What an encouraging report from Pastor Sergei below! People who have sat behind prison walls in Russia are now being released and entering into ministry to help those left behind. God is at work in the lives of men and women who have repented of their sins and are now seeing the world through freedom in Christ! We are so thankful for the friends like you who continue to support men and women in ministry at local churches in need. As you’ll see in the account below, some of them have the amazing opportunity to faithfully serve and minister to the prisoners still in need of a Savior . . .
“Greetings to you, brothers, and sisters, in the love of the Lord Jesus Christ!
We want to share with you about the past three months, as we continue ministering to people in the correctional institutions of the region here. Even though in the months of October the colonies were placed in quarantine again, we continued to pray and serve those brothers and sisters who switched to lighter conditions of detention, as well as serve those in the colony through personal communication, material assistance and spiritual support.
At the end of November, the quarantine was lifted and we resumed visiting the colonies. We sent packages with groceries to eight colonies where they hold Bible study groups, so that brothers who are in the colonies could invite other convicts to the group for fellowship, and to hear the message of the Nativity of Christ. We chose to buy personal hygiene items, as small gifts, because such things are essential for daily life.
We held a large event in a women’s colony, being attended by about 200 people. After the event, many women came up to talk, asking questions, and in turn, we invited them to a Bible study group. We held another event in a colony for juvenile offenders, with about 80 people in attendance. We gave them gifts of chocolates, calendars, brochures and held a quiz on Christmas theme. In a special regime colony, 15 people gathered at our Christmas event. We give all thanks to God for answering our prayers, for the opportunity to participate in the lives of these people!
In November, Yulia was released from the women’s colony. She repented in the colony and was a leader of the Bible study group for quite some time. We came to meet her and provided her with the essentials. She now attends our church and prepares to receive water baptism.
Katya, another female prisoner, attended a small group in the women’s colony where she reconciled with the Lord. Now, she has been transferred to the lighter conditions of detention, now serving her time elsewhere.. There she is able to attend a small group for fellowship and to grow in Christ.
As a prison ministry team, we regularly meet for planning on how to develop the ministry. We spend time praying together and growing in being more effective in God’s field. Some brothers and sisters who were released from prison are joining our team! They are participating in prayer, doing visitations to the colonies via video calls to encourage and support those who attend the small Bible study groups.
Thanks to you for your prayers and financial support, I am able to continue visiting two colonies on a regular basis and praying for God to allow me to visit another colony in the town. Please, support me in prayer for God to give me wisdom in dealing with the administration and that in the new year we will be included on a list of people able to continue visiting the colonies.”From a missionary pastor report – Pastor Sergei