This Servant Spotlight highlights a man named Arayk who came to a town called Tkvarchal, in the Republic of Abkahzia.
God has not forgotten about this little town. Once a flourishing industrial town of about 40,000 people, now only 4,000 citizens remain, suffering badly from the ’92-’93 ethnic war of independence with Georgia. Many live in war-damaged houses which have still not been repaired. Youth face many problems such as trauma, poverty, unemployment, addictions and a high suicide rate.
Some years ago the government granted the evangelical church a building, despite the fact there were no believers. Arayk moved to the city to care for the building and God did the rest.
No one expected anything from Arayk as he was not a typical missionary or church planter but he walked the streets talking to people and they responded.
Now that vacant building is full of promise. A group of thirty people gather each week; seventeen have been baptised in the past months and about twenty five young people regularly attend the biblical film club.
A year ago OM became involved in this new church plant. Around Christmas, the students of the Mission Disciple Training Centre organised a children’s club. Over fifty children attended and there was simply not enough space for everyone.
This year 4 students are living for 9 months in the church building to connect with youth and arrange evangelistic clubs in the surrounding villages. They provide practical help, food for poor families and develop relationships with youth around the church. The team sees a huge need to disciple these new believers through weekly clubs.
OM aims to help the church buy a plot of land next door to build a playground for youth ministries. The playground will be used for football and volley ball and be a great space to run Bible camps.
It is exciting to see what God can do through one man who started a church without any specific training.