For many years, Alexander has sensed God calling him to plant a new church for Russians. Now in the last months, that vision is taking shape in new and exciting ways.
A Russian himself, Alexander joined a group of other leaders from his church and around the region for a leadership training event led by a missionary from Resonate Global Mission. Many in the group were interested in planting churches for Russian speakers outside of Russia.
“We met almost every month, and Alexander’s strategies for church planting grew over the course of the year,” says the missionary.
Through the process, Alexander felt he now had the new skills that he needed to take the next step. He answered a call from his sending church to plant a new church in Helsinki Finland, a part of Europe with a quickly-growing Russian population.
Over the next months, Alexander secured a job in Helsinki and started getting to know the city, connecting with other Christians as well as Russian speakers. One of the most important connections he made was with Saalem Church, a church that has a unique ministry of reaching out to the needs of the ethnic groups represented in the city.
“Saalem Church seems to do a great job embracing the immigrant population of Helsinki,” adds the missionary. “We attended the service there on a Sunday, and there were groups of people from all backgrounds.”
As Alexander’s relationship with this Finnish church grew, he shared his vision with members there, and they too supported his desire to share the gospel with Russian speakers. Saalem offered Alexander a space to worship and spiritual oversight, as well as visa support.
A few months ago, the Resonate missionary celebrated with Alexander and his family as they celebrated the launch of the new church.
Today about 20 people are involved in the church for Russian speakers. What’s more, many of them are integrated into the local Finnish congregation as well, worshiping along with other language groups that meet at the Saalem Church building.
God is at work in a new way in Finland. He’s worked through a Finnish church, a Russian church planter, and supporters of Resonate to make this growing ministry possible. That’s the beauty of partnership among churches and denominations across the globe.
“One more faith community is reaching out to a hurting world and sharing the hope found in our Lord Jesus Christ to the Russian diaspora,” said the Resonate missionary. “We praise God that we can be a part of it.”