It is hard to believe we have been in St. Petersburg, Russia for 7 days now. We are done teaching here yet have part of one more day to go to relax a little. Then it is off to Kemerovo, Siberia.

I am learning many Russian words and phrases. For some reason, I am picking it up better today than even yesterday. One man, Anatoli, taught me to say “yellow blue bus” in English and it sounds close to the Russian phrase, “I love you.” “Slava bowlgu” is “Praise God.”

Each day, I had the students say to each other, “You are the hope of the world” and “Expect God to act!” Not that we are the hope of the world apart from Christ, but that we are the hope of the world as the body of Christ. Also, as biblical counselors, we expect God to act in our lives and the lives of our counselees. They had fun saying that each day. They also had fun doing our activities and socializing while working on a case study and different exercises I do requiring interaction.

It is sad to be leaving this group of students now. Everyone was so kind and giving. They try to speak English and do a better job than I do of trying to speak Russian.

We had a productive day and again proclaimed Christ as the ONLY answer for the problem of “addiction” and His Word as sufficient. His Word is all we need – not the ideas of mankind (Col. 2:8) that teach man-centered ideas. It is nice to see so many people committed to glorifying God in a quiet, self-denying manner.

I am grateful to Wayne and Susie Vanderweir for allowing me the opportunity to serve Christ for Overseas Instruction in Counseling (OIC) – www.discoveroic.org

-Mark (reminded again that my mission trip to serve God has blessed me more than I think I have been able to bless others)

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