We have recently added another missionary in Russia! Arseniy R. and his young family live in St. Petersburg – the famous Russian city of about ten million people. He graduated from the Samara Center for Biblical Training (SCBT) in 2010; soon after, he returned to St. Petersburg – where he was raised – and began leading a Bible study and longing for the Lord to raise up a solid church.
After some time, the Lord grew their number, and they sent a request to Samara for help in establishing them as a church. This is when Samara sent Alexey P. (also supported by HeartCry) to help with the new church plant. By God’s grace, the church has deepened and grown.
Arseniy has been fulfilling the role of a co-pastor from the beginning while at the same time working in construction to support his family. Eventually, the church came to a point where Arseniy was needed full-time, but they were not yet at a place where they could fully support him. For this reason, at the request of Alexey and with the oversight of SCBT, HeartCry has begun to support Arseniy. We rejoice at the work being done in St. Petersburg and praise the Lord for His kindness toward the church there. Pray that they might continue to thrive and remain humble before the Lord.
Arseniy’s Testimony of Conversion
By the mercy of God, I was born into a Christian family in Saint Petersburg, Russia. Since my childhood, I have had the privilege of hearing the Gospel and being part of a local church. From an early age, I sang in a children’s choir, went to Sunday school, and attended services with my parents, where I observed their lives and the lives of other believers.
In 2003, while I was at a summer youth camp, I repented and made a conscious decision to follow the Lord. I was fifteen years old. Looking back, I am sure that it was that very day when the Lord changed my heart and saved me. That fall, I was baptized, and I started actively serving in the church. However, the true realization of my need for spiritual growth came to me later, when I started “Level 1” training at the Samara Center for Biblical Training.
Through systematic teaching of the Scriptures, the instructors showed that the truths of God’s Word should stand as the foundation for any and all ministry efforts and desires. With the help of these ministers, the Lord caused me to realize that my life should be Christ-centered and completely based on His Word! The impact that the training in Samara had on me can to some degree be likened to my repentance at the age of fifteen, for on both occasions, the Lord changed my life significantly.
The Lord once again greatly impacted my life when He allowed me to spend nine weeks in the hospital with a life-threatening illness. Parts of my lungs died and left scar tissue as a result of the illness. Despite the pain that I continue to have in my lungs, I can say that this illness is a true blessing for my family and me! God was and is refining and admonishing me in the midst of these sufferings and causing me to reconsider my entire life.
By God’s grace, I am still alive (though to be with Him as soon as possible is the dream of every Christian), and now I know clearly that I want to commit my whole life in service to Him and the building of His Church. I do not know how much time the Lord has prepared for me to be on this planet, but my wife and I want to spend whatever time we have in worship and service to Him. And when our time to leave this earth does come, we long to hear: “Well done, good and faithful servant! Come and share your Master’s happiness!”
The Lord, by His grace, has started a new church in Saint Petersburg. He has given me a great opportunity to take part in building it upon His principles, so that His Word might ultimately have great influence both in the lives of the believers and unbelievers whom He entrusts to us and in the other churches in Saint Petersburg.