Saturday, January 08, 2005



Many of us in the United States take our freedoms for granted. This is especially clear when it comes to religion and our freedom to openly practice our faith.

We are free to meet in our church without fear of being persecuted or even killed. This is not the case around the world and I believe we would be well served to realize that.

The janitor at our church is originally from Russia. He once gave his witness to our congregation at River Hills United Methodist Church in Burnsville, Minnesota. What an amazing story it was! On Sundays he would take different busses around Moscow to avoid being followed. Finally he would arrive at the worship site out in the woods.

They would worship all day, many times until it got dark; and then repeat the process of many bus changes in order to get home. People would be baptized year-round, even if they had to break open the ice in the water.

What may be most incredible is the way in which they stored the Bible. It would be broken into the different books (Genesis, Exodus, etc.) and each family would keep one book for a week. They would then exchange books the next week. The reason for this was to not risk losing the entire Bible in case their family was found with it. The families would store the bible underneath the furnace. The heat, traveling up, would not affect it, and the KGB would not look there.

Give praise and thanksgiving for the ease of how we can worship and study and praise our Father! Amen!
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