USA (MNN) — Crews have already begun building the inauguration stage, even though the U.S. inauguration is more than a month away.
President-elect Donald Trump is getting ready for his big moment, but there are questions surfacing about what an administration change could mean for Ukraine and Russia.
With the two countries at war, Ukraine had the support of the Obama Administration, which is why Mr. Trump’s friendly overtures with Russian President Vladimir Putin have been unnerving. At first blush, Mission Eurasia’s Wally Kulakoff said, “[SIC} We have two individuals who probably understand each other because they want to look strong, but are they a marshmallow inside or not? We don’t know. I think we’ll have to wait and see what will happen.”
A new American administration always means change, and because of what’s at stake, this is one of particular global concern. Kulakoff found this to be true during his recent travels. He was in Azerbaijan at the time of the election and the believers he was with offered a unique perspective on a Trump presidency.
“I saw the jubilant expressions on the faces of Azeris (that Trump was elected), and then when we were in Kyrgyzstan, I was stunned that the Kyrgyz people, they knew who Trump was, and all of a sudden, they looked at me and they said, ‘God has given the American churches a second chance!’”
One of the key points in this presidential campaign was the issue of refugees and national security. Fear of terrorism led to a call to restrict the flow of asylum seekers. Unfortunately, that also meant that it seemed like America had turned its back on the world. The lackluster response from the average American congregation was disappointing. Kulakoff says this is why Christians in the North Caucasus were jubilant about another chance. With Mission Eurasia, the opportunity to support national work is under-utilized.
“God is preparing the country today in the USA to impact the world globally, I think, from what we’re doing like Gifts of Hope, [and] in training through the School Without Walls. We are empowering nationals to do kingdom work.” For example, their work reaches people from “Russia to Ukraine, Central Asia, Azerbaijan, and then also, the Caucuses, and the unreached people groups from Chechnya, Dagestan, and Ingushetia.”
Getting behind the national Church is especially important today as Russia enforces recent anti-terrorism laws. These laws have severely restricted certain kinds of Gospel work. Kulakoff describes it this way: “Can you imagine a country where they have Communists without Communism, Socialists without Socialism, they have Muslims without Islam, they have Christianity without Christians, and they have Orthodox believers without Orthodoxy?”
Basically, he says, Russia is trying to create an individual that can be controlled by the government. As freedom constricts, many are fleeing the country. Some make their way to North America, which is providing American churches with a whole new mission field. “God is allowing individuals to have their own mind, to have their own churches, and allowing the churches in America to impact immigrants coming into the country; in other words, to accept them.”
The term “inauguration” stems from the late Latin inauguratio –– which means “consecration” — something or someone set aside for a sacred purpose. Looking at it the way the Azeri and Kyrgyz believers do, this is the opportunity of a lifetime for the Body of Christ in America to be the hands and feet of Christ to the outcast.