Help Pastor Vanya

September 2015 Faces Eurasia

Dear Friend of Eurasia,

Would you tell others about Jesus if getting caught meant going to jail?

            Pastor Vanya takes this risk every day.

            In the Muslim region of Russia where he lives, converting to Christianity is illegal. But that does not stop Pastor Vanya and his team from painstakingly visiting village after village to share the Good News.

The team’s passion for witnessing is fueled by staggering statistics—in this region of 1,270,000 people there are only 30 known believers!

            Islam is actively promoted by political and religious leaders in this volatile region of Russia. The capital city alone boasts 65 mosques for just under 300,000 people. Christianity and other religions are suppressed.

Effective ministry simply cannot happen in this region without meaningful relationships.

To build relationships, Pastor Vanya and his team deliver humanitarian aid packages to each family they visit. Each package—containing basic life necessities such as sugar, flour, oil, and eggs—costs $15 to assemble.

THE CARE PACKAGE IS OFTEN A FAMILY’S FIRST CONTACT EVER WITH A CHRISTIAN.

When Muslim families see Christians doing good deeds, it begins to open their hearts to fellowship. “The care packages are the key by which we can enter into relationship with the families,” says Pastor Vanya.

He adds, “We talk to them, we pray for them, we tell them about Jesus. The main goal is always to tell them about Jesus Christ.”

When Pastor Vanya knocks on doors to deliver care packages, he states boldly that he is a Christian and asks, “Can we come help you and visit you?” In doing so, he finds out who is open to a relationship with Jesus. Then he continues to visit and help these people.

Only $15 per care package—that’s a small price to pay to open doors and build relationships in this strongly Muslim area.

Yet our AGWM family learned that Pastor Vanya has recently been using his own personal finances to bring care packages to the villages. His supplies are running low but he is ready to sacrifice everything he has to continue building relationships with these unreached people.

Will you help us supply 1000 care packages so that Pastor Vanya can continue building relationships with these village families?

It costs $15,000 to reach 1000 families in this region of Russia with care packages. By providing one, 5, 10, or 20 care packages at $15 each, you help Pastor Vanya spread the gospel where it has never been heard before.

Here, where Christians cannot gather publicly with other believers, the few existing Christians have not fellowshipped with other believers in many years.

Bekhan was such a man. Devoutly Muslim, he read in his Qur’an that Jesus was sinless. That touched him deeply: how could Jesus, a prophet, be sinless? Only God could be sinless. He felt a desire growing in him to find out more about Jesus.

He started reading the gospels—and came to know Jesus!

What a powerful testimony! And yet all this man’s friends and family were Muslim. He had no chance for fellowship with Christians or to be discipled by other believers.

Pastor Vanya finds believers like Bekhan and provides them with the tools they need to grow and succeed in their new faith.

Like Paul, Pastor Vanya knows that “a great door for effective work has opened” for him
(I Corinthians 16:9). His main limitations are financial, and we are burdened to help him and his team overcome these. But we can’t do it without your help.

THE MORE CARE PACKAGES WE CAN SUPPLY, THE MORE FAMILIES WILL BE REACHED!

            Now is the time for thousands in this republic to hear about Jesus for the very first time.

Will you help equip Pastor Vanya and his team with the care packages they need to continue this important ministry?

The people in this region of Russia have a rich oral culture; they pass on their history and traditions by stories. So besides basic necessities, DVDs with children’s Bible stories and Bible coloring books are often included in the packages for families with children.

Through these Bible DVDs and coloring books, entire families are exposed to Bible stories!

“People are opening up and listening; they’re not resistant,” says Pastor Vanya.

Zargan, a single mother with 4 children, received a care package from Pastor Vanya’s team. Her husband had gone into a different part of Russia to earn money and married another woman there, abandoning his family.

Zargan and her children are alone now, and very poor—but their hearts are open to the message of hope that Pastor Vanya has shared with them.

God can use you to change the lives of families like Zargan’s—families in remote, unreached villages of Russia. Each $15 care package you give is a chance to reach someone like Zargan who desperately needs to hear Christ’s message of hope.

When you give $75 you provide for the critical physical and spiritual needs of 5 unreached families. Double that gift to $150 and you can help reach 10 families!

Perhaps God has not called you to work like Pastor Vanya in a dangerous region of the world. But He has called each of us to witness and to pray.

Will you witness to a Muslim in your own town, as God gives you opportunity?

Will you commit to praying for Pastor Vanya and his team as they build relationships and share the gospel among the unreached people of Russia? You’ll find specific requests in the margins of this letter to help guide your prayer time.

Please pray with us that each care package distributed will result in souls saved. And I ask you to prayerfully consider giving to Pastor Vanya’s ministry to reach the people of the Caucasus for Christ.

Thank you for your heart for the lost and for always giving generously.


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