By Dee Dixon
What an awesome experience! What a great mission! What an extraordinary team!
I attend Central Church of God in Charlotte, which sends mission teams all over the world. When the opportunity to go to Siberia was announced, I responded to a “still, small voice” and signed up, not realizing the profound impact this journey would have on me spiritually.
A team of 13 set out for Siberia on Sept. 16, with a nine-hour flight to Munich, another four-hour ride to Moscow with a six-hour layover there, and finally another four-hour flight to Novokuznetsk, Siberia. (BTW, our team leaders, Serge and Elena Baygulow, are from this town, so we were in excellent hands.)
I know what you’re thinking………it must have been cold in Siberia. Quite the contrary; it was unusually warm during our stay. Really, it was in the upper 70s and 80s most of our stay – just a light jacket needed in the early mornings. Not at all what I imagined.
In summary, we worshipped and shared our testimonies in spirit-filled churches, ministered to recovering addicts of alcohol and drugs and heard their struggles, visited nursing homes and an orphanage and fed and prayed with the homeless. We lived in Russian apartments/homes, which was quite an experience in itself. (May I be transparent? I longed for a hotel at first blush, but prayed and God adjusted my attitude, reminding me of the mission. I soon began calling the place where five of us ladies stayed “home.”)
We drove to another city in Siberia called Mundybash and then spent our final day in Moscow before returning home on Sept. 24. Though it turned cold and rainy, we were able to enjoy a boat ride along with a visit to Red Square, which was absolutely awesome. (Though hard, LOL, I managed to get just a little shopping done in Moscow, too. Yay! I purchased some boots, which I can probably find here at Ross, an authentic Russian hat, some small pieces of art. My personal goal is to bring back a piece of art from every country I visit.)
I was spiritually moved by the people in Russia. Chapter One, 1 verse nine of the book of James states: “Believers in humble circumstances ought to take pride in their high position.” It was so rewarding, uplifting and absolutely inspiring to witness such a powerful outflowing of faith in Jesus Christ among Russian believers in “humble circumstances.” I thank God for the opportunity to have been in the presence of royalty. This trip truly blessed my soul.