In the following pages, three reports from HeartCry missionaries are given: Dimitry Chubukin in Yekaterinburg, Siberia; Vladimir Radzihovski in Nizhnevartovsk, Siberia; and Bakhid K. in Kazakhstan. Please keep them in your prayers.
Greetings to all of you dear friends who support this ministry. Peace to you all! I thank God for your sincere work. God has been very gracious toward my family. He continues to meet our needs, and therefore, we have no reason to be anxious.
In recent days, God has caused me to focus more of my attention on my own spiritual condition, as well as that of my family. My wife and I are increasingly aware of our responsibility to be diligent as we seek to have a more biblical influence in the lives of our two children. We are in the process of listening to good sermons about biblical discipline and are trying our best to improve in this vital area of our lives. We both understand that we must serve as good examples not only for our children, but also for our church.
Last Sunday, I preached on I Peter 4:7, “The end of all things is at hand; therefore, be self-controlled and sober-minded for the sake of your prayers.” We are reminded not only that the Lord’s coming is near, but also that the judgment of this world is approaching. My greatest desire as a pastor is that everyone in our church might be self-controlled and sober-minded. I also desire that everyone would be able to give a bold account of their hope in Christ before this world. Some members of our church have told me that God is influencing their hearts and that they now have an increasing desire to change. In our latest small group meeting, we talked about how God humbled His enemy Saul and transformed him into a chosen vessel through repentance (Acts 9). This victory for Christ motivates us to be witnesses for Him and to believe that the repentance of sinners is in His hands.
We are beginning our work of equipping every member of our church to be a witness for Christ through the Scriptures. In the next few months, my goal is to visit every member of our church in order to clarify their commitment and to answer their questions about how to be a witness for Christ. I hope that God will help me accomplish this and that He might give the believers the desire to live what they know. We have seen numerous examples of how people have been lured into attending other churches through false promises that do not come from God or His Word. As a result, many have lost interest in the things of God, and other true believers have been weakened in their trust in the divine power of the gospel to save. Please pray that God would strengthen the people in our church to have the right motivation.
Not long ago, a young man named Dima visited our home in order to install a water meter. In the course of our conversation, it became evident that he attended a church. Unfortunately, it appears that the church he attends is the kind that is filled with false teaching. We talked for a long time, and he had many questions. As a former drug addict, he was thankful to that church for helping him to break away from his addiction. But the problem is that the leaders of this movement are well-known false teachers throughout Russia and other countries. I think that God has opened Dima’s heart toward me and that he is now able to see the problems in his church. Please pray that we would be able to serve and help him.
Alexander and Alexandra Kotov are from the city of Pyshma and have recently been attending our church. They are going through a trial due to their mother’s current battle with cancer. She has a tumor on her neck that is growing rapidly. She is not open to the gospel, and they are very concerned about her. They continue to minister to her and are finding their strength, hope, and trust in the Lord. Please pray for them as well.
Peace to you! We are thankful to the Lord that He is merciful to us and keeps us. By His grace, we continue to serve in His kingdom! We are thankful to all of you that pray for us and support us.
For the last week, temperatures have risen to 92°F, which is extremely hot for our area in Siberia! As a result, there are a lot of wild fires in the surrounding forest. The grass and peat easily catches on fire, and some of the trees have burned down. The town was covered in smoke for several days, and it was hard to breathe. Though the fire has been partially put out, the Lord reminds us that the earth and everything on it will be burned away. We continue to serve with Bible teaching on Thursdays, and as usual, we have services on Sundays.
I am at the end of a cycle of sermons in our congregation on the Gospel of Matthew chapter 16 - Denying oneself, taking up the cross, and following Christ. A few weeks ago, I was approached by a young woman who apparently was quite attentive in listening to my sermons. She has had many temptations to begin following after the world; but yesterday, she said that she wanted to become a disciple of Christ, be baptized, and to live for Jesus! I asked her if she understood that following Jesus would be accompanied by suffering, hatred, ridicule, and banishment (which is very likely given her current situation). She said that being with Jesus was all that truly matters and that He will help her. We praise God for that. We are grateful to God that her diligence and attention to the Word of God has grown significantly since then.
On Sunday, I will begin teaching a new course on “The Basics of Christian Faith.” I hope that this course will prepare our new sister and two others for baptism. We continue to pray for them, and we praise God for what He is doing in our midst. I also continue to counsel with a man named Nikolay. Unfortunately, he must work Sundays and cannot come to church. Nevertheless, he continues to be concerned about his spiritual growth. Please pray for these people in whom the Lord is working.
It has been difficult to balance my time between construction of the new church building and pastoral duties. A great part of my time and effort is taken by seeking construction materials at good prices, providing meals for the workers, and overseeing the construction. My desire and prayers are that the construction will be completed quickly, and I might once again dedicate my time to the work of a pastor-missionary. For now, we continue to work on the construction. We are thankful to God that, after fasting and prayer, He has helped us to find three specialists for roof construction. We ask you to please pray for their discipline and sobriety. Here it is extremely difficult to find workers who remain sober for the job. It seems as though everyone is an alcoholic. By God’s grace, the roof is now 50% completed.
Finally, I also would like for you to pray for me that I will not be more concerned about the construction and the building than about my need of personal fellowship with the Lord. Above all things, He wants our hearts to be dedicated to Him and fervently loving Him.
In my previous report, I mentioned my desire to go visit my father, with whom I have almost no relationship because he is a Muslim minister. After I became a Christian, he refused to have anything to do with me. Whenever I come to town, he feels very ashamed because my Christian faith discredits him as the Islamic imam. This is why we rarely touch upon spiritual subjects.
A few months ago, I caught myself thinking that I have never actually shared the full meaning of the gospel with him. From that moment, I had a great desire to see him and to share with him the full message of the gospel. Needless to say, it was a very intense trip, but I knew that it was necessary so that he might hear the good news and have a chance to repent.
Unfortunately, the trip did not turn out the way that I had hoped. My father did not want to hear anything I said, and he made it abundantly clear that he did not want me to visit him again. What can I do? It is all in God’s hands. Please pray for him.
I praise the Lord for what He is doing in the life of an old acquaintance of mine. This man called me at the end of last month and told me he became a Christian. About 13 years ago, we were both locked up in the same prison. For about 10 years after my conversion, I kept in touch with him, sharing the gospel with him and his family and praying for them. Now, all these years later, he told me that they have become believers! Furthermore, they want me to come visit them! The Word of God is true indeed and always does what God intends for it to do. It is very important for me that they become a part of a church with sound teaching. That is why I want to spend some time with them and admonish them to worship God in spirit and in truth. I thank God for His mercy.