Some people think you either have to only preach the Gospel at the sacrifice of compassion, or sacrifice the Gospel in order to concentrate on compassion. But it’s not “either/or.” It’s “both/and.”
As the Apostle Paul tells us in Colossians 3, one of the most important characteristics for disciples of our Lord Jesus is a heart of compassion (Colossians 3:12). Equipping our brothers and sisters across Russia and her neighboring countries to help the needy through Compassion Ministry has always been a key component of our ministries.
In the visits that I—along with other SGA team members—have made overseas, I’ve seen firsthand how a gift package of food and other urgently needed items can bring both smiles and tears to poverty-stricken individuals and families. Most often, the help they received was completely unlooked for and unexpected, and the fact that it was the local church reaching out to them helped open the door to share about Christ. In fact, one of our missionary pastors in Belarus told SGA’s Eric Mock that it was the most fruitful ministry that his church has! Won’t it be wonderful in heaven to talk to an untold number who will testify that it was a heart of compassion that helped bring them to saving faith in the Lord?
Of course, none of this would be possible without your faithful prayers and support. Because you respond to the Lord moving your heart, other hearts half a world away are being softened by the love and compassion of His people. As the harsh winter continues in the former Soviet countries, please pray for the churches and their teams who are out distributing food and other compassionate aid. Ask the Lord to open many opportunities for the Gospel, and to provide the additional resources needed to make even more help possible. In some of these nations, especially in Central Asia, the poverty that exists is staggering. Thank you as always for your faithful, generous partnership.