The Miracle in Moscow – CLC in the World

By Dave Almack

It was the coldest day of my life. I had traveled to Moscow to be a part of a historic event in the life of our ministry but had no idea how cold it could get in Russia in February. As I stepped out of the doors at the airport, it almost felt like my breath was getting sucked out of me. Clearly, this was going to be an eventful trip.

After seven years of “blood, sweat and tears” and lots of prayer, the CLC Bookstore in Moscow was ready to open in that freezing cold month in 2006. As a little child, I had prayed with my parents and grandparents for the people in Russia to be able to have access to Christian books and Bibles. I had no idea that I would be able to see this happen with my very own eyes in my lifetime. Several times on that trip, I had to pinch myself to see if it was all real or just a dream.

An intrepid American CLC missionary had moved to Russia from Kyrgyzstan several years before to lay the groundwork for all this to be possible. He had faced many challenges, including corrupt officials, maddening bureaucracy and unforeseeable delays. In the end, just in the nick of time, God gave us the victory and the ability to open a Christian bookstore in the heart of this communist nation. In a great irony, this only happened after we agreed with local government officials to make the first floor of our building a café and to put the bookstore on the second floor. We still marvel at this, as God has used the café to draw many people into our building that might never have come to the bookstore at all.

Taking the subway from our guesthouse to the bookstore was a great cross-cultural experience, as we were all crammed into old Soviet-era trains that were still being used deep underground. As I stood waiting to get to our destination, I noticed that many people were reading books all around me. From the covers of these books, I could tell that they were not Christian books at all, but I was fascinated by the massive interest in reading. CLC would now become a lighthouse for the gospel in this dark place and people would have access to life-transforming resources in the heart of the city where they lived and worked. It was well worth all the cold that I experienced that week.