Archive for the ‘Northern Caucasus’ Category
Monday, April 22nd, 2013
Transformed from the Hatred of Man to the Love of God
- The Northern Caucasus region, represented in the map by the pink areas, forms a natural gateway from Russia to the Muslim world. This is both a dangerous and strategic region for evangelism and ministry outreach.
A tinderbox of explosive, ethnic hatreds, this region is home to the tragedy of Beslan and the war between Russia and Georgia. Here a Christian pastor was murdered in front of his church and two young Chechens who had been helping with our summer camps were murdered. But Jesus and His gospel proclaimed and lived by young Next Generation missionaries bring peace to this place of hatred, conflict and war.
School Without Walls (SWW) training in the region provides local discipleship and ministry training programs designed for Christians to grow as Next Generation leaders at the same time that they develop innovative outreach that meets the needs of the people in their specific area. Response to needs can be quick and effective.
With SWW training and resources from Russian Ministries, Next Generation leaders are making a difference heart-by-heart and community-by-community. Here are just a few of the ways Christian leaders in that part of the world are taking the love of Christ to people in this war-torn and hate-filled area:
- Reaching children through summer camps, sports clubs and other avenues for both fun and spiritual growth
- Distributing spring and winter gifts and evangelistic programs for children and families that tell the story of Jesus
- Presenting Christian puppet shows to Muslim villages by young people
- Distributing humanitarian aid, including food, shoes and clothing for people displaced or impoverished by war.
- Starting Bible studies and churches in unchurched communities
- Teaching youth about the dangers of drug abuse, promiscuity, HIV/AIDS and how Christ offers hope
- Providing Christian counseling in the midst of war and terrorism
- Reaching out to orphans and abandoned children
Marat, age 20, student body president of the North Caucasus Mountain Metallurgical Institute (NCMMI): “The lectures I saw and heard made me think about things I’d never thought about before. I learned much that was new and useful. I think this needs to be shared with everyone if we want our children to live in a good, kind, pure world.”
Zira Dzgoeva, age 9: We live with our grandmother and go to school in Tskhinvali. “Our mom ran away to Tbilisi, Georgia, and lives there with my brother. No one wanted to be friends with me because my mom is Georgian. At camp I learned that Jesus loves everyone. I became friends with Diana and Zhorik from Vladikavkaz. Now I come to the church every day. I even do my homework here, and have a lot of friends who also love Jesus! Thanks to Him for this camp!”
William, age 18, NCMMI student: ”When I attended the lecture on abortion I was moved to tears hearing about how unborn children are killed. A phrase on one of the PowerPoint slides especially made me think: ‘For some, life ends before birth.’ I will share what I heard and saw with all my friends. I want to help them choose the right path in life.”
Oleg and Radik, who recently moved to the Caucasus from Tatarstan, shared about their outreach in a Chechen village: “We had prepared ourselves for a possible violent reaction from the villagers when they saw that the gifts contained children’s Bibles. However nothing of the sort happened. On the contrary, on our next visit we saw a young hairdresser in a barbershop reading one of the children’s Bibles between clients. The first time we went to Chechnya we were scared, but now we testify about Christ there without fear!”
Mamuka Kochiev (camp leader): “My whole family, my wife, daughter, and I, are SWW students, and this year we all participated in summer camp ministry. One of the most difficult episodes took place in Ingushetia, where there were 140 orphans and children of prisoners participating in the camp. One day the leaders were doing an object lesson on “You reap what you sow,” and they threw handfuls of candy from the stage out to the kids. The Ingush women immediately started saying, “They’re throwing candy at our kids as though they’re dogs.” We once again sensed just how strong the inter-ethnic animosity is, and started praying. And the Lord answered our prayers through the children, who came up to us and shared their candy with us and diffused the situation.”
How You Can Make a Difference:
Cost per student: $480
Total cost for 50 students: $24,000
To give by check, make your check payable to Russian Ministries and mail to: Russian Ministries, P.O. Box 496 Wheaton, IL 60187
All donations are tax-deductible.
Tel 630-462-1739 • Fax 630-690-2976
Tuesday, June 7th, 2011
Peter Wooding, Europe Bureau Chief for ASSIST News Service, talked with Russian Ministries’ President Sergey Rakhuba about the next generation of young people in the Northern Caucasus and other Muslim dominated regions of Russia.
Read Peter’s interview and discover how one young man turned from violence to peace.
Friday, October 22nd, 2010
Russian Ministries’ evangelistic summer camps and sports day camps were havens of peace and hope in the Northern Caucasus region that was rocked with violence this summer.
Altogether, 1,300 children were involved in summer camp programs in Ingushetia, North Ossetia, South Ossetia and even Grozny, Chechnya, where terrorist attacked the parliment building this week.
School Without Walls students and graduates from Vladikavkaz put their training in cross-cultural studies and Muslim ministries to practice this summer as they encountered, and with God’s help, overcame ethnic tensions and cultural barriers at Russian Ministries’ evangelistic summer camps and special sports events.
Two camps—one in June and one in August—for refugee children living in Vladikakaz were bookends for the Northern Caucasus summer evangelistic camp ministry.
“Over the course of [the summer] we saw changes in every child,” reports Gennady Terkun, ministry director for the Northern Caucasus region. “The changes were not always big, but they were significant in the eyes of God, and the camp staff who invested so much love into the children.”
At the beginning of one of the refugee camps, Katya was an easy target for her fellow campers’ teasing. And when they weren’t teasing her, the children excluded her—a burden for a young girl whose father was dead, and whose mother was disabled.
As the week went on and the children discovered God’s Word and got to know Jesus better, the negative atmosphere changed. The School Without Walls students at the camp saw this as a step forward in not only building personal relationships but also in building bridges across ethnic divides in this region.
The summer camp in South Ossetia started out with a visit from local law enforcement officials who came to “investigate” the camp. But all the investigation turned up was caring young Christian leaders, who wanted to share Jesus’ love with their campers.
Nine-year-old Zira lives with her grandmother in Tskhinvali, South Ossetia. “My mom ran away to Tbilisi, Georgia, and lives there with my brother,” Zira says almost matter-of-factly. “No one wanted to be friends with me because my mom is Georgian.” That was the case until Zira was invited to the summer camp in
a village in South Ossetia.
“At camp, I learned that Jesus loves everyone,” exclaims Zira, “and I became friends with Diana and
Zhorik from Vladikavkaz. I have a lot of friends who also love Jesus!”
It was a difficult summer for the evangelistic camp in Grozny, Chechnya. Demands from local Chechen authorities and security issues prevented the team from Vladikavkaz from even traveling to Chechnya, but Next Generation Christians from Grozny stepped up to run the the evangelistic summer camp. Even
though some parents reacted negatively to the Bible lessons,
Yuri, a missionary and young Christan leader from Grozny, and another Christian leader whose daughters were students at the first School Without Walls program in Grozny, gave away 60 children’s Bibles and some New Testaments in the Chechen language. We are thankful that Yuri holds a lot of events for children and adults throughout the year.
• Continue to pray for the School Without Walls students from Vladikavkaz, other young Next
Generation Christian leaders and volunteers from local churches who gave their time, talent and
treasure to these summer camps.
• Pray especially for Project Hope, Russian Ministries’ Christmas outreach and gift distribution,
as young Christian leaders bring hope and peace to this violent region.
• Pray for Gennady T. as he oversees ministry in the Northern Caucasus region. Pray that Christians will be peacemakers as they share Jesus’ love across cultural and ethnic lines.
Monday, September 27th, 2010
In the Midst of Violence: Gospel Peace
In Russia’s Northern Caucasus, where car bombs explode in busy marketplaces and a pastor is gunned down outside of his church, peace can seem a long way off.
It is precisely in the middle of this violence and terrorism that God is raising up a Next Generation of peacemakers, who is bringing gospel peace and hope to this region.
This summer, young Christian leaders from the School Without Walls program in Karbardino-Balkaria traveled to Mahachkala, the capital city of Dagestan, to help the evangelical church with its first-ever evangelistic summer camp.
Residents of this primarily Muslim city watched church members and the School Without Walls students carefully, and asked a lot of questions about who they were and what they were doing. And the community not only heard but also saw Jesus’ love in action as children in the community happily participated in a week of summer camp.
A Place of Hope
With no father, and an alcoholic mother who is constantly in and out of prison, Zina (pictured) and her older brothers live with their grandmother. Though elderly and poor, this grandmother refuses to place her grandchildren in an orphanage. Zina’s brothers earn money here and there, but well-paying jobs are scarce in their area.
Providentially, a Christian family from the church in Mahachkala lives next door to Zina. Though hardly wealthy themselves, the parents help Zina and her family. This young girl basks in the family’s kindness, and spends a lot of time with them. This summer, the family invited Zina to camp.
A bit shy at first, wide-eyed Zina took everything in. Once settled, Zina threw herself into all of the camp activities, including the teaching times. But the best was yet to come.
The School Without Walls students and young Christian leaders from the church had designed the Bible teaching to cover basic biblical truths throughout the week, and at the end of camp, would give campers the opportunity to follow Jesus.
Zina didn’t need to hear the invitation to follow Jesus a second time. All week long, she had seen the gospel in action through her counselors and camp staff. She understood the gospel and Christ’s sacrifice for her. Perhaps the only people more excited and happy than Zina were the camp leaders.
As camp came to a close, Zina took as much Christian literature as she could for her brothers, hoping that they, too, would come to know Christ.
Russian Ministries praises God for Zina and all of the children she represents who chose to follow Christ this summer at its evangelistic summer camps. In all, 7,630 children and teenagers heard the good news of Jesus at the 107 evangelistic summer camps that were held throughout Russia, Ukraine, Belarus and Moldova this summer.
Saturday, August 7th, 2010
When you support School Without Walls, it’s more than an academic exercise. It’s support of a generation of godly, young national Christian leaders, who are ready to pick up the baton of faithfulness from the previous generation, and confront the realities of a changing society.
Even in the high-risk regions of the former Soviet Union, School Without Walls students are reaching out to the needy as the helping hands of Jesus.
School Without Walls students from Kabardino-Balkaria are no strangers to the violence that rocks their Northern Caucasus region.
In early spring, police killed a rebel leader in a shoot out on the streets of the capital city of Nalchik.
In July, School Without Walls students went to Makhachkala, Dagestan to hold an evangelistic summer camp for children in the community. A week after the students returned home, a pastor of one of Makhachkala’s largest evangelical churches was gunned down.
But, according to a recent report from Sergey, the School Without Walls coordinator in Kabardino-Balkaria, none of this has slowed down the students’ outreach and ministries in this region.
We have School Without Walls programs in Prokhladny and Nalchik. The School Without Walls students from Prokhladny regularly visit an orphanage, where they sing, tell the children about Christ and play soccer, volleyball, checkers, chess and other games with them. The students have also connected with the youth of the orphanage. Some of the children regularly read the Bible and pray. The students are accepted and liked by the children. Vadim, one of our School Without Walls students, has become friends with one boy. Vadim watches out for him, and recently bought him a new soccer uniform. The two of them now play soccer together, both wearing their new uniforms.
When the students drive up to the orphanage, one can often hear the joyful cry, “The Baptists have arrived!” and everyone runs out to meet the students.
School Without Walls students from Nalchik decided to take on missions work in the city of Tyrnyauz. For two years now, a small group of 12 believers has had no church leadership or support. These young leaders travel there to help out with Sunday morning services, encourage the believers and help them share the good news of Jesus in the community. This ministry is just beginning, but we have plans to develop it and reach many Balkars, who need Jesus.
Interested in supporting a School Without Walls student? Find out more here.
Monday, May 24th, 2010
From July 31-August 7, join Russian Ministries at Maranatha Bible and Missionary Conference, where you’ll meet Gennady Terkun, national ministry director in the Northern Caucasus, and hear how God changed his life as . . .
“a conscious slave of the devil and an influential criminal.”
These words don’t fit with the man who is speaking them. Today, Gennady Terkun is more likely to share a Christmas present with a needy child, or baptize young people who have chosen to follow Jesus in the Northern Caucasus than to choose to do evil.
Flashback to 1987, when perestroika was just beginning, and a younger Gennady sat in a prison, where he exercised a cult-like hold over the other prisoners. About that time, some Christians came to the prison and shared the gospel with the prisoners.
“I was enraged,” recalls Gennady. “Their preaching about Christ was destroying my authority and cult practices.” He shot off an angry letter, intent on destroying the believers and their faith.
His letter made its way to one of the Christians who had come to the prison, and that began a two-year correspondence between Gennady and this bold believer.
“Gradually, the simple truth of the Good News found its way into my heart,” Gennady says. In 1991, Gennady made another conscious choice: to follow Jesus and point other prisoners to Him.
No longer imprisoned in sin, Gennady began Bible studies in prison and met Next Generation Christians from the Association for Spiritual Renewal (ASR-Russian Ministries’ national partner). “One of them became my mentor, and helped me with advice, resources and a vision for ministry.”
By God’s grace, Gennady’s prison sentence was shortened by five years, and he was released in 1996. “The day after my release,” Gennady points out, “I attended an ASR training seminar in Krasnodar.” Gennady began traveling throughout the region, sharing the good news of Jesus.
Gennady also received training in church-planting at Project-250 seminars-Russian Ministries’ early training for young Next Generation Christians in the former Soviet Union.
Ten years ago, Gennady moved to Vladikavkaz in North Ossetia and began overseeing the ministry in North and South Ossetia, Chechnya and Ingushetia.
In the course of these ten years, God has used Gennady and his wife, Vera, in strategic, far-reaching ministries from aid and counseling in the aftermath of the 2004 Beslan public school terrorist attack, to ongoing bridge building to Muslim families and their children at evangelistic summer camps, to regular trips to the volatile regions of Chechnya, South Ossetia and Ingushetia for children’s events such as summer camp follow up and special seasonal events.
From July 31-August 7, you can meet Gennady Terkun at Maranatha Bible and Missionary Conference in beautiful western Michigan. Gennady will share more of his story of faith as well as the latest news from his ministry. Joining Gennady will be Anita Deyneka, president of Russian Ministries, and Greg Yoder, weekly anchor for Mission Network News.
Plan to have a vacation with a purpose this summer and join Russian Ministries at Maranatha.
Contact Maranatha directly for more information. Be sure to register for Week 6.
See you by the lake!
Read how Russian Ministries’ evangelistic summer camp ministry is helping to bring gospel peace and hope to Chechnya this summer.
Click here to read a Christianity Today article that features Gennady Terkun.
Wednesday, March 31st, 2010
Russian Ministries continues to call on Christians worldwide to pray for peace in Russia, especially this Easter Week as Christ’s death and resurrection are celebrated.
Just two days after the rush-hour bomb blasts in Moscow on Monday that killed 39 people at two subway stations, a car bomb exploded in Dagestan in the Northern Caucasus. This blast killed at least 12 people, including a top local police official.
Read more about this bombing here.
Russian Ministries has a strong presence in the Northern Caucasus region through its School Without Walls program, special evangelistic outreaches at Christmas and Easter and evangelistic summer camps. Many of these ministries focus in areas where some say suicide bombers are trained and where extremists have established terrorist training camps.
Under the national leadership of Russian Ministries’ Northern Caucasus ministry coordinator, School Without Walls students and their churches are planning for summer camps for children and youth to help raise up a new generation of Christian leaders, whose feet will be shod with the gospel of peace.
- Pray that Christians would effectively point others to Christ, the Prince of Peace.
- Pray for Next Generation Christians and their ministries, especially in the tense Caucasus regions, where the ethnic, political and religious hatred reportedly inspired the terrorists.
- Pray for the Easter evangelistic outreaches that take place this Easter weekend in the Northern Caucasus and other regions in Russia and Ukraine.
- Pray for young Next Generation Christian leaders as they prepare for the evangelistic summer camp ministry.
Northern Caucasus summer camp on YouTube
Tuesday, December 8th, 2009
Russia and other nations discuss nuclear arms, hoping for a more stable world.
A country mourns when a fire roars through a club in the city of Perm and 113 people are killed in the blaze.
A bomb explodes in a busy marketplace in Grozny, Chechnya.
And every night, in large urban cities in Russia and Ukraine, four-five million children and teenagers sleep on the streets.
Where is the peace, the hope for Russia and the other countries of the former Soviet Union this Christmas?
This year, the hope of Jesus, the Prince of Peace, will come for 50,000 orphans, street kids and needy children and their families as hundreds of young Next Generation Christian leaders give out Christmas gifts, filled with small presents and a children’s Bible or Christian literature.
These gifts of hope and peace have helped build bridges between young Christian leaders from Vladikavkaz, North Ossetia and Muslim families in Grozny, Chechnya in past Christmases—and will again this year through Project Hope: The Great Gift Exchange.
After clearing all the border checks in North Ossetia, Ingushetia and Chechnya, the team of young Christian leaders enjoyed re-connecting with children they knew from Russian Ministries’ evangelistic summer camp in Grozny as well as meeting new children and their parents.
“The parents express joy and gratitude that we don’t forget them,” explains one of Russian Ministries’ young Christian leaders, “and that we come to show them our love and share in the fate of the Chechen nation, which has experienced the horrors of a decade of war, and the trauma still remains in the minds, souls and hearts of the children and adults.”
A gift to Project Hope: The Great Gift Exchange will help Russian Ministries’ young Next Generation Christian leaders bring the hope and peace of Jesus to Russia’s hurting and needy children this Christmas.
Tuesday, October 20th, 2009
download the itinerary now
From August 3-15, 2010, journey through history on the magnificent Dnieper River in Ukraine.
Join Anita Deyneka, president of Russian Ministries, and Sergey Rakhuba, senior vice-president, for an unforgettable journey on the Black Sea and along the beautiful, peaceful Dnieper River.
During this 12-day educational and inspirational river trip, you will enjoy a full sight-seeing tour of the historic cities of Odessa (on the Black Sea), Yalta and Sevastopol (in the Crimea), as well as Kherson, Zaporozhye—Sergey Rakhuba’s hometown and the ancient cradle of the Cossacks and later the Mennonites), Kremenchug and Kiev.
You’ll not only explore these unique historic and cultural sites, but also see the work of Russian Ministries in action through a variety of ministry outreaches, visiting churches and meeting with evangelical workers and leaders.
As a native of Ukraine, Rakhuba will provide you with unique, personal insights about the places you’ll visit and introduce you to the strategic ministries that are done with the support of Russian Ministries. A special highlight of the trip will be a visit to Russian Ministries’ new training center and headquarters in Kiev, where you’ll meet with our national team and see firsthand what God is doing to expand His kingdom in Ukraine.
Accommodations are aboard an elegant ship built specifically for river travel. Staterooms are spacious and comfortable, each with an outside river view.
Anita Deyneka and Sergey Rakhuba would be delighted to have you and your family members join us for this first-ever Russian Ministries’ river journey in Ukraine that is sure to be an enjoyable and unforgettable experience. Please let us know of your interest at your earliest convenience, and we hope to see you next summer in Ukraine.
For more information, please call Sarah at Russian Ministries, 630-462-1739, or email her at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Tuesday, June 23rd, 2009
This report is from Russian Ministries’ Senior Vice-President Sergey Rakhuba.
I just returned from Vladikavkaz in the Northern Caucasus, where I traveled with a group of Russian Ministries’ partners and donors.
We had the privilege to participate in a glorious event in that turbulent region: the dedication of a newly completed church, which also will serve as a ministry center in to the entire region.
But while sightseeing, we were startled by the number of heavy army equipment such as tanks, staff carriers and other armored vehicles we saw. Sadly, for the local residents, these vehicles are a common sight after the war in South Ossetia, the terrorist attack in Beslan and the rising unrest in Ingushetia.
During our time in this volatile area, it was great to realize that a group of highly dedicated Christian leaders have committed their lives and resources to expanding God’s kingdom throughout this turbulent area.
These Next Generation leaders bring hope to needy orphans and abandoned children in orphanages, thousands of war refugees in South Ossetia and to the young generation who attend schools and universities and are open to learn about biblical values.
Our ministry center in Vladikavkaz is an outpost for Christian ministry today, reaching out to Ingushetia, Chechnya, South Ossetia and other areas with the gospel of Christ.
Monday morning, as I watched the news, I learned about another assassination attempt in this volatile region. I immediately thought of all of our dedicated workers there, knowing that this event would have significant implications for weeks and possibly months to come.
This summer violence erupted in the largely Muslim region of Ingushetia. A small region in the Northern Caucasus, Ingushetia struggles with both poverty and violence.
This latest assassination attempt was directed at Yunus-Bek Yeukurov–the leader of Ingushetia, who was appointed by Russian President Dmitry Medvedev in October.
Human rights activists and opposition politicians told news agencies that Ingushetia–which neighbors Chechnya–is “now in a state of civil war.” Conflict between Russian troops and Muslim fighters has escalated throughout the year.
It’s in the midst of this turbulence that Russian Ministries’ young Next Generation Christian leaders from the ministry center in Vladikavkaz, North Ossetia are sharing gospel hope and peace.
Throughout the year, School Without Walls students from Vladikavkaz have been involved in humanitarian projects in Ingushetia, including distributing Backpacks of Blessing. These projects are part of the students’ practical ministry training.
As a result of these humanitarian aid projects, small-group Bible studies are being organized in homes in Ingushetia. These small groups will eventually form the basis of church plants in this Muslim dominated region.
Pray for the peace of God to visit this region and turn the hearts of the people toward Him.
Pray for young Next Generation Christians from Vladikavkaz who travel to Ingushetia to share the gospel and to encourage believers there.
Pray that God will protect believers in Ingushetia and help them bring peace and reconciliation to their region.
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