God Is on the Move on the Russian Front
In July of 2016 the Russian government passed a law which outlawed public evangelism in Russia. Most churches expected their ministries to be greatly hindered. In fact, in 2017 SRS has experienced unprecedented growth in our seminary and churches. And we have critical support needs. Please enjoy an account of God's amazing work in Russia and beyond during the past few months, and learn how you can participate...
In January 2017, SRS sent Zach Purcell to St. Petersburg, where he spent 10 days and a donation of $10,000, filming and interviewing the parents, counselors and Babochka club members. The five minute film linked below highlights the fruit of that labor. Two thousand Russians watched it online the first day it was available.
My name is Brian O'Leary. I come from the little fishing village of Baltimore in West Cork, Ireland, I have been a U.S. citizen and lived in the USA most of my life, the past twenty-two years in the beautiful state of Kentucky. As the newest member of the board of SRS, I wanted to write to you about three of our four SRS supported church plants. I am excited about them all because, just as St. Patrick in Ireland, they are preaching Christ where He is not otherwise being preached.
In the city of Kazan, the Islamic capital of Russia, population 600,000, not only is there an Orthodox Church inside the wall, but nearby is a growing 10 year-old Christian congregation of the Reformed Presbyterian Church of Eurasia, which is also accommodated by the Islamic capital.
When we lost our original building because the owners were not from our church and they wanted it back, we started praying that the Lord would bless us to build a new one. In 2013, one of the families gave the church their piece of land and construction began.
The board of the Slavic Reformation Society is grateful to God for His blessings on the Making Missions Great Again campaign, and thrilled with the impact of this trip through our field leader Blake Purcell and his wife Cathy. Here are highlights of their report:
Dear friends and supporters of SRS,
Greetings in Jesus Christ! Happy Reformation Year!
I’m Evgeni Kruzhkov, a dean of the Biblical Theological Seminary of St. Petersburg. Thanks to your generous support we were able to hold another intensive course. Fifteen ministers participated in it including four new students who came from cities that we have never reached before.
For Cathy and I, one of the challenges of living stateside is the feeling that few people are willing to be vulnerable about their needs. But when we come to Russia, the Lord fills our lives with wonderful people who are not ashamed to describe their real needs, opening the door for us to tell them about how God can meet them.
"I thought I knew how unreached Jurmala was, with a population of Russians of about 20,000, but I had no idea. We saw in Timur's community that there was 1 Catholic church, of about 15 women, 5 men, a Pentecostal church of the same size, and a Lutheran church of the same size. Pastor Timur told us none of them is attempting effective outreach to the community with the Gospel."
Pastors Timur, Yuri, Evgeni and Blake Purcell will attempt to invite 300 Russian-speaking men to attend the seminar (Friday and Saturday, March 3-4) What Is a Real Man: God's Perspective. Pray for the Holy Spirit to touch 20 men's hearts to attend, and from this group for a men's Bible study to begin, which pastor Timur will lead. Less than 1% of the Russian-speaking population in Latvia is evangelical Christian!
Jeremiah 33:3, KJV
Call unto me, and I will answer thee, and shew thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not.
From passages like Jeremiah 33:3, we know that God loves to shew Himself to us, when we call to Him, in a big and mighty way.
Please do this very thing and call to Him for the Make Missions Great Again campaign, which field director Blake Purcell and his wife Cathy will be leaving for on Sunday, February 26, 2017.
Slavic Reformation Society founder Blake Purcell and his wife Cathy are about to Make Missions Great Again... Well, Lord willing and the creek don't rise!
In late November my brother, Lewis, one of the directors of Club Babochka, asked my wife and I to consider coming to Russia this January to film several promotional videos for Babochka. While we were super excited to take on the challenge, the obstacles were daunting. I was afraid we’d make it to Russia but not have the funding, the team, or the editing time to really give the stories what they deserved...
Your giving and prayers this year for SRS have allowed pastors, their families and their churches to spread the life-saving news of Jesus Christ in Saint Petersburg, Moscow, Siberia, the Far East, Latvia, a closed Muslim country and Kazan, the Muslim capital of Russia.
Club Babochka is in a tough situation. One of their biggest sponsors is on the verge of cancelling their support.
The sponsor is a local charity group and they feel Club Babochka just doesn’t have enough shareable media that the charity can use to continue raising support. Babochka doesn’t have the funds or the staff to create this media, so they've asked two filmmakers, Zachary Purcell and Ryan Sax, to volunteer their work to film and produce several promotional videos of Babochka.
"We were atheists. Therefore all these ordeals were a real shock for me. In the Soviet Union, life was hard anyway, and to have a severely handicapped child was considered a curse of fate. I did not want to live. I did not see any hope. I was sure my life was ruined completely. Even when we were together again – with my wife and disabled son – I wished I would have died as soon as possible because I thought my life failed."
"It was a great shock to us when a few weeks ago we got the sad news that Valery had passed away of a heart attack. I immediately felt the need to have the churches of Reformed Presbyterian Church of Eurasia offer their condolences and some financial support for his widow and children, which we did. I also felt that God would have me visit them in their time of need. "
In 2002 my brother was taken to the police station. He was tortured and beaten so that he would confess to the theft. The fact is that in front of our house the neighbors opened a store. One day a thief entered the store through our house and stole things from it. They accused my brother.
Blake and Cathy Purcell have just arrived in St. Petersburg in time for the Fall Intensive of the Biblical Theological Seminary (BTS). This is the first time they have gone to teach in Russia since the new anti-freedom of religion laws came into effect in July.
A movement of individuals, families and churches committed to seeing the Gospel and the Church of Jesus Christ planted and growing in the Russian speaking world numbering 275 million in Eurasia.
Small beginnings have led to churches and auxiliary ministries that are equipping believers with tools to teach others also!
The planting of local churches is our first priority. In the context of a biblical church structure effective preaching and growth in Christ can take place.
We prioritize the raising up of both elders to lead these churches and godly men to lead their families.
"And He shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers." Malachi 4:6
Pastor Yuriy has not seen or heard from his father in more than 45 years. In fact, he did not even know if he was alive. Yuriy turned to a national television program which finds missing loved ones. A year ago he learned his father was alive and on 2 July his father will visit him.