Russia (MNN) — We’ve been asking you to pray alongside the Russian Church and ministry outreach as we come to realize the impact of the anti-terrorism law on their ability to work.
We met with Susan Perlman at the Missio Nexus Leadership Conference. She is the Associate Executive Director at Jews for Jesus. This ministry has a branch in Russia.
She says, “When Putin put this forth, we were very of course interested to see how it would be applied to those of us who would do direct evangelism.
“Jews for Jesus has a branch in Moscow and we distribute literature on street corners, we talk to interested seekers, we arrange for meetings and have visits with them afterwards, and we see many come to know the Lord.”
When the law was passed, Jews For Jesus sought legal counsel which provided missionaries in Russia with a letter to carry with them in case they were confronted by authorities. But so far, Jews for Jesus has been left alone.
“So far, we are really grateful. We have a lot of people praying of course, for this time that it would be a fruitful outreach and also that this law would not impede us from doing what the Lord wants us to do.”
In fact, they recently held a campaign where they saw many people come to know Jesus.
“We’ve had the opportunity to hand out over 157,000 Gospel tracks with no intervention by the police or the authorities. We’ve seen ten Jewish people and 27 Gentile Russians accept the Lord.”
In addition, they were able to follow up conversations with 45 personal visits and about 1,100 phone calls for those who wanted to know more.
The campaign was followed up with a Rally at the Central Baptist Church in Moscow through which Jews for Jesus is hoping more will come to know Jesus.
So the question is, while other ministries have already experienced difficulties with this law, why has Jews for Jesus been able to operate normally?
Perlman has an idea that it has something to do with their mobility: “We just go about what we do and we do it, I think, in a sensitive way. We don’t talk to people who don’t want to talk to us. We wear very distinct clothing that says, ‘Jews for Jesus’ in Russian on it, so people know what they’re getting if they’re interested to know more.”
And here’s another thought: Judaism is better accepted in Russia than Christianity. Many people who see their name will stop at “Jews” and never make the connection to Jesus. This could mean they may have a unique opportunity to share the Gospel.
Here’s how you can pray:
“Pray number one that we continue to have this openness to share the Gospel boldly and sensitively on the street,” asks Perlman.
“Secondly, that many who receive the literature we’ve prepared and talk to the missionaries will have their hearts touched and be moved by the Spirit of God to come.”