“There is Hope”—Now on Sakhalin Island

Evangelistic program changes multiple lives for eternity in previously underreached territory

Sakhalin, Russia | Evgeniy and Anastasia Golovenkin, Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk

From October 6–14, 2023, the There Is Hope evangelistic program was held in Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk, Sakhalin, Russia, with the participation of evangelists Pavel Ivanovich Liberansky and his wife, Aksenia Vasilievna. Every day, invitees had the opportunity to hear a message of hope and salvation for individuals and families. Every day, the church welcomed up to 15 guests who had the opportunity to receive the Word of God and Christian literature.

For the first time in Sakhalin, members installed a banner on the 4-meter-tall (approx. 13 feet) facade wall of the church. Also, for the first time in Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk, a banner was installed on the wall of a shopping center, where for two weeks, church sisters performed a literature ministry, offering people newspapers, books, and invitations.

Around 400 posters were posted at every entrance of houses close to the church. Almost the entire small community responded; the work was organized in such a way that in pairs, they independently walked around each district of the city, inviting people.

The deaconesses organized daily service during the program: Each day, the sisters prepared different vegetarian sandwiches and drinks for the guests who were rushing from work to the evangelistic program.

By invitations and advertising on banners, perhaps not a single person came, the financing of which was more than half of the funds. However, all this was a testimony and a silent sermon for those present, which was also noted by Pavel.

Every day during the program, a separate program was organized for children in separate classrooms. Regional pastor Alexander Lemeshev, with wisdom, found the right words of greeting and support every day for everyone present at the program. Every evening, there was beautiful singing of musical groups, quartets, and children.

The good result of the meetings was the baptism of three precious souls who joyfully dedicated their lives to the Lord. The baptism took place in the autumn waters of the Sea of ​​Okhotsk, which gave the event solemnity and fame for numerous witnesses who were relaxing on the seashore. The Shabanov family moved to Sakhalin to serve in a Christian family school, and their daughter Arina decided to make a covenant with the Lord. It was very touching to hear the words of her grandfather Volovod Vladimir Ivanovich, who led her to the waters of the covenant: “Dear granddaughter, I baptize you in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit according to your faith.”

Lydia took a long time to come to this decision. Therefore, for her, this event was special and long-awaited. Members rejoiced as a whole church and shared Lydia’s joy and sincere prayers with the Lord. Now she is determined to tell all her relatives about biblical truth and the Seventh-day Adventist Church.

Additionally, a young man named Samuel, winking cheerfully in the photo, wants in the near future to devote his life to serving the Lord and studying at Zaoksky Adventist University, continuing the path of his dad, Evgeniy Golovenkin, a local pastor in Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk.

Many thanks go to Pavel and Aksenia for their dedicated work—literally day and night—especially considering the time difference: eight hours from Moscow. Supporting and counseling people on various issues, especially family issues, visiting and supporting a group of believers in the nearest city—all this was a blessed and timely ministry of the guests. It turns out they don’t know a lot; they’ve never tried fern salad or rosehip jam. The church sisters happily filled this gap.

Come to the church with the work of salvation, and members will treat you, too.

Despite the difficulties, everyone moves with hope towards victory!

The original version of this story was posted on the [Euro-Asia] Division [Russian]-language news site.