Last summer, Renatta and I, along with Blake and Cathy Purcell, celebrated as their son Graham was ordained as a PCA teaching elder.
This week the Lord begins writing a new chapter in their family saga. Graham, Sarah and their children flew out of DFW yesterday to St. Petersburg, Russia.
Whenever Blake and Cathy come to Saint Petersburg it is always a chance for us to see Cathy and hear from her about her relationship with God. We all know that she raised 6 children all of whom have done well in life and are being a good influence in the world.
On Saturday, March 10, women from three Evangelical churches and one Russian Orthodox church came to the Purcells' to encourage one another and hear Cathy teach. It's always a treat to hear such an experienced woman talk about how to be a virtuous wife.
You may already know Russia for its ballet, great nesting dolls, and museums.
And you may personally know Rev. Blake Purcell who labored almost thirty years as a Christian missionary among Russian-speaking people of the former Soviet Union, and whose work God has blessed with 5 church plants, a seminary and a ministry residence that welcomes Christians and seekers.
But you may not know the TOP THREE REASONS for making RUSSIA your MISSIONS PRIORITY in 2018
In the past week I have shared with you the hard news that one of our SRS empowered churches was raided by 40 armed federal agents in Russia. I also passed on to you the wonderful news that the $60,000.00 given by our American donors has already paid for the building of a church facility in the Far East, which in turn has helped significantly grow the men's morning bible study in that church, despite the recent spread of TB among its members.
Today I want to refer to the raid on Pastor Nik's church, and the sad reality of Pastor Ruslan's whole family coming down with tuberculosis to illustrate how vulnerable the Evangelical Church in Russia really is.
In July of 2016 the Russian government passed a law which outlawed public evangelism in Russia. Most churches expected their ministries to be greatly hindered. In fact, in 2017 SRS has experienced unprecedented growth in our seminary and churches. And we have critical support needs. Please enjoy an account of God's amazing work in Russia and beyond during the past few months, and learn how you can participate...
Pastors Timur, Yuri, Evgeni and Blake Purcell will attempt to invite 300 Russian-speaking men to attend the seminar (Friday and Saturday, March 3-4) What Is a Real Man: God's Perspective. Pray for the Holy Spirit to touch 20 men's hearts to attend, and from this group for a men's Bible study to begin, which pastor Timur will lead. Less than 1% of the Russian-speaking population in Latvia is evangelical Christian!
"It was a great shock to us when a few weeks ago we got the sad news that Valery had passed away of a heart attack. I immediately felt the need to have the churches of Reformed Presbyterian Church of Eurasia offer their condolences and some financial support for his widow and children, which we did. I also felt that God would have me visit them in their time of need. "
Gifts came in from 39 individuals and families and 17 churches. Many churches gave love offerings, above and beyond their budgeted giving...The Lord is obviously moving North American churches to suffer with their brethren in the more oppressed parts of the world and we thank Him for His faithfulness and mercies through believers and churches like you and yours!
...Russia is the largest country in the world? ...More than 146 million people live in Russia? ...The Slavic Reformation Society is the only known historically Reformed church-planting ministry in Russia? Will you give a gift to #RenewRussia2016 to help us continue our vital work in Russia and for Russian-speaking people?