For many years young people in Eastern Europe knew nothing about the Bible or the Christian faith. Now Back to God Ministries International (BTGMI) is witnessing a new movement as the Holy Spirit is opening hearts and minds to the transforming message of the gospel.
Rev. Sergei Sosedkin and members of his Russian ministry team are partnering with local churches to lead evangelistic rallies for young people from unchurched families. And lives are being changed.
Over the past year, BTGMI’s Russian ministry has participated in 30 evangelistic gatherings. Some were large with hundreds in attendance; others were small with just a few dozen people.
In St. Petersburg, a local congregation invited the BTGMI Russian ministry team to participate in a special gathering for early teens. BTGMI provided speakers and media expertise to promote the event.
“At least 250 young people from this community, most of them unchurched, came to learn about salvation in Jesus Christ as part of this two-day event,” said Sosedkin. “We were moved by their open and attentive hearts.”
One unique opportunity came through a request from a small messianic Christian congregation in the Ukranian city of Kharkov. They asked Sosedkin’s team for help with a special outreach event for Jewish people in their city.
Following much prayer and local media promotion, nearly 200 Jewish people came to hear the message of the Messiah. After the gospel presentation, the speaker invited those present to make a commitment to Christ. Eighteen people gave their lives to Christ, and all of them signed up to study the Bible with this local messianic congregation.
Sosedkin believes that so many young people and nonbelievers are attracted to the evangelical events because, even though they are well-connected through social media, they miss human contact.
“If they know the program is going to be good and if some of their friends are coming, they love to participate in events. The key to success is to come up with a good program—speakers, relevant topics, music—and media promotion.”
The team also uses media during the gathering. Short videos produced by BTGMI are used to jump-start or enliven the discussions. Participants often receive or choose to buy audio/video programs for further discipleship.
“Please pray for all the young souls, many of whom are hearing the gospel for the first time in their lives,” asked Sosedkin. “The Word of God goes out, and it transforms individuals, families, and their communities. It’s both humbling and exciting to know that God entrusts you and me with such a great ministry.”