Russia (MNN) — Russia has seen record COVID-19 cases and deaths in recent weeks, reaching nearly 1,000 deaths per day.
Eric Mock with the Slavic Gospel Association recently traveled to Russia. “The infection rate and the death rate in Russia is, as I understand it, the highest for Europe, and it is currently very high in regards to the whole world. Part of the reason is a low vaccination rate. The government references it as being between 30 and 35 percent. But some of the locals think it’s a little less.”
Russia created its own vaccine, named Sputnik V. The vaccine has been used widely in Russia and in over 70 other countries as well. The World Health Organization, however, has not yet approved it officially.
Many Russians seem no more eager to use Sputnik V than more effective Western versions. Some Russians even believe the vaccine will give them defects or drastically shorten their lifespans, despite mounting evidence that the vaccine is safe to use.
Ministry from local churches
As the pandemic continues, Mock says more people are reaching out to local churches than ever before. “They would have never reached out to a church before. They would have never asked for help before. And people are coming to faith. We’re working with about 800 churches right now, helping them perform this compassion ministry. It’s just amazing what they’re doing in these churches to reach out to people in need with the Gospel and groceries.”
Ask God to bless these churches. Mock says, “In the middle of this pandemic, which is definitely just having a brutal effect on society as we know it, God is at work doing amazing things.”
Consider supporting this ministry through SGA. You can donate here.
The header photo shows a Russian SGA partner visiting a family. (Photo courtesy of the Slavic Gospel Association)