A massive effort to support and encourage church planters and pastors in Russia is approaching its final months. Teams of pastors, evangelists, church workers and various support staff set out in December for an eight-month evangelism campaign to spread the Gospel to the far-reaching corners of Russia and assist church planters and pastors in Russia, and have thus far received favorable reports.
The effort, called Gospel Expedition 2004, was spearheaded by the Slavic Gospel Association (SGA), an international ministry that helps Bible-preaching churches in the lands of Russia. Mission spokesman Tom McAdam says response to the project and the volunteers involved has been overwhelming. “Reports have gotten back that they are being very favorably received,” he says.
Gospel Expedition 2004 includes rotating teams of volunteer church planters who visit and offer support to Russian church leaders. McAdam says this is the first time many evangelical pastors in Russia have had fellow Christians visit to help them expand their ministry efforts. Even after more than a decade of freedom, there is still a shortage of Russian-language Bibles, Christian literature and other training materials. Expedition volunteers are helping to distribute the Christian resources while praying and encouraging Russian believers. Gospel Expedition 2004 is the largest outreach to Russian pastors and church planters in the history of the ministry.
One ministry participating in the Expedition is EvangeCube. Evangecube has reported that EvangeCube trainers have been on every leg of the 175-city campaign.
EvangeCube Trainer and Global Missions Fellowship staffer Murat Ravilov recently returned from his leg conducting 12 seminars and training 484 people in just two weeks. In an excerpt from his online journal, during his leg of the trip, he recorded a special testimony given by one of his co-workers.
“At the beginning of our trip we discovered that the train tickets for the group were bought for different compartments. We took this as a wonderful opportunity to preach the Gospel. Alexey Kroshin shared a special testimony. A lady with two children was traveling in the same compartment with him. When he tried to start talking about God the lady immediately refused to discuss it. In a while Alexey offered her children to look at the EvangeCube. Not only the children but also the lady herself was listening about Jesus Christ with great attention. The conversation started and they were able to talk about God with an open heart. EvangeCube has helped to break the ice of alienation and made the Good News easy to understand. Praise the Lord!”
Since January 2000, 1.5 million believers have been equipped using the EvangeCube. Over the next seven years, EvangeCube will focus on deploying materials and training to 100 members of 1,000 churches in 100 countries within 10 years.
EvangeCube has also been invited to attend a pastor’s conference in Bryansk in July to present training to 3,000 pastors from all over Russia. Some of these pastors are traveling from Northern Siberia and Eastern Russia.