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"Lord equip us to teach those in need, that which would be pleasing to You.  Restore dignity, sense of purpose, and hope, as they learn new skills and grow; so they too can become givers after recieving a hand-up, not a hand-out.  May they know that the motivation of our action is Your love for them and it is Your will that all men be saved and come to the knowledge of the truth. Amen."

 Spiritual Warfare in Russia - August 2003
Al Barrett
Team 2003:  Nine of us, with many past Missionary Ventures trips to Russia returned Aug. 30th.  Equipped with God's  Word, each went with the gifts he was given; the power of His Holy Spriit, and the full armor needed  to do the ministry He sent us to do.   To me it seemed we were a team of soldiers marching all together one at a time.  God's plan went forward as we encountered many obstacles.  Missed flight connection starting out to Moscow.  Ministry in the rain.  Long days.  Short nights.  Vehicle broke down at 1:30am enroute to next village after long day of ministry.   We were 25 miles to our destination, lead vehicle tail lights went out of sight over next hill.  (They returned 1 1/2 hours later and towed us the rest of the way at 3am.)  Lost luggage, and even thieves (pick pockets.)  Your prayers and God's anointing kept us moving forward.  We accomplished all we set out to do and each of us are in awe of what God is doing in Russia.
As I reflect on this trip, I keep hearing their voices.  Rev C bought walkie talkies that were used between the two vehicles.  The lead van was full with equipment, gifts for orphans and three Russion pastors, the team van following.  As we traveled village to village they communicated.  The beep and squawk of the walkie talkies and their Russion language sounded much like when the 1st cosmonauts went into space and we heard them on the news.  As a team of Christian soldiers, God had us pioneer another important work for His kingdom in Russia.
     *  Rev C's messages were moving, inspirational and appropriate for the time
        and vision of the church.  His Godly leadership was welcome by all. 
        Preaching and baptizing as we went.
     *  Children's ministry was never better, in orphanages and every place of
        ministry they received the best of God's love for the children.  The woman
        and men overseeing the orphanages were deeply touched.  They all
        remembered about the love of God for us to come so far to remote areas to
        bless them.
     *  Gail and Deborah stayed in Pskov to give Post-Abortion training to 16
        women.  They went on th St. Petersburg to do the same and the team
        met up with them at the end of our trip.  Many came great distances to
        attend these meetings.  Even though Gail and Deb traveled with the team,
        their ministry was separate from us; however, it was pioneering as well.  We
        staying in touch with them by cell phone.  It was a monumental and
        historical time to bring God's healing to the woman in Russia.  A much
        needed ministry dealing with a painful personal subject that wasn't being
        addressed - NOW IT WILL BE!  This time of ministry for them reached far
        more than Russia.  Women came from Cyprus, Finland, Estonia, Ural
        Mountains, and one is going to Israel with this training.
     *  Threads of Hope:  I managed to buy a  Brother sewing machine for a
        pastor's wife in Opochka.  She has 3 small children and loves to sew. This
        was my 3rd visit to their church and I learned her machine  was old and
        broken.  Her husband, Pastor Igor, said to me he could never afford such
        a gift, more than 1 month's salary for a Russian.  I did it as a surprise.
        They were unaware and greatfully blessed.
The one that touched me deeper though was a 15-year old girl named Katya Reshetova in a remote village the last day (Strugi Krasnyye - which means 'red boat').  Rev C met her 1 year ago.  She came to salvation then and received a Bible.  She escaped from the hospital to come to our evening service.  She's having heart and kidney problems.  Such a sweet spirit to have had such a hard life so young.  Her father committed suicide a few years ago, her mother an alcoholic and abusive so she left home to live with her Grandmother who is very poor.  Her peers beat her because she is Armenian.  Katya wants to go to trade school to become a seamstress to make wedding dresses.  She had a big smile as she told me of her desire to sew and not knowing about my ministry.  Threads of Hope will get her a sewing machine and supplies to give her a start and bring HOPE in her life.
Thank you being a part of this important work.
                    "Carring the Word to the world through personal involvement"
We were a team of leaders functioning as one.
                    "Behold how good it is for brothers to dwell in unity"