This post was shared by LCMS partner church, the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Ingria in Russia (ELCIR). The LCMS supports projects with this partner.
Rev. Mikhail Starilov and his wife, Lyubov, live in the town of Borisoglebsk, where Starilov is a pastor at the Holy Communion Lutheran Church, part of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Ingria in Russia (ELCIR). Working together, they know how witness and mercy work can go hand-in-hand in a community. Through the church, Starilov set out to help three refugee families in Borisoglebsk buy shoes. He visited several stores with the families and shared his faith and the work of his church during the trip. When the families were given places to live, they shared it was difficult to see God’s help but they did see it through the work of churches like Holy Communion. Starilov shared that this “brought us to a conversation about good works and salvation by grace through faith in Jesus.”
In October, Starilov and his wife were able to provide cleaning and cooking services to a family in need of help. He shared, “Over a cup of tea, we told them about our church and our faith in Jesus. I offered to pray the Lord’s Prayer together and opened the Bible to the passage with that prayer. The lady was moved to tears and asked us to keep coming back.” Also in October, Starilov was able to share the Gospel and Apostle’s Creed at a local clinic.