APRIL 2018

Russia: NOW Matching Challenge
doubles the impact of your gift

We are praising God for the amazing $1,000,000 Russia: NOW Matching Challenge to DOUBLE every donation to help reach children and youth in Russia with God’s Word!

Now is the time for this challenge — because anti-extremism laws severely restrict freedom of religion. Our brave Russian partners are working as quickly and efficiently as they can to proclaim the Good News now, while the doors are still open.

Our Russian partners believe they can share God’s Word with 4.9 million young people in their nation this year — they will engage young people with the Book of Hope, The GodMan film, Bible clubs, HopeFest Celebrations, and much more.

How many Russian children and youth will you reach with God’s Word? Today, because of the Russia: NOW Matching Challenge, every dollar reaches SIX!

Russia: Moving forward
under the gun — again
by President Rob Hoskins

God opened an amazing door to let us into Russia with His Word during the Cold War. By God’s grace, and with the prayers and partnership of friends like you, we’ve reached more than 108 million young people since 1990 … and yet it always feels as if we’re not reaching them fast enough.

That’s how it was back when we were first invited to Russia by the then-Minister of Religion who told us we were late — the Jehovah’s Witnesses were already there, the Mormons, the Moonies, already at work.

I was in Russia at the time of the Beslan massacre — Russia’s 9/11. Hundreds of children mercilessly slaughtered. OneHope teams hadn’t been to Beslan yet. I was reminded again: we weren’t moving fast enough. So many millions still unreached.

Then, Bishop Artur Suleymanov was murdered by Islamist radicals in Dagestan, Russia. This time it was Pastor Edward, our stalwart partner in evangelizing Russia’s next generation, who told me: “We’re not reaching the children fast enough. We have to do more.”

And the Hosanna Plan was born, named for Bishop Artur’s church, to reach every child and youth in the 100,000 towns and villages without Christian churches.

Today, it’s the new anti-evangelism laws we’re racing against. Once again, I feel we’re not moving fast enough — but we are moving. Teams are crisscrossing Russia right now, sharing the Gospel with the children. And while this door is still open, we must walk through it, just as fast as we can.

Please help — help meet the Russia: NOW Matching Challenge. The time is short, and there’s so much to do. Your prayers and your generosity will make a destiny-changing impact.

 

A vast nation — with vast needs

▶ A recent survey found that 60% of Russian people had been living or are currently living in poverty.1
▶ The difficult economic situation fuels desperation … alcoholism has become an epidemic — 25% of Russian men die before age 55, and vodka is complicit in most of those deaths.2
▶ Our own research (mainly among 15- to 16-year-olds) showed that 38% had already been legally drunk.

Russian children and youth desperately need the hope of the Gospel! This year, you can help reach 4.9 million boys and girls! And for a limited time, every gift will be doubled by the Russia: NOW Matching Challenge — every dollar will reach SIX young people with the Good News.

Russia — Largest nation on earth

• 6,200 miles from east to west3
• 11 time zones
• Territory on 3 of the 4 hemispheres: Northern, Eastern and Western4

1http://www.interpretermag.com/sixty-percent-of-russians-today-live-or-have-lived-in-poverty-moscow-study-says/
2http://www.bbc.com/news/health-25961063
3http://www.nationsencyclopedia.com/geography/Morocco-to-Slovakia/Russia.html
4Ibid.

How you’re sharing God’s Word

Hosanna Plan: Reaching 100 million Russian young people with the Good News

By the year 2020, your Russian church partners believe that they can reach 100 million children and youth with God’s Word through OneHope Scripture engagement programs!

They’re also working to plant 10,000 new churches — or, a faith community in every town and village which currently has no evangelical presence. And they’re using OneHope Scripture engagement programs as the foundation.

Groups of believers give “One Year for Jesus” and join Hosanna Plan teams, which are crisscrossing the nation to reach the next generation.

▶ 50 Hosanna Plan teams are currently active in 38 of Russia’s 70 regions.
▶ These teams have already presented the Book of Hope and The GodMan film to more than 30 million young people in previously unreached areas.

In a country where nearly 23 million children and youthare not believers, these efforts are making a tremendous impact!

5http://www.nationmaster.com/country-info/stats/People/Age-distribution/Population-aged-0–14; https://www.google.com/search?q=Russia+population&ie=utf-8&oe=utf 8&client=firefox-b-1;

You sent them hope!

They live in a tiny Russian village — and visitors from outside are rare.

Anya, Natasha, Olga and Oksana were excited to hear a Hosanna Plan team had come and invited them to a HopeFest Celebration, along with all the children in the village!

Each of the four little sisters received her own Book of Hope — and they loved the music and skits at the Celebration. They even heard, for the first time, the Gospel story … and they all chose to follow Christ as Savior!

But they couldn’t contain their joy — and asked the team to come to their home and share the Good News with mother and grandparents.

The team was able to pray with their grandmother, who was ill … and now the little girls have become missionaries to their whole family.

From new believer to missionary!

As soon as Denham received his Book of Hope and heard the Gospel message, he knew he wanted to follow Jesus! The words spoke so clearly to him of God’s love, he was crying as he prayed to receive Christ as Savior. Soon, he joined the same team that led him to Jesus and began sharing the Gospel with other young people.

Troubling times for Christians in Russia

▶ A Russian partner who was using OneHope programs has been hauled into court and given a hefty fine for sharing the Gospel with children. The supposed anti-terrorism law known as the Yarovaya Law prohibits “proselytizing” outside of specially designated areas (officially recognized “religious institutions”).
▶ A church in Tatarstan has been shut down by the local government, for no apparent reason. The pastor, a OneHope partner, was informed that legal action had been taken against his church — although no one advised him of this, and he was not present when the case was heard in court — and the judge’s decision was that the church had to be closed.

Our partners across Russia are requesting prayer due to this new and powerful opposition to the proclamation of the Gospel! Right now, many doors are still open to reach the next generation, but the move toward shutting down freedom of religion is very disturbing.

Please keep our Russian partners, and Russia’s next generation, in your prayers.

This book shows you how to live!

Four-year-old Venezuelan Rossi can’t read yet, but his mother reads the Book of Hope with him. He carries his book everywhere and loves to tell people about it. In fact, anytime he hears a friend or family member angry or cussing, Rossi advises them, “Read this good book. It will show you how to live.” His mother is so impressed with Rossi’s transformation, she’s now attending church with him.

Nation by Nation

Venezuelan boys

VENEZUELA — 60 children meet Jesus

Things are extremely difficult for multitudes of children and families in Venezuela right now. Economic chaos, political unrest, criminal and gang activity … Many schools are in disrepair and even young children have dropped out of school to work or beg and help support their families.

But our partner churches are doing everything they can to bring hope and light into these most difficult circumstances.

So the 60 children who gathered for a showing of The GodMan film were disappointed when electrical problems threatened to cancel the showing! They were so excited to see the film, they joined together in fervent prayer for the electricity to come back on … and it did!

What a great illustration of the power of prayer!

Thank you for sharing the Good News of Jesus with Venezuela’s next generation and showing them the way to new life in Christ!

BRAZIL

Lee’s family had immigrated from Hong Kong four years ago … and still he felt alone and friendless. Then he met Carlos, a Christian boy who had learned to share his faith using OneHope Scripture engagement programs. He not only befriended Lee, but introduced him to Jesus! Now, Lee has chosen to follow Christ as Savior, and he has a “family” of friends at church.

MADAGASCAR

Genicia is thrilled to have received her Book of Hope. This 12-year-old says, “Since I discovered this book, I totally changed … I learned so much I got to know the will of God. I have the assurance that I am saved. I am thankful to God first, I am very thankful to the people who made the book. It is really great. Thank you so much.”

BELIZE

Our partners in Belize are excited about several training programs that helped teams from local churches prepare for Book of Hope distributions! Right now, several distributions are taking place across this small Caribbean country.

God’s Word. Every Child.
She prayed for healing —
and received hope for eternity!

Her parents became Christians before she did — they were baptized and started making Shujit attend church with them, even though she didn’t want to.

In their majority Hindu nation, there’s opposition to Christianity … Shujit didn’t want to draw attention to the fact that her family was now Christian. And as a young teen, she didn’t have much interest in learning about any religion.

At church, she saw The GodMan film and received her own Book of Hope … and while she found them
entertaining, she didn’t yet believe in the God they revealed.

Then she came down with typhoid. Horrible pain attacked her digestive system, and she began suffering with terrible headaches. Shujit’s parents wanted to take her to the hospital, but she pleaded with them not to. Their family is extremely impoverished. Shujit knew there was no money for medicine and medical bills — and she didn’t want her family to go hungry.

Thankfully, she remembered that in her Book of Hope there were stories about Jesus’ healing of the sick! She began to pray to Him … and in two days time, she was completely healed!

Today, Shujit has given her life to Christ. And she joyfully attends church with her family, thanking God for her deliverance.

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