We have presidential elections coming up this Sunday for Ukraine. (I know, but it isn’t Easter here, Orthodox Easter is the following week.) We had elections already with some 29 candidate and because no one got a majority this is now the runoff between the two major contenders: a comedian, Zelensky, who received 30% of the vote and the incumbent president, Poroshenko, who received 16%. Needless to say we are uncertain about the ability of a comedian to run the country. Obviously he is a wealthy businessman etc but he has no political experience. Under Poroshenko we have had a lot of religious freedom and to be honest that is our main concern as believers. There are many issues involved. Too many to list here. As in many parts of the world people are disillusioned with politicians, understandably so. But to give the country over to a man with no experience and virtually no political platform sounds at best uncertain, at worst a fiasco. This week: Please pray that people will think clearly and not just respond to a face they see regularly doing satire about politics on TV. Pray that the good people in Ukraine will be motivated to go out and vote. Pray that God would hold this entire situation in His hands and bring about good for this nation.
EXPANDING THE "NEW LIFE FOR MEN’ (NLM) Ministry in Russia
Thank you for faithfully praying about our continued work in Russia. This part of the ministry
was begun in 2017 in Chelyabinsk & Rostov provinces. Then in 2018 it spread to the Krasnodar province and January 2019 NLM Workshops began in Saratov Province. Here is the first hand report we just received written by our faithful assistant, Roman Vercherkovsky. May it bless your soul!
With my NLM team of Artom and Gennady we went to conquer Russia; this time it was in the Volga region, Baptist Union churches in the Province of Saratov. Our journey took 23 hours there, same back, depending on how long customs take.
Saratov Province greeted us with snowdrifts and welcoming brothers. The contrast was palpable in temperature, since at our arrival in Saratov it was 0 Fahrenheit and at home in Ukraine 35 F.
We went to the city of Engels, a city of about 250,000 people. We were hospitably accommodated in the home of the church superintendent of Saratov province, Mikhail Antonov.
The NLM Workshop was held in the House of Prayer - the main church in the city of Engels.
It was attended by 60 men. Present were 13 pastors of 13 churches of the Baptist Union.
One brother even flew in especially by plane from faraway St. Petersburg where he works as a reporter on the Christian radio Teos.
Superintendent Mikhail Antonov spent the entire first day of the NLM Workshop with us. But that night he had an attack and he was taken to the hospital. There they found that he had kidney stones and needed treatment.
After the end of the NLM Workshops and before leaving home, we visited Mikhail with his brothers and wife at the hospital. In addition to fruit, they brought him Gospels for patients in the ward which he plans to give out to both patients and doctors.
An amazing incident occurred after the NLM Workshop. Brother Mikhail was already in the hospital. We came to his house and saw that his neighbor could not get into his house. First of all he was drunk and secondly the lock on the gate in the fence did not work outside.
We offered our help and he gladly accepted. Our lightest brother, Artom, had to stand on Roman’s shoulders in order to climb a 10 foot fence and open the gate from the inside. The owner was pleased. We offered to pray for him and asked for his need. It turned out that his name is Nikolai, 60 years old, that he had buried his wife two years ago already and lives alone. We prayed for him. We said that God is still alive and that there is hope that he will meet his wife in eternity. Then we asked if he had a Bible. He said he had one and he would like to know what the Bible says about the future state of each person. He said that he knew his neighbor Mikhail Antonov well and respected him. We suggested that he meet with Mikhail when he leaves the hospital to read the Bible, and he agreed. Glory to Christ for the day that God sent this Man of Peace to the superintendent’s house. Now when the superintendent returns from treatment, a man is already looking forward to reading the Bible with him. God does everything on time. Hallelujah.
Roman is Ukrainian but spent 17 years working in Russia, first as a pastor and then later taking a position as a provincial superintendent, God called him to return to Ukraine about 4 years ago--just before the war with Russia began. He lives in that war-torn area and is pastor of a church of 200 or so and active in evangelism in that area as well as influencing many pastors in eastern Ukraine.
We have long noticed the fact that all our NLM Workshops produce Born Again MEN and are accompanied by spiritual warfare. And this time was no exception:
1. On the second day of the NLM Workshops, the superintendent was hospitalized with an attack for the first time in all of his 47 years.
2. Team member Artom, having served us on this trip with his car, right after returning home the next day, had an accident and the car was damaged,but his wife and children in the car were not injured.
This means that the devil does not like the success of the NLM Workshops and he is trying to threaten its participants. But King Jesus has victory and everything is under His control.
The brothers attending the NLM Workshop were very worried about how to look for others who are ready to serve and how they could be mentors for such brothers in their churches.
Many heard for the first time about “New Testament Harvesting Evangelism” and agreed to pray for finding MEN of Peace.
The next NLM Workshop is on the topic “Finding a Man of Peace” and will be held on March 8-9.
March 8 is ‘Woman’s Day’ in Russia. The brothers got the idea to use the women's holiday to teach NT Harvesting Evangelism to their wives and bring their wives to that NLM Workshop.
They even asked us to prepare for the sisters a special condensed version of the NLM material on ‘Sowing Evangelism vs. Harvesting Evangelism’, and relating it to the evangelism of women to women.
The brothers were given homework. In each city, pastors were elected to be responsible for monitoring the implementation of NLM homework by the participants - 10 such brothers in total. They are called city coordinators.
Already on the 2nd day of the NLM Workshop, 41 participants confirmed the decision to pray for finding MEN of Peace and for meetings to study the Bible with MEN. Immediately after the end of the NLM Workshop 5 brothers had 8 MEN-of-Peace agree to read the Bible together. Hallelujah.
The brothers also began active correspondence in social networks about prayer for MEN of Peace and potential meetings with such MEN of Peace.
The news of the inspired brothers in their search for MEN of Peace sped to the brothers of the neighboring province. Alexander Russu, the superintendent in Voronesh province personally phoned and asked to hold all the NLM Workshops in their province also. So now we are ready to share there the first NLM workshop presenting the idea of NT Harvesting Evangelism on March 11, 2019 when we are returning home from the 2nd NLM Workshop in Saratov province.
Glory to our Savior for faithfulness to His Word that the fields have turned white and are ready for Harvest.
Yes, this ministry is expensive, a couple thousand every time Roman and his team travel because travel in Russia always means long distances, but God has the resources. Isn’t it wonderful how our Heavenly Father is using you in our home lands to produce fruit in such a harsh anti-Christian country? May your eternal crown be filled with diamonds.
Abe & Diane praying with you for the salvation of many!!!
Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.” Matt. 9:37-38 (ESV)