December 9, 2001
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Another Family United
Luidmilla, on the right, put on her Lord a few days ago. She studied the Bible with different teachers in the Klaipeda Study Center and attended worship for a couple of years. She first visited with Liubov who was teaching her massage. Luidmilla’s daughter Natasha, on the left who is in her 20’s, was baptized this summer. When Liudmilla first started coming, she couldn’t convince Natasha to come with her. Liudmilla has been searching for meaning and paying attention to her spiritual life for the past 20 years. She began by going to the Russian Orthodox church, but, in her words, “after the way that priest looked down upon me, I decided never to go back there. Here I have found kind, loving sincere people who act right.”
Danny Returns to Vilnius
Danny and Terri came to the U.S. based upon her doctors’ recommendation. She will stay at her mom’s house until the baby is born. After several days here, they made the decision that Danny should return to his work in Vilnius until early January.
The Church Meets in Kaunas
Kevin Carson began meeting with a couple in Kaunas on a monthly basis. Danny Dodd has determined to meet with them every Sunday. When Danny and Terri had to return to the states for Terri’s health, Kevin organized a weekly meeting. Several from Klaipeda, including Shawn and Juozas kept the ball rolling until Danny returned. There are two Christians in this city that meet regularly, Gediminas and Indra his wife. They have a small child, Matras. Using contacts from camp, Danny has written letters to invite the campers and several have attended. Pray God will bless this effort and that soon many Christians will meet in that city. On a recent Sunday, the group posed for this picture.
Chris wrote recently about the progress he sees in Vilnius. “Seeing spiritual growth and maturity in the local members is one of the most rewarding
results of my work. Recently, Ilia began leading two evangelistic studies with non-Christians. Svetlana, a mother of a CRF child began studying with Ilia on Sunday’s after worship in order to answer questions she has from the Sunday morning class. Ilia has so effectively answered her questions, that she now considering baptism. Another of Ilia’s students is Tonia, the younger sister of Nastia. It won’t be long I hope that she too will make the decision that her sister made last summer.
“Another person that has shown continually spiritual maturity is Sandra. Sandra has brought her brother to church, from which he began studying the bible with Danny. Yet, Sandra didn’t stop there. After reviewing evangelistic study curriculums with me over a few days, she went home to share the gospel with her mother. Now, her mother is strongly considering being baptized. Sandra also serves the local Christians. She helps with the CRF program, teaches once a month in the women’s class, and volunteers her extra time to teach English to half a dozen people in the church.
“Vytas has agreed to help organize a series of three seminars planned for this coming winter and spring. He offers expertise in advertising and reading the tendencies of general public in our city. He always loves having a challenge to organize something, especially when it is with the church.”
Stephan Commits to Study
Baptized in August, this young man has made a commitment to study the Bible full time with the goal of working as an evangelist. He has been studying navigation at the Maritime University. Cliff encouraged him to take a leave of absence from the University to keep the doors open. He will study the six courses in Russian first and work on his English in order to prepare himself for the rest of the courses. Stephan saved enough money to attend the Maritime University for 3 more years without working and will use that money to support himself as he completes the intern program with the church. His mother, Luibov, grandmother, Vera, and younger brother Ivan are members in Klaipeda.
Pan European Lectureships
Make your vacation plans and attend the Pan European Lectureships in Tallinn, Estonia July 28-Aug. 4. An optional pre-lecture trip is planned for St. Petersburg, Russia and a post-lecture trip is planned for Riga and Lithuania. A two-day side trip to Helsinki is part of the lectures. If you are interested, contact Ken Sewell so he can pull the group together.
Scott reports that one of the men, Raimondas, has preached two sermons and leads singing almost every Sunday. Scott and Virga will return to Richardson on their annual visit December 19, and while he is gone, the local men will organize and conduct the worship. Beginning in December, Dovile, Kamile and Edvardas will be part of the
Christian Relief Fund program supported by the Aztec, New Mexico Church of Christ.
New Worship Facilities Needed
Growing attendance in Vilnius has strained their facilities. Chris writes, “After much discussion we hope to begin renting a conference hall for our Sunday worship. This step will solve several problems. First, it will help us overcome the obvious shortage we have in space for classes and worship on Sundays. We have been continually growing over the last year, and outgrown our study center. Second, this will bring the Vilnius church one step closer to being self-supporting, since they will be the party that pays for the weekly rent of the conference hall. Third, this option will ensure that the future growth of the church will not be hampered by a self-employed boundary such as assembly hall size. The men of the church are in support of this strategy and work has begun to equip the church for this change.”
They located a government-owned conference hall, but were turned down by the Ministry of Justice because of they did not want to rent to a religious. The search is continuing. Pray for their success.
Worship Begins in Skuodas
This is the Sunday that Cliff Turner plans to begin worshipping in this city every week. For several months he went there once per month. First, he will worship in Klaipeda and then drive to Skuodas for an afternoon meeting.
By Ken Sewell | EUROPE | Lithuania