We at Russian Missions would like to bring you special Easter Greetings. I always look forward to holy Easter with joy and spiritual longing. As you are aware, I have experienced many Easters…in my homeland Russia and more recently in the United States. Wherever the Lord has sent me, Easter brings with it new hope and joy in my heart. Easter has become a time for me to recommit to being aware of myself as a spiritual being and to living this awareness in my life every day.
Easter is our most important Christian celebration…our entire faith is based on the truth that Christ is Risen and alive today! I rejoice in the hope we have of Heaven because of Christ’s death and resurrection. Often in recent days I have recalled Paul’s words in Roman 8:18: “I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed to us.” Think of it! Someday all the heartaches and sufferings of this life will be over, and “we will be with the Lord forever” (1 Thessalonians 4:17). Because of the Cross, we have forgiveness; because of the empty tomb, we have hope!
We have living proof that Christianity is true—because Jesus is still changing lives. I rejoice that in recent years, thousands of unchurched have come to this same hope, as they have responded to the invitation to give their lives to Jesus Christ through Russian Missions.
As Easter approaches, however, I can’t help but remember that thousands–even millions—of Russians do not have this hope. Tragically, their lives are as Paul wrote “without hope and without God in their world” (Ephesians 2:12). We should not be complacent in the face of such spiritual need. If ever the world needs the Gospel, it is now.
Jesus died for all of us—different people; different cultures. He welcomes each of us as we are and lovingly guides us in our spiritual journey.
Easter is here…time to sing the glory of our Lord. The image of Easter shows us…God is not indifferent. God is love. God intervenes. God rescues. God transforms human beings. God gives new life. May we follow Jesus and walk toward eternal, abundant life, marveling at the plan of God.
Thank you for helping us show Jesus’ love to the unchurched of Russia. May God’s love surround you, protect you and be with you on Easter and always.
Alleluia! He is Risen!
Pastor Vitali Yuchkovski
Warm breezes carry the scent of freshly turned soil, yellow daffodils dot the countryside, and birds singing atop trees bursting with green. After months of winter grayness, the earth becomes alive once more.
Do you like to get good news? Everybody does. Do you like to share good news? I am privileged to convey an excerpt from a recently received thank you letter written by an orphan in the village of Zyryanka, Tyumen region:
“Hello! If you do not mind, I will begin by writing a little bit about myself. I am Eugenia Bouzolina; I’m 14 years old and in the 7th grade. I am doing well at school. I am fond of reading, knitting, tatting and making leather gifts. Also, I enjoy writing poems and letters about love.
I am honored to witness the great joy brought to these needy children who are touched by the simple fact that somebody, somewhere far away cares for them. It is my prayer that our witness of word and our practical expression of caring serve to draw these children to the Jesus we love and serve. “He healeth the broken in heart, and bindeth up their wounds.” – Psalms 147:2.
Everyone is praying that God will show to them a person who they should invite to our Easter service. Such events are much needed for the church, as they are opportunities to gather children and their parents, and to tell them the truth about Easter and the resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ. It is a good opportunity to witness to the parents, as many of them don’t know the truth of the Gospel and live without faith, hope and love.
The Lord amazingly brings together everyone who needs to hear about Him! Praise God our Sunday service had eight new people last week…five children and three adults.
This year, Easter falls on April 1. (Western) /April 8 – (Orthodox Easter Sunday). During our service, the children will hear the biblical message of Easter’s true meaning, and participate in the service with songs and poetry. There will also be puppet theatre performances, games and quizzes.
Afterward each child will receive a chocolate treat. For our Sunday school children, we are preparing something special…a picture of Jesus in a special frame. We are making sure that everyone gets a few extra Easter treats to bring home. Praise God for the money that was sent to us to do this outreach.
Please be in prayer for our brothers and sisters across the lands of Russia as they proclaim the joyful news…Christos Voskres! Christ has risen (Luke 24:6).