Thursday, January 21, 2016

Our Russian adventure Part Two


'A great and effectual door is open to us. We must accept the opportunity with faith and courage.' 
General Eva Burrows
....
After that it was back to unload the truck – we took off about eight tonnes by hand, every case of food or box of clothes being passed down a human chain into the storeroom. We were helped by three young Muscovites and an American Christian whose hobby was weightlifting. We slept well that night!

Sunday was very special. In the morning there was Protestant church meeting. The evening meeting was attended by the General and has already been reported in Salvationist.

Monday saw us, with a Christian friend seconded to the Army from Amoco (USA), threading our way through the Moscow suburbs to find a food warehouse loaned to the Army. We backed the truck up the ice-laden alley and unloaded the last two tonnes of our cargo. Four local storemen helped us and seemed a little bemused by the cheerful fools from England, who laughed while their knuckles bled.

The evening of Monday 23 March was – to quote the launch poster – the ‘Re-attack of The Salvation Army on Moscow’. The real treat came when the Youth Institute’s program of Russian folk songs was interrupted as a local Baptist choir sang, ‘Are you washed in the blood of the Lamb’ and ‘In the love of Jesus’, with the solo being taken by a massive bass singer complete with flowing black beard. The result was a breathtaking.

The meeting in which 65 people – a whole corps – was enrolled under the blood-and-fire flag has already been reported. To have been there was an unrivalled privilege.

CORPS

It was a very thoughtful group that chatted its way back across Europe. Between us we tried to squeeze every bit out of the experience so that every detail was remembered. In the minibus we were carrying back a ‘thank you’ gift from the newly-formed corps to their friends in Bournemouth. It was a a large screen-printed Army flag (with Blood & Fire printed in Russian-Cyrillic letters)

But the real gift we carried in our hearts. A part of us will always be in Zubovsky Boulavar, feeling the excitement, seeing the faces and hearing deep Russian cadences and singing:

By his grace forgiven, in his presence blest.
            In the love of Jesus, in the love of Jesus,

            Is perfect rest.

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