This was an excellent day of class. Our teaching and discussion revealed that “the brothers” here are not only grasping concepts, but applying them. Engle did great sharing his perspective on preaching as a congregant and elder. The men had many questions for him about our church, and he answered very well.
After class we went to the southern part of St. Petersburg to see a new “house of prayer” (= church building) that one of the pastors in our class is working on. It was very exciting, because this is only the second piece of property the Russian Baptist Union has purchased in the entire city. This means that in a city of well over 5 million people, this will only be the second “house of prayer” owned outright by the Baptist Union. This is a sobering thought.
Pastor Vladimir, after showing us the building, took us to eat and then to a prayer meeting for his church. We crammed over 30 people into a tiny living room. We sang, prayed, and shared from God’s Word. Engle shared from Gen. 3:1-19 about why we need each other to fight sin and remember the gospel. I shared from James 1:16-18 about the immutability of God and why that is a good thing. My dad shared from Psalm 131 about how God is always faithful.
What was so encouraging was that virtually all of the people at this meeting were former drug or alcohol addicts who had been saved in one of the rehabilitation ministry centers. God is at work here, and the sheer simplicity of their method is encouraging: give people the gospel.
Thursday night we will be visitng a rehabilitation center to deliver God’s Word and hopefully get some ideas for implementing this kind of ministry at home.
Weather update: it finally stopped snowing… then it started again.