Thursday, January 24, 2013

A Missional Church: Attempting Great Things for God

by Dr. Oleg Turlac

"You will be my witnesses..." (Acts 1:8, NIV)

"We must be global Christians with a global vision because our God is a global God." (John Stott)

As Christ's followers, we live in this world for one purpose -- to glorify God and enjoy Him forever. We do it with gratitude, for God the Father gave His only Son, so that we may have life. (John 3:16)

We can glorify God through our relationship with Him, which results in our daily holy living as well as the times when we gather together, as the body of Christ to worship the One, who is our Creator and Savior. It is when we exhibit love and kindness toward each other, those that surround us know that we are Jesus' followers. (John 13:34-35)

We can also glorify God by fulfilling the mission, which was entrusted to us by Jesus Christ -- to go and preach the Gospel to all nations. (Mat.28:19-20) Our witness starts "in our own backyard," so to speak. We tell others about our faith in God verbally. We also speak with our actions. It is true that our actions often speak louder than our words. By exhibiting a kind attitude toward our neighbors in the apartment building, where we live by simply saying "Hello, how are you?", by opening the door for an elderly person or expecting mother, we show that we belong not to this world. We love God and we care for people created in His image, as Jesus taught us to do.

We are people on mission. Though we are different, we have one common purpose. We are heaven-bound, but while we live on earth, we are staying busy. One of the reasons why churches close down and become irrelevant to surrounding culture is that believers forget who they are an no longer have a sense of mission.

According to Oswald J. Smith, "Any church that is not seriously involved in helping fulfill the Great Commission has forfeited its biblical right to exist."

The church of Jesus Christ is a multinational church. We all come from very different backgrounds, yet we are a family. As a family, we are united by one mission. We exalt Jesus and tell others that He is the Savior of the world. We aim to relate the Scripture to the modern culture so that ancient words of the Bible would have a contemporary sound in the ears of those living in the 21st century. We do care about the lost world.

Keith Wright once said, "Lost people matter to God, and so they must matter to us."

Though we begin our witness on the street where we live, we do not stop there. We go beyond. We care about those who are close to us: friends, family, neighbors, but we also go to "Judea, Samaria and to the ends of the earth." We follow the footsteps of great missionaries of the past, who witnessed about Christ and shared hope with millions in India, China, countries of Africa, Asia and Latin America. Among them are: William Carey, Adoniram Judson and David Livingstone.

Some Christians in the West, especially in recent years, started to favor local missions over global involvement. When we read Acts 1:8, we  actually see that there is no conflict between witnessing in Jerusalem and preaching Christ in other parts of the world. Local mission is not in conflict with global work. It is the task of the church to be involved in both. As a family of God, we can do two things simultaneously. Some witness in North America, and some preach the Gospel in faraway lands. Some pray, some give and some go...

Henry Martyn, a missionary to India and Persia, said, "The spirit of Christ is the spirit of missions. The nearer we get to Him, the more intensely missionary we become."

Though so many issues concern us about our cities and neighborhoods, let us not forget about foreign missions. As we continue to serve God as members of His family, let us continue to be a missional church. May we never be satisfied with the status quo. May we serve God by being testimonies of His love and grace in the world created by Him.

William Carey, who is often called "the father of modern missions," said, "Expect great things from God; attempt great things for God!"

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Two Persecuted Christian Women from Post-Soviet Muslim Nation Escape From Their Torturers

Two of our dear friends, Christians from one of the Post-Soviet Muslim countries that we visited before, mother and daughter, were recently able to escape to one of European countries after a three-week imprisonment and abuse by state security police. They went through the horrors of psychological pressure and severe abuse and are in need of spiritual and emotional healing.

Please, pray for both women, for they are still in a state of shock. Pray that they will be able to gain a refugee status in the country they are in. Pray for God's provision for them. It is our mission - to help those who are persecuted for Christ's name's sake. Please, join us in this effort.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Friendship Circle for Immigrant Women in Toronto

January 18, 2013

by Natasha Turlac

In January 2013, I had an opportunity to gather a group of women and children in our home in Toronto for the purpose of establishing friendship and sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Most women spoke Russian, since they came from different parts of the Soviet Union, from Moscow to distant towns of Siberia. Over tea and meal, I was able to share with them my life story and talk about Christian faith. God is using our circumstances related to Roman and his autism, to bless others.

While we had a conversation, children had supervised play time, which they greatly enjoyed. I am so excited about this friendship circle that I have with women from Russia as well as those from the Middle East! It is a joy to help them by providing food, small gifts and copies of the Scriptures. Because of the friendship circle, women do not feel alone in coping with complicated life issues.

Thank you for supporting the work among women. I am excited that the Lord is using me for His glory.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Christmas Baskets for Women and Children in Moldova

January 10, 2013

by Oleg Turlac

In December 2012 and January 2013 we provided Christmas baskets to 30 women and children in Moldova. Food and hygiene items were purchased locally by Vitali and Olga Turlac, and then delivered to the women and children in different places in Moldova. This was possible because of your help. Women and children that received the baskets, were those from poor areas of the country and with very small (or no) income. Most women have been through the human trafficking mill and continue to be rejected by their extended families. We thank you, dear friends and ministry partners, that you help in sustaining trafficked women and their children in Moldova.

Unfortunately, human trafficking in Moldova prospers because of the poor economy and high unemployment rate. Just three days ago police uncovered a trafficking ring run by a Romanian family (husband and wife that worked as physicians). The family was actively engaged in search of attractive young women in Moldova, brought them into Romania, where dozens were sold into sex slavery in the country and then in Europe.

According to statistics, more than 75,000 women have been trafficked out of Moldova to other countries in the last 10 years. Percentage wise, Moldova is the number one exporter of women for trafficking in the world, surpassing in this regard Romania, China and the Philippines.
Through our ministry, we seek to share the love of Christ with the women, do preventive work to inform the women of dangers of trafficking and help young women and teenage girls who have been through sex slavery return to normal life with God's help.

In the summer 2013, we will conduct our second camp for trafficked women and children in the Southern part of Moldova.