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Good news from pastor Yura

12 June 2010 No Comment

This month’s spotlight on ministry is on Pastor Yura Troyanov. Pastor Yura has been a missionary, a pastor, and church planter for a number of years. He and his wife, Zhenia, moved to the city of Volkhov, which is situated three hours north of Saint Petersburg.

During their first two years in Volkhov, Pastor Yura and Zhenia laid the difficult groundwork for ministry, and their church took root and began to grow. As a church, they prayed and felt led to address the problem of drugs in their city. Drug addiction is a huge problem, especially among the youth, and they were the first organization that purposely sought to do something about it.

They began by doing outreaches to drug addicts and their relatives, and the Lord blessed and prospered their efforts. People were being saved and delivered from drugs, and, soon, those former addicts became part of the church. In fact, there were so many desperate people seeking help and ministry that the church started a Christian rehabilitation center (CRC).

In a short time, the CRC became well known for its effectiveness, giving Pastor Yura and the church great favor with local government officials, which is very important in Russia because officials can make things very difficult or impossible for churches. As a result of the work being done many more doors opened in Volkhov, and the church continued to grow and thrive.

After the success in Volkhov, Yura was led to plant a new church. After much prayer and consideration, he decided to plant a church in his home town by the name of Vsevolozhsk. Inspired by the previous successful experience in Volkhov, he expected the same scenario to repeat itself, but, this time, everything was different.  The local officials were hostile toward the church, and they saw to it that no public building could be rented by them. Unlike in the United States, the majority of churches in Russia do not own buildings, rather they have to rent places like libraries, community centers, or schools, resulting in many churches being forced out of facilities. And, that’s exactly what happened to Yura. The head of the local government, being a zealous Russian Orthodox, was determined not to allow Yura’s church to operate, and he did all that was within his power to limit the church, making sure no one would rent facilities to them.

After a year of looking and praying, a Korean Christian school allowed them to rent from a building with one condition: keep a low profile.  There could be no inviting non-church members into the building, resulting in no visitors, no new-comers. Nor could they use advertisements or any promotional activity about the church. That situation lasted for nearly three years, but God is faithful. Here is what Yura recently reported:

Dear friends.
Recently, there were some encouraging events here. As you know, our church has a vision: to help and restore those who have been rejected by society.
Seven years ago, we established a rehabilitation center in Volkhov. After moving to Vsevolozhsk, we continued supporting that center, providing financial assistance and sending teams to hold services at the center. We also send people from our church who need rehabilitation themselves.
Recently, we sent four people who had no place to live, had no documents, and who survived only by feeding from trash bins. When I spoke with them, I told them, frankly, that they were lost and that only Jesus Christ can help them. Praise the Lord! He is not only able to help them, but He is also willing to do it!

Several weeks later, I was visiting the center and saw my new friends full of joy and peace. Of course, they were grateful to have food, a place to live, and the Word of God as sustenance every day. And praise be to the Lord for such ministries, where lost peoples’ lives can be spiritually, emotionally, and socially transformed!
I would also like to share a praise report about a long-awaited answer to a prayer.
The place where we used to have our meetings, a private Christian school, was located quite far from public transportation routes. It was a major inconvenience because only 10% of our church members have cars. As well, the administration of the school did not allow us to advertise our meetings or openly speak about the place where we met.
We agreed to follow their requirements since we were not able to find any other place for our meetings for several years. About two weeks ago, we moved from the school to a new facility, which we rent full time. The church is very encouraged because this facility is in a good location and all the commuter trains and local busses are available.
We currently use this facility for morning prayer, music practice, Alpha-course group meetings, small groups, and Sunday services. This was definitely God’s answer to our prayers.
We give thanks to God for his answer and to you all, who prayed with us for this need.
The church of the Lord in Vsevolozhsk is not idle. Rather, it serves people through preaching the gospel and providing an atmosphere of peace and restoration for those whom the Lord brings in.
Thanks for all those who have been supporting out ministry through prayers and finances.
Pastor Yura Troyanov.

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