Reaching out in the nations, it is clear that there is a lot of information about how the church should look, but not many examples of how the church should look like. Russia is by no means an exception.
During the last five years Timothy Ministry Team (TMT), the bible school of JoshGen, sent a team to Russia annually. In this time they built relationships with churches and ministries that were very receptive. Although there has been lots of fruit from this work and many have been blessed by the outreaches, we have always felt that until true New Testament living is modeled in Russia there will never be a lasting effect on the nation.
This year we had a Four12 team that included Will and Pam Marais along with members of different Four12 churches join us for the first time. We again had the opportunity to help and bless many, but we could also delve deeper into the things that will really cause the church to flourish in the long run.
Corrie Zaayman, a missionary from South Africa has been doing discipleship training with Russians in Moscow, for many years. He communicated that he wants to partner with us to plant a church in the Moscow region. As a result he will be sending two young leaders to South Africa for two years, to be exposed to the church culture of Joshgen and Four12, before they return to Russia.
Another highlight was visiting Hope Church in St. Petersburg. Hansie de Bruyn, the lead elder of the Church recently joined the Four12 conference on the Isle of Man. It clearly had a massive impact on him and his wife. Personally, in five years of visiting them, I have never seen them so excited about God and seeing His Kingdom come in the city. While the team was there Hansie and his wife spent a considerable amount of time with Will and Pam, looking at how they can transition into the more that God has for them and their congregation.
We were able to visit and spend time with many other churches and leaders. It is clear that in the Church of Russia there is a desire to not only see the right “talk”, but to see a demonstration of the reality of God’s Kingdom. May God continue to show us what our role as Four12 is in helping them make that a reality.