Sister Anna Eklund (right) and the Rev. Oscar Pöeld deliver provisions in St. Petersburg, Russia in 1921. Photo courtesy of the United Methodist Commission on Archives and History
Story by Fedor Kim
The unique historical document – Journal of the Finland and Saint Petersburg mission conference 1908 – is kept in the Bishop’s office of the United Methodist Church in Eurasia in Moscow, Russia. You can read the report of district superintendent George Simons there. He shares the story of how God blesses the church development in Russia. From his report you may learn that Methodist people in Saint Petersburg had worship services in different languages – Russian, Finnish and Swedish and pastor Hyalmar Salmi could preach in all three languages.
Much from the period of the beginning of the twentieth century is described in the two works of Dr. S T Kimbrough, Jr. “Methodism in Russia and the Baltic States” and “Anna Eklund”. The second book was published in Russian in 2014 for the 125th anniversary of the United Methodist Church in Eurasia and is titled “Sister Anna”. Here you can find the amazing story of sister Anna Eklund.
I’ve been deeply moved by the story of sister Anna, by her faithfulness, her bravery and sacrificial heart in her ministry to God and neighbor. Deaconess Anna Eklund did not spare her energy nor her health when she ministered to people who were dying by thousands from hunger and cholera in 1920s. In winter time many people did not have shoes to keep their feet warm. Sister Anna did the impossible in order to organize help for the poor and sick people of Saint Petersburg. She gave away everything that she had in order to save lives of the people and to care for their souls. Tears come to your eyes when you read her letters because you feel in them the great power of God, hope and willingness to give one’s soul for the redemption of many.