Well, today was especially blessed as we all (Rod, Bud & Henry) had the opportunity to visit in a number of the churches here in Ufa. I (Rod) went by myself and had the opportunity to preach first in the morning at the International House of Prayer where Leonid Markovich serves as pastor; then, at 3 p.m. I wen to the First Baptist Church of Ufa where Surgei Interasov is the pastor. In both cases I renewed friendships, celebrated marriages and the arrival of children since my last visit and fellowshipped with the Brethren. The evening time around the table talking with my dear friend Surgei Interasov was especially sweet. We talked about his ministry, the Gospel and all the things that we have in common. I am looking forward to more time with these brothers.
Bud & Henry went together first to Grace Church where Pastor Xena (or Zgena) is the pastor. This is the church that hosts the street kids ministry. Bud spoke and both he and Henry enjoyed great fellowship together with the believers. In the evening they attended Trinity Church where Piotr and his son Benjamin share the pastoral ministry. Bud spoke again and even Henry had the opportunity to share a few words of greeting.
Last night all three of us spent a couple of hours trying to stay awake and talk about how we want to minister to the brothers. The reality is that everywhere we turn food is being placed in front of us and we feel a little obligated to have a little, but honestly it is tiring us out. Thankfully the constant presence of tea is a blessing.
Do pray for us as we begin our time of ministry with the brothers today. We want to encourage them, celebrate our seven year partnership, evaluate the strength of what we have done and its application in their lives as well as talk frankly about the division that has taken place. Please pray that there would be a sense of brotherhood right from the beginning and when it comes time for some hard discussion that the men would be honest, humble, transparent and willing to pursue reconciliation. Also pray for us as we seek to be gracious, especially for Bud who is our leader, our grand Pupa as I am calling him, who will M/C our times together. He is feeling the pressure of it all and is eager to see God’s hand at work.
God bless and thank you for your ongoing prayers and concern.
Sorry we have no pictures here. We are trying to preserve our limited internet connection and every upload costs money. I will try to upload pictures as I can when I have a better communication option.