Russia or Tatarstan
We are in Russia! However, no one here will tell you that you are in Russia. They are very proud of their regional history and are quick to tell you that we are in Tatarstan. This is a Muslim state with very few Christians. If you are Protestant, you are often looked at with questioning eyes. Most people think you are members of a cult.
We are staying in an apartment owned by a Bible College. I can look out the window at an endless sea of 12 story buildings. Most look identical, with little external or internal differences. They are all in various stages of decay. The apartment buildings are the same across the old Soviet Union. We have worked in numerous countries that were part of the Old Union and everywhere, it is the same. You get the feeling that decades ago someone paid an architect to design the first one and they simply kept building it again and again.
There are 1 and a half million people in this city, Kazan.
Sunday morning was not what we had planned or what we had expected. We were scheduled in 2 churches, but they cancelled because most people in their congregations had to be at school or work. They told us that such a situation happens once or twice a year at special holidays. A third Pastor invited us to come and worship with him.
It was so amazing to be sitting in a Muslim country and worshipping with brothers and sisters. They sang "Shine, Jesus shine". Our prayer is that He would flood this place with His light. Please pray for wisdom as we must be careful not to attract the wrong kind of attention, but still share Jesus with the children.
Two Street Shows
We never expected to have such a sweet privilege. Our very first day, we did two shows outside on the courtyard that sits in the center of multiple apartment buildings. Children, teenagers, and adults came. Most were Muslims, but they eagerly listened to the Gospel. We also had many conversations with children and even older adults after the show. Even more people stood at what they judged a safe distance and listened. Please pray for all those who came. God knows their names. Please ask Him to call them to faith.
So many of those listening were hearing about Jesus Christ as the only son, of the one true God. The fact that they listened was a wonderful gift from the father. We were threatened at one location, but in the end, they did not call the police. Praise God!
Please pray for Kazan. The Tatars are a dear people. There is so little light in this city and so few believers. Please stay on your knees!
Tomorrow, we are going to a village and we have a training session planned. We are so excited!
We have a very special praise report. We passed through customs with all of our luggage without anyone opening any of the suitcases. This was a miracle! We were stopped and asked if we intended to bring all of our luggage home with us. I prayed for wisdom and the Lord give us a very funny answer I began to explain to them how I liked my suitcase’s and I really hoped I could put the smaller ones inside the bigger ones. They were of course really asking me if I intended to give away all the things that I had inside so, I just kept talking to them about how much I loved my suitcases. God was very kind to us; they became so frustrated with my explanations and told us to go.
Linda Summer & Director
Sam Shaw & Assistant Director
Silvana Simioni Shaw