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icon: Greenwich Church Cross From Siberian prisons to the Black Sea

The Alpha course is growing through-out Russia from Siberian prisons in the north to the coastline of the Black Sea in the south.  Conferences were held for 300 church leaders in Moscow and Amavir, on the eastern side of the Black Sea, in March and there are now estimated to be 134 Alpha courses running in Russia.

At the Moscow conference around 200 people came from all over Russia.  One delegate had travelled 2.000 miles to be there.  The Amavir conference had 100 delegates.  Speakers at the conference were Sandy Millar and Jez Barnes from Holy Trinity Brompton, London.

Sandy Millar said afterwards, "At an earlier conference we held in Moscow there was an American couple there who lived in a place far south of Moscow just north-west of Amavir in the Rostov region.  They started Alpha and for their second Alpha course they had to rent a facility.  By the end of the last year they were running six Alpha courses in Russian and one in English.  They had a celebration supper on January 16th of this year.  They expected 60 people and 120 people came.  They reckon that over 100 people have come to faith in Christ since September 1999.  All this through an American couple who don't speak any Russian."

There are now thought to be nine Russian-led Alpha courses running weekly in the area in six different churches.  Sandy Millar spoke of how moved he had been at the faith of the people he met in Russia.  He said, "We spoke to the pastor in Amavir through an interpreter and he said to me, "I have prayed for two years to have a conference in Amavir."

"'So', I thought to myself, 'that's why we're in Amavir.'

"He too had been to one of the earlier conferences we did in Moscow and got so excited about Alpha that he came back and started the course at his home church.  Then he immediately set about praying that we should go there.  And what I loved about him was that he said: "I couldn't believe and wonder that you'd ever come to have Alpha Conference in Amavir.   But equally I prayed for two years that you would." That's faith.   "It's faith-raising too, when you think about it.

He concluded, "What it told me again was that there is a community of saints that God has all over the world - those who love Jesus.  And there are saints in Amavir today - I'm perfectly certain - who are praying for us, here in London.  I was grateful to God because it taught me again in a tiny, tiny, tiny, way something of the costliness of it.   Because when we left on the Friday it was very hard not to cry.   They cried, we cried.

"We'd only been there two days but already in those two days we had experienced something of the Spirit that binds us together with people thousands of miles away.  They may be infinitely poorer in material things, but they are very rich in faith.   It is the basic teaching about Jesus which they want and they love.  They also want the ministry of Jesus - not just instruction - and every time we asked the Spirit to come they streamed forward with the light of faith in their hearts.  And every time, we believe, he came."

Source : Alpha news newspaper
Author : Unknown

 

 
   
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