“They did what? In one day? That’s unbelievable. This is a gift from God.” Incredulous doesn’t come close to describing Pastor Ilya Bantseev’s reaction to the news. In Siberia, it was like Christmas in August.
The Bantseevs In Siberia
Ilya and Janet Bantseev have faithfully served as PAOC missionaries in Siberia for twenty-four years. God’s mercy and their devoted work have developed the Novokuznetsk church into one of the largest evangelical congregations in Russia. The Bantseevs also give leadership to the Russian arm of Teen Challenge International.
Substance abuse and addiction are at epidemic levels in Russia. Over eighty thousand deaths every year are a direct result of overdoses.
Source of Life, the TC centre in Novokuznetsk, is a beacon in the darkness for men facing addiction. In 2012, the congregation of Family Worship Centre in Fort MacMurray provided money to purchase an abandoned Soviet Youth Centre.
Ilya envisioned the property becoming home to a multi-faceted ministry hub.
Going To Siberia
Nestled on one hundred and fifty acres of prime real estate, the former communist centre now houses a community of men finding freedom in Christ. A training site for trades, employment opportunities, a school for pastoral training, a ranch and a children’s centre are some of the potential ministries for the property.
Our mission team from North Pointe, Edmonton travelled 8,000km in August 2017 to repair a leaking roof at the Centre, provide Social Media seminars, visit orphanages, teach and preach. At least that was our plan.
God had even better plans. His always are.
Unbeknownst to us, the most pressing need was to clear a forest that over grew the property during decades of neglect. Unbeknownst to the Bantseevs, one of our team members had fourteen years of heli-logging experience.
The accidental discovery of a broken chainsaw set in motion an unexpected series of events that had the fingerprints of God all over them.
Read the rest of the story here in the TESTIMONY magazine.
APPLICATION: Experiences like ours in Siberia are a reminder of God’s timely provision. What do you need? Ask. Expect. Wait. Receive. Please leave a comment below. Thank you.
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