Greetings! I continue to experience blessings from both studying and preaching through 1 Corinthians. Last Sunday, I preached on verses 8-16. On Mondays I teach classes to children. It’s hard to tell who enjoys these classes more, the kids or me. The students prepare quite diligently, make their observations and answer questions. When we discuss homework they actively participate. In these short classes (which last one hour) we learn to study the Scriptures together and touch on numerous topics, such as: the Gospel, grace, repentance, etc. From the feedback we get from the kids, they like these classes. I enjoy teaching them too, especially when I can see how interested they are.

I would like to share how God has recently answered our prayers. There is a certain couple named Sasha and Luiza. Before they came to our church they were victims of a terrible scam. They got themselves into serious debt – 500K in Roubles (Russian currency) and another 14K in US dollars. There was a chain of misfortunes in the lives of these people for a while. Even since being in our church Sasha had to switch jobs three times. Last time in order to keep up with debt payments he had to take a job in another town far north for a month and a half because they pay better there. When he came back his pay didn’t come in even though everyone else who worked there got paid.

They had no money to make debt payments, calls from the bank began coming in with threats and attempts of intimidation. Then they decided to sell their house to repay the debt. When I talked to Luiza she said that they were tired of the whole situation and wanted a fresh start. They wanted to pay the debts back and live a quiet life in church. They found a buyer for their home, but this was a desperate move because they didn’t know where else they would live. I asked them not to sell it immediately but to give it a week and continue praying.

The whole church prayed. And at the end of the week two things happened. First, even though it seemed impossible, the wages from out-of-town work came in. It was enough to bring all their loans current on payments and even pay a month in advance. Then Sasha got a call with a full-time job offer in our town. The job pays well, it will be enough to make all the payments and still have some to live on. Praise God!

We were all so concerned for them. But that is not the end of it. Being in this state of constant suspense Sasha did not let the Bible out of his hands and did not get depressed. This used to happen to him frequently before – when encountering difficulties he would get depressed rather than pray. This was exactly the problem we were working though with him together. He still needed to learn to trust God instead of getting depressed. This time he passed the test in the school of Christ. All praise belongs to God!

On Sunday I visited a married couple after church. These are grown-up people, over 50 years old. The woman used to work with my mom and so she knows how I lived before and how the Lord changed my life. Their son got into a car accident, he was drunk and a young woman was killed. These people got themselves into huge debt to hire a lawyer for their son. They hoped they would be able to pay the loans back but the husband lost his job and began drinking. They have no money to make any more payments on their loans, and their friends won’t talk to them. The creditors want their money back. This has been going on for two years.

The woman, her name is Valentina, had had enough and decided to kill herself. As she was tying up the loop on a rope to hang herself their neighbor came in, the only person who still kept in touch with them. The neighbor saved Valentina’s life. They are both quite shaken and they were open to the gospel. They listened and cried as I shared Christ with them. I pray that the Lord would regenerate their hearts quickly. I will be meeting with them again.

Prayer requests:

  • My ministry to the children
  • Valentina and her husband – that they would repent and cling to Christ
  • Everyone we proclaim the Gospel to
  • Spiritual awakening in our town