SGA-Sponsored Missionary Pastor in Russia
Before we started on this missionary trip to unreached towns and villages, we had to prepare for about five months. We purchased boats, motors, food, and life jackets. A team was formed and we began planning our journey realizing the challenges that lay ahead. There is no signal communication for mobile phones, no roads, and no medical care. This is swampy, forested land with bears, mosquitoes and gnats. If your boat breaks down or sinks, there is no one to help you, and the river has shallow places that can break the boat motor.
We thought about how to reach these people along the river, and we decided as a church to purchase groceries for them including canned meat, cereals, flour, etc. We especially wanted to help needy, large families. The journey started on July 6 with three boats—two carrying our team and the third carrying our cargo. We had planned on the village of Orefievo, but we overlooked it on the river and went on for two hours. We almost ran out of fuel. Two fishermen told us we had passed Orefievo long ago and that we were headed for Stariye Birilyusy. We prayed and decided that if God brought us to this village instead of our original destination, it meant He had prepared something there for us.
On our arrival in Birilyusy, we walked around the town and prayed that God would lead us to those who desire to hear the Gospel and truth. We came to a house where we met a man named Zhenya. We talked with him and offered him groceries, which he refused. But when he saw a Bible, he grabbed it from us and exclaimed, “That’s what I need!” We told him of salvation and Christ’s love. He was so moved that he offered us his tractor as transportation so we could ride around the community and tell people about Christ! We visited several poor families and gave out food packages, sharing about the Lord along the way. The people were surprised that someone cared about them. We told them that God cares about them, and it was for them that God gave His Son. They thanked us for the hope we brought to these forgotten villages and towns.
On this trip, we covered 60 miles by water. We are so thankful for all who prayed for us and helped make our journey possible. This is our joint mission, our joint labor, and you have a significant part in the work of salvation of human souls. Thank you all!