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A light has dawned


... on those living in the land of darkness

For background to this incredible story, read this in-depth Q&A feature with Paul, a Pioneers worker in Siberia. Here he shares how the most recent exciting event unfolded:

It is God’s great joy to save the most humble of people. What did Jesus say? '
Blessed are the poor in spirit. Blessed are those that mourn. Blessed are the humble. Blessed are those that hunger and thirst for righteousness.' A year ago when we met Pavel (the Evenk), he took us to his niece Olya’s house, where she lives with her Russian husband Gera. Gera’s house was very open to us. When we returned this time, Olya’s brother Artur was sitting on the bed couch. Gera’s house is very humble. It’s out past the edge of town on the edge of the forest. It’s one of those places on the fringes despised by people.

Siberia

 

Artur was sitting there and when Fred and I arrived he already knew who we were. “I want to get baptised” was almost the first thing to come out of his mouth. Five years ago Artur suffered a tragic accident, he was carrying a heavy load and took a heavy hit to the head. By the afternoon of that fateful day he was already blind. I have no doubt that five years of blindness could do one of two things: either make someone angry with God or very humble and open to God. Praise be to God that in Artur’s case he chose the path of humility. I had the joy of walking him through what it means to dedicate one’s life to Jesus. Later he was also able to pray prayers of renouncing the spirits too. One sows, another waters, another reaps, but God gives the increase! All glory to God for saving Artur.

 

I had thought in the past, how would someone get baptised in the middle of winter when

it is minus 30˚C outside? In the city it would be easy enough to find a private swimming pool at a sauna. In the village not so. My idea was to use a banya (wooden wash house that is heated up), and then to use three large buckets, one for the Father, one for the Son and one for the Holy Spirit. Our humble friends do not have a banya though. Another idea came to my mind. We heated some water on the stove and found a large washing tub. Using a large ladle, I baptised Artur with three ladles. The joy on Olya his sister’s face was palpable. Artur and Olya’s hunger and thirst was being filled.

 

The next day Fred and I found a music player that plays from a USB drive. We were able to download a dramatic version of the Bible on to the USB drive and set it up for Artur to listen to. It’s his 32nd birthday soon, so it makes a nice gift. I hope to call Artur on the phone soon and see how is doing. More than anything though, the Holy Spirit must lead him into all truth. Pray for Artur. It is common that when an Evenki man comes to Jesus his life is threatened. Please pray for his protection from spiritual attacks.

 

In Isaiah 9:1 the Scripture says 'a people walking in darkness have seen a great light.' That darkness is of course spiritual for many, but also physical for Artur. He has seen the great light of Jesus. It is poetically fitting that one of the first Evenki people to come to Jesus is in such a humble position. It is God’s great joy to save Artur. He might not have fit into our plans for starting a gospel movement, but I love the fact that God’s ways are not our ways.

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