Gospel moves as occupation continues in Georgia

By August 20, 2008

Russia (MNN) — NATO allies say regular contacts with Russia are impossible until its troops have completely withdrawn from Georgia. Reports indicate they were seriously considering the implications of Moscow's actions. French President Nicolas Sarkozy, currently in the chair of the EU, has promised "serious consequences" if Russia does not meet its promise to pull out its troops. U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice wanted "concrete measures" to punish Russia and insisted that the West must "deprive Russia of any strategic victory."

While political threats continue, many people in the region are asking many spiritual and non-spiritual questions. It's a time of uncertainty as thousands of refugees have flooded North Ossetia.

Lori Koch, Manager of International Programs for Faith Comes By Hearing (FCBH), knows where these people will find the answers. "I believe that all of the answers to every problem or crisis that we have can be found in God's Word and through His Son, Jesus. And that is what people learn when they are able to access the truth of the Gospel."

Faith Comes By Hearing is an audio Bible ministry. Koch says even though Russian literacy is high in the region, FCBH audio New Testaments will be very effective during this time. "Historically, under the former Soviet Union, literacy was very high, but it was primarily Russian that was taught in the schools. And since the break-up of the former Soviet Union there's been more of a nationalistic fervor to teach the national language — Georgian and Ossetia — in the schools."

While they read Russian, it may not be the best way to share the Gospel. Koch says, "Georgian and Ossetian are the languages of their heart — the languages they speak in their homes and the language they would pray to God in. So when we provide them the audio Bible in their heart language, that opens up the Word of God in a whole new way."

A Faith Comes By Hearing missionary would like to take audio Bibles back to Ossetia, and Koch says they need your help. "To provide a [digital] Proclaimer unit is $157.50. That provides the unit, the shipping, the customs duties, and the cost of the local transportation to get it in the hands of the churches."

"The churches will establish the listening program in their church, among the refugees. And in places where they can't publicly have a listening group, they would be able to have small listening groups in family situations," says Koch.

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