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Concert, buoyed by miracles, helps 125 find Christ in Russia

PENZA, Russia (BP)–Springtime is worth singing about, especially when winter breaks in the cold climes of Eastern Europe. So when Christian friends of Southern Baptist missionary Jane Carole Meredith got the idea for an outdoor concert in their Russian neighborhood, she was all for it.
It didn’t matter that Penza city officials initially denied permission last April. It didn’t matter that there was no money for the concert. It didn’t matter that Meredith and her friends were called cult members while posting flyers for the concert.
It didn’t matter because Meredith — an International Mission Board English-as-a-second-language teacher — and her friends “know the God who spoke the world into being … and who tore down the Iron Curtain,” she said.
Plans for the concert went ahead with faith and conviction. And God honored that — miraculously.
The first miracle was the free use of a car lot. The next miracle was money sent from some churches in the United States, which was used for advertising, sound equipment, stage construction, the purchase of 1,000 Bibles and an evangelist’s train fare so the gospel could be preached at the concert.
This was especially important to Meredith, an International Service Corps missionary. “There is almost no place for God in the lives of many Russians,” she said. “However, Jesus deeply loves them; he died for them. He deeply yearns for them to accept him as Savior.”
Concert day arrived, and so did 400 people. They listened intently to Christian praise songs like they’d never heard in any Orthodox church. And, to Meredith’s surprise, they remained for the sermon.
Meredith noticed two of her students in the crowd, Irina and Pasha. Their young hands pierced the air — along with scores of others — when the evangelist asked how many wanted to be a follower of Jesus Christ.
“Tears welled in my eyes as I stood with my arm on Irina’s shoulder. I had witnessed the miracle of new birth,” Meredith said.
More than 300 people filled out response cards distributed by Meredith and her friends. About 170 indicated a desire to know more about Jesus.
“But the greatest miracle of all,” Meredith proclaimed, “was the 125 people who became Christians.” And that, she believes, shows “Jesus has no boundaries. He’s working to bring people to himself.”

    About the Author

  • Norman Miller