USA (MNN) — It's been 20 years since Russian Ministries established its work in the former Soviet Union. Started by Peter Deyneka, Russian Ministries focused on supporting church leaders in the former Soviet Union. Today, it's a thriving ministry with goals for the future.
Sergey Rakhuba, the newest President of Russian Ministries, was in Moscow, Russia when the walls fell. "Russian Ministries was started 20 years ago, in the same year the Soviet Union collapsed. I remember when that red flag was taken down. I was standing in Red Square, and I couldn't believe my eyes. I was raised in the former Soviet Union — I knew how powerful that Soviet empire was."
Rakhuba says the focus of Russian Ministries will always be on helping local evangelical churches — "helping them to build churches, train pastors, reach out to orphans, and equipping them with all kinds of innovative ministries. In the last 20 years, 1,000 churches were started with the help of Russian Ministries."
There were a lot of unknowns 20 years ago. Rakhuba says, "20 years ago, we didn't know about homeless kids. Today, millions of them are roaming the streets of Russia. 20 years ago, we didn't know HIV/AIDS would make its way into Russian society. Drugs and alcoholism and other immoral issues have flooded to Russia as well."
So Russian Ministries has taken action. "We are working to enable the evangelical church to be a light in society so that the Next Generation leaders will continue reaching, on behalf of their churches, bringing this transforming change into their communities."
Russian Ministries is still focused on "planted churches, growing churches, to continue reaching into contemporary society with the Gospel. And the results are great."
While celebrating is important, Russian Ministries doesn't want to do it alone. They want to celebrate by making a difference. First, they're offering a free copy of the devotional, "The Art of Loving God" by Julie Akerman Link.
We all say that we love God, but do we really understand what it means to love Him? Learning to love God begins with understanding His love for us. When we contemplate His desires for us, His thoughts toward us, and what He has done to save us, the only possible response is overwhelming love. "The Art of Loving God" is a book you'll want to share with family and friends.
Secondly, Russian Ministries is offering a free DVD about their Next Generation leadership in action. "This is a fascinating story of how God is working through summer camps, [enabling] Next Generation leaders to go out into villages and communities and organize summer camps. Through children, God transforms families, society, community and so on."