A DARK DAY IN RUSSIA
On July 20, 2016, a law went into effect that may forever change the way we do ministry in Russia. Under the guise of protecting the people from terrorism, the Russian government essentially stripped the people of their right to privacy and freedom to evangelize. Most of the public outrage was directed at the part of the law that requires all communication companies to keep records of all phone or internet activity and make it available to government agents for a period of three years. As a result of the public outcry, the government pushed back the date that the “big brother” portion of the law went into effect. That silenced the majority of the protests, and it seems that people forgot entirely about the anti-evangelism portion of the law. The law clearly violates the constitution of Russia, but we have to wait and see if the courts will choose to officially overturn the law. At first, our hope was that the authorities would only use this law against Muslim extremists, as they promised when they signed the bill into law. However, it is clear now that they are trying to rid Russia of any non-Russian Orthodox churches, as several foreign missionaries have been brought up on charges for violating the law. One of those missionaries is a man by the name of Don Ossewaarde, a BIMI missionary that we have had good fellowship with over the years. He is currently fighting a court battle that could determine the future of ministries like ours in Russia. He has asked that we share his situation with as many of God’s people as possible. You can stay updated via his webpage at Please pray for Russia. She needs your prayers like never before. We are currently on furlough and plan to return to Russia on November 30, so pray for us as we travel and make preparations to start what should be a very interesting second term.
LIVING IN UNCERTAIN TIMES BY MICHELLE
In the midst of this strange time in Russia, God is still at work in hearts and lives. When you don’t know if coming to church and sharing your faith will have serious repercussions, the response can go one of two ways. You can decide serving the Lord isn’t worth the risk, or serving the Lord all of a sudden means more to you than it ever has before. We are praising the Lord that we have seen the latter in the hearts of those we serve with in Russia. We have not seen a drop in attendance, and those that come are deeply thankful for the opportunity to lift their voices and open God’s Word. We also saw an incredible turnout for camp this summer. We started with 12 kids and ended with 22. According to our lawyer, we weren’t allowed to call it camp or have any non-believers present. In spite of these stipulations, and the knowledge we could still get in trouble, parents brought their kids, and we had a great week together. There is an incredible group of believers in Russia that are determined to serve the Lord in any circumstances. We look forward to what the Lord has for us in our second term serving beside these amazing people! Thank you again for your prayers!
Thank you for your faithful prayers and support!
Joel and Michelle Reasoner, Missionaries to Russia
Furlough Traveling Mercies
Furlough Traveling Mercies
Russia’s Anti-evangelism (Yarovaya) Law
Don Ossewaarde’s Court Battle