A Louisiana Volunteers in Mission team traveled to First United Methodist Church in Ekaterinburg, Russia this past June to spend 13 days sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ, participating in worship and completing construction work on First UMC’s church building.
Members of the team joined with Russian VBS teachers to present five days of “action-packed” Vacation Bible School programming for approximately 45 kids each day. The school focused on the life of Jesus, presenting His birth, baptism, teachings, death and resurrection.
At the end of the VBS, nine children made “a personal decision to follow Jesus,” wrote James Gillespie, team leader and director for the conference Russia Initiative.
“Our construction team spent many hours solidifying the foundation of the church, which had significant damage. The work involved preparing and pouring concrete to prevent water from penetrating under the structure. Back-breaking work with sledge hammers and jackhammers were part of the routine. The result is now a stable foundation that will add many years to the life of the church building,” said Gillespie, added that windows installed by the team will make running the building more cost effective during the harsh Russian winters.
First UMC, Ekaterinburg has become a hub for the surrounding community. “And the cross on the sanctuary speaks to those passing by as a call to the lost and those that need help. This Conference can truly be proud of how the First UMC has grown since 1991 into a mission that continues to reflect the love of Jesus Christ,” said Gillespie.