In these days when the world has been shaken by the COVID-19 virus, Paul’s words to the church in Philippi provide helpful perspective: “Now I want you to know, brothers and sisters, that what has happened to me has actually served to advance the gospel” (Philippians 1:12). As we look beyond ourselves in these times to serve the purposes of the Gospel—whether at home or abroad—advances are taking place.
In sharp contrast to so much disheartening news, this update from our DPM workers in the former Soviet Union brings great encouragement. They have been diligent in these unusual times—sharing the good news of Jesus in practical ways and helping Christians in Ukraine, Russia, Armenia, Kazakhstan, and many other regions to grow in their faith.
COMPASSION IN UKRAINE
During the lockdown, the DPM teams have partnered with local churches in Eastern Ukraine in reaching out to the isolated elderly who are struggling financially. They have been giving out free food parcels which contain free copies of Derek’s book: The Exchange at the Cross.
So far, the teams have distributed over 5,000 boxes, impacting the lives of many elderly people like Sudina Ivanovna. This is what Sudina said:
Sudina’s thanks to the Lord also extends to you. Through your generous financial help, the team has been able to provide what she has received—and the work goes on.
HEARING RELIABLE TEACHING
Since most in Russia have been stranded at home in these days of the pandemic, the people of the former Soviet Union desperately need encouraging messages. Many are deprived of their jobs and are in deep crisis.
To address their spiritual hunger, our DPM team plans to produce an increased number of audio books for our audience this year. Last year we prepared the book, Appointment in Jerusalem, which received a great response among the Russian audience. It cost us about $ 3,000 to make one audio book. However, its effect is invaluable.
We are presently planning to prepare the book, The Power of Faith. These days, when many believers cannot attend churches, their faith subsides. We hope to provide this book in Russian, Kazakh, Ukrainian, and Armenian. Audio books are very popular among young people, and we hope that this audio book will reach many young persons.
With most people confined to their homes, a great many have turned to the internet as a source of inspiration. Just a few weeks ago, our team in Armenia reached over 250,000 people with short messages by Derek Prince via Facebook. For such a small nation, this is a huge number—10% of the population of Armenia and a third of the active Facebook users in the country.
The true impact, however, is not carried by statistics, but in the stories of transformed lives.
A new believer, Bella, testified that Derek’s teachings via Facebook are her spiritual daily bread. She messaged us that she had received salvation and deliverance from depression by listening to Derek’s teaching on Facebook and via the DPM-Armenia app.
Sam, another young person, wrote that his whole life has been turned around. God released him from the bondage of drugs and alcohol while reading Blessing or Curse: You Can Choose, and he is now recommending this book to all his Facebook friends.
‘Right now, we are witnessing a huge hunger for God’s Word and a growing demand for Derek’s teaching on prayer and fasting, on spiritual warfare, and salvation,” says Vazgen, our DPM-Armenia outreach director. “Please pray for us as our team works tirelessly to meet these needs.”
INTERCEDING FOR KAZAKHSTAN
In Kazakhstan, religious freedom is restricted by legislation dating back to September 2011, involving surveillance, arrests, and church raids. The pressure from authorities has stepped up since 2015.
It is illegal for non-registered churches to gather, forcing them to go underground. All religious literature must be approved by the government. That is why we are not free to print Derek Prince’s material inside Kazakhstan, since it is categorized as terrorist literature. Audio books and radio programs are presently the best tools to reach Kazakh people—so our plan for 2020 is to prepare more audio books in the Kazakh language.
Christians who have converted from Islam are the primary persecution targets of the state, as well as their families, friends, and communities—involving house arrests for long periods, physical violence, and expulsion from their community. Believers live under oppression
The main challenge for Kazakh converts and Christians is their need for good discipleship tools. If we can reach them with Derek’s teachings, it will help to equip them to face the severe persecution.
WILL YOU HELP?
Through your prayers and giving, you make it possible for believers like Sudina, Bella, or Sam—and the persecuted believers in Kazakhstan—to experience the life-changing power of God’s Word in these challenging times. Together we can encourage our brothers and sisters in Ukraine, Russia, Armenia, Kazakhstan, and other regions. We can help them experience spiritual fullness in Christ so they can minister to others in their nations.
Would you please contribute to the work in this region? By sending a gift today using the enclosed response form and envelope, or by giving online at www.derekprince.org/fsr, you can assist our brothers and sisters in the Former Soviet Republic in a tangible way. You can help to solidify their faith in God’s Word as they receive Derek’s teaching through an audio book, an online discipleship course, or the social media resources we are making available to them.
Thank you in advance for transforming lives with your gifts and your prayers.
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