Exactly two weeks from this moment, Bonnie and myself will be in the middle of a layover somewhere in J.F.K. airport awaiting our flight to Sheremetyevo in Moscow, Russia. I’m starting to get a little apprehensive about the flight and even more so about the culture shock that I’m in for. Don’t get me wrong, I’m really excited about our mission trip, just a little worried about how I’ll handle it. Lot’s of people have asked over the past several weeks and months for information about our trip, and I’ve been very good at procrastinating on this entry, but I’ll summarize our trip for you now.
This got much longer than I planned, so read on for the details…
On Thursday, March 24th at approximately 11:00 a.m., we will leave our church parking lot and head to the airport in Charlotte. We then fly to J.F.K. and then directly to Moscow from there. It will be quite early in the morning of Friday when we arrive if I remember correctly. We’ll spend the weekend doing mostly tourist type activities and more importantly, preparing ourselves spiritually for the following 10 days. Our primary focus will be in Moscow’s Northern Administrative District (approximately 1 million people with five or six Protestant-evangelical churches) but even more specifically in a region of that district called Golovinski (roughly 82,000 citizens and ZERO Protestant-evangelical churches). Our primary work while there will be preparing and distributing 15,000 invitations to an English club that is organized by several missionaries and their Russian Baptist friends. The missionaries we will be working closely with are Brad and Lori Stamey and their work is typically done through building relationships with the Russian people and then when the time is appropriate and comfortable, sharing the story of Christ with them. This English club uses the Bible as a study tool and often creates groups of individuals that want to read it more and start their own small-group Bible studies for this purpose. We will return to Charlotte late in the evening on April 4th.
Now that you’re aware of what our main objective is, I want to share several prayer requests from myself and Bonnie, our mission team as a whole, and from the Stameys too.
- Safe travel
- “Easy” passage through customs
- Encouragement for our team and all the missionaries we will be working with
- Relationships that we will build with Russians
If I think of more, I’ll update this list later. I would also like to organize a group of my readers to pray specifically for an individual member of our team and the people we well be working with, so if you’re interested in “adopting” one (or two) of us, leave a message in the comments please. Here is the list of people who I’d like to have someone praying for specifically:
- Jeremy – Our team leader
- Justin and Bonnie
- Jimmy B.
- Jimmy W.
- Brad and Lori Stamey – The American missionaries who live in Moscow
- Mischa – pastor of Good News Baptist Church in Moscow
- Genadi and family – this is a Russian man who was once involved in the Russian Mafia and has been saved and has now stepped up and answered God’s call to lead the church planting movement in the region of Golovinski. He’s currently unemployed and he and his wife are expecting another child soon.
- Translators – We’ll be relying heavily on them and this is a great opportunity to build friendships
- Other Missionaries – I can’t remember all their names, but there are other American missionaries in Moscow that we will be working with.
What a list! So please, please, please get in touch with me and commit to praying at least on a daily basis for someone on the list. I’ll update as I have someone assigned to each person.
I know you all will be supporting Bonnie and myself in prayer while we’re away and we’re already extremely thankful for all the encouragement so far. I’m not going to ask for money anymore, because God blessed our fundraising efforts tremendously and we have MORE than we need for the trip. Oh, one other thing… Maybe at least one of you will pray that I’ll have internet access while away?