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Guitar lessons take heavenward turn

IVANOVO, Russia (BP)–-It started out as a typical lesson for Peter*. Then he asked his new student why he wanted to take guitar.

The response was unlike any Peter had heard. Mel Skinner told him he had no desire to play the guitar in public. He just wanted to be able to worship God.

“It kind of caught him off guard, I guess,” the Southern Baptist missionary recalls. “But over the course of several months, [Peter] began understanding me … and it got to where less and less of our time was spent practicing the guitar, and more and more in talking about spiritual things.”

Skinner studied with Peter for more than a year, with each lesson turning to spiritual matters. Eventually, Skinner stopped taking lessons but continued meeting with Peter to discuss his faith.

Three years after that first meeting, Peter and his fiancé accepted Christ into their lives. Peter’s story is one of the bright spots in Skinner’s ministry in Ivanovo, Russia, near Moscow, before moving to St. Petersburg in August.

“I knew God was a real person, and [faith in Him] was something for me,” Peter says. “My time had arrived. God wanted it and it was so.”

Today, Peter looks for opportunities to share his faith with friends.

“I believe there is a place for God inside every person,” he adds. “Sooner or later some of them will come to God.”
Name changed for security reasons. Shawn Hendricks is a writer for the Southern Baptist International Mission Board.

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  • Shawn Hendricks