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
Raamatun mukaan jokainen Jumalan valtakunnan jäsen on avoin lähetyskirje omassa toimintaympäristössään (2. Kor. 3:2–3). Tämä asia voi olla kipupiste uskovaiselle ihmiselle, sillä henkilökohtaisesta uskosta puhumiselle on korkea kynnys nyky-yhteiskunnassa.