Dear brothers and sisters, greetings in the name of the Lord! Fall has come! This year, September is very warm. We thank the Lord for the beautiful weather and sunshine! This is somewhat unusual. I do not remember such warm weather in the fall. Autumn is a time of harvest and this year has been very fruitful. There are a lot of apples on the apple trees and people are calling this year an “Apple Year!” Well, the Lord has been good to us and below is a report of the good spiritual harvest!
The central event of this summer was, of course, our annual summer Bible camp that took place in our traditional location, Dolsha (25 km away from Vitebsk city). The weather scared us a little in the beginning, as it rained heavily. As you remember, we have a tent camp and the possibility of the children being in the rain was not a good one. So, we prayed, and the Lord answered with a brilliant idea to rent a big tent so that we could put many small tents inside the big one. And we did that! Praise the Lord! There was just one place in Vitebsk that rented out large enough tents and there was only one left, because, as it turned out, such tents are in big demand during the summer season!
A youth team from Slovakia came to help. This has become a good tradition! They brought a water football and helped with the games and outdoor activities. The camp was a blessing! Over 50 people attended the event! The number is increasing every year and we have developed a good reputation in the local community!
This year, at last, we were able to renovate a small house at the campsite in Dolsha to use as a kitchen and warehouse. The building was built after World War II and is very old. We replaced the roof and put siding around the house. Now it looks very nice. Thank you, Lord!
Our Bible camps are evangelistic in nature and we try to reach out to the new children. This year we had ten new children that had never heard the Gospel and prayed to God for the first time in their lives. There is a video available to watch at the following address: Summer Camp 2018.
Praise the Lord for our summer Bible camp! We also give thanks for the supporters who made it happen!
Good Book Publishers
Three new books were printed this year. The book ministry is very needed for the growing Russian-speaking Lutheran Church. Through our Christian book ministry, we seek to equip Christians, and others who are interested, with a background of information and knowledge that will give them confidence in their faith in Jesus Christ and the ability to inform and correct others who do not believe. We are grateful for the opportunity to continue with this important ministry. Please join us in giving thanks to the Lord for this and also pray for the distribution of the books.
ELSA Conference in Saldus, Lithuania
Belarus Lutheran Missionary Fellowship (BLMF) is a member of European Lutheran Sunday School Association (ELSA). The European Lutheran Sunday School Association is a network of Lutheran Sunday schools in Europe established in Smolenice, Slovakia, on the 10thof November 1996. The association is between Sunday school movements in Europe, who in allegiance to Holy Scripture and the evangelical Lutheran confession gathers children in Sunday schools and their activities. The members of ELSA are organizations, parts of organizations or sections of churches. Our team consisted of three people: myself, Ludmila and Evgeniy. We were able to share new ideas with the children and got excited for new opportunities to serve the children and youth. Our team traveled to the conference by car and Good Book Publisher’s books were delivered for distribution in Ukraine through Pastor Alexander Gross and to Latvia through the Latvian church and Sunday school. Praise the Lord we were not stopped at the border! Please give thanks with us for this wonderful opportunity and for the financial blessing to be able to attend the ELSA conference.
We are very grateful to those who voted for our song, “100 Stones.” It was selected to play on the radio. The song is based on a well-known book by John Bunyan “The Pilgrim’s Progress” and is about stones, representing our sins and Jesus as the one who can take them way. Praise the Lord 1,500,000 people now hear the song and hopefully will think about their relationship with God! Please pray for the song to be a useful tool in the Lord’s hands! We also have a change in our music group. Evgeny moved to live in Minsk, therefore, we are looking for a new solo guitarist. Please pray with us for a new team member to join the music ministry.
We were able to help one family install a heating system in their home before the winter. The head of the family is handicapped: he cannot see well and is on a small pension from the state. Winters in our part of the country can be very cold: up to -30 C. It was very good to be able to help these people, as their family is very poor. Thank you, Lord, for the opportunity!
New Education Opportunities
Please pray for the seminar that is due to take place at the end of October. The theme of the seminar will be Martin Luther’s Small Catechism. Please pray for this event as we plan to reach people who are new to the Christian faith. Also, prayer for a wall of protection fire around the seminar. Our teacher shall be Valery Volodin, a seminary teacher from St. Petersburg.
Please, continue to pray for the registration of the garage congregation in Vitebsk. We are getting the necessary papers ready again. The registration is needed in order to be more visible in society and for the good image of the Lutheran Church. Please pray for the process, and also for the congregation itself as it functions without registration, which makes the services illegal.
Dear brothers and sisters, our faithful ministry supporters! We give thanks to God for your faithfulness and love for the mission! Without you our ministry could not be possible! For more information or to connect – please visit: The Great Commission Society.
May the Lord richly bless you and keep you!
Pastor Valery Hryhoryk