The Russian Federation
Russia is an enigma to many in the west, even nearly thirty years after the fall of communism. It’s a civilisation built over many centuries, differing ethnic and cultural groups, a Cyrillic Alphabet, and civilisation numbering nearly a sixth of the worlds land mass from the Pacific to the Atlantic.
The state religion is orthodox, although Christianity is practised across Russia in many forms, Catholic, Baptist, Pentecostal and some newer expressions like The Vineyard, Calvary, and others.
Chris the pastor met his wife Natasha over twenty years ago in the Siberian City of Krasnoyarsk, where a Vineyard Church was planted shortly after 1990, followed by other churches into neighbouring towns and villages, and some cities.
These days if you press Chris he’s become more conversational in his Russian, and regularly takes teams to Siberia, and some of the churches there.
“It’s a tremendous experience to travel across time zones to visit one of the largest Siberian Cities, rich in history, and see the outward expression of the church, vibrant and alive, in all its forms. Western civilisation is struggling with knowing itself, its history and its way forward. The Judeo Christian ethics upon which our civilisation has been built are being disowned as it looks forward to a brave new world, of gender fluidity and pantheism.
Russia has no such problems in “knowing itself” and has a very strong identity wrapped up in its past and Christian history. These days it’s coming to terms with some of its awful past as a Gulag museum open in Moscow, and a monument called the “wall of grief” in Moscow was recently opened by Putin. It makes for a civilisation different to ours but one also that at this moment in time shares many of our cultural values.
The churches are Vineyard in style with worship and ministry, and welcome visitors from around the world. The worship is one of the most remarkable aspects of the churches, with many song writers, and a distinctive Russian flavour. The pastors too are Russian, and as with all expressions of the church worldwide, have something to say to us in the west.
Our aim as with all ministry trips is to encourage the church, teach and lead as God gives direction, befriend and certainly to “do no harm”. If you’re interested and willing to work hard on a ministry trip you won’t regret coming.
For dates of future ministry trips please contact Chris or Natasha via the office.