Several of us on the SGA staff have been able to visit the seminaries and Bible institutes that our partners help support across the former Soviet Union—me included. Each time I get to participate in one of the graduation ceremonies, I’m so very thankful to God and to you. His provision—shown through your prayers and generous support—help to make this very special day possible for hundreds of future pastors, missionaries, and ministry leaders in the churches.
Most of the students who are enrolled follow along a similar path to get there. Many of them begin serving in their local churches in various ways. After demonstrating giftedness over a period of time, they are then set apart by their pastors and elders to receive Bible and theological training at seminary. One of the main qualifications they seek for pastors and leaders is humility in keeping with biblical teaching. And it shows. The pastors and church workers I have come to know are some of the most godly, humble servants of Christ that I have ever met. It truly blesses me and excites me to be even a small part of putting them on the pathway to fruitful Christian service for a lifetime.
As you pray for these future students and their ministries, pray that God will protect them, encourage them, and grant them a hardy spirit along with boldness. Being a pastor or church leader across Russia and her neighboring countries is not an easy task. Just reading the account in this month’s Good News Report of a team of evangelists heading up a frozen Russian river to preach the Gospel for three weeks amazes me, and it’s something many of us would find challenging. Yet they did it with great joy! They know that there are hundreds of towns and small villages who will hear the Gospel in no other way. So they make the commitment and go. Pray with me that their ministry will yield much fruit in the days ahead.
And as always, let me thank you again for the part you play in all of this. I hope and pray you will find this as much of a blessing and encouragement as it has been to me.
For our Savior,