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To Russia in May - With a British Diversion

From Kathryn Ames

Whilst in the UK last month (May), Alan conducted talks in several areas such as Devon, Oxfordshire, North Wales, to name a few. Some of the churches in which the talks were held were very small and so only held a small number of people, but Alan was well received and many healings - spiritual and physical - occurred.

From England Alan and I travelled to St Petersburg where we were grateful that Russia too was experiencing her summer season and not winter. Again, the churches Alan spoke in were small and with the aid of an interpreter the word of Jesus resounded loudly, and seemingly everyone attending was able to understand how our Lord has worked in Alan's life and can do the same in the lives of the Russian people. Thanks to the kindness of one of the priests Alan met, we were treated to a typical Russian meal whilst at the same time enjoying very much the well renowned Russian hospitality.

From St Petersburg we journeyed through the night on a train deep into the heart of the Russian countryside to a place called Tver, a large industrial town. Here we were greeted by a priest, a fellow countryman from New South Wales who, like Alan, was a long way from home. Father made us very welcome at his presbytery, which had a new wing under construction, and a new church which was about three-quarters finished.

Meanwhile Alan conducted talks with the aid of an interpreter in the old church, by far the smallest church he has ever spoken in, which were attended by a large number of people. It was very moving and at the same time very interesting when Alan called for questions, because, again with the aid of an interpreter, many people gave accounts of their live in Russia under Communist rule and their stories told of hardships that we in Australia couldn't begin to imagine.

One lady, for example, told us that, because of her unyielding faith in Catholicism she was branded a harlot and suffered the indignities such a label brings about. Another told of how many of her relatives died through lack of food and at having to endure severe winters without heating.

Tver was a place we'll never forget because it gave us a perspective on how Russia would have been under Communism, hard working people who struggled to survive in the biting winter temperatures that often dropped to minus 42 degrees, the rigours of the land, the loneliness and vastness of the countryside, and for a devout people, what probably have been the worse trial of all, the lack of freedom to proclaim the faith!

From Tver another train took us to Moscow, a huge city like any other, bustling streets, shops filled with lots of food, clothes, etc. We spent two days in Moscow where Alan gave a talk to a group of Moscow University's intellectuals who had read the book 'Through the Eyes of Jesus' prior to Alan's visit and thus directed many in-depth questions to him, to all of which the Holy Spirit had answers.

The same question-and-answer time followed a talk Alan gave to a group of students at a Russian Orthodox School and again the Holy Spirit delivered the goods, so much so that at Mass the following day, one of the Russian Orthodox students attended the service, something our American interpreter informed us just does not happen.

The next day, Alan and I headed for the long trip home, tired and in fact exhausted, but delighted that so many people, especially the people of Russia, had heard the Lord's words. We were also pleased with the many invitations Alan received for return visits.

Alan Ames Ministry

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