Posted by: Steven Grabiner | December 1, 2008

Sacrifice – Russian Style

Russian village home

Russian village home

Snow greeted us as we walked out of the airport in Perm, Russia. It was an unexpected welcome to that vast country. Slavik (my interpreter) and I were in Russia for two weeks. Our purpose was to visit three ministries that have recently started. Each of these projects has begun with great self-sacrifice.

Separately, the Lord convicted three different families, in different parts of Russia, with the idea of beginning their own medical missionary training program.

Divided by thousands of kilometers of Russian forest, the founders of the three projects are nevertheless united in their commitment to spread the gospel. Each of the families involved made the decision to sell their personal businesses or properties in order to fund their ministries.

Lifestyle center outside of Krasnodar

Lifestyle center outside of Krasnodar

They purchased and remodeled village homes, in order that they might operate both training programs and lifestyle centers. It was extremely encouraging and exciting to see the joy in the faces of the students, and to hear the answers to prayer. It was especially heartening to understand that the sacrifices endured are bringing great joy to the families involved. (Imagine selling your comfortable home, and moving into a much smaller house, where the living room, kitchen and bathroom were all in one room! And doing so, simply to have the opportunity to share God’s principles with others.)

These new ministries are already having an impact throughout the country. Students come to the three schools from across Russia’s eleven time zones, often traveling days by train. They return to their homes, ready to share the principles that they have learned and ready to practice the sacrifice they have seen.

Former KGB agent (center) with Alexey (left), the leader of We Are Family, and me

Former KGB agent (center) with Alexey (left), the leader of We Are Family, and me

During one health expo in the village of Voronezhskaya, an older gentleman was introduced to health principles. He soon became interested in learning more of what motivated those involved with the program. Upon hearing of the world’s greatest Sacrifice, he yielded his life to Christ and was recently baptized. This former KGB agent is now a faithful member of God’s remnant church.

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