20 Jun 2012
Imagine living in the only surviving communist country in Europe and having the courage and desire to tell people about Jesus, but not the resources or training.
Belarus has been labelled Europe's one remaining 'Outpost of Tyranny' by US officials and ranks 42 in Open Doors' World Watch list. With Religious Law banning foreign missionaries unless invited by a registered church, there is a great need for young indigenous leaders, trained and equipped, using resources that are relevant and effective in their context. Sounds like the perfect place for Innovista to be then!
Innovista staff were recently invited to the capital of Belarus, Minsk, by Schools Without Walls, an organisation who trained over 2200 young people last year, to help a group of young people in their 20s from local churches share their faith with those around them.
At the training day, there was a real desire amongst the 35 or so young people to see their friends won to Jesus. Participants took away guides to Zerro, an evangelistic weekend retreat designed by Innovista for Russian language contexts. Zerro has been effectively used by young leaders in other parts of Eastern Europe to see young people come to know God. It has had a strong impact as a culturally indigenous resource in a Christian culture which relies on imported material. In Siberia in April, four young people decided to follow Jesus at a Zerro weekend.
"In the West there seems to be loads of evangelistic resources but little enthusiasm," says Innovista's Anatoliy, who led the training. "By contrast, in Minsk there was a genuine desire amongst the young people to witness for Christ but there is a lack of resources that are produced in and for this context. This is hampering the spread of the gospel in Belarus."
Through resources like Zerro, Innovista staff and supporters are enabling young Christians to take the gospel relevantly to those around them in one of the last bastions of communism, impacting a culture through its young leaders.
Would your church or small group like to hear more about Innovista in Belarus? Why not request someone to come share these stories?