SEND opens library with eternal focus

Tags: Eurasia, Russia, Story

By Dave B. in Siberia

“Hey, Dave, do you have any books about moral purity? Do you have any Christian videos I could show to the guys at the rehab center? Does the resource center have anything that could help with our preacher training program? Do you have any books that could help me and my marriage?” These are just a few of the many inquiries we have received since opening the Christian Resource Center in Ulan-Ude, and they are evidence of the hunger people here in distant Siberia have for good Christian books and resources.

The vision for the Christian Resource Center project was born back when my family was studying Russian in Ukraine, but it took nearly four years to come to fruition.

More than 1,200 books and other resources – just waiting to be checked out!

For years (literally), I waited to see all these resources — many of which were still packed away in boxes I shipped from Ukraine — sitting on bookshelves and available to people for use. Praise God that the center is now open.

Besides a library of more than 1,200 books, the center also offers music, videos, pamphlets and tracts. We also have computers and a printer/copier available, so that people can work at the center.

I presented this resource to the pastors from our region, explaining to them how the center would work, the kinds of books available, and my desire to serve them in their various ministry roles. Praise God that we have already been able to hand out eight pastor book sets — an excellent collection of 35 books — to area pastors and churches. The resource center significantly adds to the materials they can use to study the Word, and now each of these pastors has his own borrower card.

Our vision is that the center will: cultivate a love for reading; provide access to excellent Christian books and other resources; equip believers through various training opportunities; support other local ministries; assist the development of churches and pastors throughout Buryatia; become a facilitator and promoter of theological education throughout Buryatia; and encourage as many people as possible in their own spiritual growth.

It seems our youth already are being equipped through the resource center. A few weeks ago, Marina borrowed a commentary on Galatians from the center. I thought it a bit strange that a teenage girl would want such a book, but I gladly lent it out.

A few weeks later, we found out that our youth group used the commentary to prepare for Bible Ring, a trivia competition. Our group has never done very well in the competition. Often they’ll return and say, “We got fourth place!” And we’ll say, “Great! How many teams were there?” The reply: “Four.”

This time, Bible Ring was focused on Galatians. Our youth placed first, and they were so excited! And I was excited too, because they had borrowed a book that helped them not just to win, but to gain a greater prize — knowledge of God’s Word.

Will you commit to pray for this strategic ministry center? Will you pray that these resources will be widely used and will have significant impact on individuals and on churches throughout this region?