by Vitaly Kalinovsky and Fred Klett, Pastors (left to right in photo)
About 100,000 immigrants from the former Soviet Union have settled in Northeast Philadelphia.
Have you ever heard about the holiday of Shavuot, or Pentecost? This year it began the evening of June 11. Of course you have! Is this holiday important for Christians? Maybe. This holiday is certainly important for our Rock of Israel Congregation! Why?
Let us remember its origin. According to the Old Testament, the people of Israel were commanded to count seven complete weeks after Passover and on the fiftieth day to celebrate the Harvest Festival, thanking and praising God for his care. In addition, for the Jews it was also the day when the Torah was given to them, the law of God. For Christians, Pentecost is important because on that day disciples of Jesus received the Holy Spirit, as it described in Acts chapter 2.
Why is this festival so important for Rock of Israel? The book of Acts tells us that as soon as disciples received the Holy Spirit, they miraculously began to preach the gospel to those who spoke different languages. And they understood them. When, many years before, people decided to build the Tower of Babel, God confused their languages so that they could no longer understand each other. On Pentecost the Holy Spirit came and gave the opportunity to understand once again, despite all the differences between people. God has united Jews and Gentiles of different origins, races, and languages.
About 100,000 immigrants from former Soviet Union, speaking different languages, have settled in Northeast Philadelphia and they all need to hear the gospel of grace. Please pray for us to be able to speak to their hearts with the power of Holy Spirit.
Rock of Israel is the small model of the Day of Pentecost today. When we gather together, we’re people from many different countries, and in addition to Russian and English, there are eight additional languages among us! But we all understand and accept one another. If you want to see it with your own eyes, come visit our Friday night service, and you will feel the spirit of Pentecost personally. (We also meet Sunday evenings for prayer.)
Recently we’ve experienced God’s favor for those in ministry. The Kalinovsky family was able to buy a house, after having been in the States for just a little more than four years. They just moved into their “home sweet home,” and it’s right in the center of Russian Philly, so they can serve in their neighborhood through making friends and sharing the gospel. This summer the Kletts will also open their home for parties and barbeques. Please pray for these times of outreach and hospitality!