Georgia on our Mind

Over the years, Alexei and Tatiana have hosted our team in Moscow and they have ministered  together throughout Russia. Through Alexei’s ministry a young man who was in university in Moscow found the Lord and become a disciple of Jesus. He then went back to his home country of Georgia as a youth leader in the church. He had studied medicine, but eventually planted a church in Georgia.

Georgia, the country, is located just south of Russian, north of Turkey and Armenia, on the east coast of the Black Sea. It is part of the Caucasus region with a population of nearly 4 million people. After the fall of the Soviet Empire it has had a rather tumultuous transition to democracy. Since the Rose Revolution of 2003 it has become more pro-western, which has led to the Russo-Georgian war of 2008. Though more stable, border disputes in the region still continue today.

Alexei contacted Karl (MCNet Coach  Germany/Eurasia) to follow up with this young leader in Georgia and introduce some of our leadership training with their group. On behalf of our leadership Network, Karl spent a week in Georgia last November and was able to spend some time sharing with young leaders and learn about the challenges they face, as well as the state of the Church in Georgia.

In the larger cities, evangelism is not a problem. But Karl was in a smaller city, and due to persecution from the orthodox church in these smaller cities, open evangelism is not possible. There is regular violence against any non-orthodox churches, such as rocks  being thrown at their buildings. Consequently, many evangelical churches function more under the radar and do not openly advertise their church buildings or their meetings.

Due to its proximity and border disputes with Russia, throughout the country anything not Georgian or perceived as foreign is viewed with mistrust. The church he visited has planted three churches in Iran and Turkey. It’s hard to believe that they found there was less opposition there than what they have experienced in some areas of Georgia where the Orthodox Church is predominant.

So instead of evangelizing openly, they connect one-on-one with university students and first develop a friendship before introducing them to Jesus. Through their youth ministry they teach these young adults practical life skills as they provide life coaching. As trust is developed they begin to introduce them to a faith in Jesus. Karl was able to share our materials on mentoring and pathway of vision both in the university and in the church.

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