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To serve the Church among the Slavic nations of the world by assisting it to become fully equipped to fulfil the great commission of Jesus Christ
Eastern Europe

Snapshot

Snapshot is a round up of a number of brief news items from across Central and Eastern Europe and Central Asia.

  • Uzbek

    Uzbekistan

    Training Leaders

    Uzbekistan has a population of thirty million and is the most densely populated of the Central Asian republics. It also has the harshest spiritual climate in which believers live and witness. Christianity is regarded by its dictatorial regime as a destabilizing influence, and state authorities constantly monitor religious activities. Believers face interrogation, detention and even imprisonment.

    In this hostile environment secret house churches offer an opportunity for Bible teaching and Christian fellowship. There is an acute need for Bible training for underground church leaders, and the Independent Bible Correspondence School provides the best means in this anti-Christian context. Recent reports confirm that seventy-five underground church leaders and another seventy-five church members are enrolled in this course.

    SGA helps to finance this programme across Central Asia in partnership with Bibel Mission. Pray that these ‘secret leaders’ will be well instructed and as a result be more effective in their leadership roles. We trust that God will strengthen secret churches through His Word and protect them from persecuting authorities.

  • Burning Ukraine Flag

    Ukraine

    Providing Aid

    Reports continue to emerge documenting the tension in Eastern Ukraine and the trouble endured by God’s people there. One local pastor described an encounter with a civil leader of the Russian Separatist movement who told him, “If we were permitted we would bring all of you in one place and explode you at once.” Not surprisingly, the pastor ended his report by requesting prayer.

    SGA continues to partner with God’s people in Eastern Ukraine through prayer and our ‘Emergency Leadership Support’ fund. A number of pastors are receiving financial grants that have enabled them to buy food and other essentials. Please continue to remember these brothers as they seek to remain faithful to God and serve His people in that region.

  • Moldova-flag-book

    Moldova

    Joy in Heaven

    It is always a wonderful thing to hear of someone being saved. Peter Legkun from Moldova, recently retold the story of one man to illustrate the power of the Gospel to transform people from some most unlikely backgrounds. Dimitry was once a strong-minded Communist who held a very privileged position when Moldova was part of the Soviet Union. In more recent times he has continued to hold positions of influence, but with such a history he would not be considered as one likely to be favourable towards evangelicals and their Gospel message. Yet in recent months Dimitry has been converted and publicly testified to his new Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. We praise God for His work in the life of Dimitry and in the continuing power of the Gospel that can change men once indoctrinated by Communist ideology.

  • Romanian Flag

    Romania

    Ben & Nora Faragau

    During a recent trip to Romania, John Birnie had the opportunity to visit and enjoy a meal with Ben and Norah Faragau, and also have a brief conversation with Violeta. They, with the rest of the family, are so deeply indebted to the prayer partners of SGA, and testified to a real sense of God’s presence and comfort through the intercession of God’s people on their behalf.

    Understandably they are heartbroken by the loss of Filip, but in each of them there is a godly optimism as they rest in God’s will and move forward in the work they must do for the Kingdom of Christ. Violeta continues her vital ministry to victims of drug abuse, and Ben continues his preaching and writing. Their one request – that we continue to pray for God’s blessing on their lives and their ministry of the Gospel.

  • Joy of Christmas 1

    Central Asia

    Joy of Christmas

    All over the world, giving Christmas presents generates much joy and excitement! Thanks to you, we were able to share the joy of Christmas with children from Central Asia! As it is no longer permitted to bring Christmas packages from Europe into countries like Kazakhstan and Tajikistan, your donations made it possible for believers to pack Christmas packages for children in their own country. In this way, 2,500 children in Central Asia were able to receive their very own Christmas package last year. In Tajikistan alone, believers packed and distributed 952 packages. Missionary, Maxim Davlyatov reports on a visit to a state run Deaf and Dumb school in Tajikistan.

    ‘The auditorium was crowded with kids. With excitement the kids watched the evangelistic program we had prepared for them, which talked about Christmas and God’s gift for us. After the program, we distributed the packages which we were able to prepare with your help. They could not stop thanking us. Since they could not pronounce the word “Thank you” they showed us the word in sign language. We were so grateful to see how precious these gifts were for the kids.’

    Profits from our Christmas card sales will help fund this worthy project. You can purchase Christmas Cards from our bookstore

  • Open Bible

    New Roles

    Leadership Support

    SGA’s Leadership Support Programme sponsors pastors, church planters, evangelists and other Christian workers across Eastern Europe and Central Asia. The ministries of those supported are wide and varied and can have a great impact on their local and sometimes national churches. Such is the case with two men who are supported financially by SGA.

    Avram Dega from Serbia and Cezary Komisarz from Poland have recently been appointed as leaders in their national denominations. Both Avram and Cezary acknowledge their need of God’s help as they seek to balance their local church ministry with their new responsibilities. Pray that both men will know the enabling power of the Holy Spirit as they seek to advance the cause of the Gospel in their respective countries.

  • Baia de Cris Kindergarden

    Romania

    Touching Families

    Joanna, wife of David Pinte the pastor of the Baia de Cris church, runs a kindergarten in a bright, attractive classroom on the church premises there. It currently caters for thirteen children from the village. Organized learning and play activities are in the context of a clear Biblical, evangelical ethos, and Joanna is delighted that parents who are not believers have chosen to place their children in her care. Friendships have been forged with these families, and opportunities afforded to share something of the love of Jesus. Pray that David and Joanna will be able to wisely follow up the contacts made, and share more of the Gospel story with them, and that the testimony of the church will have a deep spiritual influence on the village.

  • Tajik Flag

    Tajikistan

    Churches Threatened

    Worrying reports have recently emerged from Tajikistan of threats to evangelical churches. Government officials contacted some pastors and church leaders in order to warn them that they have received credible information concerning groups of Islamic extremists planning to burn down and destroy their buildings. Concern has been growing in Tajikistan at the emergence of such groups who have been influenced by the teaching of a more radical form of Islam emanating from the neighbouring country of Afghanistan. The government has responded by passing legislation on all religions which is increasingly controlling and restrictive. Evangelicals are also labelled as extremists and viewed with suspicion by the authorities. Please pray for the safety of believers as they live for Christ in this difficult environment.

  • Romanian Flag 2

    Romania

    New Missions Pastor

    SGA’s Leadership Support programme is a vital ministry which allows Gospel workers to remain in their communities and fulfil the work to which God has called them. The demand for such help is continuing and growing and can only be met through the generous and prayerful support of partners in the UK and Ireland.

    The latest addition to this programme is Adi Muste, the Missions Pastor of the church in Peceiu, Romania. In this role he will be responsible for overseeing the ministry among the Roma people in the surrounding villages. This is a work that has been greatly blessed in recent years and we are excited to see what will happen in the future. We trust this new partnership will be used by God to reach many more people with the Gospel.

  • Hungary Flag

    Hungary

    Equipping Evangelists

    Good things are happening in Hungary. A vigorous and carefully planned church-planting strategy has been put in place by the Baptist Union there, and around fifty new churches have been established in the past decade. The vision is for one hundred more in the next ten years, and to that end Pastor Lajos Razc, pastor of Bicske Baptist Church and long-standing friend of SGA, has been appointed coordinator of the BU Church-Planting Initiative. Already he has organized several teaching conferences designed to encourage and equip church planters, in which SGA staff have been involved. At each of these events, between 50 and 90 workers have attended and it is thrilling to hear from them of Gospel advance in country towns and villages, and in the capital Budapest itself.

    At the most recent conference in March four young people were present, who were actively involved in a new initiative in the suburbs of the city. The pastor of another quite new church in Budapest was present too, and reported slow but steady growth in his ministry. Feedback from these training days has been very positive, and lively discussion and question and answer times have enhanced the teaching and the fellowship. SGA supporters are asked to continue to uphold this vital forward-looking ministry in prayer.

  • Scottish Flag

    Scotland

    Rich Fellowship

    A highlight of the deputation year is the annual visit to churches in the ‘Highlands and Islands’, taking in Skye, the islands of North Uist, Harris and Lewis in the Outer Hebrides, and many parts of the Scottish Highlands, majestic and breath-taking in their beauty. However, one thing outshines even this grandeur - the rich fellowship enjoyed with God’s people there. The warmth of the reception, and the obvious deep interest in and appreciation of the work of SGA, is a profoundly encouraging experience. In April and May, this itinerary once more proved a spiritually profitable venture, with many churches and individual believers also generous in their financial support of SGA’s ministries. Praise God for such faithful partners in the work.