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Students to take Gospel to former Iron Curtain
June 09, 2003
By William Scholl

The universal medium of music will convey a universal message of hope during an upcoming joint Boyce College and Southern Seminary mission trip. This summer, a group of 13 students will leave on a two-week trip to Russia to take the Gospel to a country only recently opened to the Good News.

The group -- which will include members of Boyce College’s choral group Aletheia -- will spend their time in Marina, a suburb of Moscow, working to help enhance the ministry of International Mission Board missionaries, Michael and Patsy Holyfield.

“Music is so universal and I think it will help to break down barriers and help us to show people the love of Christ,” said Stephanie Alvaro, a B.S. student at Boyce College and Aletheia member.

Students will help prepare for an upcoming presentation of the Jesus video in Marina by engaging in street evangelism, prayer walking and tract distribution. Aletheia will be using its talent to perform open-air concerts, as well as the drama, Redeemer -- a mime presentation that will be a vital resource in overcoming the language barrier.

Along with practices for the vocal and dramatic performances, preparation for the trip has included discussing cultural topics and a lot of prayer.

“We’ve talked about how to deal with culture shock [and] how not to act, and [we] have been getting prayer partners,” said Chip Collins, associate dean of Boyce students and leader of the trip to Russia. “Prayer has been our biggest preparation.”

Collins said Aletheia director, Nathan Platt, has handled the music preparation for the trip. Aletheia member and B.S. student Danielle Gillespie has been working to help prepare the drama. He said both of them have put many extra hours into the trip.

Collins mentioned several prayer concerns for the trip -- the first being the influence of the Russian Orthodox Church.

“The Russian Orthodox Church is growing stronger there, so there is some opposition [to other denominations],” Collins said. “We are trying to get approval to sing in a park in Russia, and the man we need to go through [who is Russian Orthodox] wanted to have the lyrics to all of our songs. We have not heard back from him yet, but [we] are optimistic.”

A second prayer concern is that the customs process would go smoothly and that the team would not have any problems entering the country with the equipment needed to do evangelism. Along with this, a third request is that God would work in the hearts of the men and women who will be ministering on the trip.

“Many of [the student’s] spiritual props will be knocked out from under them, and they will experience God in a new way,” Collins said. “They will have to learn to rely solely on Him.”

But Collins said the final and greatest prayer need is that God will see fit, through His perfect will, to bring souls into the Kingdom as a result of the trip.

Although the initial flood of spiritual interest released when the Soviet Union crumbled has subsided, there are still millions of Russians ready to learn of the Savior who loves them. And Alvaro said she is prepared to get out of her comfort zone to help bring the Gospel message to the people in Marina.

“I hope to be stretched and used to minister to the people there,” Alvaro said. “I think God will use us to draw people in to hear the Gospel.”

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