Based on the Russian translation by Darya Shkurlyatyeva of a news story by Riita Pyykkö and Miina Makkonen on kansanlahetys.fi
The Velmema Congregation in the Republic of Mordovia celebrates its 25th anniversary this year. The young people who grew up in the congregation have moved to bigger cities for jobs. Currently, the congregation is looking for new ways of reaching out to youth and young adults.
As in Finland, the internet in Russia is an important communication medium for the younger generation. Congregational volunteer Katya who is a young adult herself has begun to promote congregational activities in social media using a new approach and this has borne its fruit.
New young people have shown interest in the course on the basics of the Christian faith taught by Rev. Aleksei Alyoshkin, recitals, and film screenings. Katya spends a lot of time discussing spiritual questions and young people’s issues in social networks. She says young people face many difficulties, so lately Katya has been reading many books on soulcare in order to be able to give the right answer.
Young people who visit the church have given positive feedback:
“I consider myself an atheist, but I wouldn’t like to leave the church. It was so good to be there!”
“They take people seriously in the church, they give them attention, there is really interaction there.”
“Even strangers behaved in an open manner and got acquainted with each other.”
Pray for wisdom for Katya and Pastor Aleksei in their contact with new people and ask that these gentle beginnings in the congregation’s work bear fruit. We also pray for the whole congregation and its activities.
Photo credits: Riita Pyykkö