Russia (MNN) — The Nynsi of northern Russia are a nomadic people group–reindeer herders traveling from place to place. They number about 30,000, and they're the focus of a ministry out of the local church in Salehard, Russia.
Evangelist Peter Hudyi says the Nyansi people are also known for something else. "Jesus Christ came to this earth 2000 years ago, and the Nyansi people heard the Good News after 2,000 years. So it's kind of hard for us to imagine that we are one of the last to hear the Gospel."
MNN's Greg Yoder talked to Hudyi while he was in Arctic Russia. Hudyi was one of the first believers. He says, "I came to know Jesus Christ in 1995, and after two years I actually heard the calling of God. I was in the church, and I heard God say, 'You're called to minister amongst your people.'"
After answering that call, the Russian Ministries-supported Good News Church commissioned him, says Hudyi. "The congregation and the pastors prayed for me, and they blessed me to be the evangelist amongst the Nynsi population. So I'm an evangelist for the whole nation, actually."
Russian Ministries is helping Good New church by assisting in Christmas gifts, "Schools Without Walls," and other training which is helping Next Generation church leaders in Russia. Good News Church Pastor Anatoli Merechev is very involved in Hudyi's work. "The projects that they are doing are very helpful and are very useful in my ministry, because he realized his call is not only to work with the Russians but the native populations. So all of the projects are helpful and useful," says Hudyi.
However, he says the work is difficult. "It's hard to see the fruit or results right on the spot. It takes time to see lives changed, to see a person coming to Christ, to see how they changed their lifestyle."
Hudyi is asking people to pray because "we have to spend a lot of time traveling. You've experienced it yourself when we were getting to this place. [I can't do it alone], but I'm doing the discipleship and the evangelism."
According to Hudyi, not only do they need prayer, they need people. "You can ask the Lord to send the evangelists, to send the ministers from the Nyansi population. So pray for new ministers, new Christians, so that they would become ministers and committed Christians."
Funding is needed to help train these young church planters.