This piece is shared with us from a report from Deacon Ostanin, and was translated by Alexey Zubtsov.
Deacon Vyacheslav Ostanin, president of Ichtus prison ministry in Novosibirsk, Russia, serves Christ the Savior Lutheran Church in Novosibirsk by reaching out with Christ’s love to current and former prisoners and their families, medical institutions for children, and continues to maintain and refurbish a halfway house for released prisoners. Christ the Savior Lutheran Church is a congregation of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Ingria in Russia (ELCIR), a partner church of The Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod (LCMS).
Now that it’s spring and it’s possible to do outdoor work, Deacon Ostanin and the halfway house inmates pray and hope to winterize the house’s walls for the future, redecorate the house, put up a fence, bring more fertile soil for the land plot and build a bathhouse. In the meantime, the halfway house continues to function for ex-prisoners to start a Christian life leading to a healthy lifestyle in society.
In March and April 2014, Vyacheslav continued to visit two special-regime (high security) penal colonies, a general-regime penal colony, a colony with a section for prisoners with tuberculosis and HIV, and a reformatory for juvenile delinquents (all in Novosibirsk). Whenever and wherever possible, he gets together with inmates to read and discuss Scripture, talk about Christ, and even sing Christian hymns. When possible, Vyacheslav also provides them with Bibles and other Christian literature as well as newspapers.
Vyacheslav also continued to visit two tuberculosis sanatoriums which accommodate around 65 children aged 1.5 to 7 and a tuberculosis hospital for kids with TB or both TB and HIV. As God provides, he and his assistants bring them humanitarian aid such as clothes and shoes, as well as first necessities and toys.
Vyacheslav also continues to correspond by mail with current and former prisoners in different Russian regions, sending them Christian books and letters with Christian sermons.
- Pray for the inmates in the halfway house that they would be strengthened in their faith.
- Pray for opportunities for the halfway house to start self-support.
- Pray the continuation of Deacon Ostanin’s outreach efforts and new opportunities.
- Pray for his relatives, especially those in need of healing.
- Pray that God would show faithful assistants for Deacon Ostanin.
- Pray for all people Deacon Ostanin has been reaching out to with his witness and mercy ministry that the Holy Spirit would work or strengthen faith in Jesus in their hearts and help them live out that faith in their often difficult environments and heal those who are sick.
- Pray for Christ the Savior Lutheran Church in Novosibirsk that God would bring more people to the church and bring back those who have not been coming for a long time, and that all would witness to Jesus in word and deed.