Irkutsk Report and Prayer Topics
We took 2 Timothy 1:6,7 as our verse for 2010; "For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands. For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline.” We wanted to serve God actively and strongly with the help of the Holy Spirit and with certainty in his love. God was faithful in His work. All of last year seemed like a spiritual battle, similar to the battle of the Israelites with Amalekites; "As long as Moses held up his hands, the Israelites were winning, but whenever he lowered his hands, the Amalekites were winning" (Ex.17:11)
We have tried to be filled with the Spirit and to know the power of prayer. We have a prayer meeting on Fridays. This year, God sent us students, so we did our best to serve them. In our ministry we are faced issues like drunkenness, laziness, lying, drugs, broken families, poverty, theft and disease. Of course, we try to help students live based on the word of God. But when we were not awake spiritually, especially in prayer, their bad habits and sins seemed unwavering. So we prayed, as Moses held up his hands. When we rely on the Holy Spirit, when we pray - God sent students. But when we were not awake spiritually, they were overcome by sin and returned to their past lives.
Personally, I repent before God that I have not been praying for them. I feel guiltly that many of students did not stand in faith because of my laziness. I understand why Samuel said: "As for me, far be it from me that I should sin against the LORD by failing to pray for you” (1Sa.12:23). Although our church is so small, when I thought about the lives of our students, I realized that this ministry is not small at all. May God give me and our church power to be awakened in prayer.
From April 2-4 we had an Easter conference. The theme of the conference was "The Lamb of God." At the conference, we studied the Bible. We came to see what amazing love it us that Jesus came to be the lamb of God.
We also had a summer conference July 16-18. The conference theme was "The Father Waits for Me." Irkutsk has a special blessing - it has beautiful scenery around the city. So, we decided to have the conference outside. God led us in a good conference camp site on the beautiful banks of the Irkut River. The Holy Spirit has blessed the conference. Students received mercy through the word, especially love of the heavenly Father. We received each other like a spiritual family. And at the end of the conference, some were baptized in the Irkut River. Pastors A. and L. themselves voluntarily prepared all the food. We thank God for this wonderful conference. Now many of the participants of the conference have fallen back into sin. But God has revealed to them the way of salvation and I believe that God will restore them in His time.
This year, even with all of our weaknesses, God was revealed. We were not worthy to serve his ministry. God sent us students, but we did not take good care of them. But still, we received God's blessing, because he gave us the privilege to serve His flock, and we learned how important it is to pray, how important it is to be filled with the Holy Spirit. May God use us for His saving work in our city.
We took the key verse Ephesians 6:18 for 2011, "And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people."
We understand that prayer is essential for campus ministry. If we do not stand strongly in prayer, we can’t stand before God. May God teach us to pray.
1. Pray for more than 1 hour a day.
2. Be filled with the Holy Spirit.
3. God would raise 12 disciples.