Dispatch from St Petersburg

Hi Prism Church! If you haven’t noticed, my wife and I have been missing for the last month. There is a good reason for that! Tanya grew up in St Petersburg, Russia and her family still lives there. We usually try to go back every summer to see her family, but ordinarily I would just stay 10 days or so. This summer, we are here for over 5 weeks. As much as I love spending time here (St Petersburg is really one of the most beautiful cities on earth!), there is more at work here than just a really, really long vacation.

Over the last couple weeks, Tanya and I have been meeting up with some contacts in the city who are laboring for the kingdom of God. We have also been to a few different churches. It has been encouraging to meet other people that have been working in the city, some of them for many years. One family that we connected with was second generation—his father had come to St Petersburg in 1990 and he and his brother had both grown up there. Now they had returned after college and marriage to continue to work.

Tanya and I are planning on moving out here in a couple years, and Prism is going to be sending us here. Sometimes it seems like it is still a ways in the future, but other times it seems to be approaching very quickly! Being here, getting a feel for the lay of the land and the atmosphere of the city—this is the reason why we are here for so long. In a little over week, we will be heading back, with new clarity and new focus. We are so grateful that Prism is a part of this whole process!

In every city, in every country in the world, God is at work. Before his human instruments arrive, his Spirit is preparing the way. We recall the exhortation that Jesus sent to Paul as he contemplated leaving Ephesus in the book of Acts. “Do not be afraid…for I am with you…and I have many men in this city who are my people.” There is work to be done all over the world and God is sending his people out to do it. Tanya and I are excited that we get to be among that number, and that the city that we go to is dear to our own heart.

Pray for us, as we wind down our time here this summer. Pray for direction and wisdom and discernment. Pray for courage and boldness and zeal. We are members with you of the same body of Christ, and so what we are being sent to do, you will join with us in doing! To God alone be the glory!

Tanya and I from one of the highest points in the city

Tanya and I from one of the highest points in the city

Steven Crawford