Situation in the country
There are about 2 m speakers of Russian and Ukrainian living in the USA. This includes not only Russians and Ukrainians, but also Armenians, Belarussians, Lithuanians, Latvians, Kazakhs, Aserbaijanis, Estonians, Caucasians, Kyrgyz and Tajiks. A large proportion of the migrants living in the USA are Jews from Russia who of course also speak Russian. Believers in Christ meet in large migrant churches, where the fellowship is also attractive for migrants. Through evangelism and with our literature, we reach these people, strengthen their faith and receive support for our work in the countries of the east.
What we do in the USA
The mandate of the Mission LICHT IM OSTEN USA (LIGHT IN THE EAST USA) is to reach those living in the USA from Slavic and other post-Soviet peoples with the Gospel of Jesus Christ and to support them spiritually. This correlates with the issues LICHT IM OSTEN has had in mind throughout its history: reaching Slavs in the diaspora with the word of God. The other aim is to find friends and supporters for spreading the Gospel in the east and for giving us prayer support.
Very many emigrants, including a great deal of families, come to the USA from post-Soviet regions. These are mainly people who do not know God and the church. It is not easy to come to a country where there are neither relatives nor friends. The Mission LICHT IM OSTEN offers them, together with the "SOL Church", friendship and support in all vital aspects of getting accustomed to a new country.
Thus we recently organised a picnic for immigrants to which 1,500 people came. There were fellowship, food, magazines and books for children and adults. Magazines are effective little missionaries. Through them the readers can find out more about Jesus and get to know him better.
We dispatch the magazines FAITH AND LIFE and TROPINKA in the Russian and Ukrainian languages. We keep in touch with the readers when we evangelise in churches and when our missionaries from Ukraine, Russia and Armenia come to visit churches. Besides this, we distribute Christian literature and provide counselling for the needy. All these contribute to achieving the goals of the mission for the USA.
Sergei and Svetlana arrived in the USA with their two children. We met them at the airport, where we saw them for the first time in person. We helped them find a flat and and with all the formalities. After a while they asked us, "What are you doing on Sunday?" "On Sundays we go to church. Come with us and see for yourself!" At the church car park Svetlana made quite clear: "I only want to have a look. I am not planning to change my Orthodox faith." Some time later, Sergei and Svetlana accepted Christ as their personal Saviour. Since then they have been coming to our church regularly.
Nowadays it is not easy to find reliable, committed people. We ask you to pray for this matter. About 300,000 Slavs live in California, where our Mission office is located, and about 20,000 of them are Christians and attend a church. We believe that God has a plan for us and pray that he might open our spiritual eyes so that we might see his plan clearly.