I recently traveled to Vladivostok, Russia, which is located on the eastern side near the border of North Korea. I preached in a church planted by one of the first students to graduate from the School of Christ in Russia late 1992. His name was Roma and at that time around 22 years old and a new Christian. God did such a great work in his life through the teaching of Brother Clendennen and in the daily prayer meetings that he was determined to plant a church in his home city where the church had been closed down by the Communists and the Christians had been killed or sent to Siberia. Pastor Robert Smith, who accompanied me on this trip, was Roma’s sponsor and traveled the nine hours by plane from Moscow with him to assist and support him in planting a new Church. Pastor Smith testified to how he had prayed most of the night asking God how he could use this young man, whose father was an alcoholic and his North Korean mother had passed away, as well as him being so young in an hostile environment like Vladivostok. Use him, God did, and is still using this brother mightily after 21 years. The church has planted nearly a 100 churches across the former Soviet Republics, Eastern and Western Europe. When a church was planted in a new city they were encouraged to plant other churches. Pastor Roma’s church has hundreds in attendance in Vladivostok. They have multiple ministries in the region that minister to every type of ethnic group. We were taken to the home where former drug addicts are housed until they are ready to go out into ministry. I meet with them and shared my own personal testimony of God’s deliverance, and then prayed for them. Almost every pastor and person involved in ministry and evangelism were former drug addicts!
We also visited on a hillside some small homes where the homeless receive shelter, food and the gospel! They have a Bible School that runs daily, and we ministered the Word to a packed room of students and believers, some who had traveled a long way to get there.
After the Sunday morning service we went to a water baptism on the seacoast. The water was frozen around two feet thick, and a cold wind was blowing off the ice. A trough, the size of a car, had been cut out of the ice, and six new Christians were led down the ladder, one by one, to be baptized in the frigid waters! Each one was asked to audibly confirm their faith in Christ, and then put down in the water. After the baptism the believers stood around and sang praises to the Lord.
At the conclusion of the final service in Pastor Roma’s Church, I gave an invitation for those who wanted to accept Christ, and around 30 people came forward to pray.
This great testimony of Pastor Roma and the fruit that has come out of the School of Christ in Russia is not unique. There are others scattered across the former Soviet Republics that God has used mightily! Not only there, but also around the world, God has raised up men and women who were impacted by the Holy Ghost and the teachings of Brother Clendennen and the SOC who have reached thousands of lost souls, planted thousands of churches, and impacted their cities for God!
Your giving and prayers make this possible. We need faithful stewards to stand with us now to run Schools in lands like Cambodia, Kirgizstan, Burma, and many other areas of the world. God bless you for your giving!
Sunday morning service at Pastor Roma’s Church.
Home of former drug addicts waiting to go out into ministry.
Water baptism in Vladivostok, Russia.