Baptism in July 2005 - four young men

Please remember these four guys in your prayers.  From left, Max (17), Zhenya (18), Sergei (16), and Maxim (17) and Alina's smiling face peeking over Zhenya's head. Please remember these four guys in your prayers. From left, Max (17), Zhenya (18), Sergei (16), and Maxim (17) and Alina's smiling face peeking over Zhenya's head.

We had the awesome privilege of witnessing the baptism of four young men from the ?You Are Not Alone Club? at the Baptist church in Voronezh. To see how the church and the pastors there have really embraced these young men and their emerging leadership skills, has been very encouraging to the staff of the club who have been pouring into their lives for the past year.

Pastor Oleg commented about the growth he?s seen in these guys since they began Bible studies at the club.  The boys were required by the church to take part in a class for those wanting to be baptised, and the pastor said these guys were the top of the class. 

Before giving all the credit for the discipleship of these boys to the "You Are Not Alone Club" however, I should point out that three of these four boys were part of a group of boys Gennadiy Petrov invested heavily in through the years. Many of you know Gennadiy and know of his work in the orphanages of the Voronezh region for many years. Gennadiy has poured into the lives of many of these kids, getting them picked up by bus and taken to church where they had special Sunday School classes and participated in a feeding program.  In addition, Gennadiy and his family hosted them in their home on Sunday afternoons for a meal and Bible study.

The evening after the baptism I was able to go out to the camp with Ludmila Kotova?s husband Sasha, where these guys were working as counselors with some very difficult orphans from Orphanage #2 in Voronezh. I was truly blessed to see how these guys, who were discipled in this same camp, are now discipling others. Really only three of them were discipled there, the fourth one, Maxim, began his walk with Christ there just last January at winter camp. At 17, he had already become enslaved to alcohol, and God has turned him around dramatically. His leadership skills and spiritual maturity are already being noticed.

Please pray for the continued spiritual growth of these young men. A couple of them want to pursue getting a biblical education to prepare for ministry. This will require an act of God, but so has the course of their lives thus far. I'm confident God will continue the work that He has begun in them, and providing for their theological education is within the capabilities of His awesome power.