If you have spent any time with Eurasian disciples around the holidays, you already know that in the former Soviet Union, December 25th is just any other day -- their Christmas falls on January 7th, thanks to the difference in the Eastern Russian Orthodox tradition, which uses the Gregorian Calendar, and the Roman Catholic tradition, which uses the Julian Calendar. New Year's Eve is the time for the decorated tree (yolka), gift-giving, and special family gatherings.
For the youth and families in the churches in Minsk, Belarus, and St. Petersburg, Russia, there is reason to celebrate the greatest New Year's gift of all this year -- the promise of eternal life! -- as a couple of Kingdom Kids made their decision to follow Christ just as 2018 is coming to a close.
Above, the home of the church leaders in Minsk (Aleksei and Lena Sinitsin) is packed with disciples in support of Sasha and Diana Burachevski, as they baptized their 17-year old daughter, Karina. The church in Minsk is about 90 disciples and has baptized five teens this year -- for the first time they now have an active and growing youth and student ministry, which is inspiring and reinvigorating the whole church!
Below, in St. Petersburg, the very active youth and student ministry posted a live video on Instagram of the baptism of the daughter of single mom, Yulia Gribova. Yulia herself became a Christian as a teenager in the very first months of the planting of the St. Petersburg church. Sadly her marriage ended in divorce a few years ago. It was a great joy to see Julia baptize her daughter on this live feed on December 16th!