Russia (MNN) – At almost 7 million square miles, Russia is the largest country in the world, so you’d be forgiven if you didn’t know much about each of its many regions. One such region reaches from eastern Europe across the western stretch of Asia and touches the Pacific Ocean just north of China. This region is known as Far East Russia and is home to some of the coldest cities on the planet.
Far East Russia
For a comparison, Far East Russia is almost the size of the United States but has five percent of the population. Joshua Project classifies most of Far East Russia as unreached; the evangelical population is below two percent.
“God has raised up in these areas faithful churches who have a heart to bring the Gospel to these towns and villages. And, it’s kind of exciting to see what we’re working with are first-generation believers who have a passion for the Gospel,” Mock says.
“It’s really a modern New Testament church that we are seeing develop.”
Resourcing Local Believers
SGA is coming alongside these believers through its Reach Russia Now initiative in three stages.
“The first is what we call Antioch Initiative Training. That’s church-based training. Half the teachers are Russian speaking nationals from the schools that SGA supports. The other half are faithful pastors here in America who are experienced Bible teachers, where we send them to different regions,” Mock explains.
“The other portion [is] what we call these Gospel Missions. It’s simply putting gas in the tank and providing a few resources so youth groups and missionary pastors, and other volunteers from the Church, are able to go out to these unreached villages…then finally, to send missionary pastors out to these villages to form up a church.”
Churches in Far East Russia are involved with Orphans Reborn and Gospel Missions. In this forgotten area of the world, local Christians are ensuring orphans in the region know they are loved and that God has not forgotten them.
These believers are taking the Gospel where it hasn’t been before. In Yakutia, youth have worked with missionary pastors to reach at least 30 villages that previously had no access to the Gospel.
Mock says the youth and pastors would come to a village and find ways to start faith conversations. Youth return from these trips with testimonies of communicating the Gospel to people who have never heard of Jesus. These areas struggle with shamanism, alcoholism, domestic violence, drug use, and general hopelessness.
“Now we see people coming with the message of hope, the message of a one true God, and it’s just startling to the people there to think that there’s one God, and that hope comes through grace,” Mock says.
“They embrace this grace.”
Since it is only God who empowers people to tell of Christ’s sacrifice on the cross, please pray. Pray for believers in Far East Russia as they build the Church. Pray for the advancement of the Gospel in this region. And finally, pray for God to support and empower the work of these Christians in Far East Russia.
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Header photo courtesy of Slavic Gospel Association.