We recently visited Khabarovsk and travelled to various villages. What an amazing privilege to be among saints that truly live life on mission for the sake of the Gospel! We’ve been hearing their plans on reaching remote villages and forming groups of believers and hearing of their weekly ministry and seeing their lives in conditions that would be considered poverty in America. God be praised for His work among these faithful servants and that we have a part in the mission they have been set apart to do.
One unexpected result was a response in several locations to Pastor Mike Matiscik asking, “How did Immanuel’s Child impact your outreach during Christmas?” I have to admit I held my breath, but Olyessa responded that Immanuel’s Child allowed their church to provide gifts during outreach to their community. Almost all the children they reach are from unbelieving families and following the Christmas program almost all of the children continued to attend Sunday school. She was grateful for all who provided support through Immanuel’s Child.
And in another location, Pastor Alexei’s daughter Anya happily posed with her star. These small gifts of shampoo, candy, gloves and knit caps might seem nothing to a western child. But to many unchurched here in Far East Russia, it is the gift they never saw coming. The star, the knowledge that there is someone on the other side of the world praying for them, and the Gospel, the knowledge of the depth of God’s love of them — these are the greatest gifts of all. God be praised!