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Vieraskieliset / In-english

My se­cond birth is crys­tal clear in my mind

Vieraskieliset / In-english
5.12.2019 15.18

Ser­gei Ge­ra­si­mov is a Rus­si­an vi­car from Pri­morsk. He re­cei­ved the grace of re­pen­tan­ce du­ring a con­fir­ma­ti­on camp for Rus­si­an be­lie­vers in Jäm­sä.

– My wife was a be­lie­ver be­fo­re I was, and she as­ked me to come to ser­vi­ces, where I he­ard the li­ving word of God pre­ac­hed. I had at­ten­ded a Lut­he­ran church even be­fo­re that, but I did not find li­ving faith there. In Jäm­sä they pre­ac­hed my sins for­gi­ven.

Re­cei­ving the grace of re­pen­tan­ce was a mo­men­tous ex­pe­rien­ce.

– I thought: this is the mo­ment of my se­cond birth. I re­mem­ber the date: June 9, 1997.

Ge­ra­si­mov has been en­de­a­vo­ring as a mem­ber of God’s king­dom ever sin­ce. The three Ge­ra­si­mov child­ren are al­so be­lie­ving.

Joy for those who re­pent

The vi­car tel­ls us about his work­day:

– In the mor­ning I come to the church. I start by pe­ru­sing fi­nan­ci­al mat­ters. Then I read the Bib­le and pre­pa­re for the ser­vi­ce.

We have two ser­vi­ces a week. There are 25 mem­bers in our cong­re­ga­ti­on, but pe­op­le from el­sew­he­re al­so at­tend our ser­vi­ces.

– I call ot­hers to come, too. Ge­ra­si­mov is hap­py that all mem­bers of his cong­re­ga­ti­on have re­pen­ted.

Many op­por­tu­ni­ties to go to ser­vi­ces

Ser­gei Ge­ra­si­mov is al­so as­ked to keep ser­vi­ces for be­lie­vers at Pri­morsk, Vy­borg and So­vets­ki. Ser­vi­ces are kept both in ho­mes and in churc­hes.

– Rus­si­an be­lie­vers com­mu­ni­ca­te ac­ti­ve­ly with each ot­her. They of­ten vi­sit their be­lie­ving friends even when there are no ser­vi­ces.

SRK ar­ran­ges mis­si­on ser­vi­ces ac­ti­ve­ly in Rus­sia: In 2019 Fin­nish mis­si­on spe­a­kers make 29 trips to dif­fe­rent parts of the count­ry. Du­ring each trip ser­vi­ces are kept in se­ve­ral lo­ca­li­ties.

– Fall ser­vi­ces are a ma­jor event for Rus­si­an be­lie­vers. They have a he­art­felt de­si­re to come to those ser­vi­ces. They have good pos­si­bi­li­ties to hear God’s word and to meet Fin­nish be­lie­vers there, Ge­ra­si­mov points out.

Eas­tern Ort­ho­dox count­ry

Eas­tern Ort­ho­dox faith is the pre­va­lent re­li­gi­on in Rus­sia. The Ing­ri­an Lut­he­ran Church is more than 400 ye­ars old. It has about 15 000 mem­bers in dif­fe­rent parts of the count­ry. Ac­cor­ding to Ge­ra­si­mov, the Lut­he­ran and Ort­ho­dox churc­hes have a good neigh­bor­ly re­la­ti­ons­hip.

– Those who do not be­lie­ve, on­ly come to church on the big church ho­li­da­ys. They have no lon­ging for God’s word.

Sac­ri­fi­ce for my sins

When dis­cus­sing pra­yer, Ge­ra­si­mov says that the Lord’s Pra­yer helps him and te­ac­hes him how to pray in the right way. He de­fi­nes tri­ni­ty brief­ly like this: – God is the Fat­her. Je­sus is the Son and our per­so­nal Sa­vi­or. Sac­ri­fi­ce for my sins. The Holy Spi­rit is a hel­per, gi­ven by God and the Son.

Text: Päi­vi Mar­ti­kai­nen

Trans­la­ti­on: S.-L.L.