Tim Adams speaks to Helen Davis about her visit to Moscow from the 11th-15th April 2018.
How did you get ready for the trip?
Preparation started in January with Sue Garb (Burton Youth for Christ Director) and I travelling to London to get our visas for the week. This was straightforward and didn’t take long to sort, in fact, it was incredibly fast. We received our visas the next week.
What were your expectations?
When we flew out to Moscow I had no idea what to expect, although I had visited Russia in the past. When we changed planes at Frankfurt we met up with three people from the Netherlands who were also visiting with us.
What did you do when you arrived?
At the airport in Moscow we met Mikhail, the Eastern European Youth for Christ Director and Vladimir, the Director of Moscow Youth for Christ. We did some sight-seeing in Moscow and got to know our hosts. In the evening we visited the flat of a family who are missionaries from Brazil and talked about prayer with their house group (made up of people from six nationalities).
What is the vision of Youth for Christ in Russia?
During the week we met Alexander and Roman from St Petersburg Youth for Christ, who told us about the Russian centres’ vision to see the lives of orphans changed. This sparked conversations between Sue and I about how our centres could work together more closely.
Are orphans being cared for by the team?
On Friday I spent the morning with Valentina, who I know from when I lived in Russia. When Valentina met Vladimir, he realised she had been the director of an orphanage in the Bryansk region for 27 years and shared his heart for orphans. Later, we visited a ‘halfway house’ for children as young as 19 months who’d just been taken into care. Children who are at risk of being taken into care (and their families) are also supported.
What about teenagers and young adults?
The young people at an all-night prayer and praise event in a church in Moscow were passionate about God. We also visited a football tournament for young men aged 18+. One of the Moscow churches, alongside Youth for Christ, ran it. In the afternoon we taught a group of teenagers in an orphanage for young people with special needs how to cook a traditional English dish. Despite being initially withdrawn, their confidence grew as they learnt.
How did your time in Russia draw to a close?
At our final meal together on the last night, we talked about what could come of the work in the future. Afterwards, we met some young people in the street who were fascinated to hear about what we were doing in Moscow. We were able to share the gospel with them and pray with them. While preparing for the trip, and during it, I really felt God’s hand on me. I felt that He wanted me there for a purpose that He would make apparent.
What impact has it had?
We saw God working in amazing ways and the young people’s passion and excitement for worshipping Him. I felt the confidence to grow in speaking to people and praying for people in the church. I also really caught the vision for ‘One Youth for Christ’. It was great to see how God uses very different people as part of this movement. I’m praying about how we can support each other to see more young people’s lives changed by Jesus.