It is no surprise, then, to learn that sometimes one of the most practical ways of partnering with Gospel workers involves the provision of transport that allows them to go where they are most needed.
The provision of cars, vans, and even aeroplanes enables effective Gospel ministry to take place.
Far East Russia
It was recognized from the beginning of ministry in Far East Russia that a different approach would be needed to reach the many isolated communities there. The harshness of the environment, the distances involved, and the remoteness of some of the settlements meant that the use of motor vehicles would be severely restricted in this region.
Instead, trained pilots and aeroplanes were needed to bring the Gospel to difficult-to-reach communities. SGA(UK) is committed to help meet such a need, and sponsors an aviation ministry which facilitates a vital pioneer missionary initiative.
We are thankful the fruit of this ministry is now becoming apparent.
There have been setbacks and challenges. A combination of local bureaucracy, difficult weather conditions and world events caused delays and problems. Nevertheless, the pilots are now flying, and the Gospel is going to places beyond the reach of traditional means of transportation.
In a recent report, a first visit to the mountainous village of Agzu was described. It was clear God was answering prayer as good relationships led to evangelistic ministries taking place. A similar story is told about the village of Chumikan, a community of around 1,500 people living along the shore of the Sea of Okhotsk. Like Agzu, this is a difficult community to reach, a community with no evangelical witness. The first visits have been made, and the team believes there are exciting opportunities ahead to work with these people.
Plans are in place for more pilots and planes. However, the war in Ukraine and the recent mobilization announced by the Russian government are complicating matters. Yet, according to the leader of this aviation ministry, ‘the door remains open,’ and they are committed to this pioneer Gospel work.
Another pioneer Gospel worker who needed help with transport is Denis Tolstov. Denis is an SGA-sponsored missionary with a ministry among disabled children and their families. Such opportunities bring certain practical needs, including suitable transportation.
Denis had an old car with many mechanical problems which was entirely unsuitable for his needs. Working alongside one of Denis’ sponsors, SGA(UK) was able to send funds for a replacement vehicle. Now Denis can develop his ministry among the children and families. With a more reliable car, he also plans to travel to more villages in his region and expand the work there.
In Ukraine there are many examples of how the provision of vehicles has enabled God’s people to serve others in times of great need. One of the most recent incidents involved a pastor and his church being used by God near the front line of fighting.
In the beleaguered city of Kherson, Pastor Sergei Synni and around 30 church members have been ministering to the physical and spiritual needs of the people. Every day, apart from Sundays, they provide food, water and other essential provisions. On Sundays, there is no food distribution, yet 300–400 people come to the service where the Gospel is preached.
In the ‘white heat of war and destruction’ they are looking for more than food. They are seeking and finding the hope that can only be found in the Lord Jesus Christ.
SGA has sent funds and provisions to the church in Kherson. A medical team has also been sponsored to travel to the city. Funds for a van have been forwarded to allow the church’s ministry to include others further afield. Pastor Sergei said,
Gospel workers continue to need help as they share the Gospel of peace.
Providing the necessary means of transport is just one example of what practical Gospel partnership looks like.
Please pray that we will continue to be able to meet these needs so that more pastors, missionaries, evangelists and church planters will be equipped for the work to which the Lord has called them.