This past January, we had a team go to Siberia to follow up on a trip that was held there last August. Through concerts, testimonies, and teaching of God’s Word, the team was able to see God’s hand at work in one of the most remote area’s of Russia. The following is a short synopsis of the trip.
“Dear brothers and sisters, here is a short overview of our most recent trip to Yamal, Russia, which took place in January of this year. At first I would like to say that our Lord was always good and kind to us in so many different ways. This particular mission trip was special in many ways and shortly, you will realize why.
In the first place, it was a wonderful way to start the New Year by catching a flight from JFK to Moscow on January 1st. In Moscow, we were able to meet up with a couple of the volunteers who were joining us on the trip to yamal. 2 great musicians joined us and there was also a teacher of the Inductive Bible study method. After spending the day in Moscow, we had another 56 hours of traveling to the town of Labytnangi. It’s so interesting how our Lord is working sometimes. You see when we got on the train, we found ourselves in a car full of high school students. As you can imagine, there was a lot of noise, bad language, cigarette smoke, but at the same time, it was an unbelievable opportunity to witness to these young people about our Lord. As you probably read in our previous post, Labytnangi is the place where the railroad actually ends. From this point, the only way to get from town to town is by traveling on the ice-roads, which are just frozen rivers. Once we arrived in the local church in Salakhard, we began preparing for our musical program. When we arrived to Yamal it was during the time of Christmas since Russian celebrate Christmas, which is based on the Orthodox calendar and takes place on January 7th. The opportunity presented itself for us to deliver Christmas gifts for the children in the village of Zelyoniy-yar (Green-ridge), but there was one problem, it’s incredibly hard to get there. There are no roads and no ice-roads to get to Green Ridge so, we had to rent a special all-terrain vehicle called “Track-All” to get there. The ride was long, but we were rewarded with a wonderful time spent with the children and adults of this small town. We were able to share the love of God and the wonderful story of Jesus Christ’s birth with them.
It’s interesting how God is acting sometimes because in the wintertime, it is very difficult and expensive to travel through Yamal. During the rest of our travels, God provided the vehicle for us so, we didn’t have to pay for renting a vehicle all we had to do was buy the gas for it! During the 2 1/2 weeks that we spent in Yamal, we drove about 1300 miles on the ice-roads of the far, north of Russia. Throughout our journeys, we were able to bring concerts and Christmas greetings to the people of 9 different towns. Every concert that we held, God gave us the opportunity to share His word with people in the audience. This was a huge difference from our previous trip where we were told that we are not allowed to talk about Jesus Christ. This time, we didn’t have these same restrictions so; we definitely took advantage of this through sharing our testimonies and telling them about how God can change their lives too. A town that we visited that I would like to mention was Yar-Sa’le, which translates to “Sandy Cape”. The Lord allowed us to have 2 concerts in this location. One of these concerts took place in the largest orphanage/school in Russia and a wonderful time was shared with these children. It was difficult to get accustomed to this place because it is so far north that the pressures are even different causing us to be constantly tired and sleepy. This place is roughly 700 miles away from the North Pole – imagine that! Our final stop took us to the town of Harp – the place where we held a Children’s Day Camp during our previous trip in August. We were able to give 2 performances in Harp. Many people came to listen to us, especially youth and through that, we had the chance to tell them about our Lord. We invited them to the small local church in Harp as well. After the concert, we had a youth fellowship with games and refreshments for the youth and others that came. Among the crowd, there was one man that came to the concert who we later found out was demon-possessed and had been wanting to commit suicide for a long time. On this evening, we saw the Lord’s victory which took place in the smallest apartment, in the farthest part of the biggest country in the world. Through the Word of God, the pastor’s prayer and the faithful prayers of God’s children, this young man received freedom and salvation from the hands of our Lord Jesus Christ!
On the following day, the train was taking us away from Yamal, but at the same time, the people who lived there are staying in our hearts even though we live 10,000 miles away from them. Once again, we wanted to say thank you to everyone who was supporting us with prayers. To know that there is a big family of God’s children that are keeping you in prayer is a wonderful feeling.
There are so many things to mention and so many wonderful moments that we experienced – the unbelievable care and mercy of our Lord, His guidance and provision. Thanks for praying!”