Outreach News -
24 September 2017
Touch of Sunshine for Little Family With Nothing
In Their Best Clothes but With No Food,
the Little Family Waited for Elena
Elena Liskina is in Krasnoyarsk, Russia, and part of her ministry is to reach struggling mothers with the Gospel. She recently conducted a class for some disadvantaged ladies. It began with topics on parenting and concluded with the Gospel message. “Most of them so far have not accepted Jesus in their hearts, but I believe the Lord will touch their hearts through additional classes and the Christian fellowship we will provide”, she said.
The church-sponsored meetings allow the women-in-need to associate with believers in Jesus Christ and observe the love of God in them. Evidence of Christ’s love, as demonstrated by his followers can be a most effective way to reach the hardened heart. Elena gave an example of how she nearly missed a God-given opportunity to demonstrate His love...
“Among the mothers that I have regular contact with through our ministry, is a lady named Tatiana. She is a single mother raising three children. It was her birthday coming up on May 3rd, and she invited me to visit. I was very busy and didn’t have time to drop in on her and soon the actual day of her birthday arrived. She called me again and invited me to visit.
“I had a strong impression then, that the Lord wanted me to stop what I was doing and go.” Elena went and purchased flowers, a cake, candles and balloons, and took them to Tatiana’s apartment. When she entered, Elena was impressed that the children had all dressed up in their best clothes, but then she noticed “there was no food on the table. No food at all!”
After a few games with the balloons, they sat down at the table and put 28 candles on the cake, as it was Tatiana’s 28th birthday. “The children were screaming with joy and I could see that such events are not regular events in their lives. Afterwards, we had tea and cake together and played more games. The children were glad, and mother was glad too!”
The small celebration was filled with so much joy. And with great fear, Elena thought about what would have happened if she hadn’t taken time to go. “They have almost no friends. She had no money to put food on the table or buy a cake. At times we can bring joy to people’s homes. May they see God’s love for them in this! Once again, I was assured that at times we need to lay aside all our business and go visit the weaker ones, to encourage them and bring them joy. Especially when we feel impressed of the Lord.”
Elena is grateful that God has filled her heart with His love. Now, she says, her task is to help all those mothers come to church and become part of the Christian family. “I am grateful to you, dear friends, for your prayer and your support! I am grateful to God for opening your hearts to support this ministry. May the Lord bless you in your walk with Him, may he strengthen you and help you in every way!”
24 September 2016
Caring for Belarussian Widows and Leading Them to Christ
Pastor Pavel not only plants the seeds
of God’s Word in hearts, he also helps
widows plant seeds in their garden.
“Pure and undefiled religion in the sight of our God and Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself unstained by the world.” (James 1:27)
For Pastor Pavel’s church in Belarus’ Vitebsk region, their ministry to local widows is taken very seriously. Most lost their husbands during the war and now live alone. Their children have moved to other towns to obtain work. In the past year several widows came to faith in Christ, and two of them wanted to share their hearts with you.... “My name is Valentina, and I want to express my deep appreciation to all of you who help me. I am 63 years old. My husband passed away in 2011. I was invited by my friend to attend the church in Orsha. It was their Harvest Thanksgiving celebration and for the very first time I heard the Gospel preached. I came to the Lord in repentance in June 2015, and two months later I was baptised. Currently I attend church in the town of Baran. I have made many new friends in the church, and this is such a great joy for me. Praise be to our Lord Jesus Christ for all things! Amen.”
Sofiya also wrote to express her joy. . . “I thank God for His care of me. God has sent me help through believers, not just once – but twice. I always ask God to bless the brothers and sisters who organised this help. I thank Him for the believers who care for me. I thank God for the Bible, for the gift of salvation and the Holy Spirit’s work in my life.”
Pastor Viktor wrote... “I use every opportunity in order to reach people with God’s Word. Katya is a grandmother who has no one to help her. When she knows that I am coming to visit, she invites her neighbours. We have a wonderful time of fellowship, read Bible passages and discus challenging issues. A man named Sasha comes each time and he recently told me that he is currently under investigation for a minor crime. This situation has changed him and he listens with interest. Pray that he will repent and accept the Lord into his heart.”
Pavel and many other pastors send their deepest gratitude to SGA partners for supporting their ministries. The churches across the CIS help many widowed women by providing them with food, performing handyman tasks around their homes and as always, they share the Gospel and the love of Christ with them. Please pray that these expressions of God’s love will lead to many more coming to the Lord in saving faith.
06 August 2016
Saving the Lives of the Unborn
Lauren Provost (4th from right) shared her ministry experience with the visiting Moscow team
“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you”
Out of the many tragic legacies from the atheistic communist years in Russia, abortion is one of the deepest and most sorrowful. The United Nations has listed Russia and other former Soviet countries as having the highest abortion rates in the world. Yet pro-life ministries such as Crisis Pregnancy Centres (CPC) that can help women avoid abortion are a rarity in the CIS. However, the Lord is at work to change this, and soon in Moscow—Russia’s huge capital—we are planning to help start up the first-ever CPC there.
This ministry is close to the heart of Lauren Provost, granddaughter of SGA/USA president Bob Provost. She has been serving the Lord through the Open Arms Pregnancy Clinic in Northridge, California, and offers her perspective on what this ministry will mean to potentially thousands of needy, heartbroken women in Russia . . .
“My grandfather’s involvement in Russia and my own travels abroad have given me a lifelong passion for missions, and it is thrilling for me to see my ministry in southern California come together with my grandfather’s love for the people of Russia. While I have been discovering the effectiveness of CPC ministry here, my grandpa was discovering the vast need that exists for such outreach in Russia! For those who may be unfamiliar with how a CPC works, each day, we welcome women facing unintended pregnancies into our office, where we offer free pregnancy testing, ultrasound, and options education.
An ordinary day includes several young women entering our clinic visibly stressed, nervous, and feeling alone, but after a visit with a case manager and a nurse, they almost always walk out an hour later with a transformed sense of peace. We listen to our clients (including the babies’ fathers) as they pour out their hearts, help them identify obstacles that may keep them from parenting their babies, show them solutions, and educate them about support available to them in the community. Lovingly and unapologetically, we speak truth and share biblical principles with them.
On the most practical level, and through the power of words and actions, our clients inevitably find out that they are loved here. And whenever possible, we share our faith—explaining the Gospel of Jesus Christ in the hope that God will bring about true salvation in our clients. We make a priority of reaching the parents first, because when you reach the mother and the father, the unborn child’s life will also be saved as a result.”
“Last March, a handful of Russian pastors visited the centre in California and were shown what an evangelical Crisis Pregnancy Centre ministry actually looks like. We met up with Vitaly, Natalie, and Julia who will head up the first CPC in Moscow. After a year of hearing their hearts for this ministry through Skype conversations and emails, Vitaly, Natalie, and Julia have demonstrated that they have a hunger to learn and glean from our experiences. They utilised opportunities to observe our staff members as we conversed with real clients facing pregnancy decisions. We discussed many aspects of our ministry including client services, medical services, ministering to women who have had abortions, raising support, church partnerships and more.
Everyone on our team feels humbled and thankful to have played a small role in this process, and we are confidently eager to watch how God uses the Moscow team’s investment of time and heart in the coming years.”
Two books translated into Russian
— The Freedom and Power of Forgiveness (left)
and Safe in the Arms of Jesus (right) —
will be used as part of the crisis pregnancy ministry
We are prayerfully seeking resources to print more copies of several titles in Russian – The Freedom and Power of Forgiveness, Our Sufficiency in Christ, and Safe in the Arms of God. These books are also going to be used as part of the crisis pregnancy ministry being organised in Moscow.
03 August 2016
Ministry to Mothers in Belarus
Mothers and grandmothers were honoured for their faithfulness and love
Dima Podrez, youth ministry leader in Minsk, Belarus shared how God opened doors for the young people to share Christ’s love on Mother’s Day.... “We had prepared a special evangelistic service and planned to invite the unsaved mothers and family members of the youth in our church. We also printed about 300 invitations, and our young people made plans to go out into the streets in Minsk to randomly hand them out. But there was one problem we faced. The law in our country officially bans any activity outside of the church building. We did not know what to expect and how the police would react. We prayed, and then went to the city square. We saw the police there, and after I prayed I went up to the officers to ask their permission to congratulate women on Mother’s Day, and to give them a card.
The invitation cards were very colourful and in the style of a postcard. On the back was the written invitation and address of our House of Prayer (church). The officer in charge took the card and read it through carefully. He then asked, “Is there any hidden political agenda behind these invitations?” I assured him that there was absolutely no political agenda, and that our only purpose was to honour mothers on this special day. He took the card again and read the address of our church. He then responded, “I know this church and, yes, you may distribute the cards!” So we handed out many invitation cards to our evangelistic outreach – and we had permission from the police to do it! This was indeed a miracle of God to all of us!
A total of 40 people from unbelieving homes came to our outreach. A special program was prepared for their children in a separate building so that their parents could hear the Gospel message without distractions. Our youth choir took part in the service. The poetry, songs, and the entire program were about mothers, their faithfulness, and how they give their lives for the sake of their children. The vast majority wept, and they didn’t even try to stop their tears. Our pastor spoke from the Word, and talked about how modern society dictates completely different principles than the Bible. It is impossible to build a truly healthy and complete family without God! Please pray for the seeds sown during this event. We believe that God’s Word is never proclaimed in vain, and that it will bear fruit in His appointed time!