Tuesday, July 06, 2010
Resources for the Russian Church
To give or not to give, that is always the question in missionary work. Karen and I purchase many books and Bibles to give away as resources to the Russian church. We have given many books to the local rehab centers. We often give away books to individuals. Last week we purchased and gave away several Christian children's books to two young women, mothers in rehab, who had become believers recently.
Because of the generous gifts from some of you we were able to give away 150 Bibles in May, and we are in the process of printing 1000 copies of The Cross and the Switchblade to give to a local prison ministry. Our friends at Agape books gave us a large supply of slightly damaged books and said we should feel free to distribute them to rehabs and homeless shelters. We love giving away books. At the same time we try to be careful to not create a dependency so that the Russian church doesn't trust God to meet it's own needs. A healthy church is an indigenous church.
Recently we found a place to purchase a good Russian translation of the English language study Bible which in America is called the "Life in the Spirit" Bible. The Russian version is called the "Full Life Bible with Commentary." This is an excellent study resource with wonderful study notes from some of the finest of Pentecostal scholarship (no that is not an oxymoron). We decided to stretch this month’s budget and purchased three of the Bibles, for a total cost of about $100. We have been wanting to put study Bibles into the hands of young leaders and pastors and this is our first attempt.
On Tuesday we took one of the Bibles to Balakhna/Gorodets with the desire to give it to Pastor Oleg if he wanted it. When I said to Oleg, "I have a study Bible for you, if it would be helpful," he replied, "Michael, it has been my dream to own a study Bible. Just this morning I said to the Lord, ‘I would like to have one of these.”’
You can imagine how pleased we were that God had used us to answer his prayer request and to see his dream of having a study Bible fulfilled.
You might ask, ‘Can't those Russians buy a Bible themselves? Are they really that poor?’ In this brother's case, he works hard helping to support a rehab center that houses ten people, about half of whom have been taken in for free, and a Center for homeless people which currently has four residents, none of whom pay tuition while they work at putting their lives back together. In addition to this Oleg is working to start a new church and help support his family at the same time. A study Bible which costs over $30 is a luxury just out of his financial range. But, it was not out of his faith range. He prayed and God put it on our hearts. He received what he prayed for. We are happy to have been a small part in answering his prayer and blessing this brother as he serves the Lord faithfully.
The other two Bible's which we purchased will be given to two young leaders who work for the rehabilitation program in a different center. They have a monthly salary of about $200 and live in a communal house were they don't even have their own bed. These guys are deserving of the help.
If anyone would like to contribute $30 to purchase a study Bible for a Russian pastor please send us an email, or contact us on Facebook.