I’ve just returned from visiting Stoneworks missionary Yura Belonozhkin and see the work he’s doing up north. I met some wonderful people and saw an amazing part of the world.
Vladimir and Mariana Cizmanski were visiting from Montenegro. I met them in Estonia and introduced them to our friends and ministry partners there. It is always gratifying when our Stoneworks partners to meet one another. My wife Olga and I had a good time showing them St. Pete.
While Marijana stayed in St. Petersburg with Olga, Vladimir and I headed north. The first day, we drove 1300 km (800 miles) to Zelenoborskiy, where Yura met us at a Christian drug rehab center.
Yura and I spoke at a men’s meeting at the rehab center. It’s a great group of people, and several local churches support the center. Yura has led men’s meetings there and has very good relationships with the leadership. Over the next few days, as we visited other churches, we continued to meet men and women who are either in the rehab center or lived there before.
On the second day, we drove north to Olenegorsk to attend a prayer conference. Several local churches participated. I was asked to speak at the afternoon session, and I did a teaching on intercessory prayer. Peter Makarchuk is the bishop of several churches in that area, and he made us feel very welcome. He and Yura have a good relationship.
We spent that night with Yura’s friends from that church; there we saw some Russian ingenuity. The next morning, Sunday, Vladimir was asked to preach the sermon, and he gave a sermon on self-denial that was warmly received. We then drove north to Murmansk. Continue reading