Russia (MNN) – It’s been just under a year since Russia’s president, Vladimir Putin, signed the Anti-Terrorism act into law. The Anti-Terrorism law, which has also been coined the Anti-Missionary law, has the ability to greatly restrict evangelism, depending on how local law enforcement interprets it.
God’s Still at Work
However, God isn’t restricted by man’s law, not even in Russia. Despite the law, the Slavic Gospel Association has a raging fire burning for reaching the Russian people, both in Europe and Asia.
“Our president, Doctor Bob Provost, recently had open heart surgery. Forgive the illusion, but the Lord really did lay on his heart, there with his recovery from heart surgery, an incredible vision for what God could do and what God wants to do in the far east region of Russia,” SGA’s Bret Laird explains.
“Now the far east region of Russia is the most remote part of Russia. This area of Russia is about the same size as the United States and so as he was laying there, recovering from heart surgery, praying and asking the Lord what he wanted us to do in this crucial time in the history of Russia. The Lord let him to the Reach Russia Now initiative.”
Giving a snapshot of what this initiative is about, Laird says,
“Many of these villages and towns are reachable only by airplane, and that makes it difficult to get the Gospel to these folks [in far east Russia]. And so, the Lord has marvelously provided a partner organization called, Kingdom Air Corps, based out of Alaska that has already, for many years, been training Russian pilots.”
Many airplanes have also already been provided to help reach these people.
“And so the vision is that we eventually are, our goal is to have twelve airplanes, twelve missionary pilots, and then twelve missionary church planters that are going to take the Gospel to all of these isolated villages as well as some more sizeable cities in the ten-thousand range, throughout that region,” Laird shares.
Far east Russia only has about 62 Bible believing churches. In comparison to the US, that wouldn’t even be two churches per state. Needless to say, it’s incredibly difficult for the average person in this area to hear God’s word.
However, SGA is inviting others to join them in the Reach Russia Now initiative.
“The number one thing we’re praying for is, we’re trying to raise support for those missionary pilots and those missionary church planters. We’re talking again, twelve missionary pilots, twelve missionary church planters and then a coordinator for the whole project, so twenty-five men who we’re seeking support for.”
Any amount, whether a couple of bucks each month a simple one-time donation, is welcomed and helps SGA in reaching Russia now.
Not too long ago, Laird was able to visit the far east Russia and see the progress being made with the Reach Russia Now initiative. He says, between the planes and seeing the men already involved, God has already gotten this initiative off to a great start. But something else the ministry needs is prayer partners.
“We really need prayer partners who will bathe this thing in prayer. As you can imagine, there’s a lot of different ways in which the enemy of souls can seek to thwart this, the Gospel from getting to these people,” Laird asks.
A Powerful Experience
One of the most impactful experiences Laird had while in far east Russia was while visiting a missionary church planter and meeting his adopted daughter.
“Sonya, eight-years-old, and just a happy little girl, bright and cheerful…and her story is that when she was an infant, she was found abandoned on a desolate country road, left out in the elements, expose and dying,” Laird explains.
“But just in the providence of God, a Russian policeman happened to be driving down that road and saw her…took her to the hospital and they were able to save her life…she’s a beautiful, marvelous example of God’s goodness and grace.”
For Laird, through meeting Sonya and hearing her story, he says his heart was drawn to so many others who need the Gospel.
“We just want to do everything we can, while we can, to take the hope of the Gospel to them and the love of Christ to them,” Laird shares.
To give to the Reach Russia Now initiative, click here!