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New Bible storybook for the Chukchi of Siberia

October 2018

‘Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has gone through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess’ (Hebrews 4:14).

The Chukchi people, a minority group with a population of around 15,000, are indigenous reindeer herders and fishermen living in Siberia, Russia. Partners of OM EAST seek to bring the truth about Jesus Christ to the Chukchi, whose beliefs are animistic.

‘The biggest challenges in reaching the Chukchi are isolation and fear’, explained Natalie [name changed], a field worker. ‘It is very expensive to travel to their remote villages, and official permissions are required to go into these areas. Furthermore, they fear the consequences of not following rituals, such as wearing amulets (charms), feeding the fire and feeding the land’.

OM EAST’s partners on the field want to tell the Chukchi about Jesus Christ, the great High Priest who came down to earth to pay a costly price in offering himself as the ultimate sacrifice for people’s sins. They want to speak of how Jesus was then raised to life and overcame sin and death.

Salvation through Christ

They desire the Chukchi to know that, through faith in Jesus, it is possible to have peace with God and assurance of salvation. To help communicate this hope, in 2017 they published a book of 25 Bible stories in the Chukchi and Russian languages. Their Android app also enables individuals to both read and listen to the content.

The Bible storybook declares Jesus’ authority over nature, sickness, death and demons, and to forgive sins. OM EAST provided the new publication’s design and layout, also creating an eBook version. ‘My local colleague Katarina [name changed] is distributing the storybook and she says some people even want her to write a little note to them personally inside it’, shared Natalie.

The Bible storybooks are being given out in the Republic of Yakutia. Katarina visited a village with 300-400 inhabitants, home to a handful of believers. To get there it is a four-hour flight from Yakutia’s capital, followed by a six-hour journey by snowmobile or a 45-minute flight by helicopter.

Dangerous weather

Harsh and dangerous weather conditions make it wise to travel using two snowmobiles, in case one breaks down in the vast, frozen landscape. ‘It’s worth the labour of translation; it’s worth the cost of travel; and it’s worth the risks of the climate, to deliver the message of greatest worth to the Chukchi people’, reflected an OM EAST worker, while considering what their partners on the field are prepared to invest to fulfil what God has put on their hearts.

Praise God that the Chukchi are hearing the gospel. Please pray individuals use the print and digital Bible storybooks. Please pray they would have courage to leave their rituals and accept Jesus as their Saviour, who offers forgiveness and eternal life. Please pray local followers of Christ hold firmly to the faith they profess.

Inger R.

OM EAST’s literature and media ministry produces high quality print and digital media in over 25 languages. Always working with partners, they seek to share the gospel, strengthen churches and bring hope to people groups throughout Eurasia.

© 2018 OM International

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