Wednesday, April 27, 2016

From Ten Years in Russia Part One of Three

From Ten Years in Russia; 1913-1923
Karl Larsson 
Translation: SEL

In order that the reader fully appreciate the atmosphere that surrounded us during those immortal days, I will make a selection up from the testimonies to which we were able to listen.

A young military man, who came to the Mercy Seat during one of the Easter meetings, said in his testimony, among other things the following:
"I was once sentenced to death, but through an officer's intervention my sentence was abridged into ten years' hard work. I've been at the front, and it is fully appropriate, that I'm here. Since I arrived in Petrograd, I have sought out old acquaintances, gone from place to place, but have not been received anywhere. My heart was deeply distraught. But then I saw The Salvation Army procession on Nevsky Prospect, and I followed them and came here. Here I’ve found people who love me, and here I have found Jesus Christ."

He had hardly had time to finish until he became embraced and kissed by several Salvationists and friends in a genuine brotherly manner.

A student in military uniform said:
"Ten years ago I was the reverse. I used to visit the Christian student gatherings. We did not see The Salvation Army as appropriate for Russia, because we felt that our people needed something for inner man and therefore had to use this organization's external forms.

I read philosophical books and was led step by step away from God. During the Good Friday services, I became interested in the Army and have since visited all the meetings. Easter Monday I felt very unhappy, but still went home without coming to a decision. at home, I received a visit by a brother in Christ, we prayed together and I found God again. "

A third witness:

"I have gone in the reverse direction. Because I wanted to live a healthy life, I decided to become a nurse. Everything went well for a few years. But recently, the world has had an increasing influence on me. I began to visit worldly places of entertainment and my Christianity waned. None of my Christian leaders knew this. During the meeting in the Alexander Hall God spoke to me. I wanted to go to the Mercy Seat, but was held back by the thought of what my Christian friends would say. In the end however, I gained courage and went forward. Now I’ve got my old peace back.

Yet another testimony, a letter that shows how a simple middle-aged workers perceive the question:

"I have," he said, " during these days come to the Mercy Seat three times. God has brought me through. Before I went to this meeting, I wrote a letter to my elderly mother and my sister, and I wish now to read this letter.

‘My dear sister, I have subscribed to a newspaper for you, I know you love to read with faith and love. It is a magazine for the world, one that I believe Christ values. and you will certainly evaluate this newspaper even higher, now that you know that I have decided to join with the Salvation Army to there with the strength I have serve Christ.

This letter will reach you before the newspaper arrives. Then wait for Vjestnik Spasenija, the name of the newspaper.

I ask you, dear sister, that you take a minute off from the world of work and care, and read Vjestnik Spasenija, and then you will be saved. Once again, I ask you to read its contents carefully. Farewell!’ “
This letter had a postscript, which read:
On Easter Day morning I was enrolled in The Salvation Army. I have been to the Mercy Seat and asked that almighty God might guide my thoughts and actions rightly on the path of truth, so that I may able to love all living things, yes, the whole world.

I also know that Jesus Christ has not forgotten me and that he will help me in The Salvation Army.
I ask that you too, dear sister, pray to the crucified Christ that he may lead you and your thoughts on the path of truth and fill us with love for God and all living things!

Write to me about your situation and if any of you are in need, and I will help you as far as my ability goes. But write only if you are in real trouble, because if you deceive me, you’ll put your soul into debt by preventing me from helping others who are in real need. When you receive the newspaper and get to know our Army, you may also wish to join us. Write me, I will let you know how to go about it. It would please me very much. In the next letter I will write more.

 Farewell! Your brother Pavel

Part One of Three
A chapter from; Return to Russia with Flags Unfurled: Sven Ljungholm with Kathie (Ljungholm) Bearcroft - Will be released late summer 2016

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