Stones of Remembrance - Eurasia
Victor Barousse – USA/ Ukraine
Ukraine Report: Mission Accomplished in Kiev. Pathway to the Nations (Global Pathway) was very well received, and timely! In all, 51 pastors received training; they represented three different church networks. I met with bishops from 3 different associations, a seminary president, an evangelistic ministry leader, along with other pastoral leaders in meetings. We have a commitment to host a Kiev Global Pathway in January 2017, and leaders from the Dnipropetrovsk region want me to come back again as well. (Victor and Jeremy Henderson just returned from this very successful trip!)
Church plants that had long been put off are now in high gear, and many got the revelation that they can raise up missionaries to the nations. Two groups are committed to launching missionary training schools within the year and have asked me to teach.
A Supernatural Reunion
Prior to my departure for Ukraine last month I received a Facebook Message from an unexpected source. Back in 1997 we sent church planters to the Western Buryat Autonomous Region, located in Irkutsk province. This was an early attempt to reach the Buryat people; the Western Buryat represented a different people group (because of cultural and religious differences) from the Eastern Buryat, among whom we planted a church in 2013. Sergei Pachanko was one of those men, and I hadn’t heard from him since I was deported from Russia in 2002. In the intervening years, he had moved to Crimea, where he planted a church, found a Ukrainian wife (he is Russian) and eventually moved to her hometown in Lvov, in far western Ukraine. He is now outreach director of a large church there.
How amazing to hear that he had received an email invitation to the Kiev Global Pathway! He explained that when he saw my photo, he knew he had to come. The lead pastor recently declared that they needed to get more involved in church planting and missions, but didn’t know how to proceed! He was elated to send Sergei and a small team to the conference.
It was a wonderful reunion with an old friend, but even more an answer to my prayer from 6 months ago. Last summer I began praying for an open door in Lvov, to bring Global Pathway there. After the first day of the Kiev conference Sergei was on the phone with his bishop. We have tentative plans to do two conferences in Western Ukraine in October 2017! God is so faithful!
Slavik and Julia Golovatyuk – Ukraine
In the beginning of July we went to a huge Christian camp where around 5,000 people gather each year. We took our missionaries and one guy from the village who had gotten saved a year ago. We had a small info booth for people who want to serve and we had a chance to meet 20 new potential missionaries! Slavik was teaching at one of the breakout sessions. Also, this young man from our village, Vitaliy, shared his testimony at the service to those thousands of people, saying that he is "a living testimony" of our mission.
Right after the camp we went to a small city of Baryshivka near Kiev to do the mobile clinic there. We also took our mission team with us. Slavik and I were helping to coordinate the clinic. It was so awesome to see that I (Julia) actually have some managing skills and I enjoy organizing work (so everybody knows what to do) more than just doing it by myself. People were very thankful for free consultation, tests and stuff like glasses. There were many people that accepted Jesus into their lives and asked us to pray for their families.
Together with IMOCE (International Ministry of Charity Emmanuel) we wanted to do something for our village that is more charitable. We talked with the local government about this idea, and they gave us a list of people in need that live in Znamenivka. 100 food packages were delivered to low income families and they were invited to the event. Over 250 people came. Lots of people came for the first time to hear the gospel, listen to songs and see a drama skit. Also, all children received presents, candy, toys and even new socks. Afterwards, youth played volleyball and Ping Pong. Popcorn, cotton candy and pierogies (4000!) were provided for all who attended. (Excerpts from newsletters)
Emil and Lena Mingazhev – Russia
A team of ministers who are experienced in ministering to drug addicts, started a new church in our city – Ufa. Their pastor, Mihkail, was one of our BS graduates 8 years ago, which was a catalyst in helping him to begin his ministry. He approached us with a request to organize a Bible School for them. This new bible school has already begun and we are currently coming to the end of the first course titled, “Laying the Foundations.” After the bible school was started, Pastor Mikhail travelled 1500 miles where he went to a conference and heard a prophet who told them that they should lay the foundations of the Word of God in order to build their church. What a confirmation! (Excerpt from newsletter)
Victor and Kathie Barousse – USA/Formerly Russia
In Ulan Ude, Buryatia (Russia) wedding bells rang in 2016 for many former drug addicts whose lives had been in shambles just a couple of years ago. They have been saved, set free, and are now serving the Lord by their lives and ministry with great abandon. What follows is Olga’s story.
Pastor Sergei was deeply grieved by the widespread addiction and degradation in Ulan Ude. He felt led by the Lord to produce a documentary for the city administration to expose the hard reality and extent of the drug problem in the city. Sergei met a rehab runaway who agreed to allow him to film the cooking process of a highly dangerous synthetic drug called Crocodile.
The apartment where the brew was concocted belonged to a user and single mother named Olga. She had a 3 year old daughter, and felt hopelessly caught up in this web of addiction and degradation. It takes several hours to cook the stuff, and by the time it was done, Sergei had thoroughly evangelized Olga. She was ready to enter rehab, not just for her sake, but also for her daughter. Since we didn’t have a women’s center at the time, we arranged for her to be driven to Irkutsk. Olga spent 5 months in our Bolshoi Lug village center. She was having medical problems (very common with people coming off drugs) and had to spend some time in the hospital. A couple from the church took her daughter into their home and for the first time in her life this little girl saw what stable family life is like. Sisters visited Olga in the hospital almost daily. On the phone with Sergei she said, “I never dreamed there was this kind of love anywhere in the world! I feel such love, and know it comes from God. I feel like my daughter is the most blessed person in the world to be surrounded by such people!”
Olga made such huge breakthroughs and we began to discuss and pray about her coming back to head up our first Hope Women’s Rehab. Olga, although still a young believer, was on fire for God, overflowing with Love, and began serving as overseer for the small ladies dorm at our Soldatsky Hope Center. Her passion for the Lord and love for others are contagious! Olga has been faithful to the Lord and an able minister. We are so happy to announce that this beautiful daughter of God was just united in marriage to Alexei who also ministers at the rehab center. Their’s are lives truly changed by the power of the gospel!