Gennady Mikhailov is a church planter and pastor in the Irkutsk region of Siberia. Read Gennady’s latest report below in which he shares of the opposition he faced in Buryatia, as well as a wonderful testimony of God’s kind providence.
Peace and grace to you from our Lord Jesus Christ. Praise be to our God, for His mercy is not fading away; He continues to show us His love and care. I continue to serve in the church, preaching the Word and turning the eyes and hearts of the people toward our Savior. The Lord blesses me, giving me strength and wisdom. Thank you for your prayers!
There were a number of remarkable events in my ministry this month that are worth mentioning. The first is that God allowed me and Brother Sergey Mochalov to visit the believers in Buryatia again. This time we had to go through quite a trial. We were invited to one girl’s birthday party and we were looking forward to it as a wonderful time of Christian fellowship, as well as evangelism; but when the girl’s grandmother arrived there was a great disturbance. This older woman, whom we had never met before, immediately approached us and was furious though we hadn’t said anything at this point. She literally threw herself against us, cursing us and our service to God. She then demanded that we leave the house immediately. There was not a hint of respect or tact even though she had just met us for the first time. With that she kept repeating that she was a true believer because she goes to the Orthodox church and was baptized there and because she wears a crucifix around her neck.
I have seen a lot of people who are angry at God and His followers, but she surpassed all of them. She had no hesitation in accusatory language addressed against us and was not hindered by the presence of her relatives, who looked dumbfounded. She made such a scene that we decided it would be best for us to leave. We went back after the party and talked with the family. In our discussion, we found out that she is a sorceress yet this somehow doesn’t exclude her from being in the Orthodox church. We were still able to witness to some of the family members who are lost, and they listened intently. We hope to go back soon.
Also I was able to visit the young church in Ust-Uda. There God has shown His caring hand once more. Usually I visit them at the end of the month, but this time I went in the middle of the month; and it was not a coincidence as it turned out. On the way, we usually pick up a lady from a village that is 50km away from Ust-Uda. She is a member of the church there. So we stopped by to pick her up and drove the rest of the way to Ust-Uda. As soon as we got there, this sister had a stroke and her whole left side became paralyzed! We called for the ambulance, and she was placed on a stretcher and taken to the nearby hospital.
By God’s grace, she had taken her passport, medical card and some money with her to the church (as if she new that she would end up in the hospital). God is truly merciful. She has two drunkard sons who drink vodka and give her much grief. Consequently, they are away from home a lot. If we hadn’t taken her with us specifically on that day, and had we not been going to that town, which is a lot closer to the hospital, God only knows how it could have ended. It is easy to imagine what condition an elderly person would be in who is left alone in the house in a remote village, and whose body is half paralyzed. She would die and nobody would notice. It is amazing how God arranged all of this. To Him be the glory! She is still in the hospital. The treatment that she needs requires financial resources, but the local church there consists primarily of retirees is not very rich. So, our church’s treasury has extended help. We ask you to pray for this woman.
This past month, we had a conference for all of our like-minded churches in the Irkutsk region. There were about 50 brothers and sisters in attendance, representing 7 different churches. Not everyone from each church was able to come due to work and distance. We were feeding on spiritual bread for two days and had a wonderful time of fellowship and intercessory prayer.
There is one other event from last month that I should mention. God gave us an opportunity to conduct an evangelistic meeting in an orphanage for mentally delayed children and those who are suffering from cerebral palsy. It was a great opportunity for us to talk about God and salvation with many children, as well as the teachers! The meeting went very well, for they had a genuine interest toward us. We also gave each of them a CD with testimonies of people whose lives have been changed by God. We were able to meet with the leadership of that orphanage, and we hope that God will give us another opportunity there soon. Please pray that the Orthodox will not interfere and ruin this for us as they have in the past.
So our ministry continues only by the grace of God. Here in Siberia, we are in great need of your prayers. All of us here send our heart-felt greetings to HeartCry and all the supporters. May God bless you all.