FROM THE SUMMER HEAT OF EURASIA to yours, our cherished family of supporters, here is a smörgåsbord of news and prayer requests from across our Eurasian churches, sent with hearts full of gratitude for your prayers, phone calls and zoom calls, special contribution donations, and all the unseen ways your faith and actions work together to help our brothers and sisters in Eurasian churches.
The Coronavirus has been an issue of concern everywhere. If you've seen Shawn Wooten's Prayer for Our Global ICOC Family with COVID 19@ICOChealcovid19 on Facebook, you know that many of our Eurasian brothers and sisters and their extended families have been ill, have passed away, some -- praise God -- have recovered. It's been encouraging to connect with Aivars Terauds, of Riga, Latvia, who was one of the original 17 members of the Moscow mission team in 1991, and learn that he joins these daily prayers live, online, almost every single day, together with brothers and sisters around the world.
In the hospital with Covid at this writing are a husband and wife, Nataliya and Vasily in Novosibirsk; Alexander and Lyubov in Moscow; and Galina in St. Petersburg. Below is an excerpt from the Facebook page, showing part of the list of those ill with the virus who are quarantined at home. Your prayers are much appreciated!
THE MOSCOW CHURCH PLANTING'S 29th ANNIVERSARY was July 14th, 2020. Social media was buzzing with disciples all across Eurasia thanking God and commemorating that day, recalling how God used those 17 team members (mostly teens and students, and mostly non-Russian-speakers) to bring 268 people out to the first worship service. 850 people were baptized in their first calendar year. That miraculous church has birthed six generations of church plantings in all the surrounding nations and is well over 1000 members today. Glory to God and thanks are due to many of you who have been a support and continue to be so, helping, visiting, praying, and caring in many various ways over the years for the dozens of churches which have been since planted from Moscow.
KINGDOM KID BAPTISM In Novosibirsk, Viktor and Aksana Polovnikova, who lead the church there along with a team of other ministers (including their daughter, Liza, who is an intern in the campus ministry) joyfully baptized their son, Tikhon, on July 9. (video below)
NEW DREAMS AND ASPIRATIONS are being explored as Slava and Sveta Soroka and their children, Iya and Vanya (pictured below) opened a family-run cafe in Chelyabinsk on July 13 -- which happens to be Slava's birthday. They named the cafe after their family name, Soroka, which means magpie in Russian. (Eurasian magpies are known to be quite intelligent!) Slava and Sveta are both natives of the Ural Mountain area and have led churches in the full-time ministry there for over twenty years. The Canadian-Ural Missions Alliance has provided support through their special missions contributions for many years to this region. The Canadian churches have remained devoted to the disciples in the Urals in spite of the challenges of great distances and the language barrier.
Opening this cafe marks a huge change in career direction for the Sorokas. We wish them the greatest success in their new endeavor and solicit your prayers for their prosperity as well. Their daughter Iya is a baptized disciple and Vanya is studying the Bible.