2016-03-25 Easter thoughts

ACH Study Groups

Ben & Fran Gilmore – Cofounders

7659 Gingerblossom Drive

Citrus Heights, CA 95621

916-722-2501 histbuff@garlic.com


March 25, 2016

This is a letter to our friends –

“Christos vass ressen”

“Christ is risen” An eastern orthodox greeting. The customary response, “Indeed He has!”

As I contemplate Sunday’s Easter activities, I am prompted to share a true story. The year and number of participants is fogged in my memory, but the mental movie is indelible.

During the mid 70’s a multinational team of college-age YWAM’ers were prompted to plan a “Jesus Rally” on Moscow’s Red Square, during Russia’s national May Day parade. I believe there were 18 of them (6 each in 3 VW vans). They left from Finland on a three-day drive cross country to Moscow. A book was published about the adventure. I believe the author was Nick Savoka. The title, something like, “Russia with Love”.

In those days, such a team on tourist visas was sure to attract official attention. The happy young people took full advantage. They noted the undercover “police” all dressed in trench coats with the collar turned up. The kids would pretend to take pictures with rolls of lifesavers. They were tracked all the way across country to the outskirts of Moscow the day before the big parade.

There, they were detained and ordered to return to Finland. Three VW vans with three to five escort vehicles made quite a parade in itself! The kids pasted “Christos vass ressen” signs in all the van windows and waved as they passed through the many small towns.

At one point the vans were led by a sound truck, “Don’t look at these people!” Naturally, very one turned out to see what not to look at.

Another time, as Van #1 climbed up on the rear bumper of the lead escort (so he could not see behind him), van #3 drew way, way behind. The lead escort and van #1 passed through a village. Van #2 pulled over, the happy kids piled out and distributed Christian, tracks until the rear escort officers hustled them back into their van and on their way. During the “cold war” this sort of YWAM activity was common. They were called, “God’s guerillas.”

Indeed, George Otis Jr. did make it to that May Day parade. He and a friend had a “Christos vass ressen” banner rolled up in their umbrella. It was unfurled for about a minute before they were arrested.

Carloads of Bibles were smuggled through the “Iron Curtain”. We participated in that on our world trip in ’77.

All that to say this – Christ is risen indeed – Happy Easter.

These columns are archived since 12/10/09

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Ben Gilmore 1929-2023

On March 30, 2023 Ben Gilmore, the co-founder of ACHStudyGroups (co-founded with his wife Fran), went to be with the Lord in Glory.

A Memorial: https://www.mykeeper.com/profile/BenGilmore/