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July - August 2009

Baptizing in the River

Back in December, we told you about Irina, Svetlana’s daughter, who trusted Christ when we visited in their home. We have been encouraging her to get baptized, but she kept putting it off. We prefer to baptize in the bath house, where we can rent a private suite of rooms for a few hours that has changing rooms, a fellowship area, and a small heated “pool” just the right size for baptizing. Irina said she wanted to be baptized in the river, so we waited for warmer weather

Sergei started coming to our services earlier this year. He was saved several years ago. When the Soviet Union dissolved, he wondered what the Bible was about, since it had been outlawed for so long. He bought a Bible and started to read it, but it made no sense to him. Later, during a crisis in his life, he picked up the Bible and looked at it again. This time, he found a plan of Salvation inside the back cover. He looked up the verses and realized that he needed to be saved. He confessed his sin and trusted in Jesus Christ. For a long time, he had no opportunity to learn more or grow spiritually. When he came to our services, he learned that he ought to follow Christ in baptism.

We arranged for Sergei to be baptized in the bath house, and we tried to convince Irina to be baptized at the same time. She talked to Sergei, and they decided that they both wanted to go to the river for baptism. On a beautiful Sunday afternoon, we went down to the banks of our Oka river here in Oryol, and they were happily baptized! Many of our people came along to watch.

The fruit trees and bushes in our church yard have provided lots of raspberries, apples, plums, gooseberries, black currants, and apricots this year. Ruth canned apple butter, apricots, apple pie filling, and some tomatoes.

We have paid $39,700 for our church building, which is about 76% of the loan amount. You may want to help by sending a gift to: BIMI, P.O. Box 9215, Chattanooga, TN 37412. Designate it for “Ossewaarde - Project Russian Church Building”.

In the service of the King,
Don Ossewaarde