We arrived in Belarus in the early evening and were met by Yauheni to be driven directly to the Missionary School. Peter Ruck and I were made to feel so welcome; they had prepared some traditional food especially for us.
Peter and I were surprised to meet Johannes from Estonia whom we had ministered with in Macedonia at the Evangelism Conference. Wonderful beginning and end to our first day!
The next morning we went to speak in a Bible school in the centre Minsk. We were picked up by Dennis the principal of the school who first took us to lunch in a “community canteen”. We were booked to speak in the afternoon sessions, Yauheni having taught in the morning sessions. There were around thirty students who were very keen and attentive.
On Friday we spent the whole day speaking in the Missionary School. This meant that Peter and I would have two one hour sessions each. This was followed by working together in what was called a “pastoral lecture time”. Being English we changed this into a Q and A time as we wanted to have feedback from the students to see how much they understood. Each day they had a heavy programme with prayer, breakfast, lunch, and evening meals together, worship, four teaching sessions and pastoral time, then an evening lecture over Skype. We were blessed with the services of an interpreter named Dmitri who was great. It was important to build relationship with the students who came from Bulgaria, different locations in Belarus, Russia and the Ukraine.
Saturday was a very different kind of day as we needed to become tourists. We were collected by Vitali and Olga, our interpreter. We needed new medical insurance and to report to the police to conform with visa requirements. We spent the rest of the day as tourists building up our portfolio of photographs. We met up with Yauheni and Yulia for lunch. That evening we had new hosts Sergei and Natasha who took as around the big city sights
Sunday morning and we were collected early. Peter and I were to preach in two different locations. My church was about 50 miles outside of Minsk and Peter's was about 30 miles away. A driver was waiting for Peter en route to take him to where he was ministering and I went on to my church. The small hall was filled to capacity, the worship was lively and I really felt the presence of God in the meeting. I preached on becoming all that God intends us to be and ministered to several sick people towards the end of the meeting. Then it was a quick lunch and I was whisked off to meet Peter on the road to Minsk before heading back there for our evening meeting.
Yauheni was already there and the meeting had started with well over 500 people expecting us. It was a busy programme and we were still over an hour away. When we arrived we were quickly introduced and Peter spoke briefly and then I gave the main message which was very well received. Finally Yauheni was given the opportunity to speak explaining why we had come and gave an appeal for support for the Missionary School. That evening we were treated to a home cooked meal at Yulia and Yauheni’'s home!
Monday and Tuesday, Peter and I were back sharing in the Missionary School again teaching five sessions a day. The students really loved our stories. Peter and I loved working with this group, they are so enthusiastic. It was a real blessing for us as our relationship grew during our time with them.
Tuesday night was our final event. We had been invited to speak to a group of pastors, church leaderships and evangelists. The event was in two parts; I spoke first and followed by Peter in the final session. It went very well and we finished with a time of prayer forming a prayer tunnel as so many responded. The evening was capped off with our first MacDonald’s in Belarus!
Wednesday morning, we were packed and left early with Vitali to pray for a lady who had had a stroke after which we headed to the airport. It was a wonderful time in Belarus, really passionate people who face restrictions because of the authorities in sharing the Gospel. We were blessed! Great to work with Peter & Yauheni again!
God is good all the time! Thank you for those who prayed and supported us during this trip.
by Tim Grant