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One church in two locations by Igor Sokolov

25 November 2017 No Comment

Saint Petersburg has a population of 7 million people and it continues to grow. Many move to Saint Petersburg trying to make it their home, and many consider themselves believers, but the reality is that only 0.5% are born-again Christians. Russian laws regulating and restricting freedom to preach the gospel have become stricter, compelling us to look for creative ways to preach the gospel and spread the kingdom of God in the face of repressive conditions. The great news is that people continue to come to the Lord.

Recently, we have faced two challenges: First, our main meeting hall is at capacity and newcomers find it difficult to find a seat. As well, the need for qualified ministers is growing. The second challenge is busyness. Our people work a lot making it hard for them to attend church . . . even on Sundays.

We are attempting to tackle this problem by starting a regular, mid-week church event in a different part of the city to make it easier for people living in that part of the city. This has created a platform for more people to hear the gospel and for more believers to exercise their gifts in ministering to newcomers. We see this as an effective way to spread the gospel in our city, and this is how we became one church with two locations. We thank you, our American brothers and sisters for your encouragement, and we thank you for your support in helping us spread the gospel in Russia.

Recently one of the sisters in our church began to lead a small group of working people using the First Steps Discipleship materials. We know that the best way to use this material is to use it one on one, but, in this case, we trusted our sister to try to reach the group who recently received the Lord. She developed a great relationship with them and they trust her very much. Please pray for these people.

We are, even now, preparing for the Christmas season. We are planning an event that will allow us to reach out to our neighborhood to both celebrate Christmas and to preach the gospel of the Savior who has come. I hope to share our joy with you when we see many people receive the gift of salvation in Jesus Christ, altogether increasing the number of born-again Christians in Saint Petersburg.

Lastly, Pastor Grant Edwards continues to train me by taking me alongside him on various mission trips to different parts of the former Soviet Union. He trusts me to teach First Steps Discipleship seminars with him. This is very encouraging for me and helps me mature. It’s so good to have a mentoring relationship, and I am grateful to his church for allowing him to travel to Russia on a regular basis. We pray for everyone in the United States who supports this ministry. Thank you. Pastor Igor Sokolov

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