When an effectual door of ministry opens, it is with joy and smiles that we walk through this door and continue to do what is in our hearts to do overseas. I was recently invited to the city of Khabarovsk located in the Far East in Russia. It is just a three hour airplane ride from Beijing, and I was invited to teach in the ‘Vision’ Bible Seminary. The ‘Church of Jesus Christ’ hosts and administers the Bible school there and I was excited to teach ‘New Testament Survey’ to first year students and ‘Christian Apologetics’ to the fourth year students over the course of a week. But what is interesting is how it all started and then what will continue in the future.
When I first moved to Beijing, I was invited to team teach a course entitled ‘Evangelism and discipleship’ with the Bible Seminary here in Beijing. It was in this class that I learned about several unreached people groups and my heart was drawn toward a certain group of people. I was specifically drawn to the Nanai tribe, located and living between the border of China and Russia. In my heart, I wanted to do something to help reach this group of people which numbers between 5,000 to 10,000 people. They are fishermen and hunters and live a more primitive life. Then I found out about a lady who has worked among her tribe as a pastor, and it was at this point that I just wanted to meet her and somehow help her in some way to reach her people. Here name is pastor Elena and she currently pastors three churches. She pastors a church in the city of Khabarovsk, and she also travels to the villages of Verchnii Nergen and Vosnesenskoe.
One of the highlights of my m trip to Khabarovsk was tht I was able to meet and drink tea with pastor Elena and hear her heart for our people. I was moved with compassion and she brought a gift of smoked salmon and cavier the next day to the church where I was ministering. I asked her what she was believing God for. She said that she needs money for heating her house in Khabarovck…around 400usd a month in the winter time, and she needs gas money to travel to the villages to minister to the people that she has won to the Lord. This lady is one of my heroes in the faith, and now we are figuring out how to get money sent to her bank account their in Khabarovsk. I am highly motivated to sow into her ministry, and she needs help. Help me help her reach her people, and we can then remove the nanai trobe from the unreached people groups list.
On the final leg of my journey, the leadership discovered that I had served as a youth pastor for twelve years before moving overseas. So the youth pastor asked me a for a favor. I was leaving on Sunday afternoon having preached two services when he asked me if I would come as a guest and share with a group of young people for about an hour. He said that he knew that I was tired, but he asked me if I would consider it. Now how am I going to say no to a fellow comrade in arms who is pastoring youth. So I traveled back to my hotel, took a nap, and then it was off to ‘6 PM’, a weekly evangelical meeting where young people aged 16 to 25 meet and and discuss different topics. I shared on the topic of what I would do all over again if I could live my life again. At 55 years of age, thinking back to when I was 16 seems like a light years ago, but I was able to share some stories about decisions that I made that have made a huge difference in my life. It was an awesome time and wonderful experience to speak with this group.
Later that evening I left at 11:55 pm for the airport arriving in Beijing at 1:15 in the morning…a three hour flight with a two hour time difference. It was a wonderful and fulfilling time of m work in an brand new place. I shared with my wife Lori that a new opportunity and place has opened for us. We will travel there again, and I look forward to more effectual doors opening in this region of the world.
Finally, thanks for your prayers and for your financial support. It is greatly appreciated.
Love and Miss You,
Pastor Randy and Lori