Belarusian President clears last hurdle in election, Christians will press on

By March 24, 2006

Belarus (MNN) — The opposition in Belarus challenged President Alexander Lukashenko’s re-election, saying authorities had “raped the minds” of voters, but officials dismissed their complaints this week and endorsed the results. They did that despite the jailing of opposition leaders and state sponsored propaganda in the run up to the election.

Bible Mission International Paul Hagelgans just returned from Belarus. “I grew up during the communist time in the former Soviet Union. It reminds me exactly what I experienced when I was growing up.” Hagelgans says the people weren’t given a choice during the election. However, Christians are more concerned about seeing people turn to Christ.

While Belarus has restricted churches from working outside the church walls, Hagelgans outlines how they will continue their work. “Personal evangelism, home Bible study fellowship, house to house evangelism outreach, church planting — it won’t be big campaign.”

Bible Mission has trained 3,000 Christians in Belarus in all of these areas. Hagelgans says is confident the church will grow, just as it has in places like China. “We see how Christianity is growing there. We probably have the same situation, or close, in Belarus. I see a lot of opportunity if every believer will be faithful to God and to share their testimony to others.”

While Hagelgons is concerned about Belarus, Bible Mission will continue their work. “We grew in Communist time, where I grew up, and we always have these matters. Be creative and find different ways of how to do this.”

Funding need abound for their training program. Hagelgons says it costs $20 per month for training missionaries to do, “Evangelism, Bible study fellowship, personal evangelism, witnessing, preaching, children’s ministry, youth ministry and probably pastors, it’s basic Biblical and practical training.”

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