Mission Driven – Update from Belarus

Dear brothers and sisters! Spring is a wonderful time! Nature awakens from wintery sleep. The birds are singing. The first thunderstorm! We were blessed to be born in Belarus, a country with four seasons! Every season has its beauty and charm! Spring is also a time of change! Below is the ministry update from Belarus Lutheran Missionary Fellowship.

Political Situation in Belarus

In the wake of the election, thousands of Belarusians have taken to the streets in what has become the largest and most persistent show of opposition to Lukashenka. More than 33,000 people have been arrested in a crackdown that has left much of the opposition leadership in exile or prison. The European Union, the United States, and other nations have refused to recognize the declared election results and slapped sanctions on Lukashenka and other senior Belarus officials.

Alyaksandr Lukashenka has recently claimed he was the target of an assassination plot. Lukashenka said on state TV on April 17 that he and his children were the targets of the alleged assassination plot. He claimed it had been approved by “the top political leadership” of the United States, though he provided no evidence to back up the claim.

Political crises in Belarus continues and the controlled lawmakers continue creating severely restricting civil rights laws to prevent further protests and democratic changes in the country. One can go to jail just for having a white-red-white flag on the balcony. Please continue praying for Belarus, for God to have mercy on the nation in this difficult time.

Theological Seminar

We remain in COVID-19 pandemic. A third wave was announced in Belarus. However, the government is not taking enough measures to protect the people. We hear stories when people get infected with COVID-19 in the hospitals as they keep the infected and the uninfected together. People continue to die, but officially COVID-19 does not exist in Belarus. In this situation, we try to be very careful and do our projects avoiding big numbers of people.

A theological seminar took place in Vitebsk. We were reminded about the power of prayer. The seminar was based on the book of the Norwegian pastor Ule Halesby “From The World of Prayer.” Our friend from Slovakia Kristina Luashova also took part in the seminar online. Kristina and Tomash take an active part in our Summer Bible camps. Thank you, Lord for this event in the middle of the pandemic!

A New Creative Way of Distribution of Christian Books and Bibles

We have started a new creative way of theological books and Bible distribution. One of our parishioners, Andrey is a taxi driver. 

We thought that distribution of the Bibles and Christian literature among his taxi clients is a good idea. A very creative way of distributing the Word of God! Taxi drivers like to talk while driving! Why not about spiritual things? More than 50 books have been distributed already!

We hope and pray that the people who received such a gift in Andrey’s taxi will reappear for more information about Christian Faith in personal Jesus. Please pray for this initiative and ask the Lord to send interested people in Andrey’s taxi.

Good Book Publisher’s Books

Good Book Publisher’s Books have been sent to St. Petersburg, Russia a month ago, however, the recipient has not received them. It has never happened before. We hope this is not a postage system global failure.  A big number of books are getting ready to go to Ukraine. Though the relationship between Ukraine and Belarus is getting worse because of the friendship between Belarus and Russia, (Ukraine has officially declared Russia to be an aggressor) we pay that this fact will not hinder the postage system between the countries. Though everything is possible in this dynamically changing situation. Please pray for the distribution of Good Book publisher’s books. For the new and creative ways of distribution.

Pastoral Visit of the BLMF Team in Orsha District

It was a great joy to visit the BLMF team in Orsha district and find brothers and sisters in good physical and spiritual health. After a short service, we had holy communion. As David said in Psalm 133: “How good and pleasant it is when brothers live together in unity!” Orsha is one of the strategic cities for rebuilding historical Lutheranism in Belarus. Sonya Baturevich (second on the left) is the head of the youth and children’s work in that region. Please pray for Orsha and for the congregation and the leaders there.

BLMF Continues Ministry to the Handicapped Children

A handbook by Norwegian author Jostein Boldoy about how to treat the handicapped children in the church was published in e-format by “Good Book Publishers.” The book is a well-thought guide on the confirmation classes for the handicapped children in the congregation. Please give thanks to God with us for this very helpful resource! To God be the glory!

Music Ministry Continues To Be Our Priority

While on quarantine, we used our time to writing new songs. It is a pity that all the planned concerts were canceled because of the pandemic. However, the Lord gave us a wonderful opportunity. We received a call from a local TV station with a suggestion to make a TV show about our music group. This is a great opportunity to tell people about faith and help them think about God and the eternal things! Please thank the Lord with us for this. Leonid Goldenberg (a man with the thumb up) is our music group, sound engineer.  Leonid is a Jew. Welcome, Leonid, to the team! Please pray for Leonid, for him to get to know Jesus.

Dear brothers and sisters! We are grateful to God for you, our faithful supporters at this difficult for the whole world situation. I keep on repeating that without you, the Lord’s faithful people, our ministry in Belarus could hardly be possible. May the Lord continue to bless you, as you bless others!  Please continue praying for God’s Kingdom in this part of the world! 

For more information, or to learn how you can support Pastor Valery through SON Network, please visit: thenalc.org/pastor-valery-hryhoryk/

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