In these weeks, we have been introducing you to some of the partners we are working with across the Europe and Mediterranean Region, and keep you updated on our personal progress toward returning there. Today, we’d like to tell you about a meeting we had over the weekend with Vladimir and Debbie Lukyanov. Vlad and Debbie are our partners in Omsk, Siberia, where they serve as pastor of a local church, and leaders of a church planting movement in Russia. Vlad is also an instructor at the Omsk Training Center which is part of the West Siberian Bible College, and Debbie does biblical counseling. While we’ve met before via Zoom, we all happened to be in Phoenix, Arizona this weekend, so we got together in person!
They’ve asked us to come alongside them and assist them in several areas of ministry.
Planting New Churches. They have seen 18 churches planted over the last 10 years and are praying for many more! They want each of those churches, and all the churches planted in the future, to be multiplying churches.
Church Revitalization. They desire to see churches less focused on the Sunday morning “event” and more committed to being transformative in the communities where they serve through outreach, small groups, and disciple making.
Cooperative Multi-Site Village Churches. Many of the pastors in the smaller villages are bi-vocational, or run small farms to provide food for their families. By helping those churches to network together, the pastors can share resources and rely on one another to help them in areas that are not their gifting or passion.
Coaching. Mentoring, coaching and accountability are crucial to movement success. We will help them develop a network so that every pastor is coaching someone else, and is being coached by someone.
Deaf Ministry. Part of the ongoing ministry in Omsk includes a large church for deaf people. We’ve been asked to assist with this ministry, and to see an expansion of outreach to this least-reached people group. This work will include training deaf pastors and leaders, and assisting an effort to interpret the Bible into Russian sign language currently being undertaken in Novosibirsk.
Please pray for Vlad, Debbie, and their family!Their son and daughter, Alexei and Sasha, have begun college in the USA this year, and when mom and dad return to Siberia in January, it will be a long separation! Pray for the church in Russia. Over the past 5 years new laws have been passed that limit religious freedoms and threaten all evangelical churches. Pray for local pastors and congregational leaders, and for students at the Bible college.
Pray for Pastor Robert Merecz, the pastor we will be working with in Poland. His family has been hit with Covid-19. Pray for their quick recovery.
Poland and much of Europe is dealing with a big spike in Covid-19 cases. Poland is nearing capacity in hospital care. The Czech Republic, Italy, France and other nations are on the edge. Pray for God to bring relief – and for the hope of the gospel to reach the lost and hopeless.
We are now at 98% of our support raising goal – Praise the Lord! We only need a few hundred dollars per month to be fully funded!
Though we can't return to Europe yet, our work continues! We’re supporting efforts in Egypt, Ukraine, Germany, Italy, Israel, Russia, Albania, and Hungary. Pray for our ministry partners and our ministry to them!