St Petersburg UBF Mministry Report by Mike Thompson

by WMD   06-08-2015   0 reads

“God is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine” (Ephesians 3:20a) I hope that this report may give listeners a more focused direction in which to pray for Russia and St. Petersburg ministry.

First I thank God for standing Missionaries Caleb and Sarah Han as good shepherds for Russians for the last 25 years. God has used Missionary Caleb’s pastoral leadership  preciously. Msn Caleb has been a man of heart for Russian people. He has embraced the Russian people and their culture. His hands-on approach has helped make a good  family-like environment in the ministry. For example, one person’s problem is  everybody’s. In my six years in Russia, a lot of problems arose especially in my family, but Msn. Caleb has always been there. Isn’t that just like what Jesus would do? Also, Msn. Sarah Han, his co-worker, plays the very important role of nurturing and being a compliment or counterpart to Msn Caleb’s very direct approach. Msn Caleb has been a pillar of support through message preparation and delivery. St. Petersburg ministry consists of four leaders’ families. After Msn. Caleb’s family with three young adult daughters, there is Rebecca and Daniel Han with their four young boys. Also Natasha and Sergey, who got married about two and a half years ago, have one son. Finally, there is my family. In this micro-church, everyone is important and performs a critical role. God has been working through the dormitory life of Ruth Thompson. First, Ruth Thompson, my daughter, who went through Russian high school, received a scholarship to study at St. Petersburg State University. And she also lives in a university dorm. There in that communal environment, open-friendly-Ruth has made a lot of friends. Of course, they followed her to worship service and at least ten have attended so far. A few are regular. Namely, there is Irina and Alyona. These girls are serious worshipers and have potential. They come to the conferences and participate in music and dance presentations. 

God is doing his own work even If I’m not. I would have liked to say that I was also feeding lots of sheep and preaching and evangelizing. But in fact, I’ve been overwhelmed with the struggle to survive, working a lot. So my participation in ministry has been reduced. The sense of problem I feel was heightened around conference time when I was supposed to call a particularly elusive sheep Denis. But I didn’t get through to him. I was thinking that the conference was going to be embarrassing. But God was working. Denis, his wife and three kids all attended that conference this May. A Russian shepherd from Moscow came to St. Petersburg to help Denis. The conference turned out to be a big success. Wow! We are praying to raise disciples among boy sheep. Msn Caleb has again and again tried to raise boy sheep. So we have Sergey. But others haven’t stayed. One sheep Alex was invited for Bible study. He said, “I’ll study the Bible in English.” But after a year or two he didn’t hear the Good Shepherd Jesus’ voice. He became easily offended and left on a bad note, right before the conference. That painful event taught me not to compromise with sheep. God made man in his own image. Man is spirit and he does not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of God. I pray to be able to help sheep make a direct relationship with God. 

This summer the CIS international conference is going to be hosted by St. Petersburg UBF. It’s a really big job and the shepherdesses are all busy mothers. So it’s important for me to mobilize into action. My key verse this year is from Ephesians 4:15-17 which says, “Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. Therefore, do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is.” 

Ruth is very friendly. But she can be too involved with friends and fall behind on her university course work. I pray for her to be led out of temptation so that her witness and influence might not be nullified by school failures. If you look me up on Facebook, you will see me with Lydia Thompson. We got married about a year and a half ago. She is a woman in Christ. Her son is Misha. She participates with me in the ministry. Jesus is our one strong link. But otherwise we have a lot of differences. If you know anything about the cold war between the Soviet Union and the USA, then you know something about what it’s like at my house. So I’m on a crash course in diplomacy. I believe that it is all for the best to teach us how to love one another above all our political and cultural differences. And God wants to form us into something more useful. 

In conclusion St Petersburg ministry is healthy even if it is small. We can just pray and God will grow his kingdom. Thank you for your prayers.