St. John's Lutheran Church

Conover, North Carolina

Letter from Pastor Camp to St. John's

Dear St. John's,

Blessings in the Name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Time passes so quickly--it has been almost six months since Anton was here last, almost a year since your group was here for the camp in Vyborg (they are still talking about it and hoping you can come again), and almost two years since my visit to you all.

Much has happened that has impacted Church life around the world, among them the financial crisis. For me and my family, I want to thank you for your continued and faithful support. This last year I have begun working in a suburb of St. Petersburg, Lomonosov--in my prayerletters the church is called Turyo which is the old Ingermanland name for the area. My work is increasing there as I will begin training three leaders--preparing one for his pastoral exam and preparing the others to lead Bible studies and assist the pastor. My wife has taken over organizing the pro-life work for the Church of Ingria, my work in Nizhniy Novgorod continues, and I have invitations to work in two more villages (I just don't have the time). I am still working with youth--both in the church and outside the church with the scouting organization here, weekly worship in English language continues with the majority of those attending being Russian--so again this is reaching out with the Gospel to the surrounding community. In all this I continue my work with the Ingrian Lutheran Missionary office--through which the chaplaincy project and other projects operate.

I say this not to point to myself and all that I am doing--that is not my goal. I write this to remind you that all that God has allowed me to do, all the outreach, all the youth who here the Gospel, all the seminars, leaders trained and so forth, God has made possible through your generous support. Anton makes no promises, your parish has made no promise of support--yet you have generously supported us and have begun to support Andrei Savolainen and the Ingrian Lutheran Chaplaincy project. I cannot tell you how many times when money was short, some ministry waiting to be done, or my car needed some repair so I could travel to do some ministry, and your parish sent just what was needed. I feel most blessed by our relationship in the Gospel. I understand that finances are difficult, which makes your gifts all that much more meaningful, and great.

Anton has told me that your congregation is running at a deficit--this is his tactful way of warning us to tighten our belts yet another notch. I thank him for that. Whatever the future holds, if because of the financial crisis you cannot help us as you have been, know this, that what you have already given has born great fruit for the Gospel and for that I thank you. We are all God's children, in God's Kingdom we are all brothers and sisters regardless of race, borders, culture, this is yet another miracle of our common Christian faith.

2 Corinthians 9:10 Now may He who supplies seed to the sower, and bread for food, supply and multiply the seed you have sown and increase the fruits of your righteousness,

May God bless you all,

Your Missionary in Russia,

Leif R. Camp