The atmosphere in the crowded apartment room was electric with anticipation. The conversations were an interesting mixture of Russian, some Romanian and a sprinkle of English as these local university students met together. The 12 students had gathered to plan strategies for reaching their fellow students with the gospel of Jesus Christ.
As we watched their leader Igor Velicanenco (pictured to the right with his wife Christina), local Campus Crusade representative, take charge of the meeting, we were impressed with the interest, attentiveness and zeal of the students. We were there representing SMI and our partnership with Igor. We met Igor and his wife Christina about 10 years before when he pastored a small church in the village of Sucleia. His church was a part of the network of churches where SMI sponsored summer Bible clubs. Their zeal for the Lord was reflected in the excitement of the children and their passion for serving God was evident as many of the children asked Jesus into their hearts.
Years later we find ourselves working together again. At this apartment meeting of young leaders, Igor introduced me to two young Russian men. He asked me if I recognized them and I admitted that I did not. He said that 10 years ago these men (now 19 years old) were students at his summer Bible club. The gospel seed had been sown into their young hearts and now they stood towering over me, committed to Christ and to reaching university students. I thank the Lord for this encouragement and it reminded of the verse in first Corinthians 15:58 “Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain.”