“Evangelical churches in our country are not very numerous, but we aspire to impact our society and we are grateful to School without Walls for their help in this,” shared Arash*, a national School Without Walls (SWW) coordinator for Tajikistan, speaking to 80 young Next Generation Christian leaders at a Next Generation Professional Leaders Initiative (NGPLI) conference last week.
Tajikistan is over 90% Muslim, and Christians who openly share their faith risk persecution from their families, in the educational system, and from employers. Therefore, the goal of the conference was to pass on a vision of influential Christianity to these young Tajik Christians and to inspire and teach them how to be witnesses for Christ and transform their society through treating their workplace as a mission field.
Bahram*, a university student, shared how the conference’s message impacted him: “It’s not easy being a Christian in our country. Many people tell me that I’ve betrayed the faith of our ancestors. It’s difficult to find work in Tajikistan, and a majority of men find that they must travel to Russia to find jobs to support themselves and their families. But I don’t want to leave – I love my country, and I want to serve Christ here! This conference has helped me understand how I can do that. I was inspired by the vision of sharing Christ in the workplace. I believe that God will help me find a job in Tajikistan which will allow me to be a witness for Him among my future coworkers!”
The conference served as a follow-up to the first NGPLI Forum in Central Asia, which brought together 500 participants from around the region in Kyrgyzstan in November 2016. It is important for Christians in these countries, where openly evangelistic events are not allowed and believers face heavy restrictions on their activities, to gather together to encourage and learn from one another in their efforts to influence their communities for Christ.
Kamran* is a high school teacher and youth ministry leader, as well as a local SWW coordinator. “I brought 14 high school and university students from my town to this conference,” he shares. “It’s important for them to see other believers and to hear that they are called by Christ to have strong faith as leaders. They are all first generation Christians, and many are experiencing persecution in their families, but SWW and this NGPLI conference are helping lay the foundation in them for powerful, committed Christian life and ministry. I will continue to mentor and disciple them and help them grow in this after the conference.”
Thank you for your faithful prayers and support, which enable us to invest in young Next Generation Christian leaders who will in turn transform their society with the Gospel!
*name has been changed
- Praise God for several forums and seminars for Christian teachers that Ray and Cindy Le Clair, our missionaries in Ukraine, and the Christian Education Resource Network held in October!
- Please pray for God to bless our ministry efforts in Russia’s North Caucasus, particularly School Without Walls (SWW) and our church planting projects.
- Pray that God would grant wisdom to Natali, our SWW coordinator in Minsk, Belarus, as he and his wife are starting a couple’s ministry called Seventh Heaven.
- Pray for Artur and Serop, two SWW students in Armenia, who are actively involved in organizing Christian concerts, one of which will be taking place this month.
- Pray for SWW efforts in Moldova, as our students are planning to expand their youth outreach by hosting training seminars in local schools, and holding special events at a local church.
- Praise God for the leaders of Spiritual Renewal church, our SWW students, and our other ministry partners in Vladikavkaz, Russia, who are all actively involved in reaching local youth with the gospel!
- Please pray for courage and endurance for believers in Kyrgyzstan, as the government is attempting to amend the constitution to further limit religious freedom.
- Pray for God to continue using our SWW students and the leaders of Reconciliation Church in Bobruisk, Belarus to expand and grow His Kingdom.
- Pray for a group of SWW students and teachers from Siberia, Russia as they prepare for an upcoming mission trip to Mongolia.
- Continue praying for Robert, a man who recently accepted Christ and works for the local authorities in Armenia, as his boss recently asked him to choose between Christ and his job. Things have calmed down, but he is still in a very difficult position.
- Praise God for three new SWW branches that started in Moldova this year! Please pray that the students would be actively involved in reaching out to their communities.
- Pray for Yuriy, our SWW coordinator in Pinsk, Belarus, as he undergoes medical testing for his chronic headaches.
- Please pray for God to provide new ministry opportunities for our brothers and sisters in Russia as they continue sharing the gospel, despite escalating religious persecution.
- Continue praying for an end to the ongoing conflict in eastern Ukraine so that those who are suffering can start to rebuild their lives.
- Pray that God would grant wisdom to the leaders of Church Without Walls in Pinsk, Belarus, as they recently started an English as a Second Language class for non-Christian youth.
- Praise God for a Next Generation Professional Leaders Initiative (NGPLI) forum that will be taking place in Kyrgyzstan this month!
- Please pray for Ivan, our SWW coordinator in Mongolia, Russia, and Siberia, as his wife, Luba, is currently undergoing chemotherapy.
- Pray for upcoming SWW events that will be taking place in Chaykovsky and Perm, Russia.
- Pray for our ministry team in Israel, as they are planning to open a youth center in Haifa for young people who want to learn about church planting.
- Please pray for the health of our ministry team in Ukraine and their families, as many of their children have been sick lately.
- Praise God that many young people in Russia have gotten involved in our Bible study groups!
- Pray for God to be at work in the hearts of those in Belarus who have fallen away from Him.
- Pray that God would grant wisdom and courage to our SWW teachers in Georgia, Tajikistan, and Turkmenistan.
- Please pray for our ministry team in Russia as they continue preparing for a large youth conference that will be taking place in Khovd, Mongolia later this winter.
- Pray for an NGPLI conference for Christian counselors that is taking place in Belarus on November 26.
- Pray for our SWW teachers in Armenia as they continue training and equipping young people for ministry.
- Please pray for Georgiy, one of our SWW teachers in Vladikavkaz, Russia, as he is facing a difficult situation involving a car accident that he was in last year.
- Praise God that many evangelical churches and organizations in Kyrgyzstan are interested in getting involved in NGPLI!
- Pray for our regional youth ministry center in Minusinsk, Russia, where 30 young people from Siberia and Mongolia are learning how to effectively share the gospel in their own communities.
- Please pray for the final preparations for our Gift of Hope Christmas outreach for children. This year, we plan to distribute 74,000 Gifts of Hope in Belarus, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Russia, and Ukraine!
In February, School Without Walls (SWW) students in Tajikistan had the opportunity to participate in a seminar on spiritual gifts. The students enjoyed sharing their ideas and learning about how to effectively use their spiritual gifts. Now, SWW coordinators are working with these students in accountability groups to encourage them to continue developing their leadership skills and using their spiritual gifts. Now that several months have passed, a few of these students share how the seminar has impacted them in the long term:
Ahmed (age 15)
Ahmed is a pastor’s son, but he used to be too afraid to share his faith with others. However, after he completed his first SWW session, he said, “God revealed to me that He and His Word should be the most important things in my life.” Just a few weeks later, other SWW students and coordinators could already see a change in Ahmed. During one accountability meeting, he shared that he was able to share the gospel with several of his friends, and he even brought one of them to church! At the next meeting, he asked for prayer that God would remove his pride, and the following week, he shared that God had provided several opportunities for him to humbly serve others!
Viktor (age 16)
“Before we started studying the Word together in our accountability groups, a lot of us had problems with our school work and didn’t have much motivation to read the Bible,” Viktor shares. Today Viktor is an honors student, and even though his teachers don’t agree with his beliefs, he still takes every opportunity to share his faith with his classmates. His accountability group is encouraging Viktor to share what he is learning from God’s Word with others. He is also taking guitar and vocal lessons, and he helps lead Sunday worship services at his church. Recently, Viktor was asked to sing for a class, so he sang several Christian songs, and his classmates were very interested in the lyrics.
Ilya (age 15)
Ilya has won multiple cycling championships, but he shared with his accountability group that he was afraid of talking with others about Christ. The rest of the group prayed for him, and throughout the next week, he was able to share the gospel with several of his classmates, and he even invited three of them to church! A month later, one of his friends accepted Christ at a summer Bible camp! Now, Ilya is a standout SWW student, as he always completes his homework, he is actively involved in youth ministry at his church, and he helps lead his accountability group.
If you would like to partner with us in training and equipping more young Next Generation Christian leaders like Ahmed, Viktor, and Ilya in Eurasia, you can give online to the School Without Walls program here:
- Praise God for successful EMPOWER summer Bible camp training events for School Without Walls (SWW) students and graduates, which we recently hosted in Belarus!
- Please pray for church growth and ministry development in Russia’s Northern Caucasus, especially in the Islam-dominated regions of Chechnya, Dagestan, Ingushetia, and Kabardino-Balkaria.
- Pray for Denis, the director of our Next Generation Professional Leaders Initiative (NGPLI), and his wife, as she was recently diagnosed with cancer.
- Praise God for our summer Bible camps, where thousands of children in need throughout the former Soviet Union (FSU)/Eurasia are hearing the gospel for the very first time!
- Pray for our ministry workers in Mongolia, as they often experience difficulties with travel related to their various projects.
- Please pray for the nation of Russia, as its government recently passed a law prohibiting missionary and evangelistic activity in residential areas, and limiting missionaries to acting only on behalf of registered religious groups.
- Pray for Ray and Cindy LeClair, our ministry partners in Ukraine, who are helping to provide training materials for Christian teachers, including a revised version of “How to Start a Christian School” and other translated resources that they can access online.
- Pray for Reconciliation Church in Bobruisk, Belarus, as they are organizing several evangelistic events this summer, including camps, movie nights, picnics, and prayer meetings.
- Praise God that Robert, a young man from Gyumri, Armenia, and his family recently became believers at an evangelistic concert!
- Please pray that God would bless and guide our ministry workers in Mongolia as they plan new projects.
- Pray that God would continue expanding and growing SWW and NGPLI in Russia’s Northern Caucasus, as well as Transcaucasia, so that we can prepare even more young leaders to bring the gospel to these volatile regions.
- Pray for Church Without Walls (CWW) in Pinsk, Belarus, as many of the congregants are looking for work.
- Please pray for God to provide a new home for Vitaliy, our SWW coordinator in Tajikistan, and his family.
- Praise God for a very successful SWW meeting in Vladikavkaz, Russia, which encouraged the students to continue developing and expanding their ministry efforts!
- Pray for Sasha, a SWW student from Bobruisk, Belarus, who was recently called to serve in the military for a month.
- Pray for preparations for a Christian teaching course that Ray and Cindy LeClair are helping to organize in Ukraine for the fall.
- Please pray for Zhanna, a young Christian girl from Armenia, whose parents have forbidden her to attend church.
- Pray for God to be at work in the hearts of the people who visit CWW in Pinsk, Belarus so that they may come to know Christ.
- Praise God for growth and renewed unity at Spiritual Rebirth Church in Russia’s Northern Caucasus!
- Pray for preparations for two upcoming NGPLI forums in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan and St. Petersburg, Russia.
- Please pray that SWW students in Belarus would continue learning and using their spiritual gifts to serve others in their churches and communities.
- Pray for new people to visit churches in Georgia so that they may hear the Good News.
- Pray for our ministry representatives who will be presenting our work at the Maranatha Bible and Missionary Conference in Michigan on July 23-30.
- Praise God that one Christian school has already been registered under a new law in Ukraine! Please pray that more Christian schools would be able to do the same.
- Pray for the leadership of Reconciliation Church in Bobruisk, Belarus, as many members of their congregation are facing trials, particularly financial and health problems.
- Please pray that God would provide new opportunities for our SWW students in Russia’s Northern Caucasus to host preventative lectures and sports clubs at local schools, as well as expand youth ministry in the region.
- Pray for a newly formed Christian music group that one of our SWW students is leading in Armenia.
- Praise God that about half of the congregation at CWW in Pinsk, Belarus is now involved in discipleship ministry!
- Pray for God to continue blessing our ministry center in Vladikavkaz, Russia so that we can further develop and expand our ministry in the region.
- Please pray for Aram, our SWW coordinator in Armenia, as he is finishing up his graduate studies in Austria.
- Pray for preparations for two SWW conferences that we are hosting in Perm and Primorsky, Russia this fall.
Lola (left) teaches Russian in a high school in Tajikistan. A few years ago, while she was looking for some good literature in Russian, Lola met some Christians and became interested in Christianity. She joined a local School Without Walls group to learn more, and put her faith in Jesus as her Savior. She immediately shared her faith with her family, and invited her niece Mirjan (right) to attend a Summer Bible camp.
After the camp, Mirjan started attending church, and joined a SWW group, through which she also gave her life to Christ. She immediately joined her aunt in children’s ministry. After a group of children graduated from the Sunday School class she taught, Mirjan decided to find a way to help them continue growing in Christ, so she started a high school ministry for twenty five of her former Sunday School students. Both Lola and Mirjan courageously share their faith and have a good reputation in their community.
We praise God for the fruit born as a result of Lola inviting her niece to attend a summer Bible camp – 25 teens are being discipled and invested in, and this is just the beginning!
You can send boys and girls to summer Bible camp and equip them with our special interactive Gospel of Luke!
For the children of Ukraine, Russia and the former Soviet Union, civil unrest and the daily threat of violence are all too common. That’s why Russian Ministries is asking friends to send at least 6,000 children to summer Bible camp, from 10 countries, including Russia and its volatile Northern Caucasus region, the turbulent nation of Ukraine, Belarus, Moldova, Georgia, Armenia, Mongolia, and the Central Asian countries of Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan.
Please prayerfully consider the impact you can have on the lives of children through your gift today—
Every $49 you give can:
- Send one child to a week of summer Bible camp
- OR provide SEVEN copies of a specially designed interactive version of the Gospel of Luke for children.
Your generous gift today will enrich the lives of a great many children, including children of refugees fleeing violence in Ukraine who are living in fear, and do not yet know of God’s love for them.
A CHANGED LIFE, IN HIS OWN WORDS—
Nine-year-old Vadim explains how summer Bible camp has impacted his young life: “I found out that God made heaven and earth. I found out and understand that it’s not enough to read the Bible, pray, go to church and obey. You have to ask His forgiveness and believe in Him and trust Him every day. I liked everything at camp: the lessons, the food, swimming and games. I liked all the teachers and the kids. Praise God for this camp!”
Won’t you help other children like Vadim learn about Jesus and grow in their walk with Him through your support of summer Bible camps? Please consider giving a generous online gift by clicking here and selecting “Summer Bible Camp” from the dropdown menu.
Thank you for helping to impact the Next Generation in the countries of the former Soviet Union/Eurasia for eternity through our summer Bible camp ministry.
Q & A
Q What are summer Bible camps and why are they important?
A Our summer Bible camps are a unique and fun-filled way to evangelize at-risk children and youth, even in communities where Christians are not welcome. Last year we reached 8,334 children, through 110 camps, held in 10 countries. As many as 20% of these boys and girls accepted Christ as their personal Savior, and many have gone on to join local churches.
Q Who are the children my gift will send to summer Bible camp?
A Russian Ministries is committed to reach all children with the faith and love of Christ. Our summer Bible camps serve some of the most vulnerable boys and girls in the former Soviet Union/Eurasia—orphans, physically disabled, neglected, abused, and those who live in poverty.
Q What is the special interactive Gospel of Luke and why is it important?
A Our special interactive version of the Gospel of Luke is the fruit of your investment in our School Without Walls (SWW) training program, which equipped SWW graduates to develop a culturally appropriate gospel for children under 12.
Printed in both Russian and Ukrainian, this hardcover edition has colorful illustrations that will prove irresistible to boy and girls as they read along with an accompanying DVD. Even children who don’t have a DVD player will most likely know a friend, or family member who can share theirs, multiplying the impact of this Scripture.