Here is an excerpt from our most recent Challenger publication.
In the 1990s, Pavel Rumachik of Dyedovsk, Russia, approached BIEM with a question: “If we Russians do the work of construction ourselves, do you think our American brothers and sisters in Christ might help with funds to build a church?”
It was an excellent question. Up to that point, BIEM had requested dona- tions for evangelism, Bibles, Christian literature, and other projects, but back then we’d never attempted to raise funds for a church building. We put the matter before our supporters, and God’s people responded enthusiastically!
Now twenty years have passed since Truth Baptist Church opened its doors in Nahabino, Russia. Through this church, God has worked mightily to save sinners from all walks of life. However, because many of the church’s very first converts were drug addicts, early on this congregation emphasized ministry among people with substance dependencies. As a result, they have led the way in opening multiple Christian rehabilitation centers for alcoholics and drug addicts, which in turn have freed many more souls from the shackles of sin and guided them to new life in Christ.
Concerning the church’s 20th anniversary celebration, Pastor Pavel gives full credit to the Lord: “First of all, we thank God that twenty years ago He founded a church in Nahabino. We held a special service of praise to the Lord. Our theme came from the central portion of Psalm 136. We used it to help us recall the mercies, which the Lord bestowed on us twenty years ago. As pastor, I read the first part of each verse describing God’s blessings, for example, ‘O, give thanks unto the Lord, for he is good.’ Then the entire congregation continued in unison, ‘For his mercy endureth forever.’ In this way, I pronounced twenty-two mercies aloud to the church, and twenty-two times the church responded about the eternal mercy of God. It was such a triumphant service!”
The whole congregation sang the Russian hymn “Let Everyone Exalt Christ.” A Christian orchestra led the congrega- tion and visiting friends in much praising. This orchestra included trumpets, violins, a guitar, a piano, synthesizer, flute, and triangle. The musicians were adults, but also children who study in music school.
With obvious enthusiasm, Pavel continued his description. “Two choirs — one all males, and one of mixed men and women — sang majestically. Of course, our children, youth, families, and guests also praised the Lord. The hymn ‘All Earth Is Full of Your Grace’ accompanied by an orchestra was a wonderful adornment. We had two sermons. The Lord has blessed us, and we rejoiced.”
After the service, everyone stayed for a delicious dinner. Women of the church provided a wide variety of flavorful dishes, which contributed to the fellow- ship and festive atmosphere.
Later that evening, the anniversary continued at a second service, which included participation by more guests, some of whom had traveled far distances to join in the celebration. In that service, church members shared many recollec- tions of God’s blessings in the spiritual founding of the church, and in the con- struction of their building.
Pastor Pavel’s father, Peter Rumachik (86) spent eighteen and a half years in Soviet prisons and labor camps for being an active Christian. During Soviet days, he never expected to see such blessings in his lifetime, and he, too, shared a short message from God’s Word. In conclusion, everyone watched a slide presentation about the history of the church.
Pastor Pavel offered these final words to BIEM concerning their day of remembering and rejoicing: “Praise God for everything! May the Lord bless all of us to praise Him, and to be faithful to Him, as we await the soon-coming return of the Savior for us!”