NAB Russia Update

Norman Poehlke

Vice President of Ministry Outreach

NAB has two distinct ministries in Russia. The one you are likely most familiar with is our partnership with Moscow Theological Seminary to send NAB pastors and professors to teach various two week courses as part of their seminary curriculum. The courses offered at various campuses throughout Russia is an outgrowth of the work started at the Russia Bible School in Rostov many years ago. This ministry continues to make a significant contribution to the church in Russia. But NAB has also been part of a separate leadership development initiative for the past two years.

I recently returned from Khabarovsk, Russia, where I had the opportunity to train about 50 pastors and church leaders using the EQUIP leadership development material. This is a three-year commitment where we host two training events per year for three years. I had the opportunity to teach the fourth training event, and will return to Russia in October and then again for a final training session in the spring of 2015.

Like many of the pastors and leaders I have met in various countries, these are men and women with great faith and commitment. Whereas we in North America may have something to share out of our abundant resources, they have so much to teach us out of their deep faith. It seems that they have faith where we have resources. I understand that the two are not mutually exclusive, but when being exposed to these men and women, I can’t help but wonder if our abundance of skill, finances, strategic planning, etc. has not in some subtle way caused us to place our faith in ourselves rather than God. Have we found a way to “make God in our image?” It is something to ponder.

Please join our brothers and sisters in Russia in praying for Ukraine. In every meeting and every church service we took time to pray for peace, and for the church in this region. It seems at least half of the people I met had family in Ukraine, and the current instability was a very real burden to them. So join me in praying for my new friends in Eastern Russia, and for the pastors as they grow in their gifting and calling to serve the Lord. 

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