Dear Brothers and Sisters,
Life is beautiful and the Lord is good! It is spring time in Belarus and we will be celebrating the resurrection of our Lord very soon! There are two different Easter celebrations in Belarus due to the use of two different calendars: Gregorian and Julian. One Easter is Catholic and the other is Orthodox. The main stream Christian confession in Belarus is Orthodox, so the Orthodox Easter receives somewhat greater attention. However, Catholics, Lutherans, Baptists and Pentecostals celebrate Easter together. It is great to see snow melting and the sun shining in the sky. The Lord continues to uphold this planet and his Church! Thank you, Lord!
We have some good news to share with you, our faithful supporters! We are so grateful for you, for your ongoing, faithful support!
In the beginning of this year, at the Christmas service, Dima Nyefuodov was ordained as a liturgical deacon in the, still unregistered, Lutheran garage congregation in Vitebsk. This was a great event for the congregation, as Dima represents a new generation of Lutherans in Belarus. He is 28 years old. He graduated from a theological school in Odessa and attended a one year course organized by the theological seminary in Koltyshi, St. Petersburg, Russia. Please give thanks to God for Dima and ask the Lord to bless him for this holy service.
We continue with the youth meetings and gatherings in Vitebsk. The idea is still the same: to build a handshake relationship with the local youth and anyone who is interested in the Christian faith and Lutheranism. The meetings take place each week on Thursdays. The youth play games and watch Christian movies. After the movies, they have discussions. These meetings are a great opportunity to share a Christian viewpoint on any issue raised in the movies we watch. Please pray for the seed of the Gospel to fall on this good ground.
Lyudmila and Maksim
Please especially pray for two people: Lyudmila and Maksim. Maksim is a young man and is interested in Christianity, however he is not baptized. Please pray for Maksim for the Lord to reveal to him the importance of Baptism and faith.
Lyudmila is a Belarusian language teacher at a secondary school. She has attended several services in the garage and seems to like it.
She has an orthodox background and knows very little about having a personal relationship with Christ. Please pray for Lyudmila: for her personal relationship with the Lord to grow.
On Duty for Good
We had the opportunity to participate in a charity ministry. The economic situation in Belarus is getting worse and as a result we have a lot of homeless and hungry people in the streets. In about two hours, we met five people looking for food in the city trash cans. The people were hungry and looking for the remnants of food. Please thank the Lord for the opportunity to share the love of Jesus with such people and to witness about the living God.
Good Book Publishers
The book ministry continues and this is amazing. Three new books will be printed in April. We print our books in Minsk at the state printing factory. We have recently sent a big collection of books to Odessa, Ukraine. The border can be a big problem. The books we print are in Russian and in Ukraine the current policy is very anti-Russian. Our brothers and sisters in Ukraine are in great need of Lutheran literature. Belarus is the only place where Lutheran books continue to be printed on a regular basis. Please thank the Lord for the book ministry and our partners in this very important service.
We just had a theological seminar in Vitebsk. Brothers and sisters from BLMF congregations came together to learn more about Holy Baptism and Holy Communion. Twenty two people were present! This was a great theological event in Belarus—It was also illegal. Special permission is needed from the state to have this type of religious seminar because a teacher from Russia (a different state) was involved. However, the Lord gave us courage to have the seminar and protected the event! In situations where the government says no to God, we need to obey God! The seminar was followed by a service with Holy Communion. Please give thanks for the seminar and for God’s protection! Praise the Lord!
We continue our music ministry for the glory of God! We recently performed a concert in Vitebsk that was organized in partnership with the city. The concert was called “The Music of Your City.” This was the first time we have ever organized a concert on such a high level. Praise the Lord! We had an opportunity to sing songs about spiritual things! Please thank the Lord for this.
Please continue to pray for the upcoming Bible camps this summer. Last year, we had two Bible camps outside of Belarus. However, it is also important to continue with the children’s ministry in Belarus. Dolsha (20km from Vitebsk) is a good place for a camp. Two years ago, we had 50 young people attend the camp. The Bible camp is organized as a tent camp with a small building that is used for cooking food. This year we urgently need to replace the roof in the building we use as the kitchen.
Please pray for
• New partners in the ministry
• Upcoming Bible camps and the roof renovation project
• Book ministry
• Music ministry
• Charity ministry
• For the funds needed to support all BLMF ministries
• For the rebuilding of the Lutheran Church in Belarus
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ! We thank God for you, for your faithfulness and support! Without you, the Lord’s people, our ministry would not be possible! Thank you again from the bottom of our hearts! The Lord is good! Praise his name! Amen!
Pastor Valery Hryhoryk
*For more information or to support Pastor Valery’s work, please visit: The Great Commission Society.