Please join us in praying for these requests and concerns from around the Eurasian churches:
Vika and her husband Denis had been ministry staff in the church in Vladivostok for 15 years, when suddenly Vika fell into a coma at a preteen event early in November, 2016. Disciples around the world have been praying for her ever since. After over a year in a coma, in recent months we are seeing definite answers to our prayers, though the battle for her life and wellness is still far from over.
Gradually Vika has regained consciousness in the first months of this year. In March, a neurologist confirmed that Vika is conscious, is hearing with her left ear, likely understanding what is going on around her, though still unable to communicate. On the Glasgow consciousness scale she scored 10 points out of 15, when previously she had scored a 7. She gradually began to eat solid food from a spoon, though still was receiving most of her nutrition through a feeding tube. Her official diagnosis is now akinetic mutism (Click here to see a Wikipedia article on akinetic mutism for more information)
The news this week is that on May 18th, Vika's feeding tube was removed. She is now eating and drinking entirely on her own. She has lost some weight which is not good, however, she is also breathing on her own, which is excellent. They are discussing whether or not to remove her tracheostomy. Denis, her husband, says in his text from May 23, that "God is working in an amazing way."
Thank you for continuing to pray for Vika and Denis, their daughter, Vika's mom, and the church in Vladivostok!
On February 15, 2018, a much-loved brother passed away suddenly in the Moscow church from heart failure. Only 44 years old, Dima Makarov had been baptized as a teenager in the first year of the Moscow church planting. He became a prominent businessman, known in the church for his generosity and solid Biblical convictions about doing business honestly, in an environment when most of his peers were taking advantage of the lawlessness and corruption in the instability immediately after the fall of the Soviet Union the 1990's. He employed many disciples who would not otherwise have found work and, with his faithful wife Oksana, was a source of spiritual strength and encouragement to disciples in churches all across Eurasia. His funeral and memorial service brought together many beloved friends who, in recent years, have wandered away from the fellowship. He is survived by his wife Oksana, his adult son Kostya and 13-year-old daughter Liza. Oksana's mother and sister came to stay with her immediately after Dima's death. She has had a steady stream of church family in her home. In Oksana's words, "The worst feels like it's already past; now I am okay if I am alone, I can work, make plans; yesterday I actually studied the Bible with my neighbor, God gave me the inner strength for that. Even though I still cry every day, because I deeply miss Dima." Please pray for the Makarov family in their bereavement, for their financial situation to become stable and for God to protect them from thieves and swindlers who might want to take advantage of Oksana as she now manages her husband's business affairs. (Photos L-R: Dima's grave marker at the gravesite; eulogies around Dima's coffin; flower and photo of Dima at the funeral.)
Great news and answered prayer: A generous family in the USA with nine children (!) who read our story of Masha Kachetkova, the young widow in Volgograd, whose husband died suddenly early in December, 2017, has stepped forward and offered to subsidize the shortfall in Masha's family budget for at least a year. God moved the hearts of several disciples to respond to her need through the articles on this website and Disciples Today. It's been very encouraging to see the same Spirit as in the early church, as exemplified by verses like Acts 2:45, "...they gave to anyone as he had need." and Acts 4:34, "There were no needy persons among them." Masha was pregnant with her and Zhenya's third daughter when Zhenya suddenly passed away. She delivered her healthy daughter, Dasha, early in February (pictured below). You can catch up on the beginning of Masha's story by clicking here.