Mission Update: Russia

The following is from an update letter we received from Dennis and Natasha Podryachikov, two Russian Christians who live and work in Yekaterinburg with their two daughters, Arina and Karolina.

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Dear friends and supporters,

Update About Sasha
Recently, we sent out an urgent prayer request about Sasha, one of the guys from our study group in Degtyarsk. Sasha is Anya’s husband, who got into a terrible car accident. He has already lost his right arm, and the doctors have put him into an induced coma.

Anya later sent both of us a message saying, “Dennis, good afternoon! I have to share the wonderful news. I called the hospital, and Sasha’s consciousness is still weak and he is confused, but he has begun breathing independently!”

On Saturday, the doctors permitted Anya to spend most of the day with Sasha. He is now conscious, but still very weak. Natasha and Anya have been checking in daily, and Natasha noticed that Anya is excited about so many Christians all over the world praying for her, and grateful for God working in her Sasha’s and lives.

We are thankful for each of you, our prayer warriors! Thank you very much for lifting this family up in your prayers! May God’s will be done for them.

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Other Updates
Dennis continues to meet with Tolik and Dima. Tolik looks for ways to expand God’s Kingdom in the nearby town of Polevskoy. Dima requests prayer support, as his girlfriend and he are looking for dates to get married.

Sasha and Sashulya invited Dennis to counsel them on questions about family planning, since they are deciding on the next steps in their lives. Sasha is not a Christian, and it was a big step for him to allow Sashulya to invite Dennis for counseling.

Oksana asks prayers as Sitthora has decided to move to Moscow. As a mother, Oksana is very worried but Sitthora is 18 and decides what to do with her life. They have agreed to keep in touch by phone on regular basis.

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News from Natasha
I have some wonderful news. We finally started Bible classes for toddlers this summer. I cannot express all the enthusiasm that the church had from these classes. To be honest, we did not even expect God to use these classes in this way.

But, let me start from the beginning. I have been wanting to have these classes for a very long time. When we lived in America, I was going to Bible classes with my children like all the other moms. I had never seen anything like this before in Russia.

Even today, we still do not have any classes for toddlers. When I was learning how to teach children at a Bible school here, they did not cover toddlers, starting only with three-year-olds. I cannot stop being delighted with how God is using our experience in America to bless children and their parents in Russia. Preparation for these classes took a long time—even though we had all the materials, it seemed

that we had difficulties with everyone’s schedules. Each child and their family had their own busy lives, and sometimes they had to deal with tough situations. After I asked you to pray, our first class happened. The kids loved it from the start. The mothers told me that their children sang the songs we had learned in class throughout the week.

My goal was to not only conduct these bible classes by myself, but also to teach the other mothers to do the same. To my joy, this idea excited the mothers, and they have already started to conduct the classes themselves. 

On the last class, we had a mother and her child join us from Syktyvkar. At that time, they were visiting their family in Degtyarsk. I encouraged them to start a ministry such as this at their church. I am looking forward to seeing what God can do through such ministry. 

Last month, we had also renewed the Women’s Bible classes. The main idea was to learn how to obey the Lord and to know how kind He is to us, as well as to understand His plans for us. I wanted to encourage them to follow Jesus. In my opinion, they needed to do this so badly right now. Many of the women said that they needed emotional, spiritual, and physical support.

I was especially happy to see that Tatyana had returned home from being absent for a while. Tatyana and I are excited to work for Jesus together. Please pray that God will bring fruit through our work. I would also like to ask you to pray for the kids in our church, that God will keep them pure and holy.

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Family News
Our daughter Karolina turned 14. She is now taller than her older sister and her mom, but not as tall as her dad. Karolina now can get her citizenship passport in Russia.

Dennis’s parents came for a short visit. They took Karolina with them, while Natasha and I will take Arina to college. She will go to Lipscomb, and Natasha and I will accompany her there and help with settling down.

With love,
Dennis & Natasha