Peace to you, dear friends, our co-workers in the work of witnessing! I want to share about my family ministering in Birobidzhan (Russia’s Jewish Autonomous Region).
We thank God for protecting our family and for His provision. Our family is well, and our children are growing and maturing. They finished the last school year well. Anastasia and Ksenia passed their piano exams at the music school. Our youngest, Timofey (18 months old) is healthy and brings joy to us. My wife Katyusha (short for Ekaterina) does well in taking care of the children and helps in ministry as well.
I’d like to share three special testimonies of God’s work here through us and in us.
Bira and Teploozersk: God put it into our hearts (my ministry partner Anatoly and me), to do home visitation in the villages of Bira and Teploozersk last spring around the Easter celebration. We went to the village authorities and asked them for contacts of poor families and large families. We explained that we wanted to visit those families and present them with a bag of food and the Gospel, and to share with them about Christ’s resurrection. The authorities gladly agreed, and gave us contacts of 9 families in Bira, and 12 families in Teploozersk.
We collected enough essential food and sorted it into 22 bags. We printed invitations to our Easter service and included Scriptures. On the Friday before Easter, we went to visit families. They met us with joy, people accepted our gifts and the Word of God, and they listened to the truth of Jesus’ resurrection. Only one family dismissed our witness.
We prayed for people nearly every home. Some even prayed with us. The village authorities had informed people that people from the church would come and visit them. That’s why families waited for us and listened to us with pleasure.
After this event, we went to Bira where the church room was full of people for the Easter service (some people came to church for the first time, and three adults continue attending church services now). In Teploozersk, one of the visited families came for the Easter service. We believe that our visits were 100 percent from the Lord. We managed to get into people’s homes, shared the Gospel, helped them, and built good relations with village authorities and as a church, we participated in the social life of the villages.
Radde: We also went to the border settlement Radde, which is a considerable distance away from Birobidzhan. It is a distant place on the bank of the Amur River, and very few people go that far. There is no church there, nor a group of believers. We went there particularly to visit two families and share the Gospel. Their relatives gave us their contact information.
We took copies of the Scriptures and went there to witness. God opened the door us to have many good meetings, and we gave out more than 30 New Testaments. All the people listened with joy. A long time ago, a church from Yadrino had visited that settlement but they stopped coming. Now the Yadrino church has brothers who are willing to resume the work, so we took them with us. Now they can continue the ministry.
Zarechnoye: On the way back, we also visited the village of Zarechnoye. This year in February, the family of Sergei and Tatiana came to Christ. They said that their neighbors wanted to hear about God’s Word and attend our fellowship. So, we came. We had good times in the Word, answered questions, and shared testimonies. After that, their neighbor, Tatiana, repented before God. So now there are three believers in Zarechnoye. Brothers from the Yadrino church visit them regularly.
We continue to gather for prayer and visit the village of Nadezhdenskoye. There has been no response yet. We pray for God to show us where He is working and send us to people whom He is calling to faith and repentance.
May the Lord bless you, co-workers in the ministry and in preaching the Gospel in Russia!