Friday, August 17, 2018
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Jesus Film Showing in Samara, Russia
 
Mission Trips
 
Cat Island 2006
God Quest

Cat Island Scouting Scouting for a mission trip in July 2004.

Russia Sonrise
Jesus Film showing in Samara, Russia.

 

 

 

Russia Sonrise 2000

Showing the Jesus Film in Samara, Russia.
 
Samara, Russia

 

Hello (in Russian),

Russian/Canadian TeamIt was an absolute priviledge to have the opportunity to go on a missions trip to Russia in May, 2000. The faithful financial and prayer filled support of many people allowed me to go on this trip. I want to thank my supporters second only to the Lord who made all this possible in the first place. If I didn't survive breaking my neck, this wouldn't have been a reality.

We arrived in Samara on May 16th, passing through customs with ease (praise the Lord). Over the following couple of days our team proceeded to get accustomed to the new surroundings and meet people at our partnering church, the "Samara Bible School". This was also a time to get trained for showing the Jesus film and sharing Christ's love with the people of Russia. We showed the Jesus film 24 times in total, with our 15 group members being split into 4 groups. The group I was a part of is shown to the right. Each group showed the film 6 times. 

Basketball ministry beside the mighty Volga river.The response was tremendous as the Lord worked through the Jesus film, touching the hearts of those who watched. People saw in their native Russian language that Christ's love was so great, he was willing to lay down His life for them, and be crucified for their sins. In total, 3516 people saw the Jesus film, 815 prayed to receive Christ as their Lord and savior and 484 indicated that they wanted to get involved with a bible study. However, numbers alone do not tell the whole story.

Samara church / bible schoolJesus is more interested in dedicated believers than half-hearted commitments, and we saw great evidence that people were sincere in their commitment to Christ. There are obviously cultural differences between Russia and North America, but that doesn't stop God from working through us even though we couldn't speak the language. By His grace, each of us had a translator that stayed with us during all six film showings. 

The translator assigned to me was named Dennis. He was a law student at the University of Samara, and was also semi-fluent in English. Even though he does believe in God, he is not a follower of Jesus Christ. Over the days we were there however, he began to see how Jesus worked in the lives of those who came to see the film, and Christ softened his heart over time. He did not commit his life to Christ while we were there, but the Holy Spirit is definitely working in him, and continues to do so. 

Dennis and I handing out Jesus Film flyersTo get people to come to the film, we would go and advertise using flyers in the preceding hours to the film showing. Working with students from the Samara Bible School, we would go out on the streets and hand out flyers to people in the area, as the picture shows. Dennis is in the middle of the picture. This also gave us the opportunity to build friendships with both the bible school students as well as people on the street. I brought along a book full of pictures of Alberta, Canada, and this proved to be a great “ice-breaker” when talking to people. It broke down the barriers so that they would realize we were interested in their life, and then invite them to see the Jesus film. This also brought about the opportunity to share Christ with people on the street when they inquired as to why we were there.

Vern (one of our team members) brought along Yo-Yo’s and Frisbees to share with the children in Russia. Even simple toys like that are luxuries in Samara. He left a Frisbee with one of the kids each night, with the phrase “Smile – Jesus Loves You!” written on it in Russian. 

Sharing the Love of Christ playing basketball at a Russian schoolMyself and two others (Vern and Jake) had 4 hours to spare before a film showing one day, so we decided to get transportation back to an elementary school close to where we were staying. Jake managed to talk to the military guard at that school, and convinced him to take us to see the principle (Jake could speak Russian very well). We were praying that we could speak in one of the English classes, however, the principle was in a meeting, and the assistant principle did not have the authority to grant our request. He did let us go to the playground and play with the kids however. 

There I played basketball, Vern shared his pictures and Frisbees, and Jake talked to one of the teachers. The Lord used us each in different ways to make up the team that we were in order to communicate the love of Christ to His people. It was amazing to see how Jesus can work by simply allowing a spur of the moment idea like that to take shape for the glory of God.

Talahachi Apartments for LunchOne day, we were fortunate to show the film in a city called Tallahatchi, about an hour north of Samara. It was a very rough part of town that we showed it in, but once again, God showed his faithfulness by answering the prayers of both our team members and those back home. The theatre was packed to capacity, and Christ brought many more into His kingdom that night, about 85 in total. On the way home, we were celebrating in the rickety old bus when on the horizon appeared a bright, full, magnificent rainbow! About a half an hour later, another rainbow appeared. And just before we got to Samara, one more rainbow appeared. These three rainbows were a sign from God that he was pleased with His workers, and those who prayed for the salvation of His lost sheep. It was truly a "God moment".

Krotovka, RussiaOn our final day in Samara, we traveled south to a small village called Krotovka which means "graveyard" in Russian. Ironically, Jesus raised some people from the living dead that night. The village theatre only had 157 seats, and there was standing room only by the end of the film. Almost half gave their hearts to Christ that night. Two of the bible school students that were part of our team are getting married on June 4th, and will be starting a new church in this small Village. Please pray for Stephan and Svieta as they faithfully work as the Lords servants in Krotovka. Since this village does not even have a church in it yet, the Lord can continue to make a huge impact in the lives of the people there, as He has already done through the showing of the film. 

Krotovka village housing and Victoria, my translator that day.One of the most memorable moments on the entire trip was after we finished showing the film in Krotovka. Babooshkas (Grandmothers) were coming up to us with tears in their eyes thanking us for sharing the truth with them. That is a response you would never get in Canada, but it is the response that warms the heart of Jesus. This was coming from people who had very little in the way of material items, but they knew they had received the gift of eternal life, and were now spiritually rich. The picture shows the kind of housing that they had in that little Russian village. One thing that God brought to my attention is that people will listen to His message more when they have little because materialism will not get in the way. Those that have little see that they need God more than those who can provide for themselves. When those who are materially rich see this truth, it is usually too late.

Russian apartments and garages.As I look back on the time that I was able to spend with the people of Samara, it is evident that the Lord worked through me and the other members of our team. Living conditions are a far cry from North American standards, and people there need the Lord now more than ever. I count it a true blessing and a privilege to have shared Christ with these Russian people. It is also amazing to see the body of Christ working together for a common goal whether we speak Russian, English, or anything in between. Christ came to earth and died for the sins of all people so that we might be set free from the bondage of sin, and have an eternal relationship with Him. 

Canadian RockiesThank you for taking the time to read about this global impact mission. May God continue to help you realize how truly blessed you are. Also, I would urge to you share those blessing with others so that they too can see Christ's love in Action. If you would like to get involved and go on a mission trip to Russia, please visit 4inthefire.com.

God is blessing you! 

Good-bye (Russian)friend (Russian),

Ryan Roberts
 
 
 
Ryan Roberts
President/CEO
Halozone Enterprises
CEO@Halozone.Com
   

 
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Friday, August 17, 2018