Trip to the Republic of Tuva

It was a special blessing and joy to visit with our friends – brothers and sisters in Tuva. For many years, God has provided the opportunity to serve and contribute to the ministry for Tuva peoples by preaching the Gospel, through the mission Hope to People.

Over the course of these years, God blessed this people group by planting a church in Kyzyl, as well as by starting several small groups in other settlements of Tuva.

Brother Victor Zagvozdkin has been a pastor in Kyzyl at the Light of the Gospel church for over 10 years. During this time, the church has gone through many challenges as well as experienced a lot of blessing. So in 2016, a fire broke out and the roof of the church building had completely burned down. But the Lord has done a miracle through His children, restoring this loss through the work of many believers from other churches and the church members themselves. So basically today, the church is able to get together in almost a new building, where they are doing two worship services on Sundays. Praise the Lord for the blessings and numerical growth of the congregation!

A young brother Ayas is in charge of conducting a second worship service in the Tuvan language for the representatives of his people. Thank God that today, Tuvans can read the Holy Scriptures in their own language, which is very valuable for them. A few years ago, one mission has completed the translation of the Bible into the Tuvinian language, and today they are able to read, lead groups, preach, and teach God's truth people from this nation, who are actually influenced by traditional shamanism...

Likewise we can witness that, with the assistance of another mission, the translation of a textbook into Tuvinian consisting of 37 Bible lessons on the basics of faith for new converts and for people who want to learn more about God, as well as about His Word was completed.

Together with my brother Alexander Degtyarev from Novorossiysk, we had the opportunity to visit churches in Kyzyl and Ak-Dovurak. There were many personal meetings and conversations with Tuvans and Slavs, whose lives are totally broken and who desperately need comfort. Every evening, in the church, we held seminars on spiritual growth, parenting, dedication to and ministry in the church. Thanks to the Lord that despite the difficult living conditions and opposition from unbelieving relatives, Tuvans who believe in the Lord continue to get together, pray for their people and take the Gospel to them.

We were deeply inspired that regardless of many spiritual, social and material challenges, there are still dedicated young people in the church, who are growing and willing to work for the Lord, spreading the good news amidst their people. A young brother Chingis is almost done with his training at a road-transport technical school and wants to be enrolled in a higher Christian educational institution in order to devote himself to preaching the God's Word. Another sister, Uranus, is also selflessly working with young people in a local church, visiting small groups in villages with the gospel outreach programs.

Sister Raisa Ivanovna is a great blessing for the people of Tuva, since the Lord uses her to save and bring many souls to Himself. She runs small groups, where the Word of God is taught using the inductive method of Bible study. A lot of Tuvan women gladly come to study the Scripture, where they get a good spiritual nourishment and strength for their souls...

Another young brother, Hooler, works in Ak-Dovurak. Every Sunday, he leads a church service, where the church of 20-25 people is coming together to worship, and together they glorify the Lord for His love and faithfulness... It is really hard to be a Christian living in this city, because the local population is being hostile towards Christians, considering them traitors to their religion (shamanism). On top of that, the ecological situation in this city is very complicated, because of the mining of asbestos in the mountains. For this reason, many people get sick and die at an early age.

Pray that the Lord will strengthen the Tuvinian brothers and sisters, and make them dedicated to the ministry for the sake of His Kingdom. Once in a while, the discouragement and hopelessness can shake up their faith and trust in the Lord.

Pray that converted Tuvans will grow spiritually and become grounded in the truth, as well as for their lives to reflect the character of Christ.
Oftentimes, they get swept away with the worldly values and standards, and as a result act contrary to God's truth.

Pray for young Christians to be always zealous and relentless in their love to the Lord and ministry to their neighbors.

Pray that the Lord will grant strength, wisdom and protection to the ministers who have been working in Tuva for number of years, enduring all the challenges and predicaments of the ministry...

Nikolay Nikitin