Hope for every heart, a church planting movement for every people in BASHKORTOSTAN
06 Dec 2007
Bashkortostan has 22 cities, 41 towns, and 4,600 villages inhabited by 4 million people from 112 different people groups. And, yet, among all these people there are only about 6,000 evangelical believers Caption: (0.2% believers) and approximately 40 Christian congregations. The religious beliefs of Suni Hanafi Islam and Russian Orthodoxy predominate, but ironically, few have a strong commitment to either. Bashkortostan’s populace is caught in a spiritual wasteland of opposing beliefs, between shallow religious ritual and their official state religions.
Centrally located in the capital city of Ufa, a small team of Southern Baptist missionaries is working alongside the Russian Baptist Union, independent Baptist churches, and other Great Commission churches in Bashkortostan. The strategy is to see hundreds of new house churches planted in Bashkortostan within the next few years. Part of this strategy is training and equipping nationals who will then be able to motivate and train their own people in the principles of church planting. Team Ufa’s desire is that God will be glorified in the sparking of a church-planting movement with a rapid, exponential growth in the number of indigenous churches planting indigenous churches.
Team Ufa is also working among the 90,000-student population in Ufa. A great many students in the city want either to learn English or to practice their English with a native speaker. And thus opportunities abound to speak in Ufa’s schools and universities about American culture, holidays, and life. Although openly preaching the Gospel is most often prohibited, the Holy Spirit often provides some creative witnessing opportunities.
Other opportunities present themselves with respect to humanitarian work. There are a great number of prisons and orphanages in Ufa. Too often, criminals and orphans in the Republic are seriously neglected. They are a needy lot especially when it comes to clothing and medicine. But in the process of providing for their needs, God often moves in the hearts of grateful guards who allow access to their charges. The sight of children weeping as they hear that God loves them is one that is not easily forgotten.
Team Ufa is also involved in Christian literature and Scripture distribution, the hosting of volunteer prayer walking and ministry teams from the U.S., summer evangelistic English and youth camps, Evangelistic tours in the Bashkortostan countryside with our Russian Baptist Union brothers, and the showing of the Jesus film.
Because of the small size of Team Ufa, accomplishing these tasks as well as others is often overwhelming. The situation is much the same as it was for Nehemiah when he cried out to the nobles and officials in Jerusalem saying, “The work is great and extensive and we are separated on the wall far from one another. At whatever place you hear the sound of the trumpet, rally to us there. Our God will fight for us.” (Overlay: Nehemiah 4:19-20)
The regional vision statement for the Central and Eastern Europe region is “Hope for every heart, a church planting movement for every people.” (also overlay) A recent survey revealed that the majority of people in this region, by their own admission, are caught up in endless worship rituals. One often hears the well-worn equation that if you are either Bashkir or Tatar, then you are Muslim. In Bashkortostan, you are apparently born into the faith by ethnicity.
But, you who have the hope in Jesus can show them the way. There are several critical needs for those willing to live here.
· Will you join TeamUfa? Church planters are needed to minister among law enforcement and government officials, …businessmen and professionals, … workers in the chemical and oil industries, …workers in the many open air markets in Ufa, … and among the 90,000 institute, college, and university students in Ufa.
· Will you come and be the International Service Corps media development specialist?
· Will you come and coordinate volunteer groups who come to serve?
Will you come and join us here in Bashkortostan? (Overlay: Be a Part of Team Ufa)
If you cannot give an extended period of time to God’s work here, there are still abundant opportunities for you to make a difference in the lives of Bashkortostan’s people. Could you come for 1 week to 2 months? Volunteers are needed immediately to share the Gospel through …
· Exposing residents to English, American History, religious influence, and music
· Teaching English as a Second Language
· Prayer walking the city of Ufa
· Distributing Scripture and Christian literature
· Showing and distributing the Jesus film
· Diagnosing illnesses and treating patients in outlying areas of Bashkortostan
· Ministering in the prisons or orphanages
· Participating in an evangelistic preaching tour of Bashkortostan.
You are needed in Bashkortostan. Yes, we also need your prayers. Your prayers on our behalf are vital to everything we are attempting to do here. But, while the door is still open in Bashkortostan, the need is urgent for you to be personally involved in helping train the local believers and leadership to more effectively share their faith. The need is urgent for you to help them more effectively plant rapidly reproducing churches. Come and be an encouragement to the believers here.
(Fade to contact info during song)
Statement About Video Use
The videos and other media material produced by CRF Media are to be used as a resource material for increasing the awareness of and involvement with the specific people groups featured in the material. The information is made available to evangelical Christian organizations and individuals who commit to sharing the information with others.
The videos produced by CRF Media are not for sale. They are free to qualified organizations and individuals with no postage or handling charges. We mail the material only to churches or other qualified organizations. We do not mail to individuals without independent qualifying verification.
U.S. copyright laws protect all media material produced by CRF Media. The material is not to be copied for distribution without the written consent of CRF Media.