Vitalii Rusnak pastors Patrautii de Jos Church in Storojinet, Ukraine. He has been assisting Ion Gereada in his ministry to the people of Transcarpathia. Over the past few months he has experienced an increased burden for discipleship. In his recent report he relates how he is encouraging people in their devotion to Christ.
I want to share with you the way in which God has worked in my life and the life of the church where I minister. We are under the green code now and have freedom to engage in different projects for which we are grateful. We live in peace as people are not afraid anymore. I keep preaching about discipleship; it’s calling, character and how it effect the behavior of the disciple. I insist on this very important teaching of being and making devoted disciples. I have been preaching from the Gospel of Mark and now I am preparing several messages from Paul’s pastoral epistles. I believe in the power of the Word to change lives and I hope that these messages will bring a change in the church. This is a very important subject which has been neglected. I pray that these messages would give the believers the desire to be discipled and to disciple other people.
I have been preparing a person for the baptism that we’re going to have in August. We meet every week and we study different Bible passages together. This is to help him know what we believe. We have a good time together and I’m glad to see that he is very serious as he loves the Word and is growing spiritually. I pray that he would be a real Christian and have a good testimony in society.
I do counseling every Wednesday, both premarital and marital. This Wednesday, I talked to a person who had been excommunicated from our church for living in sin. He had started attending the church again several months ago. I talked to him and I saw that he was tormented by his sin. I pray that the Lord would help him repent. He’s aware of the consequences of his sin and admitted that the church had made the right decision about his excommunication. He’s not angry with the church anymore, but wants to get closer to the church again.
I had a good time in personal evangelism this month. I preached the gospel to several people. More and more people aren’t interested in the gospel in our area, but still there are some who are seeking the Lord. Ion is about 60 years old. He was a communist and used to say that he was an atheist. He confessed that he had never doubted that there was a force that was running the entire world. I started preaching to him about Christ’s incarnation and His coming into the world. I spent a lot of time with him and gave him a New Testament with Cyrillic characters. I will stay in touch with him. Some of his questions motivated me to study deeper and to find answers to help him.
I also gave rides to different young people who were hitchhiking. They were mostly young men who had finished school. Because they haven’t found a job, they were trying to emigrate to Western Europe. I shared the gospel with them and testified about my faith. They confessed that they had never thought about something like this as they believe that everything was in their hands and could decide the way in which they wanted to live, believing that they could control their destiny. I was so surprised to see their way of thinking, but I appreciated their sincerity. I pray that the Lord would have mercy on them and that the seed of the Word would be fruitful in their lives in due time.