Russia (MNN) — If the Russian province of Siberia was a country, it would be the largest country in the world. Siberia boasts five million square miles and claims roughly three-quarters of Russia’s landmass.
However, only about a quarter of Russia’s population lives in Siberia, and many Siberian residents live in difficult-to-reach areas.
Tim* with Global Disciples recently visited Siberia and says, “It’s really difficult to get around in Siberia. Plus, it’s often very cold. The day that we were there and actually the day we were leaving, it was supposed to get to minus 40 degrees Fahrenheit.
“Their joke is that even Satan doesn’t go outside when it’s that cold.”
Even so, the Prince of Darkness does hold sway over much of Siberia and the rest of Russia. The Joshua Project estimates there are over 15 million unreached Russian people, and only 1.46 percent of the population is Evangelical Christian.
One group of Christians in Siberia is forging into unreached territory with the Gospel — not by land, but by water.
“Some of the places that are so difficult to reach, the churches have bought small boats and they take them up the rivers to reach these remote areas where there are no churches, there are no witnesses, and it’s there that they do outreach.”
One of the churches with these floating ministry hubs goes by the name ‘938.’ Tim was intrigued and asked what it means.
“They said that it is named after Matthew 9:38, which says, ‘Ask the Lord’ or ‘Pray to the Lord of the harvest to send out workers into his harvest field.’”
The meaning doesn’t stop there. “Every morning at 9:38 am, the members of this church gather and they spend time praying that God would send workers into the harvest field.”
Global Disciples trains denominational leaders in Siberia to make disciples for Christ. Their hope is that these churches would then send their discipled members to go make more disciples in an expanding Gospel movement.
“That’s actually what we are starting to see. We’re seeing people being sent, people serving the Lord,…and they’re taking the Gospel message.”
Tim says their biggest need right now from the global Body of Christ is prayer.
“We want people to pray that God would raise up leaders and church planters who would go into these remote areas with the Gospel where the Gospel hasn’t been or where there’s little witness at all. So if people would pray with us for that — that we would be able to do trainings and send more workers into the harvest — that’s what we would appreciate.”
*Last name withheld for security purposes.
Header photo courtesy of Simon Matzinger via Pixabay.