This is Part 2 of a 4-part series to catch you up on the fast paced developments in Russia and beyond.
Part 1: Raid in Siberia Part 2: Despite Serious Illness, Joy in the Far East
Part 3: Church Planting Where There is No Church
Part 4: Property Needed for the Continuation of the Gospel Ministry in Russia
As I hope you have been following, the first ever SRS-sponsored church building is now functioning! Pastor Ruslan, Light to the World Church, reports that the 6 days-a-week men's devotional discussion has grown from 2 men to 7, just from using the new facility. Until now, Romanovka (pronounced RoMAHN'ovka), near Vladivostok, has had no functioning church nor any church building with a congregation meeting in it. SRS donors have contributed the entire $60,000.00 needed to complete the construction of this church building before winter this year! Praise God! The Holy Spirit is pushing the Gospel and the Church where they have never been before!
Ruslan writes: Several days ago we began meeting in the church building. As you can see, our morning Bible Study group has increased from 2 to 7 men!
The hard news is that Anton Moroz, Ruslan and Olga’s young adult son, a 2016 graduate of Covenant High School of Faith Presbyterian Church (PCA) in Tacoma, WA, has been diagnosed with tuberculosis. This means every adult member of Ruslan’s family (all pictured in the lead photo of this email) has now contracted this disease. Anton is being treated in Vladivostok.
Ruslan wrote Tuesday August 22nd to update me on Anton's situation:
Thank you Blake for your participation and concern.
Anton passed a two-month course of treatment for tuberculosis. We hoped that the medication would be enough for his affected lung to recover. But after the course of treatment, a 0.5 cm hole remained in the lung, so it was necessary to perform an operation. Yesterday Anton was operated on, and when he came to, he was placed in the intensive care unit.
Since the lesion was not large, it was possible to do a laparoscopy rather than a lumbar operation. The hospital did not have the necessary medical instruments for this so we bought them ourselves.
Yesterday we could not get through to the doctor who was doing the operation, so we do not know the details. Anton was talking in the evening, but he was weak.
[The entire Moroz family has been treated for TB over the course of the last few years.] After my treatment I was dismissed as a healthy person. Olga still has to be registered with a doctor and in the fall she will undergo a course of treatment with pills. Yana [Ruslan and Olga's adult daughter] is fine.
Now Oleg (in men's morning group) is in a tuberculosis dispensary. At Oleg's work, seven people, including Oleg, are sick. I do not know how his children are. They recently had another daughter. She was born two months early, but now she is developing normally.
Although it has not yet hit the news, it appears to be a tuberculosis epidemic. Sasha works in a kindergarten and says that many children get sick. On the houses many write notices, so that people check themselves and their children.
Let us remember that for the cause of the Gospel, and the glory of God, Anton's parents, Ruslan and Olga, with his sister Yana, moved to one of the most destitute places in Russia, Romanovka,to plant the only church in the town. Now, in God's providence, all have contracted this ravaging disease by living there.
In the USA in 2014, there were 493 deaths from TB. In the Russian Federation in 2015, there were 16,500 deaths from the same disease* In Russia, one is far more likely to perish from TB!
The USA is in a part of the world where tuberculosis has been controlled so that whole families do not come down with it. How are we to respond to trials like this that our brothers and sisters in Russia face? One way is described in Matthew 25:35,36:
For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.
The brand new building for Light to the World Church in Romanovka.
Praise the Lord!
Please pray for Romanovka!
...Anton Moroz would be healed of TB and enjoy a full recovery;
...God would have mercy on Romanovka and even the entire Far East by giving wisdom and boldness to doctors and officials to address and eradicate TB;
... Use of the new church building will open many doors for the Gospel and that God will use it to provide blessings to Light to the World Church and the village of Romanovka.
The Slavic Reformation Society is a mission of North American churches initiated in response to the great commission of Jesus Christ, which is to make disciples of all nations of the earth. (Matthew 18:19, 20)