This recent letter from a missionary shows how quickly a mission field can close. This missionary is back in the states after many fruitful years on the field. The Russian government recently passed an anti-terrorism law targeting extremists. The Russian Orthodox Church persuaded the government to include evangelical Christians along with the targeted Muslim terrorists. The Orthodox Church is deeply imbedded in the strong Russian nationalism and moved quickly to take advantage of the new law.
I just talked to my wife in St. Petersburg, Russia. She is there for 17 days and is meeting with as many of our church members as she can. She told me yesterday that the new laws are firmly being put in place and if fully activated it will be worse than the old Soviet Union. I lived in Russia for 16 years and my wife all her life.
We distributed over 50,000 'This Was Your Life' from 1992 to 1995. We registered over 40,000 precious Russians praying to receive Jesus Christ as Savior. Many of those are the results of Chick Tracts. We gave out another 50,000 tracts during the remaining time we served there.
The Russian Orthodox church was at first our friends. In fact Alexei II, Patriarch of Russia, furnished our first visas and did so until he realized that we were there to plant Evangelical churches. We had helped many Christian businessmen start new businesses with American knowhow.
The Orthodox were very happy at first as they saw ways to fill their coffers. The 8 churches we planted in Russia have gone underground or meet in small groups. My wife said some members from other churches said that government officials stand at their church doors and take everyone`s name when they enter.
Other churches who invite foreign missionary workers are having difficulties in inviting them. They are told that a missionary must get a religious workers visa and then get a religious work visa. The only problem is that there is no such thing. Please keep praying for these wonderful brothers and sisters.
There is a move of God now around the world. I personally feel that the great awaking in Russia has spread all over third-world countries. Presently our third-world pastors have planted their 50,000th church since 1986 and work in 87 countries. We support around 1000 third-world pastors and have in training about 5,000 more men.
I am thankful for Chick Publications. Presently my wife and I keep This Was Your Life in Hindu, Russian, Chinese, and English. As we travel all over America we find these language groups in most restaurants and gas stations.
I feel that God is up to something very big and is harvesting many souls for His Son`s Bride.
God bless you in abundance.
Yours by His Wonderful Grace,
Final Frontiers Foundation, Louisville, GA