Andrey is a graduate of the Samara Center for Biblical Training. In 2009, he planted a church on the western Siberian plain. Aside from his pastoral responsibilities, Andrey ministers to drug addicts. Drawing from his own experience with deep sin, he has a heart to see others know the overcoming power of the gospel of Christ.
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The young church in western Siberia
I believe God called me to the ministry when he saved me. I started testifying and calling sinners to faith and repentance in prison, and I tried to do it everywhere. Not only did this bring me joy, but I also felt a great responsibility before God to give to others the great treasure that I saw and received in Christ.
The one thing that played a significant role in shaping my ministry and my family was the training I received at Samara Center for Biblical Training. This training truly was a shock to my soul. The method of teaching changed the way I viewed the Word of God and opened up to me the greatness of God’s character. I saw my own sinfulness and the preciousness of Jesus in new ways. This training had a large influence on my own character, the goals and plans of my family, and my ministry. With time I came to realize that the best use of my energies and giftedness was solely in the one institution through which God calls sinners to salvation – His Church.
Because of this, a group of like-minded men and I began to organize a new church where I would dedicate myself fully to the ministry. We began with just six people, but slowly we grew and matured. Moreover, after three years of prayer and testing, our small group decided to ordain me and another minister as pastors.
Today my main ministries in the church are expository preaching on Sundays, teaching theology to the church members, counseling church members, and leading the music ministry. I am motivated to continue in ministry by the belief that the being a shepherd over God’s church is the greatest privilege and at the same time the greatest responsibility. Further, the ministry itself is the engine that drives my own longing for sanctification. My desire is to labor in joy without burden or obligation.
I am very grateful to God for my wife, who fully supports my convictions and strives with me to glorify God in our marriage and ministry. I believe that my successful ministry to the Lord will bring joy to my Savior and the Lord Jesus Christ. I could not ask for greater joy. And all this is only because of His grace to me. May His name be glorified!
TESTIMONY OF FAITH
Greetings, brothers and sisters beloved by God!
I have but one goal — to praise Christ!
I was born in Siberia in 1972 to a family that was a failure. Reflecting on my childhood, I remember the darkness: an abusive father, a mother who was continually beaten up, left-over alcohol in glasses on the table, drugs, memories of prison and police, and continual suffering, fear, and embarrassment before our neighbors and teachers in school. When I became an adolescent and had before me the responsibility to choose what kind of life I would live, I was completely lost and in search of something to guide me. My parents gave me full freedom to choose what I wanted, but I did not see in their lives any healthy way of thinking.
My search to find myself very quickly led me into a gang, with whom I fell into hooliganism and attacks of robbery on the streets. To me it is an embarrassment to recall this, and I weep over the shame of all my crimes against people, and especially against God. But God was very merciful to me then and later when I spent time in prison.
At that time, I was killing myself with drugs. I was a liar and betrayed those who tried to help me… But during my last prison sentence I heard the good news of the gospel from a missionary.
Today I understand that by God’s providence alone a Bible was left where I slept. I began to read, and the more I read the more I began to see myself as a pitiful hypocrite. During one of the prison evangelistic services, I prayed the prayer of a repenting sinner. But the real awakening, as I understand it, happened several days later.
During a sleepless night, the merciful King touched my heart and made me a different man—His own son. I will never forget the morning when my soul experienced true release from the unseen prison of sin. At that moment I became the most free man of all the imprisoned men around me!
A short time after I was released, I was baptized in a Baptist church in the city of Omsk. Over the following years the Lord has been especially kind to me. He has given me a wife and two children. We have never stopped serving the Lord in the ministry to which He has called us—to preach the gospel of the grace of God.
Greetings to you, brothers and sisters in Christ!
Thank you for serving Christ and for your prayers for His church in Siberia!
- Pray for my growth in humility and service to people. Pray that I may learn to encourage the hearts of believers who listen to my sermons and admonitions through the gospel of grace!
- Pray for the development of deeper relationships in our church leadership team.
- Pray that the members of our church have Christ not only in mind, but also in heart. Pray for a life of repentance and faith for all our church, starting with myself, my wife, and our kids.
- Pray that the Lord will give my wife and I a clear understanding of how we can grow to the full age of Christ.
- Please pray that I will be more engaged in my family. I need to learn to consider this as the most important priority in life and have the courage to refuse to participate in some church projects. Pray for the salvation of our children, that the Lord will open their hearts to understand who are they in His eyes.