By Jay Rogers
Published December 1, 1992
THE EXCHANGE RATE OF RUBLES FOR DOLLARS has skyrocketed from 30 rubles to the dollar at the time of the August 1991 coup to now over 500! An inflation rate of 2% a day has made it difficult for the average worker to buy enough bread, milk and meat to feed his family. The dollar, too, is losing value, but at a much lower rate. It is still possible for the Russian entrepreneur, if he has access to hard currency, to make profitable deals during the “lag time” just after the official exchange rates are raised and before the inflation rate has a chance to catch up to the raised value of the dollar.
Many people in the West are understandably concerned about making an investment in business or supporting a ministry in the former Soviet Union. Are the communist hardliners going to reassert themselves? Will the iron curtain be raised once again? When is Russia going to close up again? – These are some of the questions people ask.
The consensus of the young people in the former communist bloc say: “There is no way; the changes are irreversible. Communism is too unpopular, and the Democrats have too much support from the people to go back now.” Taken that these are the future leaders of this society, we can say that the long term changes are irreversible. In addition to this piece of evidence that communism is out for good, there have been several symbolic gestures on the parts former Soviet governments:
The endorsement on the ruble only one year ago proclaimed: “Legal Tender of the USSR.” Today the ruble reads: “Bank of Russia.” Even the ever-present bust portrait of Lenin has been removed from new 5000 ruble note.
Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Belarus and Ukraine have declared complete independence from Moscow. Ukraine realigned their time zone to be one hour later than that of Moscow even though part of the country is on the same line of longitude. Ukraine, the Baltics and Belarus are now in the same time zone as the countries of eastern Europe. In essence, this gesture suggests that these nations consider themselves to be part of Europe and not of the Soviet bloc.
These nations display their own flag colors, have their own national anthems and have printed their own currency, (although inflation in the Ukraine has surpassed that of Russia).
Despite the symbolic gestures of freedom, life from a practical standpoint is getting worse for the common citizen. The average worker still makes between $20 – $30 a month. As government subsidies are lifted, the prices for commodities will inevitably come on line with prices in the West.
The time for Westerners take advantage of this situation is now. God himself has sovereignly created this setting so that Western Christians would be able to finance the evangelization of almost 300 million people.
The time of spiritual openness in the former Soviet Union is also short. While compared to the West there is a great hunger for Christian literature, in two or three years it will become more difficult to distribute a Christian publication among unconverted people. Two or three years ago, a Christian publication such as Predvestnik would have been a best-seller, but in a few years the novelty factor will will have all but disappeared.
The goal of a newly established Christian publishing house in Ukraine is to print and distribute at least 250,000 copies of Predvestnik in the next two years; and to translate and print 10 short paperback books (100-200 pages). In doing so, a network will be developed among Russian speaking people who will read Christian literature for many years to come. These people may be able to support the work of publishing in their own country if their economy improves. Then they will be able to support missionary efforts to surrounding nations such as the Muslim and Asian bloc.
The people in the former Soviet Union are still among the most spiritually open people in the world – especially the youth – but the time is short, we need to act in a more progressive manner to evangelize and disciple the people of the former Soviet Union through the printed word.
You may support the Russian language Forerunner and publishing books in the former Soviet Union by sending a tax-deductible donation to: The Forerunner, P.O. Box 1799, Gainesville, FL 32602
Forerunner - Home » The Forerunner Newspaper » Russia, Ukraine and former USSR
Your comments are welcome!
That Swiss Hermit Strikes Again!
Dr. Schaeffer, who was one of the most influential Christian thinkers in the twentieth century, shows that secular humanism has displaced the Judeo-Christian consensus that once defined our nation’s moral boundaries. Law, education, and medicine have all been reshaped for the worse as a consequence. America’s dominant worldview changed, Schaeffer charges, when Christians weren’t looking.
Schaeffer lists two reasons for evangelical indifference: a false concept of spirituality and fear. He calls on believers to stand against the tyranny and moral chaos that come when humanism reigns-and warns that believers may, at some point, be forced to make the hard choice between obeying God or Caesar. A Christian Manifesto is a thought-provoking and bracing Christian analysis of American culture and the obligation Christians have to engage the culture with the claims of Christ.
$19.95 — ORDER NOW!(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)
“Give me liberty or give me death!”
Patrick Henry’s famous declaration not only helped launch the War for Independence, it also perfectly summarized the mindset that gave birth to, and sustained, the unprecedented experiment in Christian liberty that was America.
The freedom our Founders envisioned was not freedom from suffering, want, or hard work. Nor was it freedom to indulge every appetite or whim without restraint—that would merely be servitude to a different master. No, the Founders’ passion was to live free before God, unfettered by the chains of autocracy, shackles that slowly but inexorably bind men when the governments they fashion fail to recognize and uphold freedom’s singular, foundational truth: that all men are created in the image of God, and are thereby co-equally endowed with the right to “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”
This presentation is a similar call, not to one but many. By reintroducing the principles of freedom that gave birth to America, it is our prayer that Jesus, the true and only ruler over the nations, will once again be our acknowledged Sovereign, that we may again know and exult in the great truth that “where the Spirit of the LORD is, there is liberty” (2 Cor. 3:17).
Welcome to the Second American Revolution!
This DVD features “Liberty: The Model of Christian Liberty” along with “Dawn’s Early Light: A Brief History of America’s Christian Foundations.” Bonus features include a humorous but instructive collection of campaign ads and Eric Holmberg’s controversial YouTube challenge concerning Mitt Romney’s campaign for president.
$14.95 — ORDER NOW!(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)
With “preaching to the lost” being such a basic foundation of Christianity, why do many in the church seem to be apathetic on this issue of preaching in highways and byways of towns and cities?
Is it biblical to stand in the public places of the world and proclaim the gospel, regardless if people want to hear it or not?
Does the Bible really call church pastors, leaders and evangelists to proclaim the gospel in the public square as part of obedience to the Great Commission, or is public preaching something that is outdated and not applicable for our day and age?
These any many other questions are answered in this documentary.
$19.95 — ORDER NOW!(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)
“Here I stand … I can do no other!”
With these immortal words, an unknown German monk sparked a spiritual revolution that changed the world.
The dramatic classic film of Martin Luther’s life was released in theaters worldwide in the 1950s and was nominated for two Oscars. A magnificent depiction of Luther and the forces at work in the surrounding society that resulted in his historic reform efforts, this film traces Luther’s life from a guilt-burdened monk to his eventual break with the Roman Catholic Church.
Running time: 105 minutes
Special offer: Order 5 or more for $5 each.
Watch a clip from Martin Luther.
$9.95 — ORDER NOW!(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)
Exposes the Dangers of Abortion to Women!
These shocking eyewitness accounts expose the dangers of abortion not only to unborn children, but to the health and lives women as well. An antidote to the smokescreens of the liberal media, these short clips show what really happens in and around abortion clinics.
Although the content is emotionally gut-wrenching, these videos have been used in church seminars and small groups to educate Christians on the abortion issue and to lead people toward a pro-life position. Contains 2 hours and 40 minutes of materials that can be shown separately.
Watch these pro-life videos on-line.
“These videos helped change my mind from pro-choice to pro-life. Your videos are what did it for me. I will be walking in next year’s March For Life in San Francisco.” — A. Jackson, California
“I was going to have an abortion until I saw your video. Praise Jesus!”
— M. Drew, YouTube Commenter
$4.95 — ORDER NOW!(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)