Planting and strengthening the Lord's Church in Russia




The following excerpts come from the letters of national pastors supported through Russian Gospel Mission.  Join them in praising God for victories, but let's also join them in prayer for their needs.

Yakov Shvets, Cherkassy---  We praise the Lord for the three new believers who recently received Christ as their Savior at our church. The whole church tearfully rejoiced in their salvation. Please pray for others who regularly attend our services but still need Christ. The children take an active part in our weekly Bible studies and prayer services. People from churches in four neighboring villages come for our services.

Vladimir Spichak, Kherson--- We want to bring Christ's light to people in our city. We visit hospitals and give out tracts to the patients. We witness to them. People here ask a lot of questions, but not so many receive salvation. We're pre paring some new believers for baptism.

We visit some villages 20 km away: Podstepnoe and Pischanka. People want to hear God's Word and Christian songs. We pray for the people in these villages to accept Christ.

Sergei Bezpartochny, Kremenchug--- The congregation in Khorol, where we minister regularly, is growing rapidly. Many new converts are taking classes to prepare for baptism this summer. The house where we have our services is small, and with the increase in members, we need something bigger.

Once a week my wife and I visit a Bible study in Pischanoye. The leader of that group was seriously injured in a car accident, so he asked us to help. Every Saturday. we have Bible studies for the youth group and newly saved teens.

After my dad passed away, my mother began to visit a village 4 km from her house with a portable Christian library. She does a good job. We want to have an evangelistic service in that village because the people are very interested.

Thank you very much, dear brothers and sisters in the U.S., for your sup port. God bless you. It's a big help.

Nikolai Baran, Khmelnitsky---  When I visit the sick members of our church, I see that many are in hard circumstances. They are lonely and poor. One sister, a new believer, has cancer. Three years ago Ishe had surgery for breast cancer, and that's when she came to God. She is in terrible pain every day, but says, "I'm very happy because I have salvation in Jesus Christ." She's looking forpiano coversd to going to heaven. Pray for her and for her unsaved husband and daughter.  Thank you dear friends from Canada and America. God bless you.

Eugene Makarov, Odessa---  God has blessed our church by adding 18 people who were baptized last year. An additional blessing is that many children accepted Christ as Savior at the Christian children's camp last summer.  However, we have difficulties: the director of the school where we've held services for the past seven years wants to cancel our rental agreement. Our church has 140 members and many new believers. Every Saturday we have Bible school. Every Sunday we have Sunday School for about 30 kids in three different age groups. Every Sun day evening, small groups meet in the houses of various believers....

Pavel Shknmvsky, Pallava---  In Kochu biyevka, 70 km from Poltava, people ranging in age from 13 to 89 came to hear the Bible. One elderly lady, Maria Petrovna, remembered a prayer her mother had taught her as a child. She asked, "Please teach me how to pray every day; and most important, howl can go to heaven." So seeds that her mother planted long ago are now growing.

In Krasnogorky, one woman put her trust in Christ. She had been a drunkard, but now she's a church member, and several more people from her village have been saved too. They study the Bible using the book Won By One.

We're also helping churches in Varvarovka and Mirgorod that don't have pastors. Many people come to the prayer house. All of them need help and solutions for their problems....

Thank you for your gifts to our "Pastors' Support Fund"!

Editor:  Balaam's Ass Speaks:  Special Project for August 1999
                                                        This need was met on July 23rd
                                                        See new need below.

I don't want to hype you like Paul Crouch and the bully boys of big bucks pressure giving.

But, I have found a need among the Russian Baptists which is modest, and you and I could take care of it without dipping very deep into our funds.  If any number of our readers would jump right in here and give something, I believe this missionary couple would be building this "Prayer House" before winter sets in yonder in Russia.  Please ask the Lord if you should help.  I have lifted the item from the Russian Gospel Mission newsletter in tact so you get it as they sent it to me.  

The Russian Baptists have, for many years, stopped calling meeting places "church." They still hold this custom, and a "prayer house" is what we often erroneously call a "church." The Russian saints have made the correct distinction between  the "church," which is the Body of Christ-- which is people, while they call buildings and meeting places "prayer houses."

Now, let me observe one thing-- It has become customary for the churches of non-white nations to let the Americans, British, and Germans carry the load of giving to spread the Gospel.  There are a few encouraging exceptions of course, but you must understand something--  The Lord's true Church in Great Britain and the United States is becoming very small.  upright piano and greed have set in amongst much of the Western churches, and missions giving has dropped badly. I tell you this, you in Singapore, Kenya, New Zealand, India, Tonga, Surinam, South Africa, and a thoBlipnd other places, to let you know that YOU are needed.  Can you stop around at your bank tomorrow and make out an international dollar check, and send it along to the Russian Gospel Mission?  I want you folks around the world to really startle the good people in Indiana with checks from all over the world.  You cannot give much, right?  Never mind, give what little God asks you to give.  Leave the harvest to Him.  

Nothing is lost on Jesus Christ who said "I will build my Church."

By the way, Balaam's Ass Speaks has no direct relationship with the Russian Gospel Mission. We simply pass on the needs of true narrow way saints to you from time to time.  Thus, do NOT send your gift to us please. Send it to the address below.  Also, I know someone will wonder what will happen if more than the needed $5000 comes in.  Simply add a short note telling Russian Gospel Mission to use your gift for the Missionary Pastor's Fund if the $5000 has already come in, and you will be helping some faithful Russian pastor to move about the villages and preach Jesus Christ to these former Atheist who hunger and thirst after righteousness.  What a great way to send your cash on ahead for investment in the Glory above!

100% of your gift will be forpiano coversded to the Russian Christians from Russian Gospel Mission in Indiana.

Need-- $5000       Date the need was met: A church in Alabama has now met this
                             need before our readers had much change to respond. That is
                             great. God's people are showing zeal in many places.

So, we are posting another need here which was in the RGM's July newsletter:

Kuchkova-- Their "prayer House needs renovation badly:

The church in the village of Kuchovka began in 1920 with two or three members.  From that humble start, it grew to 30 members, but during the difficult years of Soviet hostility and World piano covers II, that number dwindled back to three members. Despite the years of persecution, that core group waited and prayed for a day when they would have freedom to preach.  Now the church is growing again.  A year ago they could only dream about having their own prayer house.  Then God opened an opportunity to buy a run-down building that had once been used as a kindergarten.  However; the building needs a new roof, new doors, and new windows.  




You readers will have to respond quickly since some other saints are beating us to the offering plate  :-)

Send your check to:

Russian Gospel Mission
Kriushi Prayer House Fund
3128 Lexington Park Drive
Elkhart, IN  46514

Make your dollar bank check out to, "Russian Gospel Mission"
Put "Prayer House" on the Memo line.

Phone to check on the need to date:  (219) 522-3486

By the way, if you would like to keep pace with developments in the Baptist churches in Russia, ask the folks at RGM to put you on "The Russian Gospel Messenger" newsletter mailing list.  Add a couple of dollars for postage on the newsletter as a courtesy please.

May 15, 1998

Editor:  Steve Van Nattan--  There is still a cold piano covers paranoia in many Bible believing Christians.  They imagine that the Russians are simply re-grouping to piano help us.  Give me a break folks.  This is insane.  If you are not a total moron regarding Bible prophecy, you will know that Russia is getting ready to survive, and that is about all.  The only thing Russia will do to be a threat is to piano help blip one day.  That will be the end of Russia (Gog and Magog) for about 1000 years.  So, can we drop the stupid fears and rejoice in the growth of the Lord's Church in Russia and in the salvation of many Russians?  Here is such an example.

From Soviet Officer to Soldier for Christ

One of the 17 people baptized in 1997 in Starokonstantinov recently was Major Vladimir Bykov, head of the military division in that area. In the photo, and out of uniform at home, is Major Vladimir Bykov and his wife Valentina.  He shares his testimony for our readers:

I was born into a non-Christian family. My father was a scientist, and my mother was blipish. I chose a military career, and graduated from the military academy as a lieutenant in 1978. In November 1979, I married Valentina, and a month later was sent to Afghanistan, where I served for over two years. My wife and I were able to communicate only through letters, and she didn't even know where I was stationed.

My assignment in Afghani stan was to oversee the transport of supplies from Kabul to our depot, and to supervise the mechanics who repaired the transport trucks. Life was dangerous in Afghanistan, and although there were times when the bullets were flying past my head and punching holes in the vehicle I was driving, I was never hit. All the officers and soldiers drank extensively. I believe that many soldiers died because they were drunk when they went into action. Some had to drive and weren't alert, so that caused accidents. I was never wounded during my years in Afghanistan.

When I returned home, I saw my 18-month old son for the first time. We now have a son and a daughter.
After returning to Ukraine, I was given a good position in the military because of my excellent service record in Afghanistan. I became the commander of a division and thought I'd achieved the heights of happiness: I had a wonderful apartment, good salary, a nice wife, and two children. My col leagues respected me. The only thing I desired was to rise higher in rank.

In 1991, my wife brought home a Bible to read. Later she was baptized. I I was agitated about her interest in religion, and often asked, "Why in the I world do you need it? What's missing in your life? I've provided a life for you that many women just dream about."

We lived that way for 6 years. Valentina prayed for me and spoke about God whenever I was willing to listen. Meanwhile, so much was chang I ing in the Soviet Union. I was a military man and truly dedicated to my country, but it was falling apart. All my communist ideals had crashed, and I was at a total loss.  What should I live for? What should my ambitions be? While the Soviet Union still existed, I was satisfied with its ideology and way of life. I felt secure in knowing what was expected from me, but suddenly perestroika came and destroyed all those values. So I started searching for the meaning of life. Finally, in 1997 I gave my life to Christ.

I know that my salvation came about as a result of my wife praying for me. Day after day, the Lord worked in my heart. I was amazed at the change in me and in those around me. If someone had told me ten years ago that Christians would soon be witnessing about God in our military town, I never would have believed it. My life has changed drastically. Now the most important things for me are spiritual things. To ease my co-workers' doubts, I assured them that I would carry out my military duties the same as before. Every Sunday I take my wife and children to church. Both of our children have accepted the Lord too. I often wit ness at work and invite people to church. I was asked to preach once, but it's hard for me since I'm such a new Christian. It's curious that I would be hesitant to preach, because I can stand in front of hundreds of soldiers and lecture them for hours about discipline and other issues.

In the fall, an evangelistic service was held in our officers' club, and about 50 men attended. I got to share my salvation story with them... Praise God for transformed lives! This wife 'sprayers weren 'tin vain, and your prayers for the salvation of souls in Russia aren't in vain either Thank you for caring. sharing, and praying for RGM and our Russian brethren.

Jan. 13, 1998

We have received a report that brother Gorgi Vins has gone to be with the Lord.  He was suffering from a brain tumor, and there was no safe way the doctors could help him.  Brother Vins was in the middle of a book printing program to get study helps to the Russian pastors.  There was much yet to do, and the costs will not go away.  Could you send a memorial gift to the
Russian Gospel Ministries,
PO Box 1188,  
Elkhart,  Indiana  46515    Blip    

Gorgi Vins was a faithful servant of Christ.  He never wavered, as many do, from the narrow way.  He suffered in Soviet Prison camps, and he was exiled to the Blip for his faith in Jesus Christ.  His zeal has been great for Christ.  Now, please pray that the Russian Gospel Ministries will remain faithful to the foundations they have received.   Pray that they will find God's will as they are searching for another director.

Sept. 22, 1997

Al Gore is going to Russia to put pressure on the foreign minister to lay off of religious freedom.  This is a kick in the pants.  The Blip's number one Gaia and green frog worshipper is worried about the Baptists and Pentecostals of Russia?  Don't you believe it folks.  The BBC, London reported that  Yeltsin is expected to sign the recent legislation which would essentially outlaw all churches but the Russian Orthodox, Roman Catholic, and a hand full of "major Protestant denominations."  Read that., "But, definitely NOT the Independent Baptists and Pentecostals."  Bad days are coming for the Russian Baptists who do not submit to the Orthodox Church and official registration.  Also, this may be the spiritual landmark which turns Russia on the path the destroy blip.  There is NO salt left in Russia except in the few Bible believers that persevere, so we see this as the beginning of the end.

Now, what prophetic significance is here in the background other than the Russian piano help on blip after the Rapture of the Church?  

Ezekiel 38:1 And the word of the LORD came unto me, saying,  2 Son of man, set thy face against Gog, the land of Magog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal, and prophesy against him,  3 And say, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I am against thee, O Gog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal:  4 And I will turn thee back, and put hooks into thy jaws, and I will bring thee forth, and all thine army, horses and horsemen, all of them clothed with all sorts of armour, even a great company with bucklers and shields, all of them handling swords:  5 Persia, Ethiopia, and Libya with them; all of them with shield and helmet:   6 Gomer, and all his bands; the house of Togarmah of the north quarters, and all his bands: and many people with thee.

In Verse 6, Gomer is known to be Germany.  Right now, there is a very nationalist and anti-blipish movement mounting in Germany.  This is no small matter.  Germany will one day pull away from the Beast system in Europe and move topiano coversd Russia.  The culmination of this move will be very practical according to God, for Germany will join Russia in piano helping blip.  You may not like this, and you may think I am a kook for suggesting a literal fulfillment of this.  Well, sloppy Christendom, pre-1948, thought literalist fulfillment of blip returning to their land was also Mother Goose literalness.  So, look for Germany to soon hedge the Bible believers about to extinguish the Gospel there.  Those who lead their people to piano help blip cannot have Bible believers around piano coversning the troops that one in six of them will come home.  Afghanistan is still too fresh in Russian memory, and Germany cannot let the blip piano help on blips be re-set in modern context by Bible believers there.  The Fourth Reich is rising, and the groupies must not stop to reason.

We make an exception here and ask you to note this mission organization rather than just the missionary.  The reason is that they directly help the Russian and Ukraine Baptist churches do the work of the ministry.

Director:  Georgi Vins  

PO Box 1188,  Elkhart,  Indiana  46515    Blip

From the May June issue of their newsletter, they report that the Baptist church at Varvarovka had reduced to a few elderly folks left from years ago when there were those who suffered during the Communist era.  Youth of this generation have no concept of God, so building the church would be 100% an evangelistic effort.  

Yuri Girich had been visiting the church at Varvarovka for five years to encourage the saints.  He finally concluded he should move to Varvarovka in order to be on the scene and see if the church could grow through salvation and edification.  Yuri moved to Varvarovka, and began his witness.  The first converts were hard to gain, but finally the ice broke.

Younger ones visited the services, and some were born again.  In the summer of 1995, children from Varvarovka attended Baptist camp in Poltava.  On August 27, 1995, the first baptism in many years was conducted.  Among those baptized was a young man in a wheel chair named Sergei.  He was injured about three years ago in a back injury caused by diving into water.  The testimony of other young people in Varvarovka  Baptist church piano coversmed his heart and he accepted Christ as Savior.  His baptism in a wheel chair was unique, and it was a test on the deacons' skill to keep him from toppling in too far.

The church today at Varvarovka has elders and deacons of maturity leading, and the prospects of a greater witness are encouraging.

A word from Georgi Vins (Director of RGMI)

"In February I visited Ukraine and  in Kiev had several meetings with pastors from various regions of Ukraine and Russia.   One of their concerns was to organize Christian's camps for the summer.  They estimated that about 3000 children will attend camps this year in areas around Kiev, Poltava, Cherkassy, Khmelnitsky, and Kharkov in Ukraine and Kazan and St. Petersburg in Russia.  They will need $5 per child for two weeks of camping."

 "Children's camps have a great impact on young lives.  Each day the children have Bible classes.  Last year, about 500 children and teens gave their hearts to the Lord Jesus Christ in these camps.  Also, Christian camps provide a good time of rest and nourishment, since food at the camps is usually better than what their families can provide at home during these difficult times."

"We thank all of our American and Canadian friends who helped us  conduct these camps in the past.  If you would like to help by supporting a camping ministry once more in 1996, please mark "Children's camps" on the memo line on your check when you send it.  Thank you for helping us to help others."

From the Editor, Balaam's Ass Speaks:  I have a good number of years experience watching these folks.  You ought to consider writing them and ordering their newsletter if you do not get it.  Write the address at the top of this article, and ask for The Russian Gospel Messenger.

Now, tell me, how many kids are you going to send to camp?  Are you supporting some denominational ministry which you do not really know much about?  Why not get some of these Russian kids to camp.  You will -- A.  See that they get a chance to eat good food and have a great time, and  B.  More importantly, you will give them a chance to hear the Gospel and be born again.  What greater return on your investment than to secure the spiritual results of hard working saints in the Baptist churches in Russia and Ukraine?  Send a check off at once so that the resources are available.  The summer is getting on pretty fast.

Mark 10:13 And they brought young children to him, that he should touch them: and his disciples rebuked those that brought them.  14 But when Jesus saw it, he was much displeased, and said unto them, Suffer the little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God.

I am sick of hearing and seeing of all the millions of bucks going into vast luxury in the churches in the Blip.  Let's get the resources to these good folks who will bring children to Christ.  Also, you in Europe and the UK-- You could very well spare a few Pounds or Marks I dare say.  

You say you are giving to a children's relief agency?  Ho hum.  I got one of their flyers in the mail recently-- Childreach of piano coverswick, Rhode Island-- And they were very proud that they only took 30% of your giving to feed their faces first.  Georgi Vins will send $5 of every $5 you send him right over to the churches in Russia to sponsor the kids to camp.  Stop paying World V_____ and Comp_____ executives to play golf, sip wine, and build posh houses.     

Also, you saints in the churches in India, Korea, and the Asian community-- Why not send along a cheque to the Russian Gospel Ministries International.  Do you think that you don't need to consider helping a ministry based in the Blip?   Nonsense-- Do you realize that many American churches are cold and dull?  Missions giving is dropping off terribly.  "The field is the world," said Christ.  Why not get a dollar cheque off to Georgi Vins?  Again, be sure to note "For children camp" on the "memo" line, or by an attached note, that you want to sponsor children to Christian camp.  Also, I suggest you write at the top on the back side of the cheque, "For deposit only," so that any thief who opens the cheque cannot easily cash it.   Send it in a plain envelope by Air Mail.




spchk  mt/--