Reach Far East Russia Now

SGA[UK] is going where we have never been before! In fellowship with the four other SGA families in USA, Canada, Australia and New Zealand, we are supporting a new initiative aimed at taking the Gospel to Far East Russia.

The collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 caused seismic change in the Communist dominated countries of Eastern Europe and Central Asia, and not least in Russia itself. In the political, economic and social upheaval which ensued there was an openness for Gospel witness lasting through most of the next decade, an openness which some would say was unprecedented. Things are different today, however, and the ‘Yarovaya Law’ introduced in 2016 by President Putin, if implemented in full, will severely limit Gospel witness and evangelical church life. House churches are deemed illegal; religious activity of any kind is restricted to within church buildings; missionaries must have official permits; a range of punitive measures including large fines, have been set in place.

President Putin

There is, therefore, a marked urgency about SGA’s ‘Reach Russia Now’ initiative. Over six million people live in this eastern region, many in isolated villages which have no road access, no electricity, telephone or internet connections, and no church buildings of any kind. 

A beautiful and a harsh place

There has been a revival and spread of shamanism and other new religious movements. Paganism is rife. People offer vodka to the ‘god of the fish’ to get a good catch, or to the ‘god of crops’ to have a good harvest. There are hundreds of towns and villages with no church – orthodox or evangelical.
SGA’s General Director, Derek Maxwell after his recent visit to the area

‘Reach Far East Russia Now’ is ‘a frontline ministry’! The acute spiritual needs of the region demand immediate attention while the door still remains ‘ajar’ for missionary activity, and the authorities struggle to apply the new religious laws in that far-flung area. However, lack of infrastructure and communication, the vast distances to be travelled, and the scattered nature of the population present challenges which appear almost insurmountable! 

Praise God that believers are finding ways to respond to those challenges. A number of evangelists and church planters with their families have taken the courageous step of moving out to live in isolated areas with the aim of bringing the Gospel to many who have never heard. SGA[UK] is financially supporting three of these.

Avel and his family drove 9,000 km across Russia in their old Lada car, responding to the call of God to go to unreached parts of their land with the Gospel. In the town of Pereyaslavka [population 14,000] they found four believers meeting in an old church building. Already they have seen God at work and their congregation has tripled! Avel reaches out to a further four villages up to 40 km away from his home, and near to the Chinese border. His wife leads a growing Sunday School work.

Avel Dorokhov supported by SGA

Aleksey and his wife have eight children. They work in the Lazo region where he ministers to a few small groups of believers in several villages. Recently, around forty people attended meetings where Aleksey shared what the Bible has to say about home and family life.

Aleksey Oikhov
Aleksey Olkhov's church
I met some believers from a Baptist church, who gathered together in prison. They explained to me the way of salvation through repentance and faith in the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. I repented… In 2010 I was ordained for missionary ministry in the church of Tambovka village, I continue this ministry till now.
Konstantin, converted in prison through reading a New Testament

Ivan Sobolev is a pilot already active in this ministry. He writes:

Here with bad roads and where it is difficult to get to villages to evangelize, the plane is really helpful, because there are many places that are very hard to reach. In winter there are many places you can’t get to in any other way, just by plane.

Three planes with a ‘missionary pilot and pastor team’ are already in operation. The eventual goal is to have twelve planes and teams to reach isolated areas of this vast spiritually untouched region. The operation calls for massive investment in prayer, effort, and finance, so that this goal can be reached by 2021 DV.


For more information on Far East Russia, please see our current project: 

“To The Ends of The Earth”

Praise God for what is already being accomplished in this vast ‘spiritual wasteland’ and pray for God’s richest blessing on the ambitious plans for the future, that many thousands will be reached and saved through the message of Jesus Christ, Saviour of the world.