I am on another missionary tip, this time to the city of Tula, about 3 hours south of Moscow, Russia. I am here with my son Jamie and Brother Mike Criswell. This is my seventh trip to Russia but the first I have made to Tula. Mike asked me to accompany on this trip and I asked Jamie if he could come with us.
We are here to help the church, to encourage the members, study with them and help with any problems and also to study with new people. This is a difficult work here, but we have faithful people and the gospel is being preach, s we are thankful of that.
Our days have settled down to a regular routine. The mornings are fairly domestic – everything takes longer in Russia it seems. We do any shopping we need and generally get ourselves organise. In the afternoons the local preacher, Boris, comes over and we discuss the direction of the work and how we can help, we also have Bible Study. In the evenings we have services in the church building.
One of the amazing things about being in Russia is getting around. While there are more and more cars, most people use public transport. To get to the church building we have to catch a bus or a route taxi (mini-bus). These are cramped and unheated, but still people will travel for half and hour or more inn these conditions to get where they are going.
Often times it is difficult to get people to come to church or studies when they have to travel 10 or 15 minutes on good road in comfortable cars. The brethren here in Russia are a real encouragement and they form a great example that we all could follow.