This is with great privilege to be coming back to you with updates regarding the state of our ministry post Covid-19 restrictions, which led to among other things the suspension of church gatherings across many countries around the globe in the practice of social-distancing aimed at curbing the spread of the virus.
Since our last update from a few months ago, a lot has changed on our side. We have had positive lights; one of which was the lifting of some of the restrictions which were initially applied by the government to contain the spread of the virus. The lifting of these restrictions saw the churches going back to their gathering places.
The first Sunday of our church opening constituted of few people in attendance, as many were still very much reluctant and threatened by the idea of going back to public spaces. We, however, continued and still are continuing to have Sunday live-streams to cater for those who are still not comfortable to be in public spaces and rather prefer to remain home.
However, two weeks later we began to see numbers constantly increasing as more people are becoming more relaxed and comfortable to return to the house of the Lord. We are also still very much continuing with our Zoom morning and evening prayers which are held from Monday to Saturday at 09h00 and 18h30 respectively. This is one of the cherishable moments where we get to pray fervently about issues that concern the body of Christ now and issues that concern the present-day society.
There is still a great issue of uncertainty due to rumors of the second wave of the covid – 19 pandemic. But now we know that whatever may come, we’ll face it with assurance that God will take care of his church.
God has been continually faithful and through His generosity the church has been able over the last months to continue making provisions to the needy that have been affected by the lockdown. Some of our students were not able to receive provision from their parents, some who normally work temporarily had to come to a pause when the lock down was introduced as a result they had no financial means to sustain their basic needs. Therefore, the church continued to provide some basic needs like food and toiletry. Thank you dear brothers and sisters for getting involved in this work. Now we have a food pantry working to help people in trouble. There are so many more things that I believe we could bring up in the next issue.
Following the lifting of social restrictions, we had a number of group events:
This is an event which was aimed at acknowledging and honouring the achievements and services of our 2020 graduates who have been part of our ministry from the onset of their arrival in Saint Petersburg. We had about 7 graduates this year which completed their master and bachelor degrees from various training institutions in St. Petersburg. Among them were student from Mozambique, Angola, Benin, Ghana, Zambia and Democratic Republic of Congo and Rwanda (one them was enrolled in a military academy under the auspices of Rwandan Military Defence Force.)
This summer we had Camp twice, and this summer going to Camp Elama was a great blessing to many of the students because they had been locked in their hostels because the of the quarantine. As we always do every year, we spent time to pray, worship, and have a good time of fellowship. We also organized water Baptism, where we had two people baptized.
Men’s Ministry – this year we had a men’s excursion. We visited the magnificent and well-known Peterhof Palace, which is located at the outskirts of Saint Petersburg.
Nights of Prayer and Worship – during the lockdown time we started online evenings of worship which has grown to a separate meeting at our church venue every Thursday night. Not long ago, we resumed our Thursday evening prayers, which runs before and during the praise and worship.