MOSCOW (FR) – According to David Grubbs, the administrative director for Christian Youth International (CYI), over 100 churches related to CYI have sprung up in different parts of the Commonwealth of Independent States. Since January of 1991, CYI has held eight student leadership training conferences and has trained 7000 leaders. The conferences, sponsored by Bob and Rose Weiner Ministries, have also brought many American pastors to Moscow for the purpose of training student leaders and making contacts for future missionary involvement.
CYI has been successful both in reaching and training the potential leaders among university students from the furthest reaches of the C.I.S. and has spawned significant activity in many cities, towns and universities. Due to the fact that the conferences have been so successful, CYI is now beginning its second phase: a regional development strategy.
David Grubbs has compiled a list of known churches and cell groups that have been begun by CYI leaders. So far Grubbs has estimated that there are over 100 such groups and he is still counting. In some cities, such as Yaraslavl, Izhevsk, and Kazan, there is tremendous revival. Several groups in each city are adding new converts every week. Small and large groups of new Christians have sprung up in many places and have begun to move out in ministry without guidance or support on a local level. It is not unusual for these groups to be pastored by young men and women in their teens or early twenties who been Christians for less than one year. Many are in great need of support and training.
From June 21-29, 1200 student leaders will be trained at a three day Moscow conference and American missionary teams will be sent out to 25 cities to help plant churches and minister to newly established groups. The churches of American ministers who have been involved with CYI conferences will “adopt” fledgling churches for the purpose of giving financial support, further training of leaders and developing relationships with young ministers. Throughout July, August and September, American “sister churches” will be developing relationships with leaders of the new churches in the C.I.S.
From September 28 to October 5, the process will begin once again with another national leadership conference. The American missionary teams will return to the cities where they have adopted churches or will travel to new cities to plant churches.
Christian Youth International will remain as a centrally located leadership training center in Moscow. Its secondary purpose will be to link American churches with opportunities for church planting and regional development. In this way, the churches established by CYI student leaders may take on the flavor and ministry gifts of diverse movements as many different American churches become involved in regional development.
David Grubbs explains that this strategy is crucial to retaining the fruit that has already been cultivated. Many cities in the C.I.S. are experiencing momentous revival and a there is a great need to coordinate and network the ministries and activities that are taking place.
Grubbs reported on a newspaper article which recently appeared in Russia which presented a picture of the former Soviet Union becoming the most religious and spiritual nation on earth. It stated that just as in the past the Czars and the Communists were the supreme authority in the land, so the Church must now become the supreme power. The article paints a picture of a time when unbelievers and agnostics will virtually disappear. It predicts that Russians will be transformed into the most hard working people in the world. They will surprise the whole world by a new renaissance – both in the spiritual and practical.
At the same time, Grubbs warns, CYI is encouraging churches all over America to work together and not compete against each other so that the great harvest is not lost to the huge missionary efforts of cults, such as the Mormons, Jehovah’s Witnesses, and to the planned evangelistic thrust by the Muslim nations which border the C.I.S.
For more information on adopting a church in the former Soviet Union, or in taking part in upcoming CYI conferences in Moscow, contact:
Christian Youth International
P.O. Box 1799
Gainesville, FL 32602
Phone: (904) 375-4455
Fax: (904) 375-6000