I have just returned from a 10 day experience in Russia and am very impressed. Let me contextualize my comments so you can better understand my experience. First, please be aware that my last trip to Russia was in 1992 having arrived right on the heels of the end of the Soviet era. The best I can describe that experience was like what the U.S looked like immediately after WW2.
Fast forward 25 years and the change has been enormous in so many ways. New roads, new developments, massive malls, and housing complexes and an evangelical church that is alive and well with thousands of church plants and house churches. The evangelical Christian movement in Russia has miraculously grown and expanded both generationally and geographically. In 1992, we planted the Tres Dias movement in Moscow and in St. Petersburg with what I would describe as mostly 50-70-year-olds. What I experienced in my recent visit was now the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th generations birthed out of that move of God and the UMC Seminary in Moscow is doing great work in training influential and effective leaders.
We arrived, trained and equipped three generations of brothers and sisters that had come from 10 different time zones to eagerly learn and return home to apply what they could to continue to fuel the expansive growth of the Christian movement across Eurasia. Great men and women of God and some were very young!
Most spoke some English, several had mastered English and spoke a third language as well as their native language. They are a part of a massive movement of discipling children and youth which speaks well to the future of Russia in terms of revitalizing a Christian Movement that came there from the Ukraine in the late 10th century.
They have a heart for the social ills of their culture and, like most places, the issues are many. However, they obviously are impassioned to make disciples of Jesus Christ and are well on their way to being the fuel for such a move for many generations to come. Please join me in praying for these brave brothers and sisters who are successfully swimming upstream to share the good news of the gospel and a faith in Christ that is working for them well!