Saturday, December 20, 2008

Engaging the PGs of Russia

Over the last few weeks we have been praying over the vast number of cities and People Groups (PGs) in Russia that we have yet to engage with the Gospel. With the reshuffling of the IMB into Affinity Groups, rather than Regions, there is an increased emphasis on the many Unreached People Groups (UPGs).

A recent revisiting of a list of the PGs in Russia revealed that of the 10 largest non-Russian, non-Muslem UPGs in Russia - we are currently engaging only one of them with any type of personnel or witness (way to go Jack Gilliland- our VSC with 2nd largest - the Udmurt).

We currently have a serious campaign taking shape to engage the Chuvash (the largest of these groups with 1.8 million). This initiative will expand over the next few weeks and months to include others of these UPGs.

Right now, we are asking you to pray. Pray for the UPGs listed below. Pray that the Lord would send a key partner or an onsite M or whatever to help share the Good News with these many peoples. Pray that the Lord would make it clear how He would have YOU join HIM in Engaging Russia.

Chuvash 1.8 million -- Udmurt 770,000 -- Mordvin-Erzya 612,000 -- Low Mari 525,000 -- Ossetian 462,000 -- Yakut 439,000 -- Mordvin-Moksha 428,000 -- Komi-Zyrian 345,000 -- Tuvin 312,000 -- Vlach Romani 180,000 - - - -



Saturday, December 6, 2008

Chuvash Videos ready for download!

If you have not already done so, take a few minutes, scroll down to the Chuvash videos below and watch them.

Each of these videos, PLUS - Tim and Marc's Lottie Moon video, bulletin inserts and a 7-day prayer guide for the Chuvash are now available for download.

Again, the official website will be up VERY soon, but for now you can download each of these items at

The first directory will give you options for: streaming video, downloadable video, and print materials.

When you click on the 'downloadable video' you can download any of the 3 videos in high quality or click on the 'smaller sizes' link and find the same videos in smaller file sizes easier download (but of course, the quality isn't quite as good).

Praying that the Lord will use this to help reach the Chuvash with the Good News.

Thanks for praying and joining us as we continue to Engage Russia!


Friday, December 5, 2008

Chuvash Videos ready for Lottie Moon

Marc has been laboring long and hard this week to prepare the set of videos on the Chuvash People of Russia.

These videos tell a great story of one of the least evangelized people groups in Russia, and I hope you will take advantage of them this Lottie Moon Christmas Offering season by showing them in your churches, Sunday School classes and small groups.

The official Engage Russia website is going to be up and running very soon!
I got a glimpse of it today and it looks amazing.
Until the website is up, Marc will be posting these and other videos right here on the Engage Russia Journals. So watch and enjoy.

Stay tuned and join us as we Engage Russia with the Good News of Jesus Christ!


Chuvash-Part One: Introduction & Cheboksary

Chuvash-Part Two: The Chuvash People and Culture

Chuvash-Part Three: Baptist Work Among the Chuvash

Part Four: Chuvash People Prayer Guide

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Good Day at Church in Cheboksary

Today we visited one of the 3 Baptist churches here in the capital of Chuvashia.
The church was filled with young people, the music was lively, there was one sermon and 3 testimonies. There were Russians, Chuvash, Tatars, Mari, Mordovan, Udmurt, Mexicans and Americans all worshiping together in that one small rented room. God is Good . . .

During the testimony time two of the guys who spoke talked about critical moments in their journeys to Christ.
One said it was an American volunteer who visited him in a Rehab center in Udmurtia, that shared his testimony which the Lord used to bring conviction on his heart. That American volunteer later asked him if he could pray for him and later that evening the young Tatar drug addict prayed to receive Christ. As he began to grow in Christ and as he was contemplating his future, he was invited to a seminar about working in Rehab centers, but he could not afford to go. He prayed that if that is how God wanted him to serve, then God would have to provide the way, otherwise he would go back into secular work. The next day an American volunteer visiting the center, not knowing anything about this, gave him $100 - because the Lord just laid it on his heart.

Another testified that an American volunteer, who came to help with an evangelistic outreach, saw him standing alone in the back corner of the meeting and approached him when no one else would. This volunteer asked how he could pray for him. That led to a conversation, to an introduction to the local pastor and to his salvation.

Both these guys gave praise and thanks to God for sending folks just like you guys to make a difference in peoples lives. Both these guys are now serving the Lord full-time by beginning a Rehab center here in Chuvashia!

I know that sometimes we wonder if all of the money, time, and energy spent is really worth it.
YES YES YES - We Make a Difference -
We plant seeds, we water, and sometimes - sometimes we get the Glorious privilege of seeing the harvest.
Thanks for joining us as we Engage Russia together!


Thursday, November 20, 2008

A Busy Day

Our day started early as our train arrived in Cheboksary just after 9am. After a quick video shoot a the train station we headed off for our hotel and to quickly unpack our gear before taking advantage of the falling snow.

Cheboksary is located on the Volga River, so shooting downtown on the banks of the bay fed by the Volga seemed like a good place to start. We selected a few locations and started to knock out some of the “stand-up” segments for our video. While the wind started to blow harder and the snow felt more like tiny ice pellets hitting our faces, we were able to get a good start. The monument to "Mother Chuvash" created a great backdrop for shooting.

Lunch (borsht at a local Russian cafe) was spent with Alexander, a local Baptist pastor who gladly agreed to meet us and bring us up to speed on local Baptist work and evangelism among the Chuvash people group. He invited us to join him later that evening for a Bible study group at a small church outside of town.

Then it was back to the hotel for some rest and a quick edit session.

Our evening ended at “Living Water Baptist Church” where we met spent the evening with a Bible study group in their new building. After a time of fellowship we stopped by Central Baptist Church in Cheboksary and spent about half-an-hour talking with several of the church deacons who had just finished their mid-week services.

Usually our video trips are marked with early morning and late nights, and tonight was no exception as we worked until after midnight on video editing and writing a few blogs.

We are looking forward to tomorrow when we will tour the Chuvash National Museum as well as visit some of the other sights around town.


Wednesday, November 19, 2008

On The Rails Again...

When we travel by train we usually try to book ourselves on the night train, and this trip was no exception. We pulled out of Kazansky Station just after 8pm.and settled into our coupe (a compartment on the train that contains four bunks, two upper and two lower.) It will take us about 13 hours to get to Cheboksary, but traveling by train is one of my favorite things about life in Russia.

It finally started snowing this evening as I was making my way from my apartment to the train station and by the time we pulled out of the station there was already a heavy dusting of snow on the ground. Temperatures for this trip are expected to be around 0C during the day and -2C at night, so fairly mild for the latter part of November.

We are excited about this first adventure and are looking forward to spending time with our Baptist brothers in Cheboksary and for Saturday when we will meet up with Sergey, a young man from our weekly English Club who is Chuvash and has invited us to his home village. We know that God is already at work and are eager to see what he is going to do during this trip.

We have a long day scheduled for tomorrow, so we are going to take advantage of the train and settle in early for the night.