Monday, March 28, 2011

Three months of my stay in Yamal have already passed.

 Frankly, I can't believe it. This time flew by in several days. God taught me a lot, showed me new opportunities and arranged meetings with new people.

There were hard times but I always felt prayer support from Ukraine, Russia and the United States and I knew God would show the way out. God always did because He is faithful!

Please pray for:
- God would give spiritual and physical strength
- God would put on someone's heart to help me in ministry (perhaps, somebody from Ukraine)
- youth in Labytnangi, Salekhard and Kharp, their spiritual growth
- team unity

Two months in Yamal!

I still can't believe I am here! With every new day I see how great our God is, and I thank Him for the opportunity to be here.
Last week a boy Vova repented in Labytnangi.
On the youth meetings in Labytnangi come about 8-15 people. We have another meeting where the youth studies the Bible.
In Salekhard 20 young people come every Saturday.
In Kharp a new girl Marina came. She has many questions and a great desire to communicate with Christians as the youth "from the streets" dictates life principles which contradict her views.
There is also a young Muslim Eldaniz. As he says his religion tells him to cognize everything he can, that's why he wants to understand Christianity! He also asks many questions. Now I understand what I studied in the Christian University and the Seaside Missionary Training Center for! It would have been hard without that knowledge!!!
Igor (a young man I wrote in the previous blog) asked other guys to fast with him for one day, so that God would give him strength to change his life, repent and give up smoking. Today was his first day without cigarretts. Not long ago he and his wife began attending Bible study group.

Prayer requests:
- youth in Labytnangi, Salekhard and Kharp
- team unity
- spiritual growth of those who turn to God now
- my spiritual and physical health (I am sick).

Sunday, February 13, 2011

1 month in the North!
month passed by since I left Ukraine.
When I came I began to do many things: in Salekhard city I  work with
children at Sunday school, sing in the worship team,  help in the
youth ministry, drama ministry.
In another city Labytnangi I meet with the youth each Thursday.
In Kharp I meet with the youth each Friday.
God blesses me in this ministry. Young people who have never been to
church and don’t know God come to our services.
There are a few Christians here comparing to Ukraine!! Some Ukrainian
missionaries and missionary teams come for 2,3,4 weeks, but only a few
of them stay for longer. Local Christians are happy if someone comes
and visits them even for 2 weeks. But they need and desire to have
continual spiritual help.
I had one interesting  case in Kharp. This case showed me how serious
I should be regards my spiritual condition. In Yamal shamanism and
different occultic practices are very common. Families are often under
curses, which go from generation to generation.
Two weeks ago one man came to our gatheing and asked for help…(to be
continued in the next blog).


Sunday, January 30, 2011

I am on the End of the earth

I am at the End of the Earth

This is the translation of the name Yamal from Nenets language .
Since December 29 Yamal has become my home- it is a peninsula in the
North West  Russia. My trip was long(more than 3 days on a train), but
very joyful one ,because in Yaroslavl several brothes and sisters
joined me. They were going to Labytnangi, Yamal, to present Christmas
drama program for children and youth. We celebrated New Year on the
train and first week in Yamal we were together. These people were a
great blessing  for me. I could adapt very quickly.
Many people came for Christmas celebration in Labytnangi city.  Some
of them have never been in that church. One lady, who is a social
worker and works with poor families, invited  children of alcoholics.
I hope that God will give them opportunity to work with these families
This church has needs – more youth, and a leader, who would  work with
the youth. This is  what I want to do.
Labytnangi is not far from Salekhard. Salekhard is a city where I have
been live since January 8. The church there has given me a room to
live.  January 9 I led my first lesson at Sunday school. I liked it. I
want to continue this ministry. I want to do drama ministry in this
church and to involve some members of the church. I was pleasant to
find out that older church members want to participate in this
ministry, but they don’t know how to do this. I want to do this so I
pray that God would give me wisdom how to start and organize it right.
But I have some difficulties with this- not much resources (because
Internet is very expensive here), I don’t know people well and their
In most villages near Salekhard there are just a few Christians. For
example, In Kharp-  5 people(youth), in Yar- Sal - 5 (young girls)…
An interesting story happened with me in Labytnangi. I saw some Nenets
people (Yamal natives who live in Tundra) who came to the city to earn
some money by giving people a ride on deer. I decided to come up and
tell them about God and ask them what they believe in. I asked one
young lady: Do  you celebrate Christmas? - Yes, of course. - So, you
know that Jesus came to the earth… - Yes,I know, He is our Savior. -
So, are you Orthodox... - No, I am Baptist.
I wish you could see my face!! I was really shocked to meet Nenets
woman who is sister in Christ. Her name is Vera. She is 29, she has 3
children, she is married, but her hasband is not a Christian. Her
children are little, but they believe in God and pray each day even at
school though it is forbidden.
She is from the ethnic group - Vorkutinsky Nenetz. My pastor said
these people who live in this part of peninsula are more open to  the
Gospel than others.
The temperature here  -20, -25 Celsius. People say it is warm :) So I
am not cold.
People are kind here. I hope to do everything I can  do and glorify
God here in this cold and beautiful place which God created.
Please, pray:
-  God would open hearts for people to accept His Word,
- God's blessing on Sunday school
- He would show which ministries I should start now and which later
- God would bless me spiritually and physically (the climate change
influences me)
- unity amoung Labytnangi and Salekhard Christians, spiritual growth
of church goers.