Rev. Matthew Heise poses for a photo with the Kutaisi Lutheran congregation after a church service. The women mentioned in the story are in the upper right.
This update was shared by missionary Rev. Matthew Heise, who serves as a theological educator in countries such as Russia, Georgia and Mongolia. He trained the pastor of the Lutheran congregation mentioned in this update. The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod also supports the work of this congregation.
“This story is about a Lutheran congregation in the 4000-year-old city of Kutaisi, Georgia. During the 1990s, there was a horrific civil war fought between Abkhazia and Georgia. Abkhazia had been part of Georgia for a long time; even the disciple Simon the Zealot is believed to have been buried there. During that civil war, many Georgians fled Abkhazia. One woman lost two of her little boys, aged 4 and 5, along the roadside. She couldn’t even give them a proper burial.
“This woman eventually made it to Kutaisi with her daughter. She naturally has had a difficult life and had been suffering from depression when she was told about the Lutheran congregation that meets in Kutaisi. Along with another neighbor friend, she went to church with her neighbor who witnessed to her faith in Jesus. This neighbor was a longtime member of the Lutheran congregation.
“The Lord clearly worked in their hearts through His Word. The women are now active believers, reading the Bible regularly and trying to create a small choir. All because the Holy Spirit worked through a woman who witnessed to her faith!”