8.- 14. September 2015
When we began blowing the trumpets and bringing God’s message to Switzerland’s four language areas, in March 2010, we had no idea when and where this would end. In the meantime we have been in all 50 European countries and on every continent on earth, where we did the same thing in the north, south, east and west. Now, after visiting 70 countries in exactly 5 1/2 years, we are here in Siberia – more precisely in Jakutsk, known as the coldest large city in the world, with winter temperatures of -50 degrees Celsius – to fulfill this “sending” of God. It’s understandable that we would have preferred to come in the summer.
We made contact through a German brother who worked many years in congregations in the region and thus had many long-term friends. Pastor Slawa, who met us at the airport, leads a congregation belonging to the “Word of Life” movement (Ulf Eckman). Through this richly blessed ministry hundreds of congregations were founded in Russia. Following the founder’s conversion to the Roman Catholic church, there is naturally great insecurity, lack of understanding and even shock among the leaders and the congregation members. They feel they have been abandoned by their shepherds. The situation is quite difficult in other ways, as well. Slawa had invited other pastors and leaders of the city and region to our meetings, but not one of them was interested. God knows best what, when and where something is necessary!
We were put up in an apartment belonging to a business woman from the congregation. (There is much construction in Jakutsk and when one returns after several years away, one hardly recognizes the city again, as Slawa’s parents, who grew up and lived here, told us. They now live near Moscow and were visiting Jakutsk at the same time we were there.) The apartment is large, modern, on the 8th floor with a wonderful view of the Lena River.
Two worship services prepared the trumpet blowing which took place on September 13. It was not easy to make ourselves understood, since almost no one speaks English. A sister from the congregation could speak just a little English, so she accompanied us on excursions and meetings. But thank God, Slawa was able to find another translator for the worship services and he did an excellent job. Some time ago this brother and a few others left Slawa’s congregation and are now engaged in another congregation. It is surprising that he did this and apparently had no problems with it. The worship service and message, with the trumpets, really touched everyone – even in their hearts, we believe. Everyone participated with great dedication in the triumphal birth cry, according to Isaiah 42:13.
We love our Russian brethren. From the first moment we had a warm bond, including spiritual unity – just wonderful! They are very lovable, warm-hearted and full of humor. Nowhere else did we hear so many jokes – which we of course didn’t understand… But THEY laughed until they cried. Thus we enjoyed a birthday party with Slawa’s family: father, mother, 5 children, grandparents and our funny translator. There were 12 people around a normal living room table – friends, this is actually possible!
The most fascinating thing here to conclude: We completed our 5 1/2-year trumpet tour here on this Sunday morning and on the same evening Rosh Hashana, theJewish New Year’s holiday began (Feast of the trumpets)! God’s timetable is perfect. We could never have planned this, but it emphasizes one last time the importance of it all! What will happen now? No matter what: We give God the honor, all thanksgiving, and worship him – including for all the help which he gave us through you. Be watchful and remain watchful and hear what the Spirit says to the church!
Werner and Regula