By Steve Wallace
Richard Copeland came to Kaunas, Lithuania, in late February followed by Bill Bynum in mid- March. Steven Deaton and this writer arrived the last week of March, working with brother Bynum for much of the time we were there. Bill had already made good progress in getting studies going with non-Christians and this trend continued throughout our stay in Kaunas. Dennis Scroggins and Joe Price are presently there. They report that two have been baptized as of the time of the writing of this report. Also, studies continue with contacts made prior to their coming and new contacts continue to be found. Much of all workers’ lime in Kaunas has been spent in such studies. We put ads in the paper for “Free Bible Studies” in both English and Lithuanian. These brought good response.
The attendance at Sunday services of the church and at the weekly Bible lectures was encouraging, with a high of 17 in attendance at the former and 12 non-Christians at the latter. With three men there at one time, Bill, Steven, and I were able to branch out and work with the Christians in both Vilnius and Siauliai during our time there, while still covering our responsibilities in Kaunas. Jay Horsley and Ron Lloyd are presently in Vilnius, working with the church there and doing evangelism.
More time was spent on the tedious, time consuming work of proof-reading translated material and other work related to publishing some of the books we have been working on. Larry Ray Hafley’s booklet, The Church and Denominationalism, was published during my stay there. We have finished proof-reading Jimmy Jividen’s book, Glossolalia Roy Cogdill’s New Testament Church has been proof-read and is being retyped to smooth out the rough edges which exist in all such translations.
I brought in more computers for translators when I came in (coming by car). Dennis Scroggins brought in hardware to upgrade some of the existing computers. The progress with the computers, an effort that started last year, has been slow. It is our hope that our present work will result in greater ease in both translating literature and in getting proof-read material into final print form.
Our time with the brethren in all the cities mentioned herein was well spent. Besides meeting with them for regular assemblies, we were also able to have private studies with a good number of them. In addition to the above, we were also able to help some of them in various ways with problems or obstacles in their personal lives.
The only dark spot in our work this year was the street work. Spring is late in Europe this year. As of this writing, it still has not arrived in Germany. We continued with our work in setting up the table full of literature on the main pedestrian thoroughfare. However, the number of people taking literature was lower than usual. It was simply too cold and/or rainy most of the time that Bill, Steven, and I were there. We hope to hear of more activity at the table as the summer draws nearer.
The changes that have come to Eastern Europe are a subject often noted by those who have worked there. One change I noticed during a brief visit to Vilnius which I think all readers can appreciate is the following: There is now a McDonalds about 150 yards up the street from the spot where we used to set up our table. All who were there during 1991 and 1992, when the changes were all so new, will indeed find this hard to picture!
We are all greatly encouraged by the response and growth we are seeing in the work in Lithuania. Much work remains to be done and all are optimistic about the future.
Guardian of Truth XLI: 13 p. 16
July 3, 1997