Russia (MNN) — Last week's car bomb in Vladikavkaz, Russia is doing little to stop the work of one church in the region.
The bombing in North Ossetia killed 17 people and wounded up to 130. This most-recent incident came as the nation remembered and mourned the 2004 Beslan school tragedy, which also took place in the same region of North Ossetia, and also in September.
In that incident, more than 330 people were killed including 186 children. Islamic separatist militants from the North Caucasus are believed to be responsible for both incidents.
President of Slavic Gospel Association Bob Provost says, "Even the midst of such tragedy and bloodshed, our faithful God and Father is working through His people to heal wounds and change lives through the unstoppable power of the Gospel."
The families of Russian pastors Sergei and Taimuraz Totiev both lost children in Beslan but since that time have been working tirelessly to proclaim the peace of Christ, which surpasses all comprehension (Philippians 4:7).
According to Sergei Totiev, the Beslan Baptist Church is planning what they call a "spiritual prevention ministry" in 20 North Ossetian schools this October. They will be teaching children about the dangers of being caught up in drug and alcohol abuse. Sergei also hopes that this will open the door to Christmas outreaches in the schools and local orphanages. Provost says, "Hearts that have been changed and won to Christ will turn deaf ears to the lure of the terrorists."
Provost is asking Christians to pray for the people of North Ossetia. Although they haven't had to face the constant violence as have other North Caucasus regions with larger Muslim populations, they have had to deal with so-called "targeted attacks" such as the Beslan and Vladikavkaz incidents. The militants of the region reportedly want to establish a "Caucasus Emirate" and have been fighting for independence from Russia for years.
The same market in Vladikavkaz had been bombed in 1999, 2001 and 2004.
Pray for the Totiev families and local churches as they lift up the name of Christ in this troubled region.