Ingushetia president survives assassination attempt, outreach continues

By June 26, 2009

Russia (MNN) — Russia's attempts to control its northern Caucasus was dealt a blow this week when the president of Ingushetia was critically injured in an assassination attempt. Ingushetia is located just north of the Republic of Georgia. President Yunus-Bek Yevkurov was badly hurt when a suicide bomber detonated a car packed with explosives as the president's convoy drove past.

This underscores the growing unrest in the region.

Vice President for Russian Ministries Sergey Rakhuba just returned from Vladikavkaz in the Northern Caucasus. He helped dedicate their newly completed church, which also will serve as a ministry center to the entire region.

The Russian Ministries ministry center in Vladikavkaz is an outpost for Christian ministry today, reaching out to Ingushetia, Chechnya, South Ossetia and other areas with the Gospel of Christ.

Rakhuba says heavy army equipment such as tanks, staff carriers and other armored vehicles were a regular part of the landscape. "These vehicles are a common sight after the war in South Ossetia, the terrorist attack in Beslan, and the rising unrest in Ingushetia," Rakhuba reports.

However, Rukhuba says despite the insecurity, Russian Ministries is still reaching out in the region because nationals are doing the work. "They understand all the cross-cultural differences between Christianity and Islam, between Ingushetian and Northern Ossetians, or Russians. They do a really great job."

Since nationals know the culture, Rakhuba says all they need is "discipleship, mentoring, [and] resources. They need to get training. They are so eager to go and bring the Gospel to all the difficult areas."

In the midst of turbulence, Rakhuba says that Russian Ministries' young Next Generation Christian leaders from the ministry center in Vladikavkaz, North Ossetia are sharing the hope and peace of the Gospel. "Throughout the year, School Without Walls students from Vladikavkaz have been involved in humanitarian projects in Ingushetia, including distributing Backpacks of Blessing. These projects are part of the students' practical ministry training," he continued.

Rakhuba says as a result of these humanitarian aid projects, small-group Bible studies are being organized in homes in Ingushetia. These small groups will eventually form the basis of church plants in this Muslim dominated region.

These leaders are also reaching out to kids, says Rakhuba. "They offer summer camps for Muslim kids, for orphans of war, or for poor families. They bring humanitarian aid. They bring outreach programs for Christmas and for Easter."

Rakhuba says as he watched the news about the assassination attempt, "I immediately thought of all of our dedicated workers there, knowing that this event would have significant implications for weeks and possibly months to come."

Will it have an impact on their summer camping ministry? "The plans are still underway," says Rakhuba. "Young people are all ready to go. I don't think this will stop them. The only thing we're praying is that their lives will not be threatened. There's a huge risk, but they will go if they have enough resources."

Funding is needed to help support the camping ministry, Schools Without Walls training, Christian resource materials, humanitarian aid and travel expenses.

$100 will allow multiple children to attend summer camp this summer. Click here to give safely and securely to Russian Ministries' work in the region.

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