Interview with RiverWalk
Give us a brief update on the last year of your ministry?
Church in Omsk did not have ministers for a long time. They have wanted to see us as ministers here for a long time. When we served in Barnaul Church of Christ before our move Arkasha went to Omsk four times a year for three weeks at a time to teach Bible studies and preach on Sunday helping the church in Omsk spiritually. In October 2015 God blessed us to move to Omsk. It was not an easy decision for us. For the last year God showed clearly to us what we need to start our ministry in Omsk church with – to start Bible study on Wednesday and Thursday in different parts of the city, women’s Bible classes, teenage and children’s ministries. Before our move the church had only worship on Sunday. God also showed it is important to teach the church to serve together as a team in teenage and children’s ministries. God also helped organized brothers’ meetings every week at our home for the past year. For the last year we also had individual Bible studies both with brothers and sisters from the church and with other people. Our goal for the past year has been to create conditions for the spiritual growth of the church and to help brothers and sisters
in the church to serve our Lord.
Arkasha, I hear you have been able to share the Gospel in some interesting circumstances, tell us a little about that?
I use every opportunity to share the God News because I am in awe by what God was able to create in me and my life and how He has changed it. And it happens most of the time naturally. I also have a tendency to think through the situation ahead of time – what to say to create an interest in people. For example, when we were looking for an apartment I would always say to the agent and the apartment owner, “Because of our work we need to have a big room. Because of our work people will come to us. Will you be okay with that? Etc.” In the end the owner and the agent are curious what we do. And here I start telling them about God, about Christ and about salvation. Also, when I need to stay in the hospital for several days because of my health, the first thing I do I put my big and noticeable Bible on the bed stand. And it by itself creates a question what is this book. It is a good opportunity to start sharing the Gospel fully satisfying the curiosity of the person who asked the questionOr when I start preparing for sermon or a Bible study at the hospital, I lay down all my materials on the bed. It also creates a question what I am highlighting or reading. What I do doesn’t look like common reading. I want to share an unusual situation when I had a surgery on my leg. The narcosis I had influenced only the lower part of my body. I could talk. The nurses also kept talking to me to check whether I was okay. I decided to talk to them about salvation and about faith in God. The operation lasted for two hours and for the two hours surgeons, nurses and other stuff could enjoy hearing the Good News.
I understand Russia has passed a new law concerning missionary work. Is it affecting your work?
The new law was passed as part of the package against terrorism and extremism. It does not forbid missionary work. The law regulates it in order for the government to know what is going on among religious organizations and groups. Also Russian constitution article 28 guarantees the freedom of religion to every citizen. It does create some difficulties and inconveniences but it doesn’t influence in any way our ministry.
What can we be praying for you about in the coming months?
Thank you for praying for us and thus being our partners in the ministry. Your prayer support means a lot to us. you can pray for God using us further to take care of His church in Omsk; for God helping brothers and sister to grow spiritually and to see the necessity being a part of Bible study groups and serving in the church. Please pray for the following ministries: women’s Bible class on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday Bible study groups, teens’ and children’s ministries, for the individual Bible studies and for the beginning of signing class and Celebrate Recovery. Also continue praying about our health, especially Arkasha’s. In our two last letters we were saying Arkasha might need a surgery on one of his knees. God has been answering our prayers. His knee does not bother him any more at all. We hope there will be no need for the operation.