Music Team Embarks on 10-day Tour of Russia
MIWC missionary Vitaliy Bolgar led 34 people on a 10-day music tour across Russia in June.
The trip was jointly sponsored by MIWC and local Ukrainian churches. Mission team members also worked to raise a portion of their own funds, a remarkable feat when considering how the Ukrainians are willing to sacrifice their own incredibly limited resources to help support the work of local churches in Russia.
Team members represented Shchekavitska (also known as Central Baptist Church) and Pukhova Baptist Church, and included musicians who participated in several MIWC outreach events in the past.
Traveling 1200 miles from their homes, the missionary team made its way across Russia holding nine different ministry events.
Bolgar said, “We saw clear demonstrations of God's love and mercy for our entire missionary team. Thirty-four people embarked on a journey, and I can say that there was so much to learn from the Christians we visited.”
The team participated in three evangelistic services, including two in military officers’ clubs in Kazan and Sizran. Bolgar recounted that after one of the club events, a young man came up to ask him, “What moved you to travel such a great distance?”
Bolgar wasn’t anticipating such a question and had to stop and think before responding.
He then told the young man: “God moves in each one of us, and encourages us to be in community with each other. He moves us to do this, regardless of the distance of the trip or difficulties that we may encounter along the way, and our purpose is share in the fellowship of ministry for His glory.”
By the time they arrived at their final destination in Tolyatti, traveling had exhausted the team members. Yet, as they got off of the bus, a young man ran up to Bolgar and took the luggage out of his hand to help carry it. This local youth then carried practically every bag and instrument they had on board.
This local boy’s genuine response was echoed during the trip, when Bolgar met with local pastors to discuss holding a music camp in Samara Province.
The pastors showed incredible interest and offered a great location to hold the event – a church retreat center located on the banks of the Volga River.
While MIWC music camps were postponed this summer, this was yet another way God appears to be moving to fill the summer of 2014 with new camp locations and students who have not had access to biblically-based worship training in the past.
This potential new camp location combined with the success of the 10-day tour, led Bolgar to say, “God richly blessed our short-term mission trip to Russia and Tatarstan, and we truly give him glory for all that He did.”All photos courtesy of Vitaliy Bolgar