I know a pastor named Sergey who lives in a city in Siberia. In the midst of what we would call abject poverty and severe persecution he gives thanks to God for everything. He never ceases to seek out the lost to share the good news of Jesus Christ and his offer of salvation.
I heard this from Sergey yesterday evening. This is paraphrased somewhat because Sergey speaks only Russian, and his emails are translated using google translator. Google translator has a ways to go with Russian.
“We in Russia have a new experience in store for us. The president of Russia has signed a new law which will go into effect February 15th, 2011. This law says that any foreign missionary, Bible teacher, pastor, or evangelist cannot share the gospel, teach the bible, or evangelize within Russia. “Again the Iron Curtain falls to Russia.” Last year, the government wanted to pass a law forbidding missionary work in Russia on a broader scale, but this law has not (yet) passed. Now the powers of darkness operate on the other hand. As this new law goes into effect, they will aspire to reinstate an old law forbidding evangelism on the part of any individual or church that is not Orthodox, meaning government-approved and watered-down to the point of apostasy.
“Here are God’s new year’s gifts to us!
“But we do not despair. We give thanks to God for all He sends to us in His providence.
“Your prayers about us [to God] are the big support for us in our ministry.
“The slave to God,”
“The slave to God.” Would that I were such a witness for the kingdom.