My evangelism trip to Ukraine and then to Siberia with Elder Jeff Harris, ended, after a few flight delays, wit a safe return to Memphis at 9 pm on Friday, Aug.5. It is always a matter of joy and thanksgiving to the Lord to be blessed to return home and find
everyone safe and well.
As I have shared with you before, my trip began on July 21, with me going first to Kiev, Ukraine to visit with the saints there. While I was but a few days in Ukraine, it was a very precious time. The church in Chernigov had it first conference with invited pastors.
The conference on Saturday was a great time of fellowship a good preaching. The church enjoyed the conference so well they are planning another conference this coming October. I have been invited, but will not be able to attend this time.
Then Elder Harris and I met in Moscow on July 26 and then we flew on to Irkutsk on Tuesday night. On Wednesday night, we conducted our first meeting with the Markovo Primitive Baptist Church, where Elder Vladimir is the pastor. On Thursday we headed north to visit the churches in Sayansk, Nizhneudinsk, and Angarsk. In all those churches it was a great blessing to be able to minister the Word of God to the precious saints there. We returned late Sunday night to Markovo to the flat where we stayed.
Monday morning we began our two day seminar at the Markovo Primitive Baptist House of Prayer. I began the first session teaching from the first chapter of the Book of Titus on “The Faith of God‘s Elect“. Elder Harris followed, beginning his study in the Book of Galatians, under the heading, “The Gospel.” Each day of the seminar was divided into morning and afternoon sessions.
On Tuesday morning, I began with a session on “Hyper-Calvinism.” This was at the request of the Russian brethren, who had received copies of a book entitled SPURGEON VERSES HYPER-CALVINISM by Iain H. Murray which was in Russian. This book tries to discredit Gill and accuse him of being a “hyper-Calvinist.” This was causing much concern among the brethren because we had made it known that we considered Gill to be a very safe and sound theologian and commentator of the sacred scriptures. I first discussed what “hyper-Calvinism” is alleged to be and showed how that neither Gill nor Primitive Baptists in America with whom we fellowship, endorsed such
false teachings. I read excerpts from the book by George Ella entitled JOHN GILL AND THE CAUSE OF GOD AND TRUTH, to support my statements. Elder Harris followed by adding his remarks on the subject and then continued his study in the Book of Galatians. There were several questions afterwards which showed the concern the brethren had over this subject of “hyper-Calvinism.” The conference ended on Tuesday evening with a good time of Christian fellowship.
On Wednesday, about fifteen people made the two and a half hour trip to Lake Baikal, for the baptism of three believers. This has proven to be a highlight in our trips since baptism is so important to these saints and because the Lake is so beautiful. Following the baptism service, we enjoyed a Russian picnic. Lake Baikal is the home of over 56 different species of fish, but the most famous and most tasty is the omul. In addition to fresh watermelon and tomatoes, we enjoyed charcoal baked omul fish and Russian hotdogs. The food and fellowship were great. Afterwards we returned to Markovo for our final services there. Elder Harris brought a great message on “Deep
My time in Ukraine and then in Siberia were very special to me. It is always such a joy to visit with the dear saints in those countries. They are so much appreciative of our visits among them and always asking us to tell the churches here in American how much they appreciate our visits. Do remember the dear saints in these countries in prayer. Their needs are many and they have such a low income that life is very difficult for them. It is always hard to leave them knowing their struggles and the added problems the cold winter will bring. Do remember them in pray to our Heavenly Father.
Lord willing, the Aberdeen Primitive Baptist Church will try to send another container of humanitarian aid and clothing to the Chernigov church this Fall. Pray for this effort. I will share more information about this effort later.