Oleg Yakimenko came to Christ when he was a university student in 1993. Some Christians gave him a New Testament and encouraged him to read about Jesus in the gospels. The Word of God changed his life and incredibly he is now working to get God’s Word into the hands of others.
For twenty years he and his wife served as missionaries, planting a church in St. Petersburg, Russia. He is currently the National Director for Russia/Kazakhstan/Belarus in the Eastern European Mission (EEM).
EEM is an international ministry that, together with partners, focuses on providing free Bibles and other Bible-based resources across Eastern Europe.
Working in partnership with local churches and ministries, EEM has been distributing Biblica’s New Russian Translation (NRT) Bibles across Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan. Some of the Bibles are sent by mail to individuals who request a copy. Others are distributed to small local churches that would struggle to purchase copes, for their new members.
Many of the Bibles are provided to people through outreach projects ran by partners. This includes prison ministry, evangelism in rural areas, ministry to recovering addicts, visiting the poor and single-parent families and at special events.
We asked Oleg to tell us one thing about the distribution of these Bibles in each of the countries. This is what he told us:
In Russia, many believers still use an older translation of the Bible from the 19th Century. However, more and more requests are coming from conservative groups like Russian Orthodox churches for the NRT Bibles to use in their Bible-reading sessions, recognising that they need a quality contemporary translation so that people can understand the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
Reflecting on the demand for NRT Bibles in Kazakhstan, Oleg said “The production/distribution of Christian literature is limited in this country. The level of poverty is also a big factor for the big need in free Bibles.”
Oleg said that “In Belarus, a lot of believers used the NRT Bibles as a sign of peace when they marched on the streets of Minsk and other big cities. The believers expressed their opposition to the violence during the political unrest in Belarus in 2020.”
In the spring of 2021, Oleg received this encouraging story out of difficult circumstances. A young man called Alexander had undergone spinal surgery and lost feeling in the lower part of his body. He was diagnosed with cancer and he was bedridden for about 2 months. He asked his mother for a Bible and requested that people pray for him. Local Christians brought Alexander a gift of the NRT Bible – he was so glad to have a Bible he could read and understand. Oleg said “The fear of an unknown future, with questions about whether he would survive or be able to walk in the future, made him run to learn more of the One who is our Hope!”
Oleg’s life was transformed because Christians shared God’s Word with him. Please pray for him as he now directs the work of sharing God’s Word in Russia, Kazakhstan and Belarus for EEM.
Can you help us get God’s Word into the hands of those who need it most in Eastern Europe and Central Asia? Please consider giving to support projects like this one with partners including EEM, working on the front line in the region. To support our work, visit our giving page