“For the word of the Cross is folly to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.” ~ 1 Cor. 1:18 ESV
Q: Hi Peter. With all the busyness of ministry and responsibility, how has the Lord encouraged you lately in His Word?
Peter: Yes thank you. This is probably the most important question to be asking one another. Because the Baptist Union’s focus this year is the “Year of Ministry,” I’ve been spending much time in Romans 12:11-13, “Do not be slothful in zeal, be fervent in spirit, serve the Lord. Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer. Contribute to the needs of the saints and seek to show hospitality.” He is the Lord of encouragement, and he constantly gives me comfort and power for the ministry he has put me in. His desire is that we would use all our gifts to serve and glorify Him every moment of every day. The Lord is amazing. He answers my prayers in His way, and in His time. He has been teaching me to say, “May Your will be done.” We have to truly implement this in our real life. It’s not enough just to know it, but we must live it.
Q: Thank you for sharing your heart. Last month, you told us the Moscow Theological Seminary would likely be shut down in January. What happened in court?
Peter: We had a preliminary court hearing on January 21. The judge looked at all the documents and called for a second hearing, which will happen on February 27. He wants to understand why the state inspection agency wants to take the license away from a religious institution. The last reason they gave was that we had too many students to few teachers. So I guess it was a ratio issue? The judge will be inspecting documents and the lawyers will continue to play their games. There might even be a third hearing. But for me, I have peace in my heart. Any result will be positive for us. We want to be obedient to God here. It is all in His hands. We will train people to be gospel servants whether it is unofficial in the church, or in a official seminary context. I’m personally not a fan of the process as it keeps me away from important ministry. It sucks our time and money, and makes us lawyer dependent.
Q: What is happening to Christians in Russia now that people in the west should be concerned about?
Peter: There are several levels. 1. It depends on how we look at this situation: in Russia now, we’re in a stage where everything is being inspected to make things more unilateral and unified. For us it means we must pray “Lord, give us wisdom.” Our main concert is how to be faithful in His ministry. 2. As Christians, we are grateful for the new inspections, because we want to obey the law. Maybe it is unknown what category and criteria in which to base inspections. And the Church has to be ready for the Lord’s coming. We want to be pure and faithful before Him and in the eyes of the government. 3. Also, we don’t want revolutions or war, so we pray for peace and unity in the government level, in families and in the hearts of people.
It seems you can gather from what was said, for how to pray for individuals, churches and different Christian organizations. Until next month!