The communists closed the Russian Orthodox Church in Davydovo in 1935 and forbid any kind of ministry or outreach. Over the decades the decaying structure was used to store farm products, to house a movie theater and dance club. By the time of the new era, which began in 1991 with the breakup of the U.S.S.R., the roof had collapsed and trees grew inside the old walls of the cathedral. With extraordinary faith and hard work, the outside of the church was restored and a portion of the inside was renovated so that worship can again be conducted, lifting up praises to the Lord.
Father Vladimir Klimzo leads this Orthodox community. A man of vision and understanding, he saw the impact of alcoholism on the families and the children in the tiny village of Davydovo, 125 miles north of Moscow. With deep faith and great skill, the ministries of the church now include a kindergarten and nursery school, providing both education and refuge from the dysfunction of an alcoholic community, and a small home for seven boys who do not have parents who can care for them. In the countryside around the village, under the leadership of Father Vladimir, the community brings youths and families together in an extraordinary summer camp for special needs children and their families (children with autism, Downs, or cerebral palsy). It is a summer camping program infused with the love of Jesus Christ. The community has also restored an old Soviet kolhoz (collective farm) to operate a dairy that provides support for the congregation’s ministries and jobs for individuals in need, including some who have come to Davydovo through a homeless ministry in Moscow.
The Lord is at work in Davydovo in beautiful ways!