July 2007—St.  Petersburg, Russia   A GOOD WORD FROM CAMP from Leif & Zhanya Camp

(Click on St.  Paul Photo Albums to see photos of the Camp’s work and life.  This month’s are here.  More info at the bottom of the page.)


Суббота—sue-BOAT-ah—Saturday (Sabbath day)

Ex. 35:2 "Work shall be done for six days, but the seventh day shall be a holy day for you, a Sabbath of rest to the LORD. Whoever does any work on it shall be put to death.

     The Russian days of the week have interesting names—especially considering that these were never changed during Communism: Monday is “by the week,”  Tuesday is 2nd day, Wednesday is middle day, Thursday is 4th day, Friday is 5th day, Saturday is “Sabbath day” and Sunday is “Resurrection day.” 

     I have always had this thought of what must have happened in many homes during Communist times when small children would be learning their days of the week and ask, “whose Resurrection, papa?”  Children have a way of asking the right questions (out of the mouths of babes…) Maybe after the fifth he drank on Friday he might think it referred to his own resurrection, but the reference would not be so easy to hide.    During Communist times Russia was “formerly” a Christian country, and God left a remnant as a witness throughout those times.  There are many countries today that are now “formerly” Christian, although we may forget that: Turkey, for instance (which is now Muslim).  God has His remnant there.  The question facing all of Christianity in this post-modern age is will all countries soon be “formerly” Christian?  We are yet not a remnant, so need to use what tools God has given us to faithfully spread the Gospel. 

     The more I work and observe the work of others in the Church of Ingria, the more I see how this small Church struggles and succeeds to remain a strong witness to the Gospel—in the face of financial difficulties, in the face of unbelievers here in Russia, in the face of pressure to compromise with Liberalism (through pressure from LWF and other sources), and in the face of church politics.

     Although every Russian Saturday reminds me I should take a Sabbath rest, we have been very busy.   Interestingly I had only planned a few things, hoping to catch up on work I had fallen behind while getting our documents (which, if you have not heard, we now have—they allow us 5 years and can be extended for 5 year periods indefinitely).  Of course, God filled in the gaps with other things…

Russian Lutheran Bible Camp

Deuteronomy 4:9 “Only take heed to yourself, and diligently keep yourself, lest you forget the things your eyes have seen, and lest they depart from your heart all the days of your life. And teach them to your children and your grandchildren,

      This Summer Ingria has made use of my English language to act as interpreter, host and go between with potential ministry partners—arranging meetings with the Bishop and missionary committee, translating at those meetings, being hospitable.  This month a potential partner is interested in helping out with children’s work, and asked the bishop what sort of children and youth work Ingria had.  The bishop invited her and me to meet the following day out at Koltushe where a church wide children’s camp was in progress, led by the Ingrian youth and children’s committee.

     So the next morning I woke up my children, met with the potential partner and we traveled out to Koltushe just in time for the beginning of the second day of camp.  My kid’s happily joined in with the more than 60 other children (many from Ingrian parishes, but also some unchurched children from the neighboring villages).  My kids enjoyed themselves so much; they begged me to bring them back the next day (and the next, and the next).  As they were learning to be soldiers for Christ (Gideon, David, etc.) and enjoying it, I could not refuse.  I was there, I was asked to help—sing a few songs, do some magic tricks, and move benches and mattresses.  I also took the time to meet with Koltushe deacon, Ivan Laptev, to plan some village evangelism for this coming year, to meet with pastor Ivan Hutter (former director of the Ingrian Missionary committee) and to get more acquainted with the work of the Ingrian Youth and Children’s committee.

     This year’s Christian camp was one week, but Ingria hopes that with help, they may extend this to a month and be able to attract more unchurched children from the surrounding village.

For Men Only

Matthew 4:19 Then He said to them, "Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men."

      Every Summer the Ingrian Missionary Committee plans a men’s retreat in the form of a fishing trip to Karelia on the bank of Lake Ladoga.  This has now expanded to include men and their sons.  During communist times the few Orthodox Churches that were allowed to stay open were mostly attended by women, and mostly older women who were no longer worried about career advancement and allegiance to the communist party.  Because of this, going to church was seen as a women’s thing.  Evangelizing men and attracting them to church and deeper church involvement is an important goal not only here in Russia, but I would guess all over the world.

     As part of my work with the Ingrian Missionary Committee I was asked to teach one of the Bible studies at the retreat—on the Biblical relationship between fathers and sons.  So along with some fishing with my son Karl in lake Ladoga, eating Russian “Ukho” (fresh fish stew) cooked over an open fire, and swatting mosquitoes (since only the females bite, they must not have heard this was a men’s only retreat), we also fished for men and fed the flock on the Word.



Prayer Requests

Pray for next month as Finnish missionary Pekka Juhanianin and I fly off to Siberia to lead some Seminars in Irkutsk and Buryatia, pray for the youth work, for the potential ministry partnerships (that God guide the relationships and the co-work according to His plan, not ours), for Darren and Irina Johnson who plan to return in August (their help at English Worship this Summer was sorely missed); for the seeds planted at the men’s retreat and the Bible camp in Koltushe, for Ivan Laptev, his work among youth and the plans for village evangelism, for my family as we hope to find some time for some rest (this has been more difficult this year for some reason), for the pro-life work (we are behind on this front simply because the possibilities are expanding and need more people help), for my relationships with Ingrian pastors, and for more faith, wisdom and strength for me and Zhanya as we continue to serve.

Pro-Life update

This month we discussed expanding pro-life work to Tver in the Volga valley—as I met with Pastor Sergei Shannon.  He has hopes that we can use this to build a good bridge to the local Russian Orthodox parish which also is interested in this work.  Karl and Nastya helped fold brochures this month as I was finally got to the printers to run off a new batch.  This means that so far this year we have distributed over 2000 brochures…

Father and Daughter retreat

My daughter Nastya was a bit upset that Karl and I got to go off by ourselves, so I promised that when I returned I would spend the day with her doing whatever she wanted.  So we went to the zoo, the park, had lunch, ice cream (twice), went shopping, back to the park—well you get the idea.  Nastya had a great time—and we had some good time to talk.  At the beginning of the month we celebrated Zhanya’s birthday, soon we celebrate Nastya’s (she is looking forward to her birthday—she will be 9).

A Russian joke

A truck driver is driving down a country road just as a gaggle of geese are crossing the road.  He runs over one goose as the others run back across the road into the farm yard where the old farmer’s wife is tending her plants.  The truck driver stops and says, “grandmother, I just hit a goose on the road, take a look to see if it is yours.”  The grandmother looks and replies, “no, that not my goose, mine are all plump, I have no flat ones.”



I heard the voice of Jesus say, “Come unto me and rest;

Lay down, thou weary one, lay down thy head upon my breast.”

I came to Jesus as I was, weary, and worn and sad;

I found in Him a resting place, and He has made me glad.

TLH #277 vrs 1

In Christ,

Leif & Zhanya Camp


Click on St.  Paul Photo Albums  to see photos of the Camp’s work and life.  This month’s are here and descriptions are below:


I can't believe July is almost over.  We celebrated Zhanya's birthday, soon we will celebrate Nastya's (she will be 9), and we are busy planning the work for fall already.  For those who do not know, we did receive our documents at the end of last month--these are good for 5 years and can be extended another 5.  They are supposed to let us freely cross the border, but we have not tried that out yet (we will try this soon).


Our July Prayer letter is attached along with photos...

--Pastor and Volga region probst Sergei Shannon and I met to discuss  his parish in Tver and the possibility of expanding pro-life work in that  area through his parish.

--Teaching at the men's retreat in Karelia.  The men who had their eyes closed told me sincerely they were not sleeping--it was the sun, they said...

--meeting in Koltushe with the Bishop, Pastor Ivan Hutter and two of the leaders of the Bible camp.

--During part of the program, the children were broken up into groups.  While waiting for their group's turn, I was asked to entertain the kids doing some magic tricks.  I did explain the difference between miracles, sorcery and magic tricks...

--the children at the Bible camp listening to one of the leaders.

--Karl and Nastya at the pro-life desk helping to fold brochures—they did over 100 each.

--meeting with Deacon Ivan Laptev to discuss village evangelism.

--Two pictures of the new center for the Western Ingrian district in Tichovitza which was dedicated on July 15th.  I was asked to come sing a few songs

--we then had an impromptu mini-concert for youth outside after the service.






CONTACT ADDRESSES Feedback, questions, whatever are most welcome.

Our Russian home address:

Leif and Zhanya Camp

18 line V.  O.  dom 43 Kv.  7

St.  Petersburg, Russia, 199178


Stateside contact address:

Leif and Zhanya Camp,

C/O Marli Camp

902 N.  12th

Melrose Park, IL, 60160

Russian Lutheran Church Address:

Ev.  Lutheran Church of Ingria in Russia

Bolshaya Konyushennaya dom 8

St.  Peterburg, Russia, 191186


Telephone: after getting an international line by dialing 011, dial 7- 812 (our area code) 321-1508(our phone number)

Note—Between St.  Petersburg and central US time, the difference is 9 hours.   Stateside contact telephone: 708-344-4472


E-MAIL:  lzkcamp(at symbol)mail.ru & leif.camp(at symbol)elci.ru.   Prolife web site with Russian materials you can down load: prolife.elci.ru.   Other websites: Lisa Stapp has set up a website which has some of our last newsletters (with their cover letters and pictures):  http://www.worthywomanpage.com/camp/index.html.   Also my mother's home congregation has our newsletters--the latest can be downloaded from: http://www.stpaulmp.org/camp/  a second site archives our past newsletters since 2002 http://www.stpaulmp.org/archives/ .    Please feel free to share this newsletter with your Church, friends, or enemies if it might help (just please do not quote things out of context or edit my words in such a way as to change their intent).   If you would like to receive a copy via e-mail, simply email me directly and ask!


St.  Paul Lutheran Church and School, 1025 Lake Street, Melrose Park, Illinois 60160; Church: 708‑343‑1000, School: 708‑343‑5000

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