Missions Insider Report :: Missions Insider
Going to Far Away Places
April 15, 2009
When the weather warms, boats are a good form of transportation via the many rivers in Russia and Siberia.
There are many indigenous ministries located throughout Eastern Europe, Russia, Siberia, and Central Asia. In most cases they are located far apart from one another.
In some of these countries public transportation, such as buses or trains, are available. But the service is often very limited. Buses, for instance, operate only a few times during the day, and service stops entirely at 5:00 p.m..
Trains travel from one large city to another, but they are not necessarily the places missionaries are targeting. But even when public transportation is available, this means the missionary can take himself – but no equipment and no evangelistic tools.
These missionaries are indigenous to the harsh Mongolic region of northeastern Siberia, where extreme weather makes it difficult to travel.
Today the time is right for crusades in Ukraine. Vehicles large enough to carry an evangelism team plus the sound system and other equipment are urgently needed. Large vans are useful for this kind of outreach. Mini-vans are also needed to help missionaries return to villages to give Bibles and other Christian literature to those who have responded to the gospel. Missionary teachers also return to spend time with them during this crucial phase of building a firm foundation.
The large vans can also be used as buses for missionary training sessions, or by orphanages as a school bus, and for routine operations. Bicycles are good for travel within cities, or by missionaries who relocate to villages in order to build up the church and serve as pastor.
Vans able to seat 7 to 12 people, and automobiles, are in great need in Central Asia. Bicycles are not practical because of mountains and the great distances (700 to 800 kilometers between ministries and the mission field.) Private transportation is much safer in these predominately-Muslim countries. Christians need to be careful because of discrimination and various forms of persecution.
From Russia to Siberia
A missionary sets up a sound system and begins to preach. Soon after a crowd gathered to hear the gospel.
Travel to places like Siberia is even more troublesome. The trans-Siberian Railway is a network running east to west, starting in Moscow. It travels through European Russia, the Russian Far East, Mongolia, China, and ends at the Sea of Japan. But the northern-most parts of Siberia are virgin territory as far as public travel is concerned. There are no railways going into these areas. Travel is also difficult because of the scarcity of highways. And the severe winter storms of Siberia make it difficult to travel in these far away places. For these reasons Siberia is also virgin territory for the gospel!
Boats and snowmobiles are the most reliable means of transportation in this area of the world.
A large van helps a ministry bring equipment (sound system and literature) needed to hold spontaneous outdoor preaching opportunities in Ukraine.
Boats are useful in warmer weather to travel up and down the many rivers in Siberia. In the winter, snowmobiles are the only way to travel due to extremely cold, hazardous wintery weather.
Because of these adversities, many missionaries who do manage to travel into these remote areas often remain there. They plant churches, act as pastors, and train others for leadership roles.
But they also reach out to surrounding villages. In this case, motorcycles and bicycles can be used part of the year to enhance the ministry’s efforts.