The picture is of the church building in the City of Ivanovo where we are staying as we work in the cities of Ivanovo and Vladimir. It is a former kindergarden school and so is divided into many different rooms. Some of these rooms have been redesigned for places to live and so there are a number of people living in the building at this time. Often churches have recovery programs for drug addicts and alcoholics and they live on campus as they walk through the recovery process. In many areas this is the only help offered to those needing this type of help. Almost always someone lives in the building on a regular basis so that they can be the guard when the building is not in use. In this case, a university student lives in the building and guards it at night.
This building has a little land around it but not much and so there is no room to expand. The whole facility is surrounded by an iron fence with huge gates that stay locked except when the building is being used. Inside there are good kitchen facilites, a fellowship hall, four rooms for people to stay (2 single rooms with bathrooms attached; several dorm-style rooms with multiple beds). There are Sunday School classrooms and some walls have been removed to create a sanctuary for worhip. Although narrow it will sit 80 comfortably. Everything in the building is basic and lacks any decorative touch. But, the building is certainly very usable.
The pastor’s wife leads worship here and she can truly play the keyboard. There are six in the worship team and the worship is sweet, sincere, God-honoring and powerfully anointed. As always a substantial portion of time is given to worship in each gathering of the saints. No one rushes through worship and everyone joins in and enjoys it being touched by the presence and power of God. We are teaching on the gifts of the Holy Spirit as we did last time as well. Already we can see a marked improvement in the people flowing in the gifts as the worship moves forward and we minister unto the Lord and to each other.
Today’s prayer requests: For wisdom as we meet with area pastors for fellowship and ministry time; for the church in this city of Ivanovo which is severely limited in what the authorities allow it to do publicly; for increased boldness on the believers here; and for continuing strength for the team members. We can “feel” the prayers of the saints as we minister here. Thank you for praying.