St. Joseph Group Travels to Sochi, Shares Experience

By Jonathan Cooper |

Published 02/26 2014 05:41PM

Updated 02/26 2014 09:40PM

(ST. JOSEPH, Mo.) The Olympic torch has burnt out.

But the memories of the games will live on, especially for those that experienced it.

"It was a different type of trip from any that we've taken before," said St. Joseph resident Kathy Fredricks.

Fredricks and George Hawkins went with a group from Strong Tower Baptist Church and shared their story.

"We started planning this back in 2011," Hawkins said. "I made a trip over there during that time to kind of preview the area, learn a little about what was taking place, how they were getting ready for it."

So on Feb. 4, the group departed on the long trek, halfway across the world.

They flew from Kansas City to Chicago, and then a nine hour flight to Frankfurt, Germany. A few hours later, they were off to Moscow and then finally Sochi. It took two days of little sleep and long flights.

This isn't the first trip to Russia for the group. Many of them have been there before on missions trips. The group used the Olympic games as an opportunity to spread the word of Jesus.

They handed out pins with a booklet that introduced people to Christianity. The mission was part of a bigger organization called "Engage Sochi".

"Engage Sochi is an opportunity for believers from around America to come to the Olympics here in Sochi and to share a witness to tell who they are, and who God is and Jesus is, and how he changed their lives," organization member Marc Hooks said.

The group could not legally preach, but it did give them the opportunity to engage in conversations about God.

For locals like Hawkins and Fredricks, the entire experience was one they say they will never forget.

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