As the TransCaucasia countries of Azerbaijan, Georgia and Armenia face the challenges of poverty, war and oppression, Russian Ministries is appealing for urgent help to equip next Next generation Generation Christian leaders to bring hope and God’s peace to this troubled region.
“The need is tremendous in terms of supporting evangelical ministry there,” said Russian Ministries’ President Sergey Rakhuba, following a recent trip to assess the greatest needs of the church in TransCaucasia.
He added: “In places like Azerbaijan, Christians face oppression from the Islamic community, and many obstacles to their outreach ministries. But we see the church is more creatively trying to use all the possible opportunities there and reach out to their communities spreading the gospel. I was really encouraged to see how many young people in Azerbaijan are coming to Christ. We spent time across many denominations and we’re very much encouraged to see young people taking the baton of faithfulness and they’re just pushing forward. What they need is resources, more training. So this is the biggest need to train the Next Generation leaders, and I’m so encouraged to see that the School Without Walls program we provide is taking off. Already dozens of young people have been trained through this program in Azerbaijan.
“Armenia is considered a Christian country, with an ancient Christian tradition and the geographical location landmark of Mount Ararat is located on the border between Turkey and Armenia. However the moral state of that country tells us the Gospel gospel is very much needed.”
Rakhuba says there is also a tremendous need for the Scriptures. Bringing Bibles into Azerbaijan and printing them there is illegal.
“However, we are mobilizing people to help us to provide so much needed scripture for them in any way possible for those young potential evangelists, for ministry leaders, for pastors in their own language, especially New Testaments and Bibles. Then they will be able to continue reaching their communities, and continue reaching out to their countrymen with the gospel.”
Russian Ministries believes training is not only vital for Christians in TransCaucasia to reach their own communities but also there is a great need to equip missionaries to reach their surrounding countries.
“I remember at one of the meetings, we were with a younger Next Generation group and we asked them what they wanted us to pray about. Several of them just jumped up and one of them said, ‘I really want to be a missionary. I want to reach out to neighbouring Iran. I need resources and need to be equipped to go and reach out to do this.’ I was looking at this young man, probably no older than 22-years-old, ready to go, but he needs to be equipped and be trained. There are probably thousands like this young man that, who could be equipped to go and reach out not just in their communities in Azerbaijan but in neighbouring Iran where the gospel is under severe pressure and persecution. I see the opportunity is there, the time is right. But we need resources to equip those young people to do this.”
In Georgia, which suffered significant damage from the recent war with Russia, Sergey visited several UN refugee camps, where there are thousands of families still living there. He even witnessed the irony of a vastly rapidly growing church just one mile from the home where former dictator Joseph Stalin was born and raised.
“This church, which has been providing spiritual and practical care for the refugee community since the war with Russia, has grown ten times in size. I was so encouraged that, from the place that produced one of the world’s worst tyrants, there is a growing church that is reaching out to its community. We want to build relationships with churches like that and we will continue helping them to expand their ministry through training their leaders and providing resources.”
To find out how you can support the work of Russian Ministries in TransCaucausia go to: www.russian-ministries.org