Editor’s Note: This special report was submitted by an SGA-sponsored missionary pastor serving in Russia’s Caucasus region. Islam is the predominant religion in this region, and ministry for evangelical churches can be very dangerous. For that reason, we are withholding the pastor’s name and specific location.
During these past three months, the Lord has richly blessed our prison ministry! I visited a local maximum-security prison several times. I was able to preach the Gospel in the prayer room at the facility to 20 inmates. The prisoners had questions about theology and also a lot of personal questions. They have very difficult histories and long sentences. I talked with them, encouraged them, comforted them, and was able to bring food. I also shared Christ with the administration and passed out literature!
Later, the Lord surprised and blessed me by allowing me to visit another maximum-security prison in another region. They called me from the penal colony and informed me that one of the Muslim inmates had gotten saved. This man is almost 50 years old. At first, I talked with him over the telephone and started praying about possibly visiting him, as it is very difficult now. However, the Lord opened the door and I went for a visit at the prison.
Four brethren came to see me and among them was this prisoner, who I will call Mikhail. We talked for three hours, read the Scriptures, and prayed. Mikhail has had a very difficult life, but he sincerely believes. He has experienced persecution, and his children were even taken away from him and he was exiled from the Russian republic where he lived. He was very encouraged by my visit. The Lord also performed a miracle — the believing inmates didn’t have a prayer room. We prayed, and then later the men called and told me that they had been given a room. Praise the Lord!
These visits were costly in a financial sense because the distance to these prisons is long. Nevertheless, there is a large group of inmates who have become believers and I am planning to visit this colony again. My heart is especially concerned about visiting with Mikhaol. After he is released, he wants to come to be with me. Among the Ingush people there are virtually no believers. I ask that you pray for this need and especially for Mikhail. Pray for permission to continue in this prison outreach. Please know that I am grateful for your prayers and support for my ministry