“ ... And having confessed that they were strangers and exiles on the earth. For those who say such things make it clear that they are seeking a country of their own. And indeed if they had been thinking of that country from which they went out, they would have had opportunity to return. But as it is, they desire a better country, that is a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God; for He has prepared a city for them.” Hebrews 11:13b-16 (NASB)
Together with our brothers and sisters in Russia, we confess with the saints of old that we too are strangers and exiles on earth. This reality becomes even more evident with the political unrest and efforts being made to stifle the worship of God all around the world. Over the past few months, we have seen the tension between Russia and the U.S. increase. The president of Kazakhstan has negated all of the country’s religious freedom, and the authorities in Belarus are actively throwing some pastors in jail and requiring their churches to pay fines. Yet in all this, the missionaries’ attitudes remain the same – “Should we expect anything less? We are strangers and exiles here, for this is not our home!” As a result, the work of the gospel advances forward, and our relationships with the missionaries continue to prove fruitful.
The missionaries in Siberia are experiencing new life, both physically and spiritually. Two of the families in the Irkutsk region are expecting babies this summer: Brother Vsevolod and his wife Mary are expecting their third child, while Brother Maxim and his wife Vera their first. Please be praying for these families as they embrace the joys and challenges that are soon to follow. Also, we rejoice with the church in Nizhnevartovsk as they are seeing an awakening in their fellowship! You can read the details of this in Brother Vladimir’s most recent report, which has been included in the following articles.
I invite you to join these men and their families in the work that God has called them to. Though you may not be able to go physically and help in person, please join with us in praying earnestly for them.