Sunday, July 13, 2008
Brandon, Zina, Lauren, and Kira.
I survived a night in the forest with pentecostal youth. Now, in Russia, the United Methodist church and the pentecostal church are practically indistinguishable. We both gather our members from the fringe of society and we both have female pastors. The churches in Russia work well together - except the Baptists, who are pretty angry that we have female pastors.
The night in the forest was great. They set up a bunch of tents in the middle of the woods near a lake. It was a lot of fun.
I talked with one of the boys who wants to be a pastor. His name is Michaiel. I called him "Michael also" as that was how he introduced himself to me. We talked for about an hour, in Russian. It was difficult, but we managed. We had a good laugh about all of the mildly inappropriate words I learned when I studied here in Russia. I've wanted to ask someone who wouldn't be offended which words are actually bad and which words are just impolite. I have it figured out, now. He is a great kid, with a great future. His dad was a gangster before he became a Christian.
We had an outreach concert. We all went out into the community and invited people. I went with the boy who plans on being a pastor, and a boy with a whole bunch of facial piercings, Yurah. We walked for about a mile before we came to any houses, and Michaiel went to the next set of houses. Yurah and I went from house to house talking with people. Obviously, Yurah did all the talking and I prayed. Yurah told me on the walk home that he was a new Christian and this was the first time he had ever shared his faith. It was really exciting to share in that time.