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.
Archive for the ‘Next Generation’ Category
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Your support of these summer camps will bring hope to orphans like Inna.
Inna would have wound up another orphan statistic that plagues Ukraine and Russia, but as a young teen, she was invited by School Without Walls students from Rovno, Ukraine, to one of the evangelistic summer camps they organized and led.
When Inna’s father died almost ten years ago, her mother was left with five children to raise on her own. And it proved to be too much.
“My mother started to drink,” recalls Inna of her early childhood days. Eventually, Inna’s mother sent her two older brothers to an orphanage, and at the tender age of seven, Inna didn’t begin school, but began to care for her two younger sisters.
One dreadful day, Inna watched her mother walk out and lock the apartment door behind her, leaving behind three little girls, ages seven, five and three, all alone and with only frozen potatoes and cabbage to eat.
When local authorities discovered this gross neglect, the three sisters were quickly removed from the apartment and placed in separate orphanages, where Inna has lived for the past nine years.
It was at one of Russian Ministries’ evangelistic summer camps that Inna discovered hope. “For the first time, I began to feel peaceful and calm,” says Inna.
God is using School Without Walls students and other young Christian leaders to reach out to helpless children and teenagers like Inna, and a new generation is discovering hope in Christ.
“There is joy in my heart in spite of everything that has happened in my life. I feel God’s love for me. I hope to attend many more camps like this one,” Inna states happily.
A donation to our evangelistic summer camp ministry will help School Without Walls students reach at least 5,000 needy children and teenagers at evangelistic summer camps in Russia and Ukraine, and especially significant, in the ever-turbulent Northern Caucasus, including North and South Ossetia, Chechnya, Ingushetia and Kabardino-Balkaria.
Each $50 gift will help send one camper to a life-changing week of camp and help provide a Bible and/or Christian literature for that child or teenager.
- $100 will help send two campers to camp and provide Bibles and Christian literature for them.
- $200 will help send four campers to camp and provide Bibles and Christian literature.
- $300 will help send six campers to camp and provide Bibles and Christian literature.
Perhaps God is prompting you to help send eight or even ten campers to one of these evangelistic summer camps, so they can hear about God’s love for the first time, and discover new life and hope in Him
Peter Wooding, Europe Bureau Chief for ASSIST News Service, reports on our Summer of Hope campaign for our evangelistic summer camps.
On April 26, 1986, an explosion at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant created a radioactive fallout that still affects lives today. Young Next Generation Christians in Ukraine are providing humanitarian aid and sharing gospel hope with people in this region.
These images of the town of Pripyat, Ukraine, are a stark reminder of the devastation that still exists today.
Follow this link to the tragic story of the village of Stary Vyshkov, Russia.
Peter Wooding, Europe Bureau Chief for ASSIST News Service, caught up with Russian Ministries’ president, Sergey Rakhuba, after his ministry trip to TransCaucausia. Read Peter’s article.
Note: This update was adapted from a post on the website of our national affiliate, the Association for Spiritual Renewal.
On March 11-12, 2011, both a strategic planning meeting for Russian Ministries’ School Without Walls coordinators and a Purpose Driven Journey seminar took place at the Association for Spiritual Renewal Center (Russian Ministries’ national affiliate) in Irpen, Ukraine.
As the 85 School Without Walls coordinators and teachers from Russia, Ukraine, Moldova and Belarus gathered, they talked through plans and strategies for this training ministry as well as the very real difficulties and abundant blessings they experience in their leadership of School Without Walls.
During this meeting, Next Generation Christian leaders Vitaly Shabunin and Andrei Murzin made two key presentations. Shabunin shared how the church can influence society, and pointed out the passivity of Protestant churches in Ukraine when it comes to lobbying and making their voices heard.
Andrei Murzin’s presentation was on Orthodoxy in post-Soviet society. Murzin touched on the delicate topic of dialogue between Protestants and the government-sanctioned Orthodox Church.
Over 50 pastors, youth leaders, School Without Walls students and others joined the School Without Walls coordinators for the Purpose Driven Journey seminar, led by Dr. Mark Carver, Andrew Lossau and Andrei Bondarenko of Saddleback Church.
The three men taught about the church’s and individual Christians’ five-fold purpose: worship, service, evangelism, fellowship, and teaching. National church leader Anatoly Kaluzhny, pastor of the New Life Church in Kiev, has integrated the Saddleback Church paradigm in his church, and he taught on communicating to change lives.
A lively panel discussion of the role and influence of the evangelical church in the swiftly-changing modern world featured the president of the Ukrainian Baptist Union, Vyacheslav Nesteruk, pastors Leonid Kartavenko (Moscow, Russia), Gennady Brutsky (Minsk, Belarus) and Sergei Guts (Ulyanovsk, Russia), evangelist Andrei Bondarenko and Dr. Mark Carver of Saddleback.
The informal conversation among panelists covered serious and important topics-the decrease in influence of the church in society, church growth, and the low number of men in the church.
Michael Cherenkov, vice-president of the Association of Spiritual Renewal, noted that evangelical Christianity doesn’t shy away from using a variety of approaches and methods to overcome some of these difficulties.
This two-day seminar motivated young Christian leaders to expand their horizons, and go beyond the walls of their churches to reach out to the world.
Oleg found a seat on the bus, and flipped open his Bible-a New Testament specifically designed for young people that Russian Ministries and its national affiliate, the Association for Spiritual Renewal printed a few years ago-and began to read it.
As he read, Oleg realized that the young man sitting next to him kept glancing at the Bible, even leaning over his shoulder to read it.
Finally, the young man blurted out, “Do you have anything else I could read?”
Oleg shook his head, but offered his New Testament instead. “I have other Bibles at home,” Oleg said.
The two exchanged names, and Daniel took Oleg’s Bible. He started reading the stories of faith of young Next Generation Christians in the introduction, stopping to ask Oleg questions about what he was reading.
Oleg answered Daniel’s questions and quietly shared the gospel with him.
Oleg’s stop came all too quickly, and Daniel, caught up with the Book, got off with him.
“Are you sure I can keep this?” Daniel asked, pointing out all of the underlining and notes Oleg had made in his Bible.
Oleg assured Daniel that it was fine, but Daniel didn’t want to take the Bible for nothing, so in exchange Daniel gave Oleg some sandwiches he had-bread for the Bread of Life.
The two young men exchanged phone numbers, and within a few hours, Daniel called Oleg, eager to talk more about the wonderful words of life he was discovering.
Since its publication, 10,000 youth New Testaments have been given away at various events in Russia and Ukraine-bringing new life to a new generation.
As January ended, so did the final days of our Project Hope Christmas outreach and gift distribution.
From the end of December through the entire month of January, our School Without Walls students and other young Christian leaders and local national churches have traveled to “the ends of the earth” in Russia’s Far North, to a hospital in children’s Chernobyl hospital in western Ukraine, to the Northern Caucasus that make headlines these days for terrorism.
As of today, 45,000 Christmas gifts have been distributed to orphans and needy children in their families. Each gift also had Christian literature or a children’s New Testament in it, making these gifts true gifts of hope.
In St. Petersburg, Russia, for the past few years, young Christian leaders have been visiting a state mental institution every Christmas. Sadly, many of the residents were sent to this institution when they “graduated” from orphanages at age 16 and had nowhere to go and no one who would care for them.
Thankfully, compassionate young Next Generation Christians in St. Petersburg feel honored to go to this institution and share the good news of a baby born in poverty, born a king.
“We love visiting,” explains one young Christian leader. “The patients love hearing about Christ and singing. And when we talk about how much God love them, they hug each other! We believe that God has a special relationship with them.”
For Russian Ministries’ national workers, School Without Walls coordinators and students in 66 locations in the former Soviet Union, Christmas presents unique opportunities for them to be involved in Project Hope, Russian Ministries’ Christmas outreach for children.
Thanks to all who generously gave to Project Hope. Your gifts support teams of young people who are reaching out to children at-risk, orphans and poor families in their communities. While others travel to rugged and remote villages in Arctic Siberia and to towns in the turbulent Northern Caucasus region of Russia, including Chechnya and South Ossetia, but all bring the gift of hope and share the story of the greatest gift of all, Jesus, on behalf of the global Christian community.
Again, we are so grateful to all of you who supported Project Hope. In the next few weeks, we will be posting pictures and reports from our young, national leaders about their Christmas outreach events this month.
Meanwhile, watch this video by CBN senior reporter, George Thomas. Thomas is traveling with Pavel Tokarchouk from our Moscow office and getting an up-close look at Project Hope events in action.
Again, Merry Russian Chrismas!
Though the years of atheistic, Soviet oppression and persecution are past, Christians in Russia and Belarus have seen their religious freedoms slowly erode in recent years.
According to Open Doors USA, Uzbekistan ranks tenth on its World Watch List of countries that oppress and persecute Christians.
In Uzbekistan, Russian Ministries’ strategic training for young Christian leaders-School Without Walls-is taking root even though it must operate underground. A young leader in the Uzbek church has commented that he sees School Without Walls as the answer to the tremendous need to train more ministry leaders for the church’s groups. “These groups can’t operate openly,” he observes, “but they fuel the evangelical movement that is beginning, despite persecution in our country.”
Today, on the Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church, remember your brothers and sisters in Christ in Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan and the Northern Caucasus region of Russia.
•Pray for God’s protection as these young Next Generation Christian leaders stand firm for the gospel.
•Ask God to raise up a new generation of peacemakers in Central Asia and the Northern Caucasus.
•Thank God that His followers around the world are sharing His love and grace—in places of peace and in places of persecution.
When you give a gift of $50 or more to Project Hope in November and December, we will send you a special Christmas print (see right). This is a little girl from one of the semi-nomadic reindeer tribes in Russia’s Far North-and she is holding her Christmas gift from Project Hope!
Anastasia Taran, a young national Christian artist, did the original painting for Russian Ministries this Christmas. Although Anastasia struggles with life in a wheelchair, she uses her artistic talent to God’s glory. “The Lord blesses my life and my hands, and gives strength to do much with little!” declares Anastasia.
This Christmas, Anastasia will join other young Next Generation Christian leaders from Zaporozhye, Ukraine, as they bring gifts of hope and joy to at-risk children.
You can help Anastasia and other young Next Generation Christian leaders all across the former Soviet Union bring Christmas hope to
- orphans in Russia’s Far North, home to the least reached Khanty and Nentsy people groups-semi-nomadic reindeer herders and hunters.
- children in Moldova, one of the poorest countries in Europe, and some cynically say that the country’s major export is its young women caught in the snare of human trafficking.
- children who are refugees and homeless in the Northern Caucasus-a tragic outcome of the violence and wars that plague this region.
- the four million children who are residents of Russia’s Orphan Nation.
Help us give away 50,000 gifts of hope, gifts of compassion through Project Hope, our Christmas outreach. Each gift includes a children’s Bible and/or Christian literature, making this a true gift of hope as children discover the good news of Jesus’ birth.
Make an online gift to Project Hope and your gift can start bringing hope today.