Chechnya (MNN) -- Islamic militants stormed the Chechen Parliament Tuesday in a deadly attack that defied Russia's claims it had stabilized the volatile region.
Chechnya's Moscow-backed president Ramzan Kadyrov tried to downplay the seriousness of the situation, but his assurances did nothing to soothe rattled nerves. President of Russian Ministries Sergey Rakhuba says, "Every day you see some kind of activity on behalf of the underground insurgency that is still fighting for an independent Chechnya."
Joel Griffith with Slavic Gospel Association agrees. The intensity of the insurgency has been disruptive to their work. "SGA is not directly involved in Chechnya. There was a small Baptist church in Grozny, but that's really pretty much non-existent right now. Any believers in Chechnya tend to operate fairly underground."
Russian Ministries is concerned because the disturbance hit close to home. "In July, we had lots of activity there in Chechnya, in Grozny, offering summer camps to the kids that live there in the midst of that war."
With the volatility of the region, supporting outreach arms can be difficult, if not deadly. Both Russian Ministries and SGA have turned their sights outward. Griffith says, "SGA does have church planters in neighboring regions to Chechnya. It's fairly heavily Muslim dominated, so Christian ministry has to be conducted fairly discretely."
Russian Ministries had a group of young Christian leaders from their School Without Walls program in Karbardino-Balkaria travel to Mahachkala, the capital city of Dagestan, to help the evangelical church with its first-ever evangelistic summer camp.
If there is a chance for peace at all, it will come from the Next Generation of peacemakers who are bringing the Gospel to this region. It's a different message from the one the youth are used to hearing. "It's sharing love with them instead of bringing revenge," Rakhuba says. He adds, "They're reaching out to children through summer camps, and I believe that our effort will bring the wonderful truth because this young next generation peacemakers, they do it in the name of Christ, bringing them hope."
Residents of Mahachkala, a primarily-Muslim city, watched church members and the School Without Walls students carefully and asked a lot of questions about who they were and what they were doing.
The community witnessed Jesus' love in action as children in the community happily participated in a week of summer camp. It's a big step toward the reconciliation of a war-torn people. Rakhuba urges: "Consider supporting this effort training Next Generation leaders who will take His eternal faithfulness and continue reaching people in those difficult and dangerous places."
Keep praying. It's a challenge to be effective in these areas. Griffith says, "The churches there are basically trying to lift up the love of Christ and proclaim the peace and reconciliation of Christ amid all that violence. We just really need to intercede for them that not only would they be protected from the violence, but that the Lord would open people's hearts to the Gospel."
Click here for details on how you can get involved with Russian Ministries and with Slavic Gospel Association.
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