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This is Good News! An update from Regional Director for Eurasia, Stephen Hertzog

Stephen on a Zoom call - ministry continues  in a pandemic

We thank God for what He is doing this spring in Eurasia … there is a lot of new activity and people are finding new lives in Christ all over the region! Here are four quick examples from France, Ukraine and Siberia:

Peter Dewit, our global worker in France, is doing a great work with refugees and the homeless on the streets of Paris. He recently was able to be part of a volunteer work camp with Iranian and African refugees in the Alps. He writes:

“Each day we'd get up … there was a reading of Scripture and a prayer, and coffee and baguettes. Then we'd work in teams of four till 6 p.m., stopping for lunch of course. After supper at 7 p.m. we'd all sit around a campfire, 20 of us, sing a bit and hear a story about an encounter with Jesus from the book of John. Then to finish the night we'd break into small groups to discuss the story. Each night I was together with my group of refugees: Shahram, Etienne, Michael and Amin. Amin was always listening, but not saying much. One night he said to us, ‘Some people are always telling me Islam is the way. You are telling me that it is Jesus. How does one know?’

“Amin ... had lots of questions. On the last night of discussion groups, we talked about the man born blind. Amin listened intently. I asked him what he was thinking. He said simply, ‘I am believing more and more in this Jesus.’ We must have looked surprised because he continued, ‘I would not stay for these Bible times if I wasn't seeking. I would not be talking to you guys now. I have prayed during this camp to Jesus too … I want to believe.’ That night Amin gave his life to Christ.”

Jessica Bantseev, our global worker in Russia, leads the youth group at MyChurch in Novokuznetsk, Siberia. Around Valentine’s Day she led the group in making a two-minute video called “What Is Love?” to reach out to young people who are living almost entirely online in the Covid era. The video went viral! In three days it had over 64,000 views … with 34,000 of these watching it to the end and/or saving or forwarding it! Here is the link to the video (in Russian with English subtitles): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J9FnE9ltp28

It is amazing to see our global workers coming up with so many creative & effective ways to touch their communities… even in a pandemic!

Speaking of creative and effective ways to touch lives in a pandemic, Ed Dickson, our global worker in Ukraine, continues to see God do great things through the grocery outreach. Of the 10,000 families we’ve had the privilege of helping so far, there have now been over 4,000 decisions for Christ! Here is a wonderful human story behind the statistics:
 
“One of the places we delivered groceries recently was the home of a beautiful, single mom, Dasha, and her three children. Dasha was so surprised to see us and the groceries, and seemed absolutely shocked that someone cared … Dasha was obviously working hard to feed and clothe her family but was visibly overwhelmed by the fact that she could not afford to properly care for her children. Her five-year-old daughter Milana's eyes were failing and getting worse. Dasha told us they couldn't afford to go to an eye clinic and their family doctor was not able to help.

This is when the miracle happened. We said, "Dasha, we… would love to pay for the help Milana needs.” Later that same week, Milana was so excited to go to the eye doctor! After examining Milana, the doctor said, ‘In addition to the strabismus (abnormal alignment of the eyes), both Milana's eyes are degrading (L40% and R60%).’ The doctor prescribed glasses (which we helped them purchase). For the first time in her life, at the age of five, Milana can now clearly see her mother and the world around her. She was hysterical with excitement the first time she put them on, and yelled, ‘Look! Mom! Look at this plant!’ Dasha, in tears, was thanking God and the loving people who made this possible.
 
Milana will have further treatment for three months and after that will likely need surgery, which this family cannot afford … what crazy joy I have when I can tell children, like Milana, ‘Sweetie, don't worry … we will help … this operation will be done!’”

Again speaking of ministry in a pandemic, every spring I am privileged to teach several intensive courses at different Bible schools. Of course, with Covid, there are no in-person classes, so I’ve been busy re-formatting the lectures and assignments and teaching the classes online.

Though I thoroughly enjoy all the classes, I was particularly moved during the course at LTS (Lviv Theological Seminary) to teach some of the kids we sponsored to go to school who could never have afforded it otherwise. Among the students was an orphan who came to Christ when LTS teams visited his children’s home years ago and a girl from the war zone in the east whose family lost everything in the fighting.

Thanks for taking the time to read this. We are so grateful to you for lifting us up financially and in prayer and making ministry in these countries possible. Because of you, Amin found faith in France, Milana can see clearly in Kiev, 34,000 people in Russia have heard of God’s love, 4,000 people came to Christ in Ukraine ... and leaders are being trained so even more people there can have their lives transformed by the gospel.

Reaching Eurasia Together,
Stephen A Hertzog
Eurasia Regional Director

Milana with her new glassesPeter Dewit - helping Amin find new lifePhotos courtesy Stephen Hertzog.

Home page and bottom photo: Helping Amin find new life.

Top photo: Stephen on a Zoom call - ministry continues in a pandemic.

Middle photo: Milana with her new glasses.

#ThisIsGoodNews #GoodNews
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To see previously posted “This is Good News” stories, please click here.

To view or download posted “This is Good News” videos, visit www.paoc.org/theloop.

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