Here are the top pictures from the mission trip to Kirov, September 2007.
We put a couple of videos together of the highlights:
|The Hoax in Russia - The Hoax on a mission trip to Russia, September 2007|
|Dreaming - A peek at a mission trip to Kirov Russia, September 2007|
Rich's Daily Journal:
Follow the adventures of the team as they travel 17,000 miles to share Jesus with the people of Kirov.
The team members this year are:
Rich & Daniel Cathers, Dave & Tyler Dunagan, Neil Gulassa, Lisa & Katie Hennessy, Olivia Hurtado, Paul Johnson, Ricky Madson, Drew Morehouse, Brandon Sanchez, Greg Senecal, and Linda Rouse.
Monday, September 24 @ 3:30 p.m.:
Here's a picture of the team and all their gear when they were dropped off at LAX.
Monday, September 24:
Well, we've made it through all the check-in lines (and there were a LOT of LONG lines here at LAX) and we're waiting to board our flight on Aeroflot airlines. Our flight is scheduled to leave at 6:35 so we've got only a few minutes to burn. We'll be flying about thirteen hours and should arrive in Moscow around 6:30 Tuesday evening.
We should be spending the night in Moscow, then take the Wednesday night train to Kirov (another twelve hours). We hear now that our outreach concerts will start Thursday night and go for four nights.
Keep us in your prayers,
(Linda, Olivia, Lisa, Katie)
Tuesday, September 25:
Well gang we've arrived and are standing around at the Moscow airport waiting for our bus to the Bible College where we'll spend the night. Pray for Olivia - her gall bladder gave her some grief on the flight (13 hours). Didn't get much sleep but it's now 9:oopm now and we'll be getting to bed soon. More tomorrow.
(Greg, Lisa, Katie, Neil)
Wednesday AM, September 26:
Well it's six o'clock in the morning here at the Moscow Bible College. A few folks are up, drinking coffee and squeezing in devotions. We'll do some sightseeing in Moscow today, then off to the overnight train to Kirov. Last night when we got in to the Bible College they had the most delicious stew-chili-spaghetti.
(Back row: Jim Hollingsworth, Tyler, Daniel, Brandon, Dave; Front row: Paul, Linda, Rich, Ricky, Greg, Katie, Neil)
(Front: Paul, Neil; Sitting at the table: Brandon, Daniel, Tyler)
Wednesday PM, September 26:
Today we did the tourist thing. After breakfast at the dorm and a devotion by Pastor Roger, we headed out to take the train into the city of Moscow. We started at Red Square - the Kremlin, Lenin's tomb, St. Basil's. Then on the Metro (think E-ticket subway) to Arbat Street (Huge downtown Disney pedestrian shopping). Had lunch at "Moo-Moo's" (great buffet) and after strolling through the rest of Arbat we're waiting to get back on the Metro and head toward our overnight train to Kirov. Tomorrow we'll hit the road running in Kirov - setting up the concert hall and inviting kids to the concert. We'll do our first concert in the early evening and then do a small "Jazz Club" at 9:30. Remember we're 11 hours ahead of you when you're praying.
Thursday AM, September 27:
It's 6:30 Thursday morning. We've been on the train for 12 hours, only two to go. I guess I must be getting to be an old hand at train sleeping (or else it's the Benedryl) but for those of us who slept, we got almost ten hours. But there are some who didn't sleep at all. As the picture shows, Drew is still TRYING to sleep. The good folks at the Bible College packed us some food for dinner - bread, sausage, cheese, and big bottles of water. Today will be a big day - setting up the concert hall, perhaps street outreaches to invite kids to the concert, hopefully we'll get into a few university classrooms, our first concert, and then the late night "Jazz Club". The big work starts today - we appreciate the prayers.
We're praying for all with much love,
Thursday PM, September 27:
It's after 11 o'clock at night and what a day! We arrived in Kirov around 8:00 in the morning and off to the hotel for breakfast. There is only one shower for the entire floor at the hotel (all twenty of us) but the hotel is otherwise better than the last hotel we stayed at in Kirov. We spent an hour out on the streets passing out flyers and then the musicians spent the rest of the day setting up the music hall, rehearsing and sound checks. When 6:00pm came we were surprised to see the hall nearly full (about 150 out of 220 seats). The Hoax band was a hit. Us old timers didn't do to bad either. After the concert the older band went off to the Jazz Club. We had a blast (see picture) and hopefully opened some new doors in Kirov. But boy are we tired. Pray for a good sleep and a productive day tomorrow for the second night of concerts.
Friday PM, September 28 (no photo):
It was a bit hard getting up today but hey - we've only got a few days left. Today we were able to send some teams into the universities. We don't talk about politics or religion. The goal is to begin to build relationships with the students and invite them onto our turf - the evening concerts where they hear the gospel. The teenage boys are getting a taste of what it is to be used. At one university Daniel and Brandon reportedly had a large crowd of kids (mostly girls) wanting to talk to the Americans. At the concert Ricky got to pray with three people to accept Christ. Tyler (along with Greg) was among those interviewed on the local TV news. The time after the concert was full of kids asking questions. God is doing a wonderful work. The Hall wasn't quite full, but almost - close to 200 came tonight. The hotel is quiet as I'm writing - we've got another day to hit the schools (yes they go to school on Saturday) and the streets.
P.S. Olivia is much better but keep praying. Daniel and Ricky have colds.
Saturday PM, September 29:
Another long day. After breakfast (something like blintzes and an egg/ham dish - yummy) we split into teams and our group (Jim H., Tyler, Ricky, Daniel, Darren, and myself were taken to a Cultural College by Alonna - one of the young gals from the Kirov church who served as our translator. It took us a bit of time to get there but we were greeted by a group of about thirty music students. We did some impromptu music for them (we had a guitar, mandolin, and cajon with us). The Hoax boys even did an unplugged punk set (which the kids loved). They in turn played the accordion and balalaika for us. Marvelous time. We invited the kids to our concert and headed back to our hotel. Then we spent the afternoon getting hamburgers (actually pretty close to real hamburgers for Russia) and then hit the town handing out flyers. We met the rest of the team for a delicious meat/sauce/peas/potato thing for dinner and then on to the concert. This was the last night for the smaller concert hall (220 seats) _ tomorrow for our final concert we move into the big hall (700+ seats). Tonight we hit the limit. Standing room only and not much of that. Upwards of 250 kids showed up - and that's just the ones that made into the hall. When the Hoax played there was a sudden surge of kids into the room - even a sort of mild "mosh pit" up front with about 20 kids jumping up and down. I had the honor tonight of doing the main message - shared from John 5 - the lame man at Bethesda - Do you want to be healed? The attached picture shows the audience from my perspective. The room wasn't packed when I spoke but that's because George Bryson has a practice of allowing kids to leave before the message if they don't want to feel coerced to listen. You might wonder why he does that but considering how some kids are drunk, others are seriously bent on being disruptive, and most are not believers, its really a good thing. The ones that are left want to hear - and that's a great. After the concert I had the privilege of seeing one of the young men from the Cultural College accept Christ and several others get quite close. Pray for Andre. And what I experienced was just the tip of the iceberg. Greg has been used wonderfully to touch large numbers of kids both in the streets and at the concerts. Neil, Dave, Paul, Lisa and many other team members have been used the same way. Keep praying church. God is listening to your prayers.
Off to sleep. One more concert.
Sunday PM, September 30:
We finished the last concert a couple of hours ago. A group of us are camped out in Katie's room for her fifteenth birthday - spent reaching out to the kids of Kirov. Our last concert was in the big hall and at one point it was almost full (700 seats). We had spent the day reaching out to the city - making noise, playing music, and handing out flyers. One treat tonight was an awesome skit done at the concert by the Kirov church. Greg did a great job sharing the gospel while doing a karate demonstration. Jaime had a young man named Misha ask him what must he do to have Jesus in his heart. Greg said his highlight was watching his youth kids serve God. Ricky's high point was tossing Hoax t-shirts into the crowd. Linda's highlight was sharing her testimony during devotions. It was a great day. Thank you so much for all the prayers. Pray for the Kirov church as they follow up on all the new believers.
Monday PM, October 1:
Today was an off day of sorts. We had breakfast at 8:00, devotions at 9:00 then pretty much free time until we get on the train back to Moscow. Our little group went off to see a ski jump and the Vyatka River that the city is on. We then headed off to walk through town - up and down streets peeking into Russian malls, and having lunch (I had sausage, mashed potatoes, and Fanta Orange - Dave had ravioli and a Coke). After lunch we went to the famous monastery in town. Inside the main church we saw some great examples of Russian Orthodox art, icons, decorative carvings, candles, the works. Outside the church was something like a shrine of "living water" where water was pouring out of a spring. We saw one gal bow before the shrine, cross herself, then cup her hand and drink some of the water. After she walked off another woman came up with a bucket. I thought she must really need that holy water but after she filled he bucket we realized she was a cleaning woman who was about to mop some floors. We laughed and laughed. "Religion" can sure look funny sometimes. It's sure awesome to know the risen Lord and have His Living Water. After walking some more through old Kirov (founded around 600 AD) we headed back to the concert hall to load our equipment on a bus to get to the train. As we were waiting, Dave and I turned our backs for a second on the boys and when we turned around there was a group of young gals who recognized them from the concert - wanting to talk to them and get their autographs (of course they ignored us old rock stars). I hope we'll be able to get the boys out of here and onto the train! We board our train at 6pm and ride through the night to get to Moscow. Thanks for all your prayers! We can hardly wait to be home Wednesday night but we'll have to cross halfway around the world first.
Tuesday PM, October 2:
Last night ended with us getting on the train to Moscow and waving goodbye to all our friends in Kirov. There was a good size crowd there to send us off. Riding all night on a train isn't my favorite mode of travel but the second time on a trip is always easier since you are way more tired. We pulled into Moscow about 10 am and loaded our bags and gear onto a truck while we headed off to McDonalds and then to pick up a few souvenirs. We made it back to the Bible College around 3:00 where we got showers and a nice dinner. Dave slipped and sprained his ankle (see pic) - he'd appreciate your prayers. In asking others about the highlights of their week - Neil was involved with a young man coming to Christ - he took Neil to talk to his mom - the city manager. Neil got to share with the mom as well. Daniel had the opportunity to share with a young man at the concert and the fellow prayed to receive the Lord. We'll be bedding down soon for the night. Tomorrow we leave for the airport around 10:00am and our flight leaves Moscow at 2:40pm. We'll hit LAX around 5:00pm Wednesday (I know, how can you fly to LA in two hours? Don't forget the 11 hour time change)
Love from Russia
Wednesday PM, October 3:
We made it home! It's been a long day (pushing 28 hours) but we made it in to LAX at 5:00pm and out of immigration and customs by 6:30. The troops are all home now, thinking about one of the most impacting weeks a person can have. We've traveled the world and seen some sights, but that's nothing compared to the lives that were touched by Jesus. Maybe next time you'll come too? For those of you pastors reading the journals - maybe you ought to think about going to Russia - either to tag along or even bring a team. We're a small church, yet we've come to see God work in some amazing ways. Email me if you have questions - or talk directly with George Bryson at Calvary Chapel Church Planting Mission. The doors are wide open in Russia.