Friday, May 1, 2009

Service Project in Irkutsk 5/1/09

Service Project in Irkutsk 

Rain, heavy at times
Wind 10-25 mph
High temp 54F

The following came to me as a report of a service project done in Irkutsk, a city south east of Lake Baikal in the east of our mission. President Lynn Southam (mission presidency counselor for the eastern area) and his wife have inspired the missionaries in the three eastern cities to new and exciting things.

"Twenty members and missionaries of the Irkutsk Branch of the Russia Novosibirsk Mission provided a day of service to a rehabilitation clinic for patients suffering brain and spinal injuries. On Saturday, April 25, 2009, the branch cleaned the large grounds of the clinic by raking the yard, sawing and removing trees, cleaning debris from the yard and preparing the grounds for spring. The directors and patients of the facility were very grateful for the service and invited the branch members back for more service opportunities.
The director of the physical facilities of the clinic exclaimed how pleased she was with the work. She and her kitchen staff provided refreshments. Irkutsk Branch President Arthur Sullemanov (Артур Сулейманов) said, “This is a great day of service for our members. Much good has been done here.”
The day was organized by the branch Public Affairs Director, Victor Ivanov (Виктор Василъевич), Director of Communications for the City of Irkutsk, Galena Kalogena (Галина Калугина), and senior missionary Lynn Southam. Relationships were strengthened, bridges built and work accomplished. A great day for all."
The picture above includes missionaries and the Young Single Adult group from the Irkutsk Branch as well as the center's administrator. We truly are here to serve and we do it in many ways. Our core mission is to preach Christ risen, repentance, baptism for the remission of sins and enduring to the end in a new life of love and service. However, part of our mission is to serve the people where we labor in any way we can that is productive and allowed.
Often our efforts to serve are rebuffed because of misinformation about our church or about us being an American church. The fact that we have congregations in almost every country and many of our Novosibirsk missionaries are natives of Russia or other Eastern European countries escapes our critics, but most critics are not hindered by the truth.
Now that the ice is gone and the weather is more accommodating, we hope to do more of these service projects as a token of our love for the people.
What a country.

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