronger, and knowing this helps us to go into prisons and spread the Word of God!!! May those who have already accepted Christ as their Savior become stronger, and the ones who are at a cross-roads be able to make their choice of which road to choose.

“Either during the day or during the night, there is always something that goes wrong. There is no end to everyday worries. And thus passes a year, and another one follows, and yet another one after it. The whole life can go by just like this if you do not have Christ!”— words from one of Igor Baranchikov’s songs.

As a result of the Foundation’s work with prisoners a lot of them seek God’s help.

“I enjoyed the BCC greatly. I thank the Almighty and Concordia Foundation for this. Thank you for your sincere Christian love.” (Vasili Usachyov, village of Sosnovka)

“Prior to studying the BCC I did believe in God, but I misunderstood the importance of Jesus Christ.” (Andrei Ikomasov, Krasnotyriinsk)

And many others … 

Ethics and Evolution Theory

Leaders of the Near to God ministry in St. Petersburg, Russia — Mikhail Nevolin and Sergei Sosedkin—visited Concordia Foundation’s office.TeosS

To God Ministry was started in Russian in 1980. But at that time radio programs were only from abroad and it was in short radio waves. From the beginning there were two goals: evangelical activity and strengthen Christian faith. Many things changed from this time and it is clear that without cooperation with other ministries is impossible to work effectively and succefully.

It had being talked about making a joint radio-program called Christian Ethics and Teaching of Evolution. There is planning  to begin working on it in September of this year. The program will be broadcasted life on Radio-TEOS in St. Petersburg.

Christian Youth Tent Camp

This summer, at the beginning of July, a Christian Tent Camp Mayak (Lighthouse) took place on the bank of the lake Imatozera in Karelia. For the fist time this camp brought together kids from tree youth clubs: Svetlyachok (Lighting Bug) from Petrozavodsk, Skala (Rock) from the village Meliorativny, and Feniks camp2(Phoenix) also from Petrozavodsk. A tent camp is something that is always a bit extreme: nights spent in a forest; food cooked on a camp fire for seventy people; abundance of mosquitoes and absence of any civilization. But all this makes the camp a one of a kind, it is exactly what gives the camp its charm and makes it unique.

For six days more than fifty kids and around twenty councilors dedicated their strength and time to make this a special event. A lot of things happened for the first time this year: for the first time we had this many kids participating (in previous years it was just one club Svetlyachok with 20-30 teens participating); for the first time our team members varied so much—some of the team members only met after they arrived to the camp grounds—we had ministers from America, Finland, and Bryansk; for some participants (both kids and adults) this was their first camp.

During the six camp days kids “travelled” together with the Professor Zyablinsky using his miracle time-camp1machine to various countries and different time periods. They went to an awarding ceremony in the Soviet Union, to Olympic Games in Greece, witnessed a plot being made in Israel, saw a tribe of aborigines in Africa. Each day they learned and discovered something new in creation that was pointing them to God. Studying the Bible together, they learned of God’s plan for this world, and of His plan of salvation.

We spent a lot of time singing (using specially prepared songbooks), playing, joking, seating at the camp fire, going out on a boat and a catamaran, we had a ropes course and just enjoyed ourselves. It was an unforgettable experience both for children and adults. No one wanted to go back, everyone wanted to stay.

And yet at the beginning stages we had so many difficulties. A lot needed to be done in preparation for this camp, a lot of issues figured out, all the supplies bought. We needed help: there were not enough workers, finances, and experience.

camp4At times we felt scared, but we knew and believed that God is with us, that he will help. And He did! During the preparation time we would gather together each week to discuss what else needs to be done, where to find tents and sleeping bags, where to get money to buy groceries and bring kids to the camp grounds. For some of these questions we didn’t have answers, but we kept trusting in God and doing our part.

A lot of Christians from various churches and even various countries answered our call for help: a few tents and mats were given by people in St. Petersburg, Russia; sleeping bags by Muscovites, Finland help a little bit with groceries, Concordia Foundation helped financially, other people kept us in their prayers.

We thank God for all of you! We believe that the seeds of God’s Word were planted. Harvest is on its way. But before it comes a lot of days of watering are in place. So this is just the beginning of work.