Russia (MNN) — In the late 1980s and early 1990s, a door opened for the Gospel in the former Soviet Union. What the Slavic Gospel Association found was a national church built on the foundation of martyrs.
“SGA exists to serve the churches of the former Soviet Union. We are serving Christians whose fathers and grandfathers were persecuted for many years, during the years under communism,” President of SGA, Michael Johnson, says.
“When the country opened up back in the early 90s, freedom came to the countries and it exists in varying stages in the different countries.”
Freedom for Partnership
This freedom opened opportunities for partnership. Partnership was the theme at this year’s Missio Nexus, a conference where mission agencies and churches connect. However, partnership is nothing new for SGA. It is in the organization’s DNA.
“For us, partnership with those churches is our commitment to serve them. So, we serve them in their efforts to train their pastors and leaders in sound theology. We serve them by finding sponsors here in the United States, who are willing to sponsor national church planting missionaries or Russian church planting missionaries. [These missionaries] are being sent out into previously unreached towns and villages to plant new churches,” Johnson explains.
Through SGA, Western Christians have an opportunity to sponsor their brothers and sisters in the former Soviet Union. These sponsorships mean supporting orphan ministries, camp ministries, and humanitarian aid, all while building relationships with the Church in the former Soviet Union.
In return, Western Christians not only get to play a part in sharing the Gospel in Russia, Central Asia, Ukraine, and more, but they are able to hear the testimonies of people impacted by the local church’s work. These stories reach beyond changing someone’s physical situation, they are stories of an eternity found in Christ.
“God has blessed the work over there and God continues to build His church over there. The economy is…bad over there. We just have so many opportunities to invest in a work that is taking place among people who are really committed to planting churches and seeing their nations won to Christ,” Johnson says.
Johnson says that in a lot of ways, SGA is a conduit for the Church to invest in the ministries of the national churches in the former Soviet Union. Take the opportunities this ministry presents to be a part of the global Church without having to move to a different country. You can start by praying.
Pray for the churches in the former Soviet Union. Ask God to give them perseverance, creativity, and the funds for ministry. Pray hearts would be open to the Gospel.
Would you also consider partnering with churches in the former Soviet Union, too? Together, we can fulfill the Great Commission.