Since SGA’s Reach Russia Now initiative began in late 2017, we have been praying for opportunities to help evangelical churches in the Far East to step up their ministries in this huge unreached region. The Lord answered those prayers in a wonderful way through Immanuel’s Child outreaches this Christmas. And not just in the Far East.
Wonderful ministry took place across the Commonwealth of Independent States (most of the former Soviet Union) including Belarus, Ukraine, and in Central Asia.
SGA’s Eric Mock filed this report from a train traveling to Khabarovsk from the Pacific port city of Vladivostok, where he observed ministries led by Pastor Vladimir Trohimenko and his church:
“Vladimir took us to a local shopping mall in Vladivostok. As we walked up to the mall and entered, I was a bit confused. I was almost certain that we were to participate in an Immanuel’s Child Christmas outreach. We walked in and went to an area where children were playing. And Pastor Vladimir said, “This is where the planned ministry will be.” He led us through the play area to a meeting room in the back. Then one by one, the children and parents came in. Eventually, about 20 children were there, of which 18 were from unbelieving families.”
They invited the children to be shepherds, angels and animals, and assist them in telling the Christmas story. Can you imagine the spiritual impact? Eric’s report continued:
“It was awesome! The play ended with a message from one of the team members about the true meaning of Christmas. The kids were engaged and the parents were smiling. A parent told us afterward, ‘I never really understood what Christmas was all about, and now I know.’”
And then they received their Immanuel’s Child gifts, along with a Bible and Bethlehem Star:
“I explained that the stars are from people in North America who wanted them to know the real message of Christmas, about Jesus, and they will pray for them.
The kids first looked at all the gifts that they had received and scanned through the Bible, and then one by one they began to crowd around us. They each wanted to hear the name of the American family that had signed the Star. There in a shopping mall halfway around the world, 18 unbelieving children and their parents heard the Gospel, and heard there were people in America that cared for them, loved them, and wanted them to know God.”
SGA president Michael Johnson and his wife Erin, as well as U.S. Russian staff members Alex and Lana Yusov, observed similar fruit as they traveled to different locations across the CIS.
Now that Immanuel’s Child has concluded for another year, Eric and Pastor Vladimir discussed ministry plans for this strategic region in Russia’s Far East. They have identified two locations of missionary work, two locations for youth ministry, and four locations for Orphans Reborn ministry that we hope to develop on 2018 through support from SGA partners. We are thankful to God for these opportunities to share Christ’s love . . . even to the remotest part of the earth (Acts 1:8).
The numbers are in, and we rejoice at the impact of the SGA-sponsored Immanuel’s Child outreach across the former Soviet Union.
Through your support, new classes and workshops for foster families helped bring families to church for the first time.
Your donation will help change lives in former Soviet Union countries of Eastern Europe and Central Asia.