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Travel Journal updates from the recent trip by Rick Ives

17 June 2017 No Comment

Travel Journal updates from the recent trip

We just had a small team of three Americans return from a trip to Russia. The team consisted of Pastor Grant Edwards, Pastor Rick Ives and Rick’s wife and ministry partner Heather. It was a long, intense ministry trip with non-stop events and meetings with leaders every day for almost two weeks. Several times, Pastor Rick emailed short updates to us to let us know what’s was going on and how we could pray for them. These e-mails helped us to be in the loop and pray accordingly. Some of these e-mails are below and  I hope you get a sense of great from them of the opening doors and spiritual hunger of the Russian people and the Russian Churches. As you read, please consider contributing to this ministry financially; it’s is vital for the continuation of this work.   Sincerely, Denis Kozlov.  

email update  # 1

– Our flights to Russia all went well. We got checked into our hotel last night around 7 pm.

– 1st meeting this morning with long-term American Missionary here went well. He reports that there are very few American Christian groups left here.

– Tonight we begin our first conference. We have a grueling schedule of teaching but at the same time many significant open doors.

– Prayer needs. Grant has a lot of pain and soreness… exacerbated by the plane rides. I feel a lot of jet lag due to the rapid Philippines and then USA-Russia recent trips (Pastor Grant was recovering from a road accident and they both suffered from severe jetlag due to the ministry trip they had to take to the Philippines right before their trip to Russia).

– Heather doing well and beautiful as always and taking good care of us old guys

– Another meeting about to start so that’s it for now. Miss you all, thanks for lifting us up.

 Email #2 (two days into trip) 

– Well it’s a nice sunny day in St Pete. We had a good kickoff last night to our first conference. About 40 leaders from a very large church here, our first time to work with this church.

– We’ve just started a long day here of finishing the conference. Still dealing with jet lag etc so prayers appreciated.

– Have also had 3 meetings with long-time partners here and another late tonight after the conference.

– Tomorrow after a day of ministry we fly to Siberia. I will write more.  Blessings… Rick

Email #3 (4 days into trip)

– Our conference wrapped up last night very well…

– today I ministered at a church I helped start in 1994, now sitting  with Grant and our interpreter Mikail in airport.. we fly to Novosibirsk in 2 hours. That’s another 4 time zones away.

Heather staying here in St Pete ministering to our good friend who lost her husband recently.

Email #4 (6 days into trip) 

– We are in Novosibirsk, Southern Siberia, it’s over 80 degrees.

– 3 intense days here with a large church of “Advanced course of First Steps Discipleship” and “Making Right Decisions” training to start. We are half way through that.

– Heather is in St. Petersburg ministering to and with friends and partners.

– I was rather startled today. A Russian pastor asked a group of around 50 leaders, pastors, and students here how many of them were 1st generation Christians. About 90 % were (me too).

There is no heritage” here for Christianity, these Russian believers are truly on the front line of a miraculous movement of God.

– People like Pastor Grant who have been saved and ministering 40 + years are virtually non-existent here, so he is in high demand everywhere we go here.

Email # 5 (9 days into trip)

– If you look at a world map you will see that where we are here in Novosibirsk we are relatively close to China.

– The church we have been with these last 3 days has missionary families in China where there are actually many who speak Russian.

– Believers in China, now, are translating First Steps into major Chinese dialects. This is all the work of the church here in Novosibirsk, at their own expense.

– This church has incorporated First Steps into their culture and DNA since Ray and I were here a year ago. Now it’s active locally and moving into China.

– Thanks for prayers and enabling us to be here. Maybe.. next year in China! Rick

Email #6 (11 days into trip)  

– It’s Friday afternoon here and we’ve just started a conference at the largest church in Novosibirsk – Pastor Vitaly. We will tech here 2 full days then preach on Sunday.

– Please pray for me. Picked up a head cold and sore throats and need quick and full healing without drowsy medications. I feel stronger by the moment, praise the Lord.

– We arrived here last Thursday and have not rested yet… by Sunday we will have taught/ministered/traveled 10 straight days. I see great fruit here, but a grueling schedule.

– Last night we were ministering in a large church… their worship team led us in the current version of “It is Well with my Soul”. It was an overwhelming sense of Gods presence, a slice of heaven.

– We are teaching Right Decisions and First Steps now. The Bishop of one of the largest unions of Russian churches is here to see and hear us… it could lead to hundreds of open doors. God is good!

– Heather is in St Petersburg working with orphans and people at risk.. please pray for her safety. We miss you all.. blessings… Rick

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