While these, and other events from the CIS, appear in the world newspapers every day, our spiritual leaders across the CIS field grapple with the proper response of a Holiness people:
I was moved recently by the actions of our new District Superintendent from the Russia North District, Yuri Ananyev. He posted online a message of reconciliation and unity between the Body of Christ in Russia and Ukraine. And on March 7, pastors, missionaries, and some of our partners across the globe fasted together for peace and unity in Christ.
I was moved again by one of our Ukrainian pastors who described at a District Assembly how he was caught up in the limelight of his small town. He had heard of the tension in his city center and went down there to communicate peace in the name of Jesus. Television cameras caught him at the event, and the people in his town recognized him on their television sets. Soon, he was being hailed a hero to some and a villain to others. Since then, he met a young police officer, who has found himself hated because he followed the commands given to him. He told our pastor, “I was only doing what I was commanded to do. Now, I am hated by everyone I know.” Our Nazarene pastor is sharing Christ with this young man, an outcast, and describing the beauty of knowing Jesus as Lord and finding acceptance in God’s family.
Our mission team, in the hands of God, has been safe through these events. We continue to rejoice in God’s call to serve in the CIS and are determined to follow our Lord with our family in Eastern Europe and Central Asia. We ask for your continued prayers that the political events do not distract the Church from its focus on Jesus, its unity in Christ, or its mission of “Making Christlike Disciples in the Nations.”
Thank you all for your prayers and support through these challenging times. We thank God for your partnership with the Gospel. You are gifts of God to us, and we love you!