Outreach News -
Establish Your Word to Your servant, as that which produces reverence for You (Psalm 119:38)
Literature & Printing
For seven decades across the Soviet Union, the atheistic communist government tried to rid the land of Scripture, and above all, faith in God. Even today—two decades after the Soviet collapse—Russian-language Bibles and Christian literature can be very hard to obtain either because of national government restrictions (largely in the Muslim-dominated republics of Central Asia), or the people simply cannot afford to purchase them due to deep poverty.
Through the years, SGA partners have helped provide thousands of Russian-language Bibles, children’s Bibles, Christian books, theological works and other biblically sound materials for distribution by local evangelical churches. While some established titles have been provided for many years, SGA is also translating and printing newer Christian books and theological titles to help disciple individuals and families, and to ground them firmly in the Word of God.
04 December 2017
Project: Bibles for Kazakhstan
Not enough Bibles are in the Kazakh language
1:183 - A strange and disturbing ratio! What is it?
It is the number of Bibles in their own language available to Kazakh speakers in Central Asia – only 60,000 Bibles have been produced for a total of over 11 million people whose first language is Kazakh!
It is vital and urgent that God’s Word should be more readily accessible to this spiritually needy community. Bibel-Mission (formerly SGA Germany, a long-standing partner) has come up with a strategy to address this critical need. The proposal is to produce 100,000 Kazakh Bibles, to be distributed by local churches to family homes. Kazakh families are traditionally large – ten children in one family is not unusual. Putting a Bible into 100,000 homes has the potential of reaching one million people with God’s Word – in their own language. Already the Kazakh Bible has made a deep impact on those who have been able to obtain one. Some of the testimonies of converts are both thrilling and challenging...
Aman was mayor of his village, a position of influence and prestige in Kazakh society. A Christian believer presented him with a Kazakh Bible. He began to read, but then stopped and put the Bible away. It made him uncomfortable. However he felt compelled to take it down and read more, and knew that God was speaking to him. Today Aman, his wife and daughter are believers and they pray for their son!
Khamsafanu was a victim of domestic abuse. She left home and found refuge with some relatives. On the bookshelf she discovered and began to read a Children’s Bible in the Kazakh language. She read it through, coming to realise that Jesus loved her and died to take away her sins. She took the promise of forgiveness and salvation to herself personally, and today is a believer who now has access to the whole Bible in her own language.
But many are still without such access! The heart cry of Christian leaders underlines the great need: “If I had a Bible in Kazakh, locals would no longer argue that Jesus is a Russian God.” SGA is raising funds to help this vital ministry to put God’s Word into the hands of 100,000 ethnic Kazakhs, that they would ‘know the truth and the truth will set them free‘. If you would like to contribute, be sure to contact our office.
25 October 2017
Equipping Central Asians with Literature
Equipping Central Asians with Literature
The contents of this bag could save a life
“So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” (Rom 10:17)
The Word of God is sharper than any two-edged sword (Heb 4:12) and SGA has a history of bringing Bibles into Slavic countries. Distributing Bibles is prohibited in Central Asia, as governments try to control religion in the effort to stop terrorism. All religious literature is controlled and Christians are not allowed to distribute Bibles, New Testaments or tracts. This makes it very hard for Central Asian Christians to share the Gospel with the lost and dying around them. But share they must - in obedience to God, the highest authority.
The ‘1-10 Initiative’ has been introduced by Bibel-Mission (formerly SGA-Germany) to help equip believers in these countries with literature they can give away. It began after a Bibel-Mission leader was in an isolated region of Central Asia when his car broke down. A passing shepherd kindly shared his water with him and the mechanic came and went. That’s when the leader realised he’d missed a valuable opportunity. ‘What ifs’ filled his mind. “What if relevant literature for men women and children could be made available? What if believers could be ‘armed’ with literature to give to those with whom they came in contact?”
Back home, the leader shared his thoughts with the mission and the ‘1-10 Initiative’ began to take shape. A strategy was worked out. Each believer should pray for 10 contacts during the course of a year and at Christmas, present them with a gift pack including calendars with Bible texts, testimonies, children’s stories, and CDs explaining the Gospel. The project was presented Central Asian churches and they responded enthusiastically. Literature was printed , shipped, collated and distributed. God’s hand of blessing was evident – the Christian books were not intercepted by police. Rich blessings were experienced in that first year and so the ‘1:10 Initiative’ will be repeated. Here are some testimonies:
Believers receive their literature-packs
“The distribution of literature is forbidden by law, but when customers come to have appliances repaired, I pray and give them a Gospel calendar or other literature. It opens many conversations.” – Central Asian believer
“There’s a village where people have been asking us, ‘Where are the calendars? When are we going to get them again?’” – Central Asian believer
“I read the whole Bible and can’t understand why they prohibit us Muslims from reading this book. Now I realise why you Christians are like this. It’s because such people are portrayed in the Bible.” – Recipient of literature pack
Through this initiative, more than 50,000 believers have been involved in sharing their faith, and more than 3 million Gospel items have been sent into Central Asia. Will you join us in supporting this initiative? It’s something we take for granted: access to religious literature. But for Central Asians it’s a rare and wonderful blessing.
“How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?” (Rom 10:14)
05 October 2017
Christian Books the Prize of Choice
One boy wanted Christian books
more than anything else
“Generally speaking, modern children do not like reading,” says SGA-supported worker Oleg. “They spend more time with their phones and computers. But in one of my Bible classes, there are a few boys and girls who love reading. And this is important, because it opens up a love for reading and understanding the Bible.”
For SGA, the provision of Bibles and Christian literature had its beginning during the Soviet era. For seven decades, the atheistic communist government tried to rid the land of all scripture – and SGA was working to keep Bibles flowing into the USSR. Now that the era of communist oppression is over, many are still without – due to poverty and in some places, Islamic regimes. And so SGA is continuing to distribute Bibles, New Testaments and other well-known Christian books across the former Soviet Union.
This is how one of our sponsored workers, Oleg, has been able to supply the greatest wish of one of his students... “At the end of the school year, we have a tradition of giving prizes to all the children. The cost of each prize is in proportion to the number of points each student scored for effort. As the time approaches they write down what they want. They usually ask for mobile phones, audio devices, sporting equipment, games and so on.”
As it turned out, the boy with the most points – who qualified for the biggest gift – asked for some Christian books! “When I presented the books to him, the others asked him right away, whether they could borrow them and read them, too.” Oleg says it’s difficult for these hungry readers to get their own Bible, but when they start to understand Scripture, it creates an interest in spiritual things. “One of the goals of my teaching is to help the children develop an interest in reading the Bible. I am grateful to God that at least a few of them have such an interest now.”
The Word of God is such a vital part of Christian living and essential for conversion and spiritual growth. You can contribute to the provision of printed materials for distribution by pastors, missionaries, teachers and leaders. To provide for such a purpose, we have a designated fund for Bibles and Christian Literature.
01 February 2017
Bringing Christian Books to War-Torn Eastern Ukraine
Through your support, many people in eastern Ukraine
have received Bibles and biblically sound literature
Last spring, SGA’s Eric Mock visited Zaporozhye, Ukraine, to encourage refugees from the ongoing conflict in eastern Ukraine. He also spent time with faithful SGA-sponsored pastors and missionaries who are ministering to these suffering people.
SGA provided Bibles and Russian copies of John Blanchard’s books, 'Where is God When Things Go Wrong' and 'Ultimate Questions'. They clearly explain the Gospel—providing an anchor of truth and hope for those who are destitute.
Bags of books and Bibles for distribution
In a separate trip, Eric and two U.S. pastors helped train Ukrainian pastors in biblical counseling to help them minister to the refugees. They distributed 'Trusting God: Even When Life Hurts' by Jerry Bridges. We praise God for these opportunities to serve churches and meet their needs while also helping them reach their people for Christ.
02 February 2017
The Direct Fruit of Christian Literature
'The Gospel and Personal Evangelism'
- Russian Edition
In 2007, popular Christian author Dr. Mark Dever published 'The Gospel and Personal Evangelism', a very helpful guide in learning how to share one’s faith with friends and neighbors. SGA partners helped make a Russian-language translation possible, and one brother wrote to tell us about how it changed the way he thought about witnessing . . .
"This book helped structure the Gospel message in my head. This is very good for a new believer as I was. Before, I tried to talk about everything at the same time—the truthfulness of the Scriptures, the greatness of God, apologetics, the church, Baptists, etc. But this blurred the Gospel message itself, which is the most important!"
Another recipient wrote . . . "This book clarified to me that a Christian’s chief purpose on Earth is to share the Gospel with others. This small, handy book has everything to help understand the necessity of witnessing. I would like every church member to read this book once a year!"
As we continue distributing books across Russia, her neighboring countries, and Israel, please pray with us for the greatest Kingdom impact. And know how vital your part is in this vital SGA ministry!