Jay Rogers
Director:
Jay Rogers

Recent Posts

Predvestnik: The Russian Language Forerunner

Report on Trip to Ukraine, Russia and Tatarstan

By Jay Rogers
Published July 1, 1994

I recently completed a four week missions trip to the former Soviet Union. I first visited Kiev, Ukraine and the staff of the Russian language version of The Forerunner which I established in 1991. I met with Alexey Salapatov, Roman Medvid and Sergei Zavgorodny who run the newspaper. Together we planned our strategy for the rest of 1994. I was pleased to see the progress of what we are accomplishing. The tenth issue was recently completely. Since Predvestnik began, 280,000 copies have been distributed in almost every republic of the former USSR.

I then travelled to the Russian cities of Moscow, Nizhny Novgorod and Kazan to view the current situation in those cities. I wanted to visit three of our distributors and correspondents. This gave me a first hand look at how Predvestnik is being distributed and what effect it is having on the people of these cities. This was the most interesting aspect of the trip.

The main purpose of my trip to Nizhny Novgorod and Kazan was to investigate the situation among the churches who minister to the Tatar people, an ethnic group which is almost 100 percent Muslim. I am excited about the prospects of ministering to the millions of Muslim people throughout the former USSR. Islam has presented the church with its most formidable missions challenge. But now we are seeing many ethnic Muslims in Russia beginning to come to Christ. We want to take advantage of this historic opportunity by printing a newspaper aimed at evangelizing these groups.

When I arrived in Nizhny Novgorod, a city several hundred miles east of Moscow on the Volga River, I was surprised to find that Predvestnik is well-known in the churches. I was immediately invited to preach in three churches on the basis of what I had accomplished with Predvestnik. One pastor, named Vladislav, told me that it was his favorite Christian publication. When I was introduced his church, I saw through a show of hands that many people had read Predvestnik.

Further away from the big cities, such as Moscow, people are more open to the gospel and Christians are more open to receiving and distributing literature. It’s not as though we have become famous, but Predvestnik is having a great impact in cities where we distribute more than a few hundred copies. We receive testimonies from remote areas telling us that the newspaper is received “like a great treasure” and that it is passed from hand to hand. We have made a small explosion in the former USSR with the gospel of Jesus Christ.

I also spent two hours meeting with the editor of a new Christian publication in Nizhny Novgorod called Zhivoye Slova (Living Word). They are run in a similar manner as Predvestnik and have encountered many of the same problems. It was good to see that Predvestnik is on track despite its minor difficulties. The new editor of Slova asked me questions about publishing as if I were some kind of an expert. We agreed to cooperate with building a larger distribution network and I gave him permission to reprint any of our articles in his newspaper.

I next travelled with my interpreter and friend, Ina Borkova, to Kazan, a city on the Volga river and the capital of Tatarstan, an empire established by the Tatar-Mongols after the time of Genghis Khan. A friend of ours had written an article about the strong Muslim presence in Kazan. There are millions of Tatar Muslims in the area.

We met two new friends on the train. One named Sergei was from Kazakhstan and spoke to us for several hours about the gospel. He said that he had never met a Christian missionary before who could answer his many questions. He had never read a Bible and knew almost nothing about Christianity. It amazed him that I could answer his questions. At the end of our time, he said that he was not ready to give his heart to Jesus Christ, but that he wanted to know more. We agreed to send him a Bible and Christian literature. He was so overjoyed that he shot a whole role of Polaroid film, because he said that he wanted to remember us. Our conversation with Sergei was reason enough for the trip. We also saw the “real Russia” – as Ina called it – the country side. There were quaint villages made up of pretty, ornamented, yet rustic houses.

Another new friend, an older man named Peter, gave us a tour of Kazan. He was a native of the Kazan region; his nationality was Chuvash, a Volga people who are relatives of the Tatars. He spoke three languages: Chuvash, Tatar and Russian. His people are Orthodox and the Tatars are Muslims, yet the two groups have always gotten along well. We were given a tour of the downtown area of Kazan. We saw all of the Muslim mosques. We also visited the Orthodox cathedrals and the Tatar Kremlin, an ancient fortified area of the city overlooking the Volga river. We were told that Tatarstan had declared itself a nation four years ago. They have their own national colors, flag, police force and president. We visited the presidential palace on the grounds of the burial monument of the last queen of the Tatars. Peter told us a story about the war between Czar Ivan the Terrible and Tatarstan. The Russians won the war by digging a tunnel over one kilometer long under the walls of the Tatar Kremlin.

After the morning tour, Ina Borkova and I said good-bye to Peter and Sergei and we went to visit a Baptist church in the city. We found the church with no problem. We first met two young men named Roman and Victor who lived in a house adjacent to the church building. They told us that their church was made up of mostly grandmothers and teenagers; but no middle-aged people. The church began in the time of Stalin and is the oldest evangelical Protestant church in Tatarstan. They told us that during the time of Stalin people were taken directly from their meetings and shot by the KGB. All of the Christians in Kazan from this era numbered less than 500. The pastor and the original members are now in their 70s and 80s. A few years ago many teenagers throughout Russia began to come to Christ. Now cities like Kazan have many evangelical churches made up of young people and some older people from the time of persecution. Roman and Victor described the Baptist church as being “like a family.” We were invited back for their midweek service at five o’clock.

Later we met their pastor, and I was invited to give a short message in the service. Other men in the church preached and some of the women read poetry, sang songs and prayed. It was an open meeting with singing of hymns throughout – which is common for churches in the former Soviet Union. After the service was a birthday party for one of the young men. All of the teenagers attended. We met visitors from other Baptist churches in the region who agreed to distribute Predvestnik. The pastor received us with open arms and invited us to come back again. He told us that he would send us to any of the Baptist churches in the area to preach.

We also met two young women who are Tatars. Both were visiting from a Baptist church in Nizhnykamsk. They were students at the Foreign Language Institute in Kazan. One spoke English well. She had recently become a Christian and told me of the opposition from her Muslim family.

We spent just one day in Kazan, but I felt that God himself accomplished much in that one day. This is because we trusted the Holy Spirit to open a door for us in Tatarstan.

We have an open door to reach Muslims now and we are pursuing this opportunity. Our goal is to produce a special Muslim edition of Predvestnik in Russian by the end of 1994 and to do some ethic language editions in the future.

We also want to pursue our contacts in Kazakhstan. We currently distribute over 25 percent of the copies of Predvestnik in the central Asian republics of Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan and Kirghistan. We want to produce an ethnic language version for this region as well.


Forerunner - Home » Predvestnik - The Voice of a New Generation

Your comments are welcome!

Textile Help

God's Law and SocietyGod's Law and Society (DVD)

Download the Free Study Guide!

God’s Law and Society powerfully presents a comprehensive worldview based upon the ethical system found in the Law of God.

Speakers include: R.J. Rushdoony, George Grant, Howard Phillips, R.C. Sproul Jr., Ken Gentry, Gary DeMar, Jay Grimstead, Steven Schlissel, Andrew Sandlin, Eric Holmberg, and more!

Sixteen Christian leaders and scholars answer some of the most common questions and misconceptions related to this volatile issue:

1. Are we under Law or under Grace?
2. Does the Old Testament Law apply today?
3. Can we legislate morality?
4. What are the biblical foundations of government?
5. Was America founded as a Christian nation?
6. What about the separation of Church and State?
7. Is neutrality a myth?
8. What about non-Christians and the Law of God?
9. Would there be “freedom” in a Christian republic?
10. What would a “Christian America” look like?

Perfect for group instruction as well as personal Bible study.

Ten parts, over four hours of instruction!

Running Time: 240 minutes

Watch over 60 on-line video interviews from God’s Law and Society.

$19.95 — ORDER NOW!

(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)

Click here for more information


Freedom: The Model of Christian Liberty (DVD)

“Give me liberty or give me death!”

Patrick Henry’s famous declaration not only helped launch the War for Independence, it also perfectly summarized the mindset that gave birth to, and sustained, the unprecedented experiment in Christian liberty that was America.

The freedom our Founders envisioned was not freedom from suffering, want, or hard work. Nor was it freedom to indulge every appetite or whim without restraint—that would merely be servitude to a different master. No, the Founders’ passion was to live free before God, unfettered by the chains of autocracy, shackles that slowly but inexorably bind men when the governments they fashion fail to recognize and uphold freedom’s singular, foundational truth: that all men are created in the image of God, and are thereby co-equally endowed with the right to “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”

This presentation is a similar call, not to one but many. By reintroducing the principles of freedom that gave birth to America, it is our prayer that Jesus, the true and only ruler over the nations, will once again be our acknowledged Sovereign, that we may again know and exult in the great truth that “where the Spirit of the LORD is, there is liberty” (2 Cor. 3:17).

Welcome to the Second American Revolution!

This DVD features “Liberty: The Model of Christian Liberty” along with “Dawn’s Early Light: A Brief History of America’s Christian Foundations.” Bonus features include a humorous but instructive collection of campaign ads and Eric Holmberg’s controversial YouTube challenge concerning Mitt Romney’s campaign for president.

$14.95 — ORDER NOW!

(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)

Click here for more information


Abortion Clinic 911 Calls (DVD)

Exposes the Dangers of Abortion to Women!

These shocking eyewitness accounts expose the dangers of abortion not only to unborn children, but to the health and lives women as well. An antidote to the smokescreens of the liberal media, these short clips show what really happens in and around abortion clinics.

Although the content is emotionally gut-wrenching, these videos have been used in church seminars and small groups to educate Christians on the abortion issue and to lead people toward a pro-life position. Contains 2 hours and 40 minutes of materials that can be shown separately.

Watch these pro-life videos on-line.

“These videos helped change my mind from pro-choice to pro-life. Your videos are what did it for me. I will be walking in next year’s March For Life in San Francisco.” — A. Jackson, California

“I was going to have an abortion until I saw your video. Praise Jesus!”
— M. Drew, YouTube Commenter

$4.95 — ORDER NOW!

(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)

Click here for more information


The Real Jesus: A Defense of the Historicity and Divinity of ChristThe Real Jesus: A Defense of the Historicity and Divinity of Christ (DVD)

Who is the Real Jesus?

Ever since the dawn of modern rationalism, skeptics have sought to use textual criticism, archeology and historical reconstructions to uncover the “historical Jesus” — a wise teacher who said many wonderful things, but fulfilled no prophecies, performed no miracles and certainly did not rise from the dead in triumph over sin.

Over the past 100 years, however, startling discoveries in biblical archeology and scholarship have all but vanquished the faulty assumptions of these doubting modernists. Regrettably, these discoveries have often been ignored by the skeptics as well as by the popular media. As a result, the liberal view still holds sway in universities and impacts the culture and even much of the church.

The Real Jesus explodes the myths of these critics and the movies, books and television programs that have popularized their views. Presented in ten parts — perfect for individual, family and classroom study — viewers will be challenged to go deeper in their knowledge of Christ in order to be able to defend their faith and present the truth to a skeptical modern world – that the Jesus of the Gospels is the Jesus of history — “the same yesterday, today and forever” (Hebrews 13:8). He is the real Jesus.

Speakers include: George Grant, Ted Baehr, Stephen Mansfield, Raymond Ortlund, Phil Kayser, David Lutzweiler, Jay Grimstead, J.P. Holding, and Eric Holmberg.

Ten parts, over two hours of instruction!

Running Time: 130 minutes

$19.95 — ORDER NOW!

(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)

Click here for more information


Amazing GraceAmazing Grace: The History and Theology of Calvinism (DVD)

Download the Free Study Guide!

Just what is Calvinism?

Does this teaching make man a deterministic robot and God the author of sin? What about free will? If the church accepts Calvinism, won’t evangelism be stifled, perhaps even extinguished? How can we balance God’s sovereignty and man’s responsibility? What are the differences between historic Calvinism and hyper-Calvinism? Why did men like Augustine, Luther, Calvin, Spurgeon, Whitefield, Edwards and a host of renowned Protestant evangelists embrace the teaching of predestination and election and deny free will theology?

This is the first video documentary that answers these and other related questions. Hosted by Eric Holmberg, this fascinating three-part, four-hour presentation is detailed enough so as to not gloss over the controversy. At the same time, it is broken up into ten “Sunday-school-sized” sections to make the rich content manageable and accessible for the average viewer.

Running Time: 257 minutes

$19.95 — ORDER NOW!

(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)

Click here for more information

Share |

Search this site:
View CCNow Cart/Checkout
View CCNow Cart/Checkout

RSS
Subscribe to
The Forerunner

Have The Forerunner Weblog sent straight to your inbox!

Enter your email address:

YouTube
The Forerunner Channel on YouTube


Promote Your Page Too

Featured Product
If you like the articles on this website, you may also be interested in:

Featured Articles

Live Seminar!

Real Jesus
The Abortion Matrix DVD: Update

The Abortion Matrix:
Defeating Child Sacrifice and the Culture of Death

is a 195-minute presentation that traces the biblical roots of child sacrifice and then delves into the social, political and cultural fall-out that this sin against God has produced. You can order this series on DVD, read the complete script and view clips on-line...
continued ...


View My Stats