10 Cities Mission Trip 2019
The 2019 Spring mission trip was unlike any before. Instead of going to just one city the Light of Hope team accepted an invitation to start ten evangelistic meetings in ten cities of the Euro-Asia Division. The first few cities we visited were all in Eastern Ukraine. The ongoing military conflict in the region brought devastation into big cities and small towns. We could see destroyed hospitals, houses with no roofs, and bunkers on the road with military men checking every car on the road for possible explosives or undocumented militants. However, nothing could stop people from coming to the meetings. Rented auditoriums were packed with hundreds of people. I was touched to the very core of my soul as I met individuals who risked their freedom to cross the frontline and come to the meetings from the regions controlled by pro-Russian military.
From Eastern Ukraine we travelled to Odessa, Kiev, and Kharkiv. Bumpy roads, hours and hours on trains, and missed dinners were nothing in comparison with the joy of sharing the Three Angels message. After a week in Ukraine we headed to Russia. We had to cross the border at two in the morning. Limitations on religious freedom prevented the churches in Russia from renting public auditoriums. We conducted the meetings in local church buildings. It was encouraging to see that our church members were inviting their neighbors and coworkers to attend.
Over 6,000 people attended the meetings overall.
The Hope Channel Russia landed in Omsk early morning. Walking off the plane they were greeted by the cold Siberian air. The church was located quite far from main highways and public transportation. The distance and huge piles of snow added to their concern for those coming to the first program and having to walk through these harsh winter conditions.
Looking at the beaten up roads leading towards the church, they began the first evening filled with worry. But an hour before the start of the meetings the auditorium started filling up with people who would not be turned away from the Word of God by any of those obstacles.
Each night the programs were recorded and transmitted throughout the expansive region. The territory is so vast that it takes two days of traveling by train to reach the members living by the frozen northern coast. But even though many were thousands of miles away from our church in Omsk, they were still able to hear the Word of God.
In November of 2012 Pastor Peter Kulakov traveled with Pastor Mark Finley to commemorate the 20 year anniversary of historic evangelistic meetings that took place in Moscow in 1992. At that time the atheist rule of the Soviet Union had just barely collapsed, yet Pastor Kulakov and Pastor Finley were able to preach the word of God from the center of the Communist government, the Kremlin Palace. Thousands came, hundreds were baptized, new churches were established. It was truly a historic event.
In 2012 the Moscow church was eager to commemorate those meetings. There were those who had left the church and many others who still needed to hear the word of God. So the meetings in November 2012 were centered around a theme of revival.
The programs were scheduled over nine nights. The November evenings were cold and rainy, the traffic in Moscow was unbearable, and yet from the very first night the auditorium filled over capacity.
During the meetings many came who had attended the original meetings 20 years ago and new faces were also present. After an inspiring and renewing week, 55 individual gave their life to Christ through baptism.
St. Petersburg 2011
The Russian Revolution of 1917 started in St. Petersburg when Nicolas II abdicated the throne and communism took hold. Many more unfortunate events followed Lenin's grab of power, and there is still much religious and political turmoil happening today. The city of St. Petersburg has long been under heavy influence of the Orthodox Church, which has made it nearly impossible for any protestant Christian ministry.
For the first time in many, many years, the people of St. Petersburg received the word of God in an evangelistic series led by Pastor Peter Kulakov. The meeting were held in the heart of the city, practically the same location where the Bolsheviks muscled out Russian monarchy. The people of this city have suffered and are in great need of hope and salvation.