MOSCOW (FR) – Christian Youth International (CYI) – the student outreach ministry begun by Bob and Rose Weiner in January 1991 in the former Soviet Union (now Commonwealth of Independent States) – has experienced rapid growth in the past few months. Since April 1991, eight leadership training conferences have been held at the Izmajilovo hotel and sports arena in Moscow. In March, over 1000 student leaders packed an auditorium for four days of intensive leadership training seminars.
CYI founder Bob Weiner described the spiritual fervor of these youth leaders: “We are seeing great fruit. These young people are radical; they love God and are committed to holiness.”
The fruit that Weiner describes is also evident in the home cities of CYI’s leaders. One young woman, after being saved out of a life of prostitution during an evangelistic outreach, was trained as an evangelist and sent back to her city. Largely due to her evangelism, her church now numbers in the hundreds.
Other cities in Russia have experienced revivals as a result of CYI evangelistic outreaches. Rapidly growing churches with hundreds of members have sprung up in less than a few months in the cities of Yaraslavl, Izhevsk, and Kazan. Established churches, such as the Raisa Church of Moscow, have grown exponentially due to the evangelistic thrust of CYI. Youth leaders have been trained to teach Bible studies among students, to disciple new converts, and to begin home cell groups. Many former cell group leaders are now pastoring fast growing churches.
During the March conference, CYI received the cooperative input of over 35 American missionaries, including Moses Vegh (of James Robison Ministries), Anne Giminez (of Rock Church, Virginia Beach, Virginia), and Dennis Balcombe (a missionary to the underground house churches in Mainland China).
Moses Vegh’s Ambassador Ministries, now based out of Budapest, Hungary, has supplied humanitarian relief to Russian cities in the form of medical and food supplies. Vegh’s ambassadorship has brought him into contact with Russian President Boris Yeltsin, as well as many leaders from Russia’s Democratic Party. Vegh has been a frequent speaker at CYI’s conferences.
Dennis Balcombe spoke to CYI leaders on March 20 about the revival occurring among the underground house churches in China. Balcombe estimated that almost 100 million spirit-filled believers now make up the house church movement in China. According to Balcombe, most of the new converts in China are young people. He then challenged the students attending the CYI conference with a vision for missionary work in China. Mainland China has its largest border on the C.I.S. and is easily visited by exchange students.
Also in attendance at the conference were international students from the nations of Ghana, Ethiopia, Pakistan, Poland, Hungary, and most of the C.I.S. Muslim republics. CYI leaders were reminded that the C.I.S. borders more nations than any other country in the world and thus has the greatest missionary potential.
Kiev Outreach Held in March 1992
KIEV, Ukraine (FR) – Over 30 ministers who took part in the Moscow CYI conference in March travelled to Kiev, Ukraine to take part in a two day outreach to that city. Moses Vegh, Anne Giminez, Bob Weiner, David Kitely and Bart Pierce were the featured speakers. In two nights, over 2000 people packed Kiev’s October Palace – originally built as a memorial to the Communist Revolution – to hear the Gospel preached freely for the first time within its auditorium.
During the Kiev outreach, team members passed out hundreds of scripture booklets on the streets in only a few minutes by simply holding them in their hands. Two or three people at a time would line up to receive them. Many people were witnessed to on the streets and many came to Christ during the nightly evangelistic services. As in many other places in the C.I.S., the hunger for the Word of God in Kiev is unbelievable.