With heavy coats and insulated boots, PSI International Recruitment Director Jon Bare and I traveled to frigid Siberia in January to enjoy the warm fellowship of Concord Evangelical Lutheran Church in Russia. Each of us had work in different countries on the way there, but we flew into Novosibirsk Airport less than an hour apart, in the early hours of January 26. We were blessed to spend a week and a day there.
With prayers that the Lord would bless us, we came with three goals in mind:
- Encourage our brothers and sisters in the Lord.
- Learn about their theological training program and determine how PSI can assist them.
- Teach a 16-hour seminar about the use of Logos Bible Software in the steps of sermon preparation.
While a detailed report is on its way to the International Operations Group who oversees the work of our PSI team, permit me to share with you one observation, an observation I hope will guide you in your prayers for Russia.
The observation is this: It is truly a blessing that one of the Russian pastors is involved in the training the next generation of pastors.
His name is Alexei, and he is gifted in many areas. He has a strong interest in church history, especially the history of the Eastern Orthodox Church which is so strong in Russia.
As Missionary Luke Wolfgramm and the PSI Team work together to provide theological training for new pastors, Pastor Alexei will be able to teach some classes. He is well-equipped to teach Greek to seminary student Andre (see picture). He tells us that Greek is quite similar to Russian in its structure.
In history and doctrine classes in the West, we often compare the teachings of the Lutheran Church to that of the Roman Catholic Church and the Reformed Church. However, in Russia there is a greater need for comparative studies with the Eastern Orthodox Church. Alexei will also be able to give practical advice about how to share the gospel of Christ in the context of Russia. Pray that the Lord would bless Alexei in his work as pastor and in his ongoing studies for seminary teaching.
The church is Russia is blessed with one seminary student and other potential students. The Lord is good! Seminary student Andre loves to study. Already, he is reading sermons in worship services (see picture) and participating in the work of the church. Please pray for him, for Missionary Wolfgramm and his family, for Pastor Alexei, and for the efforts of our PSI Team to support them with resources, counsel, and occasional visiting professors.