IN THE SPOTLIGHT
One Year For Jesus
Once I was offered to join the team in our church to share the Good News with people in villages. I prayed, and the Lord said to me, “Do not worry, I’ll always be with you.” Then I decided that no matter what, I would go and serve the people. It’s been three years now, every week we travel to towns and villages of our area and bring God’s Word to people who are in need of salvation. Our wonderful, merciful God has given me strength and “made my feet like the feet of a deer” (Hab. 3:19), and enabled me to preach the Good News!
ALTAI (RUSSIA_ – We thank God that He has chosen us – to bring the news of salvation to people of Komsomolski town is a great honor. Of course, it does not always go smoothly and well. Some people accept the Good news, some – don’t. Many people oppose and say: “We’re Orthodox, we have a church…” But when we ask them, “Who is Jesus for you?” – they don’t know what to answer....
With those who accept the News of Salvation, we keep in touch. When we come for a visit, we always bring something: a book, a newspaper and some treats for tea. It takes time to build relationships, but it is worth it. Today there’s a home in Komsomolski – Semyon Ivanovich’s – that is willing to invite people for home church meetings. We praise God for this man! He’s 85, but still active: he helps people remove the garbage using his truck. He introduced us to his friend, Vassily Yakovlevich who is also 85. Recently he prayed the sinners’ prayer.
We stay in touch with people who come to our home church meetings. Some time ago a new family joined us: a mother, Zoya Romanovna, she is 78, and her son Nikolai, he’s 55. The mother is a Christian, and besides Nikolai she has two other sons and a daughter. Nikolai was a military officer. Because of his drinking habit, he lost his family. He willingly talks to us, shows us pictures of his past life. He feels a lot of pain, disappointment and hurt. We pray that God would bring him to repentance and would restore all that was destroyed.
We’ve seen the first fruit of our prayers: two weeks after we met Nikolai and his mother we learned that Nikolai drank less than before and once he came home almost sober after a birthday party.
Some people are not able to attend home church due to disabilities, so we visit them at their homes. We talk, study the Bible, worship the Lord and pray together. We praise the Lord for all opportunities He provides, His strength, peace and joy!
Komsomolski settlement team, Altai region
BARNAUL (RUSSIA) – Kalmanka town is not large, about 3 thousand people. We’ve come here several times to share the Good News and pray for the alcohol-addicts, as there’re many of them in Kalmanka. We already see the results of our prayers: it is our third visit to one home, and now all family members are sober, and they even cleaned the place up, so the yard is clean and tidy. And when we read the Bible with these people, the Word of God changes their faces – they begin to glow and their once wan eyes liven up, the Holy Spirit touches some of them so mightily they begin to cry. We see the conditions that they have to live in, and it is our desire that their lives could change. We pray and believe that it is possible for God.
There’re other families – working people, pensioners, young people. When we start telling them the Good News, many of them get nervous: they don’t have time, they have problems and troubles. Then we begin to read the Bible, suddenly we see interest in their eyes, their faces change and the Word of God touches their hearts.
Some time ago, Jehovah’s Witnesses lived in Kalmanka, and they went door to door. That’s why many people wouldn’t let us in, but many people give us their phone numbers so that we could invite them to come if there are any crusades. Two people are willing to come to Barnaul to our church’s conference. We pray that they’re able to solve their issues with their work and finances and are able to come.
We’re thankful to God for the opportunity to preach the Gospel. We always return home inspired and filled with joy, strength and desire to minister to people. Glory to God!
The Light of Revival Church team, Barnaul
ULAN-UDE (BURYATIA, RUSSIA) – By God’s grace we continue to preach the Gospel to the people of Buryatia and they get saved. They are thirsty for God. An old Buryat woman of 87 years old repented after sister Marina told her about God in Buryat language. One day after that we returned and brought her a Bible in Buryat language. She took the sinner’s prayer and the Lord’s prayer – a brochure in Buryat language. Her granddaughter promised she would read it to her and memorize it.
BARNAUL (RUSSIA) – We met grandmother Tanya, as she introduced herself, in the village of Sokharevo in Kosikhinski district of Altai region. The village looked weird: it seemed there’re no streets and the houses were grouped in small groups in some distance from each another. They didn’t even have a food store, not to mention a hospital or a school – there’re no kids in the village anyway. Half of the houses were abandoned, and in the rest of them elderly lonely people lived.
Grandma Tanya is 85. She lives with her husband Alexei. He had a blood-stroke and hardly walks and talks. Grandma Tanya has to take care of the household, garden and also takes care for her husband. Sometimes a nurse from a nearby town comes to see them. Grandma Tanya has children, but unfortunately they do not help in any way. Grandma Tanya shared her hard life story for a long time. When she finished, she let us pray for her husband. Though at first she said no, she felt uncomfortable, but we insisted, and she agreed. Of course we were ready to see tough conditions of people sufferings from disease, but the reality was far worse than we expected. It was hard to imagine, how it was even possible to live in such conditions. What makes someone live like this – helplessness, hopelessness, despair, alcoholism?
Alexei could hardly talk, but he agreed with us in sinners’ prayer, and then grandmother Tanya invited Jesus into her heart as well. With tears in their eyes they listened to a story how Jesus died for their sins, and through their faith they received His gift of salvation.
We were leaving Sokharevo with mixed emotions: we didn’t feel the joy we usually have after the outreach. The village left an uneasy impression. But at the same time we felt that we were exactly where we were supposed to be – where people needed our words of support, comfort and encouragement. We plan to visit this family again, to find out how grandma Tanya and her husband are doing.
New Life Church team, Barnaul
KALUGA (RUSSIA) – We met many people in the town of Peremyshl, and we stay in touch with them, with some of them we became friends. One of them is Elizaveta. Our team visits her every time we come to Peremyshl, invites her to church, however she always finds a reason not to come. But our last meeting was unusual. Elizaveta shared her trials with her son, who left his family and children.
It was a nice, sunny day. We sat on a bench near Elizaveta’s house and had a leisurely talk. We shared testimonies about how God changed us. Elizaveta asked us to pray for her son: “I believe that God is able to change the situation”, and then she made a decision to ask God to forgive her sins. Her words and intentions were so sincere she couldn’t help crying. The weather was sunny, and then suddenly a sunshower started. And the woman, all in tears, smiled: “Heaven rejoice with me!”
Our second meeting that day was with our old friend Vladislav and his son. He hadn’t been willing to talk in the past but this day became special for him as well. It was Vladislav’s birthday, and we had gifts that our church had prepared for people we met. It was evident that the man was happy with such an occasion. We believe that God prepares people’s hearts, and our meetings are not in vain!
Grace Church team, Kaluga
NOVOKUZNETSK (RUSSIA) – It’s a distant district of Novokuznetsk, the buses don’t go there, houses are run-down, desolation all around. Evangelists came here in winter, preached the Gospel to its residents. There they met a 94-year-old grandma Pana and realized how hard her life was. Huge drifts of snow almost cover her house. To get some water she has to walk far by a slippery slope. After this first meeting team members began to visit her with cans of water and food, trying to serve her with what they could. She would meet them with an open heart and always prayed with them. In August they met again.
Evgeny Gololobov, one of the ministers, shares: “I decided to ask grandma Pana about her almost century-long life. The first thing she told me was that life passed so fast. I immediately remembered a Bible verse which says that the time is short.
Grandma Pana was born near Novosibirsk, in the village of Bulatovo, in 1923. There were five girls and two boys in the family. There was a small church in the village and their mother would take them there. At home they always prayed together. What a blessing it was to meet God while she was still young, and what huge responsibility for parents it is to introduce kids to Christ, to teach them, to instruct them. “Train up a child in a way he should go” – says the Bible. And then times of repressions came, but God always lived in Pana’s heart. And here we are, in 2017, listening to grandma’s testimony about why she carried her faith through her whole life, never seized praying and asking God for help.
We had a chance to take a picture with grandma Pana, and prayed together. In her prayer she thanked God for His mercy, and her main words were: “The Word of God” and “serving God”.
Church on the Rock team, Novokuznetsk