Russia (MNN/BP) — Vladimir Kuznitsov's father was a village shama– a dealer in spirits and spells. His father died running from "the spirits" that ran his life. He too was plagued by these spirits until he gave his heart to Christ after watching the JESUS Film.
14 years later, Kuznitsov is the national JESUS film representative in Udmurtia for Campus Crusade for Christ and a passionate member of Resurrection Church.
The Southern Baptist International Mission Board will be remembering the the Udmurt (OOD-mert) people this year on the Day of Prayer and Fasting for World Evangelization May 27.
His team has shown the JESUS film in about 500 of the 2,000 towns and villages in Udmurtia. They fully intend to reach the rest.
"The guy is a walking evangelism machine," says International Mission Board missionary Tim Wicker. "Whenever he's out with us, we're constantly waiting on him because somebody walked by who he just couldn't resist talking to."
Once while driving late at night, Wicker and Kuznitsov were pulled over at a police checkpoint. Kuznitsov got out and began talking to the Udmurt policeman. Soon he returned to the car, reached into the glove compartment, and pulled out a New Testament and tract to give to the policeman. When he came back, Wicker asked why they had been stopped.
"We never got around to that," Kuznitsov said, grinning as they drove away.
He prays for the day when evangelical believers grasp what it will take to reach all Udmurtia with the Gospel. He knows it won't be easy.
"There's a spiritual battle going on everywhere," he asserts. "So I don't live by my feelings. I live by the Word of God. Inside of me God lives, and He is victorious."
To order a DVD and other free resources related to the Udmurt people of Russia, visit ime.imb.org/dayofprayer or call 1-800-999-3113.