In his inaugural month as president of Russian Ministries, Sergey Rakhuba had the privilege of participating in the Third Lausanne Congress for World Evangelization in Cape Town, South Africa. from October 16-25.
His colleagues Anita Deyneka (co-founder, Russian Ministries), Mikhail Cherenkov (vice-president of the Association for Spiritual Renewal, Russian Ministries’ in-country affiliate) and Pavel Tokarchuk (administrative director for the Association for Spiritual Renewal in Moscow) joined Sergey at the Congress.
“I am overwhelmed by both the magnitude of the event, and by the spiritual charge that was given,” Sergey commented. “My heart is overflowing after seeing the scope of Christian work that is being done on behalf of Christ in this diverse, yet polarized and needy world.”
A Shift in Global Evangelization
During the Congress, Rakhuba briefly described, from the platform, major developments in the countries of the former Soviet Union since the collapse of communism. He also emphasized current and strategic ministry needs that focus on training the Next Generation for ministry.
Sergey was also struck with the shift that has taken place in global evangelization since the last Congress.
“At that time, delegates from the former Soviet Union were a highlight of the Congress as they represented the door that had suddenly swung wide open for the gospel in this oppressed region of the world,” recalled Russian Ministries’ president. “Today, the emphasis is on North Korea and China, where the persecution of Christians is on the rise.”
A Greater Need than Ever Before
At the Third Lausanne Congress, all of the countries of the former Soviet Union were identified under the single label of “Eurasia.”
From Sergey’s perspective, this label doesn’t go far enough in showing the difficult and diverse circumstances individual countries and regions within the former Soviet Union face. For example, in Central Asia, radical Islam is on the rise. The country of Moldova struggles with rampant human trafficking, and Russia and Ukraine experience skyrocketing rates of alcoholism, drug addiction, HIV/AIDS and homelessness.
During the entire ten-day program of the Third Lausanne Congress, only eight minutes were devoted to Eurasia. “This under-emphasis on the countries of the former Soviet Union concerns my colleagues and me. The need there is even larger than before.
God Is Not Done with Russia
“We firmly believe that God is not yet done with Russia or the other countries of the former Soviet Union, and our efforts are aimed at raising up the Next Generation of Russian leaders—evangelists, pastors and missionaries, who will spread the gospel into neighboring countries and beyond the borders of the countries of the former Soviet Union,” stated Rakhuba.
Sergey pointed out that even with high tech means and methods of communicating the gospel, there are still unreached people groups across the globe, including unreached peoples in Russia’s Arctic Far North, the turbulent Northern Caucasus region, and in Central Russia (Mordvins) or Siberia (Tuvins).
“For these groups, no amount of technology can replace personal evangelistic efforts, and the method of discipleship that Christ demonstrated,” explained Sergey. “I am grateful that Russian Ministries commits its efforts and resources, through our School Without Walls program—designed to train, equip and mobilize the Next Generation of Christian leaders in the former Soviet Union—to reach these unreached people groups with the gospel.
“As we heard at the Third Lausanne Congress, God is on the move. He is moving through His church, making a difference for the suffering world. My priority is to use the resources that God provides to continue reaching and equipping the Next Generation in the former Soviet Union so that they can make a difference for Christ in my troubled and needy homeland,” sums up Sergey Rakhuba.
Help support the Next Generation of young Christian leaders in the former Soviet Union as they move out with the gospel, transforming their nations, one child, one person at a time.