By Eugene M.
Eugene is a graduate of the Samara Center for Biblical Training. He is pastor of a church in Isil’kul, Siberia, Russia. HeartCry began supporting Eugene in October of 2012. He is married and has four sons.
I greet you, my friends, in the love of Jesus! Last month, a man in our church named Sergey was ordained to the pastoral ministry and chosen to work with me as a fellow elder in our church. We rented a café building for this special event. We sang songs, and then I preached on I Corinthians 4:1-5 about the qualities of a true servant of Christ.
“Let a man regard us in this manner, as servants of Christ and stewards of the mysteries of God. In this case, moreover, it is required of stewards that one be found trustworthy. But to me it is a very small thing that I may be examined by you, or by any human court; in fact, I do not even examine myself. For I am conscious of nothing against myself, yet I am not by this acquitted; but the one who examines me is the Lord. Therefore do not go on passing judgment before the time, but wait until the Lord comes who will both bring to light the things hidden in the darkness and disclose the motives of men’s hearts; and then each man’s praise will come to him from God.”
God really blessed the meeting. We had guests from Omsk and Petropavlovsk, and the pastors of those churches participated in the ordination. Afterwards, we had lunch together. We have been praying for a long time that our church would be under the leadership of a plurality of elders, since we believe that this is consistent with the Bible. We are thankful to God for providing another elder for our church.
In order to prepare brother Sergey for his new role as elder, we prayed and studied the Scriptures. We also studied several books dedicated to pastoral ministry. The books were written by such authors as Alexander Strauch, John MacArthur, Mark Dever, and others. Over the last few years, Sergey has grown in knowledge, godliness, and the ability to teach. Recently, we also started to study a new book, The Peacemaker by Kenneth Sande. It reviews the biblical principles for solving conflicts.
We praise God that the warm days of summer have given us more opportunities for outdoor evangelism. We have also visited those people who have previously heard our preaching. We plan to do outdoor evangelism until the Siberian winter returns and makes it impossible. We pray about these things and ask the Lord to bless.
We praise God that the church is doing well! We have started to practice biblical counseling with the spiritually weak members of our church, and the results have been positive. For example: there is a very encouraging testimony from a family that became members of our church two years ago. Through biblical counseling, the husband has changed his attitude toward his wife and his child and is now dedicating his time to the study of Scriptures. The man has also stopped napping during the sermon and has become a listener rather than a critic. He has even started to ask for counsel from other brothers. We have also noticed tremendous changes in his entire family.
I think it is worth noting that the relationship between our church and the church we had to leave (some years ago) due to disagreement on fundamental doctrines of Scripture has taken a positive turn. The pastor from that church came to visit me, and we had a very friendly meeting. The members of our church also agreed that there should be no hostility between our churches.
Thank you for your prayers and support. Please pray for our church and our evangelism efforts.