“For such a time as this”
These words were spoken by Mordecai to young Queen Esther in the palace of Persian King Xerxes. She was the right person at the right time in the right place: God had chosen her to do a special work. She answered the call.
Twenty-seven years ago, by God’s grace we answered God’s call and went to Nizhny Novgorod, Russia…
We went to Russia because the hand of God was heavy upon us. We did not go because it was easy. We went because it was hard and because people were perishing without hope and God in the world. We went at the right time to the right place for the right reason with the right message.
I have just read a story from the 3ABN World magazine (April 2019 Edition). It is about a young Russian woman who came to our meetings during 1992 in Nizhny Novgorod. With the help of Danny Shelton at 3ABN, we had raised the money to pay the bills. It had been a struggle, but our supporters in North America and Australia had risen to the challenge. Thank God for these true heroes of faith.
The lady was Svetlana. She had been born in the small village of Kerzhenets in the Soviet Union. When the Soviet Union came tumbling down in 1991, the people were cast upon a restless sea of insecurity and hopelessness. Some even turned to Spiritism and Eastern Mysticism. Then in 1992, our Carter Report ads appeared on Russian television. I quote Svetlana:
“I asked myself, ‘Is this all there is? Work is crazy, people are crazy, and there’s no hope. What happened to my country?’ By 1992, everyone was searching—some looked to Eastern religions, others to palm reading, and still others to ancient history. Then, all of a sudden, ads for John Carter’s series on archeology and ancient Egyptian mysteries appeared all over the city—at bus stops, on radio and television, even the talk show hosts were discussing it. ‘Come to the sports arena and I’ll have answers for you!’ he promised, and everybody wanted to go. I began attending, and every word I heard was like someone telling me, ‘This is true!’ My eyes were opened, my heart was softened, and I understood why things were the way they were. I studied the Bible lessons with my coworkers and when they gave me my first Bible, I sat down and read it from cover to cover. It seemed that every conversation I had with friends came back to what we’d just read in Scripture! I was baptized on June 6, 1992, in the Volga River, and joined the Seventh-day Adventist Church along with several thousand others.” (3ABN World Magazine, April 2019)
DR. JULIA OUTKINA
After the 1992 Carter Report campaign, my friend Danny Shelton built a great television production evangelism center in Nizhny. He then invited Dr. Julia Outkina to take charge of the 3ABN Russia Center. She then invited Svetlana to join her team. Julia too had been baptized in the Volga River after those amazing days of grace and glory when God’s Spirit had filled the Russian Palace of Sport.
It is all a very wonderful story, and you can read it in the 3ABN World magazine. I was blessed by God to be there when God visited His people. I had an overwhelming conviction that God had called me to “the kingdom for such a time as this.” Every night for six weeks as I stood before thousands of Russians, I had a sense that history was being made.
God isn’t finished with us yet. There is still work to do. Manila beckons and the cry of the lost is heard again in our ears. Please be God’s man or God’s woman for such a time as this. As the Spirit moves you, now is the time to go, to give, to sacrifice, to reach out.
“Esthers” are needed now. Will you join the battle? Will you say, “Yes.”
Thank you for giving for lost souls. Thank you for your financial and spiritual support that is needed now as never before.