Mission History in Russia
1990: With the fall of the Iron Curtain, the Lord of the Church opens a door to bring the saving gospel of the Lord Jesus to millions of people who had long been held in spiritual ignorance under the sway of atheistic governments.
1992: After exploratory trips, a decision is made to place a team of missionaries in the Siberian capital of Novosibirsk.
1993: The Christian Information Confession, a charitable organization, is created as a legal basis for mission activities in Russia.
1994: A Christian Information Center is opened in Novosibirsk, suburb of Akademgorodok, where free Bibles are distributed and a video course of instruction is offered. Regular Sunday worship begins. Sunday school also begins. By God’s grace, 4 adults and 6 children are baptized and 12 adults are confirmed. The confessional Lutheran church is born in Russia.
1995: The congregation is registered under the name of the Confessional Evangelical Lutheran Church.
1996: A Christian Information Center opened in Iskitim, a city of about 60,000 people located 20 miles south of Novosibirsk. The Russian Confessional Evangelical Lutheran Church is received into membership in the Confessional Evangelical Lutheran Conference.
1997: The Bible institute/seminary opened. A second Christian Information Center is opened on the Left Bank of the Ob River in Novosibirsk.
1999: Exploratory work begins in Omsk and Tomsk.
Our mission today
Our Russian mission effort is centered in and around the city of Novosibirsk-population 1.5 million-the political and cultural center of Siberia. The Russian field is currently served by two missionaries and one part-time worker training instructor.
Missionary Luke Wolfgramm serves the four congregations in Novosibirsk, Akademgorodok, Iskitim and Tomsk as well as serving as the field coordinator.
The Russian church is blessed with a large selection of publications, most of which were prepared by our own talented translators. We have a number of People’s Bibles, Luther’s Catechism, as well as many devotional books and brochures. Our deaconesses, seminary students, and other members distribute books and brochures on the street, to their friends and acquaintances, leave them in hospitals, clinics, train station waiting rooms, book-sharing drops, homes for invalids, and other places. These publications are an excellent tool for sharing the Bible’s precious truths.
Aside from the regular congregational Sunday morning Bible classes, mid-week Bible classes and adult instruction classes, the Russian Mission conducts special Bible classes with the deaf in Iskitim each week. About 15-25 deaf come to study God’s Word. These people belong to a city “club” for the deaf. Some of them are our church members, some are not, but all are growing in their faith. Recently the deaf club in Berdsk asked to begin weekly Bible classes as well. Other “special” Bible classes include weekly Sunday school classes in a school for children with special needs and monthly Sunday school classes in a school south of Iskitim.
A significant portion of Siberia’s population lives in poverty. We hope to help some of these needy individuals, and as we come into contact with them we hope to share the Savior who is the answer to our greatest need. The Russian church provides clothing, food, medicines, school supplies and other necessities to individuals and organizations. Every time we help an individual we have the opportunity to share God’s Word, invite them to Bible classes and church services, and give them Christian literature. When we help organizations, doors are opened to us to teach Bible classes and distribute Christian literature.
The Russian Mission conducts outreach over the radio, in newspapers, on our own website, and through ESL classes. The youth of our churches, led by our seminary students, are active in sharing their faith and inviting other young people to meetings and activities.
The Russian church is made up of talented Christians, well-grounded in their faith and eager to share their Savior with others. May God bless His Word in Russia!