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'Oh,God, Give Us Souls'

February 18, 1992

Otto Ljungholm kept a diary during his Salvation Army tour in post-revolutionary Russia. Some excerpts:

We are serving our first year in Russia. We feel we would like to serve here for the Christ who gave His life for us and for this large mass of poor folk. . . . Oh, God, give us souls. May we be able to lead many of Russia's sons and daughters to Jesus. -- Sept. 8, 1918

Russian Salvation Army's first Congress--welcome meeting at the Concert Hall--Moscow, Street 33. Colonel Larsson led the meeting. All Officers and Cadets in Russia, total 53. Perhaps 100-200 in congregation. -- Sept. 12

I feel the immense solemnity and listen almost in disbelief to these orders. Who am I that I should go to this immense city to open The Salvation Army work? Worthless, small, insecure in myself, but nonetheless . . . I will in His strength willingly go and do my very best. -- Sept. 16. On being assigned to go to Moscow.

The air became perfectly black as a swarm of flies buzzed up. We recognized our comrade by her fair hair. The disease had so disfigured her face as to make it unrecognizable. -- Sept. 26. Identifying body of comrade who died of cholera.

The Red Guards came with their bayonets fixed and took one of our comrades. They only wanted one and Lieutenant Belafski, who they took, had a document giving permission to hold meetings. He returned with them some time later and they had simply forbidden any further singing in the streets. -- Oct. 8. On selling "War Cry" newspaper.

Well attended meetings at 11:00 a.m., 3:00 and 6:00 p.m. . . . In the evening, two persons sought salvation. The first Sunday in Moscow a beautiful day. Hallelujah. -- Oct. 20

-- The Salvation Army Archives and Research Center

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