Winter is Coming to Eastern Siberia
By Anitta Lepomaa
In Ulan-Ude, the Republic of Buryatia in Eastern Siberia, a church is being built for the Lutheran Congregation of the Grace of Christ. The strongly continental climate causes large temperature changes in as little as one day. Small earthquakes are almost daily. Buildings must withstand an earthquake of eight degrees. This sets its own requirements for construction technology.
The construction is nearing completion. In the summer, tiling of the façade began, which was due to be completed before the onset of winter. The walls are plastered indoors. Plumbing and air conditioning installations are made as donations accumulate.
Church members pray and donate funds for the construction to continue. They are involved in cleaning work and site security. For a congregation made up mainly of Buryats with a Buddhist background, the building testifies to the power of God’s Word and the hope it gives, which is to be proclaimed to all the inhabitants of the area.
By mid-November at the latest, winter arrives in Ulan-Ude in eastern Siberia after a warm and low-rainy fall. The weather was no obstacle to building the façade of the new church building. The problem was the delay in material deliveries and the construction workers’ rush jobs elsewhere. In early November, the coronavirus incidence rose sharply and a week-long lockdown was declared across the country. Now, with the onset of frost weather, working with sheet metal at the high roof edge can pose a danger to the builders. We can pray that the sun warms during the day so that the builders can safely climb the scaffolding to finish the façade of the new church building.
Parishioners plan to conduct Christmas activities in the new church. Before that, however, it would be a good idea to install water and sewer pipes to make at least one toilet available. Also, the stairs leading up to the worship area on the second floor need a handrail, otherwise it’s not safe to walk up. If these works are done before Christmas, then the congregation can gather to celebrate the Birth of Christ in the new place.
You can participate in the construction of the Lutheran Church of Ulan-Ude, Buryatia, by praying for the project and donating funds to The Church of Ingria account FI69 5620 0920 3202 22, reference number 11044.