Thursday, August 2, 2018

Street Preaching behind the Iron Curtain

From those of us who traveled to Russia, we wish to ‘thank you’ for your many prayers while we were in that country as those prayers were felt and 
boosted us during that mission trip to 
St. Petersburg and Moscow. 

“We will rejoice in thy salvation, and in the name of our God we will set up our banners: the LORD fulfil all thy petitions” 
Psalm 20:5 

And for those of you that $upported this trip, I do thank you for going beyond prayer. 

This trip was over a year in the planning because we knew that Russia may not appreciate our style of evangelizing and it appeared that stricter laws were made to prohibit such during the world cup games. 

However we knew the world would be watching Russia and they would be a bit more lenient towards us, so we took FULL advantage of that window. 

Our first day we stood outside a large train station in St. Petersburg and raised our banners while passing out tracts and gospels of John in Russian. 

We needed to get those cities familiar with us and the banners, so no outloud preaching….yet…… 




This particular tract we passed out looked official for the world cup and it had verses in English and Russian with the American flag on it. 

It was hot ticket. Russians love anything 
with America. 




No doubt this was new, as many looked in awe and even police stopped to take pictures of those banners at this location. 




This brother was Orthodox and he could not believe what we were doing. 

He told us that we were illegal and was shocked with our boldness and said if ‘we were Russian we would be arrested but because we are Americans, the police will leave us alone.’ 

If I only had a dime for every time I heard those words on this trip, I would be a rich man today. This was the live feed link we had at this location






Later that day we went to scout out the stadium where the game would be playing the next day and after we searched the location. 

We now had a game plan on where to stand 
during the game. 




After we spied the stadium, we went to another tram location and there we raised banners again, passing out tracts and gospels of John. 

It was after work and the sidewalks were filled with people walking and our method of witnessing was foreign to them. 




People going into the tram tunnel saw us walking up to the sidewalk and those waking into the tram station no doubt saw us when they walked by. 

It was a great artery. 




This is Brother Kostya in the blue sweat jacket who joined us to observe, pass out tracts and interpret when needed, please pray for this man. 




Late that day, we had our first encounter with St. Petersburg police and they demanded our signs be removed or be arrested. 

They asked for our ID and we gave them our passport and they now knew we were Americans. 

The gal in the pictures below worked as an interpreter and even defended us as Americans. Petar had just spend some time witnessing to her and now she was our sidewalk lawyer 




The crowd was gathering as we argued for being on the sidewalk, so more police…..and a commander were called to the location. 

I warned them of arresting us because my Embassy will be notified and it will be on the news in America……so more police and commanders were called. It appeared they did not know what to do and because the crowd was growing larger and that gathering seemed to be favorable towards us. 

Someone made the call to arrest us. 




We were all placed in a police van and escorted by two police vehicles with sirens blasting throughout the streets as another police van filled with officers followed behind. 

Note the lady in the red. 

She was there talking to Larry Craft and witnessed the arrest, she also pleaded for our release and was willing to go with us to the police station. 

She was pushed away as they slammed the door on her and we were off to jail. ……I will write more about her later….. 




With sirens blasting and speeding across the city it took us less than 20 minutes to go to the police station where we were all taken 
into a room and questioned. 

We were told that we could be released but there was only one way out and there were protesters outside waiting for us. 

So for our safety they would bring an ambulance and place us inside and take us to a hospital. The doctor will check you and you will be released. Of course I said ‘No, we are not sick, we are not injured and we refuse to go to the hospital.’ 

He argued it was for our safety because the protesters will attack us. We refused. We refused to sign anything, we refused to agree that we broke the law. believe it or not the doctors and nurses came inside the room, sat behind the desk and opened up a kit on the desk. 

We refused to be treated and the doctor and police argued with each other and left the room. Now this mystery woman in red. 




Then this woman in red walked into the room….how she got inside the police area is unknown and how she was able to get inside that room is unknown. 

It took us less than 20 minutes speeding to get there and she shows up within 45 minutes. 

When she sat down the first thing she said to us was ‘DO NOT give your blood…..DO NOT give them your blood’ 

I asked her if there were any protesters outside, she said ‘no, none….why?’ 

We told her we did not give our blood and refused to see the doctor, so she seemed relieved. 

Soon the doctor returned and she argued that we are fine and do not need his services, that turned into another screaming match as we all sat and watched.

 She told us just do what is asked and LEAVE, sign whatever and GO, we do not understand what we are doing. The officer came back and I told him he needed to contact the US Embassy and tell them you are detaining us. 

In fact I told John Williams in front of that officer to contact the Embassy and how they wanted us to give our blood. He seemed disturbed and told us that he would let us out the back door, just us and him for safety reasons. 

I said ‘No’ and reminded him that he said there was only one exit and now there is two? ‘NO, we refused.’ 

This when on for some time where he would leave the room, come back, say something, we refused, he would leave and come back, we refuse and he would leave again. I warned him that IF the media in the States got ahold of what they were doing there would problems and that our President was meeting with Vladimir Putin after the games. 

This will NOT look good for Russia. Finally, he said we were free to leave and we asked for our banners. 

He told us that they would keep them for a day and release them to us. We said we will not leave without our property. 

The woman in red could not believe we were willing to go to jail. He said if we did not leave they would force us out of the police station. 

We left and we knew we lost the banners but we were alive and not in jail. 

The women in red said she belonged to a ‘relief program’ to aid people like us. We believe she was KBG, she said she was a Buddhist and never seen Christianity like that. It was now after 2AM and we told her we were going for coffee, she said after what she witnessed, she needed a strong drink. 

We thanked each other hugged her and walked off. She said her government was bad and had they poked us with a needle, that syringe would have made us ill and we would have been treated at the hospital. Then drugged with something to alter our minds. She kept saying you had no idea what just happened and that we need to leave. 

This poor woman had cut marks on her neck and she seemed very happy that we were free. 

Larry Craft, knew a Baptist minister in New York who was a missionary to Russia and one day the police busted down his door at home and took him away. He was gone for two weeks and they retuned him. He was never the same, his wife (today) still needs to feed him, he drools, can’t remember much nor does he communicate well. 

It is amazing how powerful that US Passport is and what being a US citizen can do. But the authority we really had was being a citizen of the kingdom of God.




Since the banners were taken and we knew they were not going to give them back the next day we worked on making new banners. 

We were told it could take days to make but we argued and it was made within several hours. Here was the live feed showing our new banners 



The woman wording the banner said they could not make it because a certain word was offensive and that word was ‘perish’ so we could not have ‘repent or perish’ on the banner. 

We reworded that part and we got the OK to print. 




We then searched for the hardware to fly them straight and high, which took us a good portion of the day to do because they do not have HomeDepot but it was done. 

We assembled them into our room and made them ready to be lifted to the evening game




Banners were completed, all the bugs worked out as we rushed to the stadium to raise them at the main gate where we passed out tracts and preached to the 1000’s walking towards the game. 




After preaching for a while, the police gathered us together and another investigation was done with our passports. 

After being questioned we were asked to leave. They were aware of us being arrested the day before and did not want us near the games. 

We were warned if we continue to fly the banners we will be placed in jail as security was very tight and we were considered terrorist. 




They asked us to roll up or banners and leave, so because they were not going to take our banners we left the area with banners in hand. 




So what did we do? 
Have a Bible study….NO 
Sing praises to the Lord…..NO 
Pray and ask God what to do……NO 
Go home…..NO 
Cry……NO 

We found another large tram artery just outside the stadium and set up our banners there AND CONTINUED 




We continued doing that in St. Petersburg and Moscow, where for days we preached in many locations for just a couple hours and move to another location. We figured out what time the shift change was with the local police and 
returned after shift change. 

But big brother is always watching, as if that means something to us. 

GOD WATCHES TOO!! 




The banners flew often and we passed out 1000’s of tracts daily which provoked many conversations as people were interested having never seen this method of preaching. 

One guy wanted a souvenir from a Christian American, so I gave him my sweaty red white and blue handkerchief, to which he 
walked away rejoicing. 




We were confronted often by police and most of the time we worked with them to avoid being detained or taken to jail and because we were Americans they were concerned. 




In Moscow it appeared the local police only wanted me, I was questioned and later placed in a police car




When the brethren heard of my arrest they found out where the nearest police station was and walked there, just to support me. 




I was questioned and asked to sign forms which I refused and demanded they contact the United States Embassy. 

I rejected more forms and was soon released with another warning and it was great to see the brothers outside the jail waiting for me. 

I also was released with my banner, praise the LORD. 

So what did we do after my release…..YES….we went back to the streets again. 

I don’t think the police in Moscow seen anything like that before. 

Then, for the last day and a half the police left us alone on the street, rarely confronted us. 

We give credit to God and were 
thankful for your prayers 




We moved around often, with a lot of walking, taking trams, one bullet train and even waited for a van to drive us to locations to preach. 




The accommodations were tight, it was like living together in a small submarine but it was better than a Russian jail cell and we knew one day
 we will be home.




Our last preach was the world cup championship as we stood in the middle of the street with banners in plain view of everyone and passing out 100’s of tracts to the masses walking. 




This brother (below) introduced himself as an evangelist from Africa, so I asked him ‘are you evangelizing’ he replied ‘no it’s illegal, it’s prohibited in Russia.’ 

I replied back does it look like we are being prohibited?’ Within seconds he took tracts and started to pass them out with us. 




A number of people just wanted to take pictures of a street preacher as this was something new in Russia and they could believe we were doing so openly.




Even the police saw us and did NOTHING. We get detained, arrested, released and we go back again, so they just looked the other way 




It appeared the police knew we were leaving the next day, so they tolerated us and we continued. 

To say we had much liberty would be an understatement and we earned it. 

Please do pray for the people in Russia as government is their religion. 

Government raises them and buries them and with that, they trust government. 

The last time we preached in Russia was back in 2014 during the Winter Olympics in Sochi, to read that report click the link below: 







Also pray for missionaries in other countries that Father use them to proclaim His words, baptize them and a desire to read and obey the Bible. 

I have been a missionary to America since the 1980’s and do travel to other countries as this year alone was Canada, Russia and in December we are going back to Belize, on the eastern 
coast of Central America. 


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In September, where you will be taught the kingdom of God is not only at hand but in your face. 

Come be edified and take the Word of God out in public. Click the link for more info