Pentecostal and Orthodox in Common Cause Christian Confessions Co-laboring
In June 2007 members of my Family of God Pentecostal Church had an opportunity to work on the restoration of the Orthodox Church of the Nativity together with American Christians led by Mark Elliott. They came to help Father Georgi in his restoration efforts and, oh, what a thrill it was to be part of an international team of Christians of different churches and denominations working to restore an Orthodox Church!*
One favorite question that Father Georgi asks almost everyone is this: “Well, many Protestant Christians have helped me in restoring Orthodox temples. But have you ever heard of Orthodox believers doing the same for Protestants?” Every time the answer has been negative. It is his dream. Does it take too much for all Christians to build (restore) the one temple of God, that is, His Church, His Body? What constitutes this Body? It is all of us who are believers in Jesus Christ. Let this be our dream.
* Editor’s note: Participants in the 2007 church restoration project included Orthodox, Pentecostals, Baptists, Wesleyans, United Methodists, and members of non-denominational Protestant churches. In June 2008 a second mission team continued work on the Church of the Nativity, Priskokovo village, and helped with the reconstruction of the Church of St. John the Baptist, Ivanskoe village, both near Krasnoe-na-Volgy, Kostroma Region. The 2008 work team of 40 included United Methodist and Wesleyan church members from the United States, plus Russian Orthodox and Russian Pentecostal believers, Russian orphan graduates, and reforming ex-offenders. For earlier East-West Church & Ministry Report articles by and about Father Georgi Edelstein, see 10 (Fall 2002): “On Orphans, Spiritual Restoration, Repentance, and Religious Legislation,” 13-15; “Thoughts on the Current Situation in the Moscow Patriarchate: Hypocrisy, Servility, or Complete Indifference to the Fate of Religion?,” 9, 12-13; and “. . . Of Such is the Kingdom,” 16.
Andrei Danilov is pastor of the Family of God Pentecostal Church, Kostroma, Russia.