Eric Mock
Reporting From Yakutia

Yakutia (Sakha Republic) is the largest subdivision of the Russian Federation but has one of the least dense populations.

I want to tell you about Ludmila, who was the first believer in the village of Oktyom. She was in a difficult marriage where her husband beat and neglected her terribly. She literally despaired of life itself.

But she was not alone. For in the village of Moxogollokh, where Pastor Valery had planted the first church in Yakutia and where young Stas had come to faith, another woman was being moved by God. Galina had also been in an abusive marriage. She had three children, and her husband had left her. She had become an alcoholic and her life was falling apart. A friend pointed her to Pastor Valery for help. And through Valery, she found that help in Christ. Galina and Ludmila were friends, and Galina now reached out with the same message of hope.

Ludmila was quite sick. Abused and in terrible health, Galina began to care for her friend. Ludmila left her husband and lived in despair with her children. She had grown up as a communist and attended Pioneer camps. Ludmila had been taught there was no God. But at last, she was motivated to attend a service at another church nearby in Pakrovsk (another church that Valery had planted). She realized that she would never be the same after God moved in her heart. She came to saving faith in 1994. So overwhelmed by her new faith, she began to post flyers all over town to see a church begin in her own village. Pastor Valery brought Stas along to minister at the fledgling church that had sprung up. Later, at only 16 years of age, Stas began preaching weekly at the church.

Week after week people met in Ludmila’s home. In 1998, she married Vasily—a man who also was brought to faith by Valery, and he took over for Stas as pastor. The missionary work throughout the region truly began as God’s team had just been formed. They bought a car that barely ran and started taking the Gospel everywhere. Ludmila and Vasily, along with Galina and young Stas, took the Gospel throughout Yakutia. Dozens of villages heard the Gospel for the very first time. Every day, they went to needy families with food and the Gospel. Today, Stas is 40 years old, has a family of four, and leads an association of 24 churches extending even into the transpolar regions where they are still herding reindeer. It is these churches that SGA is dedicated to serving, for the task remains unfinished. Hundreds of villages and orphanages in the vast region of Yakutia have yet to hear the life-changing Gospel.

God took a few people with broken lives and no training to be His zealous ambassadors to a lost and hurting people. What is stopping you?

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