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We Shall Overcome by Igor Sokolov

25 August 2016 No Comment

sokolovs (1)Someone once said that the only constant in the world is change, and, perhaps, this is true. We are confronted with changes all the time. If we think back to how things were just one year ago, we can see how much change has occurred in the world and in our lives.Naturally, we want the changes we experience to be positive, but, as we well know, that is not always the case. What shall we do? The answer is straightforward: We need to learn to live in the midst of change whether it is good or, seemingly, bad.

Over the past few months, our church has experienced good change. After a two-year process to register with the government, we received approval. Now, we may officially conduct our services and carry out our mission! As well, we have established a feeding program for poverty-stricken people in one part of our city, and began two more in other parts.

The bad news is that there was a new law passed in Russia that will heavily regulate religious freedom and may seriously restrict missionary activity, such as the arrival of foreign missionaries and preaching of the Gospel in public places. We are consulting with lawyers to understand and how we should proceed. We are ready to go to jail for preaching the gospel, because if the law will prevent us to preach, we’re still going to continue to do so. When we face adverse situations, we need the support of friends, especially in difficult times. We have a saying in Russia: Do not have a hundred rubles (Russia currency), but rather have a hundred friends. To know that someone is standing with you and praying for you in difficult times is priceless.

Some of the adverse things that have been happening in recent years include our church not being allowed to have a facility. For many years, we have rented a place for our services, which is common for most Russian evangelical churches. As well, there has been constant pressure from the authorities to close both our church and Christian School.What helps us survive and have an impact on society include a strong church-wide commitment, home groups, one-on-one discipleship, and a continued emphasis on evangelistic outreaches in the city and in the region.

When we look around, we see many needs, difficult situations, and hardship. Without faith, we would be overwhelmed and crushed, but our faith is what makes us strong. Without faith, it is impossible to please God. God strengthens us and gives us peace, joy, and strength. In spite of everything, we faithfully look to the future. People continue to come to God, to join the church, grow spiritually, and become involved in the ministry of the church. We thank all our faithful brothers and sisters who are praying for us and who provide financial support for the mission of Russians Reaching Russians. Thank you all for your friendship!

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