A group of Russian believers go outside of their comfort zones for Christ.
Nicholas wanted to plan a cross-cultural experience for the group that he had led through the Xplore study. He believed that the next step for them should be to experience another culture, meet real people from an unreached people group, and see how they practiced a different religion. He decided to lead this group of 16 on a road trip to a primarily Buddhist city just 6 hours away. On the way there, one of the cars broke down; this struck the team as an opportunity to trust God and pray for His power to go before them in this cross-cultural experience.
The goal of the first day in the city was exposure to Buddhist culture. Nicholas arranged a visit to a local Buddhist temple, and the team spent time in prayer walking near the temple and the altars featuring the area’s idols and shamanistic relics. The team asked God to spiritually free this people group from Satan’s oppression. Later that day, they met with a contact from the area who moved to this city as a full-time missionary last year. He shared his insights about the local culture and gave advice about the best ways to share the gospel with the people living in the area.
The next day, the team traveled to rural villages nearby to share the gospel and hand out materials. Many of the people they talked to in these communities had never heard anyone speak of Jesus. Fifty New Testaments were given away, and the team was challenged and encouraged by doing this type of street evangelism. None of them had ever attempted to approach strangers with the gospel before that day.
On the third day, Nicholas and his team were invited to share in a small local church. They were able to speak and share their testimonies, and in the evening they hosted a youth gathering where they openly shared the gospel. The gathering was made up of Nicholas’ group of 16, as well as 9 local believers and 10 people from this unreached people group.
As the team drove back home, they shared their impressions of being immersed in another culture and about how God had spoken to their hearts during this short trip. For most of them, this was their first cross-cultural experience and first encounter with Buddhism in real life.
They were shocked and shaken by the fact that unreached people groups live just 6 hours away from where they comfortably worship Jesus and gather as a church.
They were shocked and shaken by the fact that unreached people groups live just 6 hours away from where they comfortably worship Jesus and gather as a church. They were also amazed at how they could sense the reality of spiritual warfare during their trip, in a way they had never sensed it before. After seeing the real need for the gospel and the potential opportunities to serve among this Buddhist people group, this group of friends is now discussing the idea of returning to the same city this summer to lead an evangelism event for the area.