At the beginning of the road
Russia is a land of snow and ice. In winter it blankets their world with sparkling white. When the sun shines from a clear blue sky, nothing can compare with its beauty. People respect its wonder, as it provides a time of exhilarating winter sports and friendships. But by the end of their long winters, they look forward to sunshine and long summer days.
But Russia is also a country that is finding its way from years of isolation to a new self-understanding in a world that is increasingly open to its people. And this same world is flooding the Russian Federation with new ideas. Ideas that are both good―and bad.
What about the churches?
Since the collapse of Communism and the USSR, the Christian churches have been actively re-establishing Church life and worship, and planting churches where the Gospel has never been heard. In 1996, a leading churchman said, "We are at the beginning of the road to rebuilding our congregations, and we need help and guidance. We want to understand the problems that have been faced in the west, to learn what has been helpful and what hasn't been."
An important part of rebuilding has been the widespread emphasis on the theological training of their pastors and Christian workers. Bible training and theological education are being conducted at several levels throughout the Russian Federation.
While seminaries and institutes now offer theological degrees, they are short of qualified academic staff. Most of the library books are in English, and this makes it very difficult for students to understand the material. This lack of material in their own language severely limits the knowledge that is available to them.