The Resurrection Evangelical Church in Ruba, Belarus, was established in 1995. Looking back, we recognise with gratitude that we have experienced God’s mercy and guidance since then.
When my wife, Albina, and I first came to Ruba, after completing our course at the EMF Bible School in Welwyn, there was not a single evangelical Christian here.
We started missionary work by giving lectures on biblical subjects in the local civic centre. Then God started to save people. They repented, received his forgiveness and were baptised. And so we were able to start an evangelical church.
Until Christmas 2009, we held our meetings in different facilities. For the first two years, we used a room in the local civic centre. Then, when attitudes at the centre to evangelical Christians began to change for the worse, we for a while held our services in an uninhabited, vacant house, outside the town.
God has blessed my wife and I with a nice apartment to live in (the owner has allowed us the use of it for nearly ten years), and so for about a year we gathered in our apartment. During this time, we also began work on building our own church building.
Having overcome many difficulties, and learned the bitterness of defeats and the joy and pleasure of victories in Christ, God has now brought us to where we can use our building for worship services.
The believers look after the building according to a rota. This is necessary to protect the premises, as at the moment we cannot afford to pay a watchman. It is also a good opportunity to invite along unsaved friends and relatives, show them the facility and talk about the Lord in a quiet atmosphere.
With the new opportunities these premises have brought, we have been able to restart our work among teenagers and with a Sunday school. After the Bible lesson, the youngsters are happy to remain for games. We also hope in due time to purchase playground equipment, as funds allow.
We know these children are deprived of normal communication with adults, because many families in Ruba do not have fathers. So we have been involving men from the church in dialogue with the children and playing table tennis, badminton, checkers and chess with them.
There are occasions when some parents forbid their children to attend our Sunday school, but we continue to pray for the children.
Our first attempt to gain permission from the local authorities for an extension of the building’s use for other church activities failed, but we have worked further on its ventilation, basement, toilets, interior doors and decoration and hope to reapply for permission soon.
Please pray for this, and for our work among the children and their families, and for a spiritual awakening in our church and nation.
We thank God for those Christians who have supported us with their prayers. I am grateful too to my church’s own committee, for its productive collaboration, openness, honesty and courage in making decisions according to the biblical requirements and doctrine.
I believe the best is yet to come, and pray that with God’s help we will be able to work hard and be successful for his kingdom.