The Value of Sponsoring Leaders

If you were to ask a group of believers to suggest the most effective means of advancing world mission, I suspect you would get a wide variety of responses.

All however would identify as a vital issue, the strength of the indigenous evangelical church and the availability of faithful Gospel workers. A key part of SGA’s mission strategy is to support national believers who are willing and ready to serve the Lord. Currently our missionary families work in Far East Russia and in 13 countries of Eastern Europe and Central Asia. While we have many projects, SGA is, at its core, a mission concerned primarily about people.

We have supported hundreds of workers financially and many are now in self-supporting church situations. However, others may have to miss great opportunities to reap the harvest because of economic hardship and lack of resources.

Together, through your partnership with the Mission, we are supporting two hundred missionary families to reach out in the heartlands of the Orthodox Church in Eastern Europe, Islam dominated Central Asia, and into the deep spiritual darkness of Far East Russia.

Many are willing to forsake the comfort of a home church and a better quality of life, to go and live in rural areas, among those who need to hear the Good News.

Valery Sidorenko with his wife Valentina are one such couple who made that choice.

Immediately after their wedding thirty-six years ago they went from the warmer southern region near the Black Sea to Yakutia, East Russia, the coldest territory in the world.

Many advised them not to go but stay in more comfortable surroundings. However, Valery and Valentina had settled this issue with the Lord before they got married.

This young pioneering couple became the first to bring the Gospel to this region, and the first Sakha people [known to the Russians as ‘Yakuts’] came to faith in 1991.

Pastor Valery Sidorenko FER

Of those first three believers, two were abused women who became zealous evangelists. Praise God that today there are over eight hundred believers, many of whom are now also helping to advance the Gospel. These are first generation believers who are going out to unreached villages, and people are hearing the Gospel for the very first time.

Throughout this entire time, Valery and Valentina have remained in that same region. Reflecting on their years of faithful service Valery shares that,

“as a result of our ministry several churches and groups were formed in different locations. In these recent days God has given us opportunities to travel to different districts in Yakutia so that we could use our experience for encouraging the churches, missionary families, and help organize and develop various ministries in churches.”

Valery has been described as a ‘patriarchal figure’ for Gospel advancement in Yakutia and all who know him wholeheartedly agree. Valery and Valentina are the most recent couple to be added to SGA’s Leadership Support programme.

Your prayerful and financial investment into the lives of missionary pastors enables you to play a part in planting Bible preaching churches in towns and villages across Eastern Europe, Central Asia and Far East Russia that have yet to hear the Gospel. We are committed to work more and more in those places where the good news of Jesus is little shared, and among the most marginalized people of society.