In 2013, SGA-sponsored missionary pastor Leonid Bulbotka became seriously ill, and was told by his doctors that he would not live long. Yet he faithfully carried on as long as he could, until he went to be with the Lord in 2015.
In the years since Leonid’s homegoing, his wife Irina has faithfully carried on with children’s ministry in Russia’s Tver region, also opening her home to people who face all types of struggles. She recently sent a wonderful report on how the Lord is using her to touch many lives for Christ . . .
I love the verse in the book of Joshua that says . . . But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord (Joshua 24:15). I thank God for choosing me to serve people. There are now 10 people living in my home—five pensioners with physical challenges, three people who now have jobs, a school-aged girl, and me. The Lord unites us all.
We have been remodeling and enlarging the house to accommodate everyone, and the work continues gradually.
This summer, we had 60 persons participate in a Christian camp. Adults and children from the Sunday school and from needy families were involved. We organized a canteen on the ground floor of my new home. We cleared a place by the house and covered it with sand. Now we have a place for volleyball and the young people can come together for fellowship.
We built a campfire pit in the yard. We sat around it and sang songs. When the seven-day camp ended, the young people continued to come together by the campfire to study the Bible. We sang songs, played guitar, and discussed different topics. I cooked dinner for them in the camp canteen. We continued these activities for two months until the weather became too cold. Now the young people come together in my house for fellowship every Wednesday and Friday.
Irina went on to tell the story of a young woman named Aliona who lived in the home for a time. Then a year ago, she decided to leave and began living in a sinful way. But the Lord convicted Aliona of her sin, and she realized that there was no one by her side to support her and give her good counsel. At last, she reached a turning point and remembered the large family she had with Irena. Aliona came back, and they both wept and talked for a long time. This time, God blessed her with a new job as a deputy director of a shop. Irena sees many positive changes in Aliona’s life, and it is clear to everyone that the Lord is living and working in her heart.
Next, a 62-year-old man came to live with the large group. He had been in a rehab center a year ago, but when he returned home he began to drink again. Two men who had successfully went through church rehab asked Irina to receive him into the home. Within two months, she could see changes in his appearance and his soul. He is happy to stay with the large family and helps Irina maintain the house.
Every evening, this large blended family that the Lord assembled unites for fellowship, sings together, reads God’s Word, and prays for each other. We praise God that with your support, He has given Irina this wonderful ministry, carrying on Leonid’s legacy of service for the sake of the Gospel.