St. Petersburg Mission Report by Mike Thompson
St. Petersburg UBF, Russia
August 14, 2013
Prayer for Russia
The question people always ask me in America or in Russia is, “Why have you come to Russia?
I went to Russian to fulfill a dream to be a missionary to Russia—to help Russian people accept the gospel. I went to fulfill the world mission command, “Therefore, go and make disciples of all nations” from Matthew 28. I went for the spiritual growth of my children—to help them do something practically by faith. I went to oppose the trend of American Christendom which has big talk, but small action. I prayed a long time and realized that it would be a sin to terry or wait any longer. One word came to me from Joshua 1:9 “ Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid, do not be
So I went with adequate preparation and reckless force of will need to break free from the gravitational pull of America. So I took the leap of faith to Russia. What do you think my landing was like? What do you imagine conditions in Russia were like spiritually, economically, or educationally? How were we received by Russian people?
In Russia I got a lot of mixed messages. Economically there was lots of work but even working full time, the pay was only half of what was needed to survive. The cost of living is very high but the pay is very low. Spiritually, God answered fishing prayers and I was able to fish sheep and have Bible studies right away. So, the message from the God of Russian was, “ Welcome!” but on the other hand, the devil seemed to be making life very difficult due to persecution form rebellious pupils and especially from Charles Thompson. So God was calling me in but the devil was shouting me out! Who do you think I listened to?
Msn. Caleb gave me advice to transfer my kids to a Russian public school to become more fully immersed. The English speaking school that they had attended for the first year was far too expensive and too easy for my kids. They couldn’t grow in character in that easy environment. So with prayer and Paperwork, the kids were enrolled in Russian public school—enlisted in the battle, and a battle it was! But prayer carried us through to see the victory—the graduation, with good enough grades to apply for university with the documents of accomplishment and a mark of “C” on the Exit Exam for Russian Language—Passing.
So I suppose you are asking yourself, where are the disciples, the visible fruits of Russian mission? Where are the growing shepherds?
There have been fruits of encouragement. I think that Missionary Caleb and Sarah Han, who have been serving St Petersburg ministry for over 20 years single-handedly, have been encouraged by my family’s coming and even more encouraged by our remaining.
My children grew a lot. Charles’ and Christopher’s growth is still in the hidden or latent stage, but Ruth Thompson’s growth is quite salient—visible. She is a Russian shepherdess in the making! Really!
There are fruits of knowledge. What has happened is that I have trail blazed—found a way to go as a missionary to Russia, or any CIS country for that matter. Before me nobody knew how. There was no one to ask. But now I can add my knowledge to UBF missions board resources, to clear up the vagueness of Russian mission.
There are fruits of faith because God answered prayer. For example, in St Petersburg there was a sorrowful shepherdess and powerless shepherd over whom we prayed. Shepherdess Natasha is a very deserving servant of God. I prayed for her to be given a suitable coworker, but no suitable coworker was found. Even her sister, who had been attending for a time, gave up and left the Church and found an unbelieving boyfriend. I also prayed for Sergey, a powerless shepherd, who would shrink from all intellectually difficult tasks like writing term papers or writing Bible testimonies. Although we had to endure a discouraging time of unanswered prayer—a dry spell, God was working behind the scenes. In short, this year Natasha and Sergey married. Suddenly there has been a lot of growth in Sergey. Natasha no longer appears sorrowful. They go out fishing. Sergey and I fished for the first time and couple of weeks ago.
Prayer for Sergey and Natasha is just one of several very significant instances where God has revealed his power, love and presence. I have seen and I believe! I want to transform my amazement into service for Russia.
We pray for harvest workers for campus mission. Practically, we have the second generation missionaries Little Sarah, Joanna, Charles and Ruth. We pray for them to realize the Grace of God and naturally tell it.
We pray for Russians to have faith in God and put their hope in God’s kingdom, not in the kingdom of Russia.
We pray for financial wisdom to seek God’s kingdom first and to work smarter.
We pray for Russian messenger Sergey to deliver once a month and for messenger Msn. Caleb’s messages.
We pray for Little Sarah, Joanna, Charles and Ruth to serve God first and study diligently as in second place.
We pray for the house-church fruitfulness: Msn. Daniel and Rebecca Han; Shepherd Sergey and Natasha;
We pray for the future house church of Michael and Lidiya, that it may be a source of encouragement in the work of God.
We give thanks of Ruth and Charles’ admission into St Petersburg State University.
By Mike Thompson