I have some free time, can you help me secure more persons interested in Bible study." This was the request of Lenna, a Global Mission pioneer, working with a small group in the city of Glasov in the Ural region of Russia.
A few weeks before the four young people arrived in this manufacturing city. Their goal was to prepare the way for a Quiet Hour harvest meeting. Theirs was a large challenge. Many of the citizens, former communists still clung to their atheistic philosophy. The fall of the communist system has sent ripples economic disaster rushing through the community. Many persons were out of work.
It was beautiful to join the little team in the apartment that the conference had rented for them. They were all new believers. The oldest Christian had been baptized only four years before. A discharged soldier met with the group each day. His military experience drew him to the Word of God.
Most of each day had been spent in preparing for the day when an evangelistic service would be used by the Holy Spirit to bring decisions to their Bible students. It was hard work. Knocking on doors, using a survey sheet to discover anyone interested in the Bible.
The conference assigned a pastor who arrived at the beginning of the evangelistic series. The pastor helped prepare interested persons for baptism. Early in 1996, 24 persons were baptized. The team of young people stayed on to help establish the new congregation.
Each day they searched for new people to study the Bible with. Lenna seemed to have no end in her supply of energy. She put in long hours to share her faith.
When asked how many new persons she had discovered in her door-to-door ministry, she replied, "I have 21 students now." Through her ministry as a part of the small group the church will soon double in size.
Global Mission and the Quiet Hour have started a joint program. During seminars in Russia and the Ukraine, 21 small groups were formed and the members trained. They are currently beginning their work in 21 unentered cities. Each group has the same objective, to plant a new congregation before 1996 is over.
Valery Ivanov, Global Mission director for the EuroAsia Division, and Mike Ryan, Global Mission Director for the world, are laying plans to reach out to all of Russia. "These small groups of pioneers are the most effective method of establishing small groups of believers in unentered areas." stated Mike Ryan.
When this article was written James H. Zachary was Associate Ministerial Secretary in the Ministerial Association of the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists. He is now retired and working with the Quite Hour.