Fedor had been a rascal. Growing up without a good influence from his dad, Fedor had his fair share of trouble, including drugs, prison, and nearly dying once. Then, at the age of 28, the Lord redeemed him. After getting saved, Fedor spent a year in a rehabilitation center at a Baptist church in Omsk, which served to disciple him, strengthen his faith, and transform him into a soul-winner. This matched his personality exactly. Fedor is one of those few people that has never met a stranger in his life. I guarantee you — within 5 minutes of spending time with him, you would feel that you had known each other all your lives.
This rehabilitation center did yet another thing that changed Fedor’s life. It challenged him to give one year of his life to serve the Lord. Fedor packed his bags (actually it was just a couple of T-shirts and pants — all of his earthly possessions) and moved to Tara four years ago to help a church planter start a church.
It is amazing how God blesses people! Fedor challenged himself to talk to at least one person about the Lord each day. Within a year, this simple, down to earth 30 year old had an opportunity to meet all of city’ administration officials as well as many intellectuals, who were influential in Tara and shared the Gospel with them. When I arrived, I was surprised that Baptists were perceived as normal people. This is unusual, considering the rest of Russia. Most of the people I have talked with here view Baptists in a positive light. Fedor played a big role in this. With a soul-winner’s heart, he was readily involved in the ministries of the church: mentoring other missionaries-in-training, leading a class for new converts, and making regular trips to neighboring villages (both Russian and Tatar) to share the Gospel.
Recently, when we were purchasing a van for the church, Fedor started a conversation to get to know the seller. Not only was he able to share Christ with the man, Fedor gave his testimony how God brought him out of alcohol and drug addiction, as well as encouraging the seller to keep fighting for his marriage — all while we were signing the documents!
His influence in Tara has grown, and so have his possessions. He now has a few Christian books and a clown costume, so he can teach about Christ while showing Gospel “Magic” tricks (we all know that there is no such thing as magic). To this day, he does not own a home or a vehicle, and the only support he receives amounts to $50 per month (yes, this is not a typo — fifty dollars!). Yet, every day the words of David come true again and again: “I have been young, and now am old; yet have I not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging bread” Psalm 37:25.
After his one year internship, Fedor made a commitment for another year, and then another, considering himself now a “Tarchanin” — lifelong resident of Tara.
Please pray for Fedor to continue to lead others to Christ through the many relationships he has formed in the city. Join us in prayer for his family (although Fedor’s mom is saved, his dad, Sergei, is still lost). Please pray that God would bless his marriage to Karolina and help them both to be an example for other couples in the church. We thank the Giver and Sustainer of all things for providing for Fedor and equipping him for “every good work!”