in July a new law was issued in Russia. It has considerably restricted religious freedoms. For example, for sharing your faith and inviting someone to a place of worship, you may be fined up to $1,000. The law itself is rather complex and hard to read. It hasn't changed what the churches here are doing. And it hasn't stopped us from sharing our faith.
In July, we did something that we've never done before in Russia. We went to two villages that don't have any churches and did Vacation Bible Schools. It was obviously the highlight of our summer, and we hope the kids feel the same.
In the villages the kids liked the VBS so much that they asked us to come back. So a church group is now coming to the community center in one village every Saturday and doing a Bible School lesson and playing games with the kids. Interestingly, this village has 86 foster children, but few after-school activities. So we feel very blessed to be used by God to reach these kids with the Gospel.
The other small village where we did a VBS outreach is populated by a minority group called Nanian. They are generally not open to outsiders. But God has given us great favor and we had a super good time with the children for three days (and the parents attended the final evening presentation).
(the ministry team below)
The construction on the new ministry center slowly continues. God is answering prayers. We're going up from the foundation, and we're putting in a floor. Hope to start on the walls soon.