IMS

Back to the Beginning

Back to the Beginning
Muslims are one of Russia’s indigenous peoples


Note: this article is from the International Mission Study: Russia, an annual missions study for individuals and churches. To view and purchase the IMS, click here.

International Mission Study: Russia

International Mission Study Russia

IMS 2017: RUSSIA

The mention of Russia may conjure up images of Romanov royalty, cultural icons such as Mikhail Baryshnikov and Dostoyevsky, or maybe a parade of dictators like Stalin, Lenin, or Khrushchev. What probably doesn't come to mind is Muslims.

However, Muslims are actually one of the indigenous peoples of Russia, their roots lying deep in the isolated villages of the Caucasus region, the mountain range separating Europe and Asia.

But besides those indigenous people, there has been a rebirth of Muslim influence in Russian cities in the past 25 years, as the crumbling of the Berlin Wall changed the relationship between Russia and the Central Asian republics. Now migrant workers from the South come in unprecedented numbers to work in the large cites. In fact, Moscow's Muslim population has grown from 1 million to 2.5 million in the last few years, making it the largest Muslim city in Europe.

International Mission Study: Norway

Coast of Norway

IMS 2016: NORWAY

It's a land of dramatic Nordic landscapes with lush meadows and forested hills, icy glaciers and rushing waterfalls, deep fjords and snow-capped peaks. In the north, the summer sun shines around the clock, and in the winter northern lights fill the sky.

Beyond startling beauty, Norway's other superlatives include it being considered the world's most democratic nation. It ranks among the world's wealthiest nations with North Sea oil fields allowing the country to sock away reserves of hundreds of billions of dollars. And using the United Nation's measures for happiness, people in Norway enjoy high levels of security, strong social policies, freedoms, and an overall sense of well-being, making Norway one of the happiest countries in the world.

Yet, in a country that seemingly has everything, Norway's heritage as a Christian nation belies its spiritual state. Postmodern culture has taken root here as in much of Europe with its sense of relativism and lack of definitive truths. Large church buildings of the past stand empty or have been converted into cafes in this secular culture. 

Tags: 

Relational People Serving a Relational Savior

Dove Family

Do you ever wonder what life is like for special workers who live internationally? What do they most enjoy about their work? How do they make connections? What are their dreams?

Zach and Jennifer Dove, IMB Church Planters in Norway, have not been called to pastor a church or lead a particular group. Instead, they spend their time working “behind the scenes.” The Doves partner with people in their communities who are interested in beginning new churches or who wish to revitalize churches that need revival and growth. They provide training and direction and discipleship for local church leadership, and they work to connect people who can meet each other’s needs.

When asked what they most enjoy about their work in Norway, the Doves share that they love meeting people and developing relationships. They enjoy hearing life stories and learning what is most important to people.

IMS Participation Often Leads to Missions Involvement

Hosting the International Mission Study is one sure way to give missions knowledge to church and community members. Participation in the study often leads to prayer for missionaries and their people groups. Many times, attendees are spurred to join missions efforts.

Gwen Moor, former president of Northwest WMU and a member of Dayspring Baptist Church in Chehalis, Washington, said prayer, advance delegating, and working out details are keys to success when hosting the study.

“We use the wonderful materials from the promotion kit to try to spark interest, [do] bulletin boards, [find] posters,” Moor said. In addition to the pastor promoting the study, it is announced in the bulletin for 3 or 4 weeks beforehand. A “guess how many of something that pertains to the country” game is presented. Church members have to attend the study to get the prize given to whoever is closest.

Back to Top