"Far and Near the Fields Are Teeming," The Seventh-day Adventist Hymnal, No. 358
Superintendent or Sabbath School teacher
"The Future is Now"
While the offering is being taken, ask the children to sing one of the Russian songs they've learned this quarter.
"Lead Them, My God, to Thee," The Seventh-day Adventist Hymnal, No. 653
Participants and Props: Ask several people, including juniors and teens and perhaps one child from primary, to take the speaking parts below. They do not need to memorize their parts, but they should be able to read them clearly. If you have a small pool of participants, arrange for two or three speakers to rotate through the parts. A map of Euro-Asia Division would be helpful. Enlarge the one on the back of the mission quarterly or go to www.AdventistMission.org, click on “Resources” and “Mission Quarterlies” in the pop-up menu and download the map.
Narrator: Today is Thirteenth Sabbath. This quarter we have featured stories from Armenia, Azerbaijan [ah-zuhr-BAI-jahn], Georgia, and Russia, four countries that are part of the Euro-Asia Division.
The Euro-Asia Division stretches across 11 time zones and includes a total of 12 countries. Russia is the largest country in the division and in the world. It covers nine time zones. When it is 9:00 in the morning in Moscow, it is 6:00 in the evening on the easternmost coast of Russia.
Most of the people in Russia live west of the Ural Mountains in European Russia. The country has about 45,000 Seventh-day Adventist Christians. That is one Adventist for every 2,700 people. There is a lot of work to do to reach millions of people with the Adventist message.
Two of the Thirteenth Sabbath projects this quarter are located in Siberia, Russia. _________ [Name of speaker] will give us a short report on Siberia and the special projects featured there.
Speaker 2: The Asian part of Russia, the region east of the Ural Mountains, is Siberia. [Locate Siberia on a map.] Except for several large cities—most of which are industrial centers—Siberia is a vast empty land made up of grasslands and scattered stands of trees. It gets very cold in the winter, and life can be hard. During Communist times people who taught others about Jesus were often sent to Siberia. Today more than 10,000 Adventists live in the vast region known as Siberia.
Tomsk [tom-sk] is a university city with a population of about a half million. But just one house church, hidden away on a back street, represents the Seventh-day Adventist Church in this fertile city. The congregation can’t grow because there is no room to grow. The little house church was established during Communist times when churches often had to meet undercover. The congregation has grown to where it fills the little church to overflowing, and there simply isn’t room to accommodate any more believers. The congregation has saved money for several years to buy a piece of prime land on a main street. The members are working hard to build a new church, a church that will represent God’s truths for the latter days to the thousands who pass by every day. With our offering today we can help our brothers and sisters in Tomsk build their new church and share their faith and, most important, grow.
The city of Krasnoyarsk [KRAS -no-yar-sk] has a population of almost 1 million. Five congregations worship here. One congregation meets in a small church, and the others meet in rented halls scattered around the city. In Krasnoyarsk, as in Tomsk, the believers have purchased land and have laid plans to build a church large enough to accommodate two congregations. The church that will be built on this land, located on a well-traveled road, will help the congregations in this large city to grow. Through our Thirteenth Sabbath Offering we can help them make their dream come true.
Narrator: Thank you, -----_____ [name of speaker 2], for that report. Now we will learn about another congregation seven time zones to the west, in Azerbaijan. Their challenges are vastly different, but their goals are the same—to share God’s love with searching hearts.
Speaker 3: The country of Azerbaijan lies between the mostly Christian countries of Russia, Georgia, and Armenia, and the country of Iran. [Locate Azerbaijan on a map.] Almost 9 million people live in this country, but fewer than 5 percent are Christians, and only about 700 (one in every 12,000) are Adventists. They worship in 12 churches and companies scattered across the country.
The capital city, Baku, has about 300 believers. Recently the believers purchased a building that they hope can be registered with the government as an official church. Currently they are operating the Good News Café in this building, and they hope to add English-language classes and a small clinic to attract many with the health message. Our brothers and sisters in Azerbaijan need our help. They need to know that the world church cares about them. Our offering today will let them know that we care.
Speaker 4: [If possible, give this part to a primary- or junior-age child to emphasize that this is the children’s special offering project. If you wish, ask several children to walk across the stage carrying a Bible or their Sabbath School lesson quarterly as the project is mentioned.]
The countries of Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Georgia make up one region of the Adventist Church called the Trans-Caucasus [CAW-cus-us] Union Mission. [Locate these countries between the Black Sea and the Caspian Sea.] More than 16 million people live in these three countries, but just 2,000 of them are Adventists. That’s one Adventist for every 8,000 people. Many whole villages have no Adventist believers and have never heard the Bible truths we love.
The children in these countries don’t have access to Sabbath School lesson materials in their own language. The only Sabbath School materials available to them are the teacher’s lessons printed in Russian. While most adults still speak Russian, many children in this region don’t. Therefore they must rely on their teachers to translate the lesson from Russian into their native language. They have no lesson quarterly to study during the week, and few of these children have Bibles in their own language either.
Adventist children around the world are giving their mission offerings today to help the children of the Trans-Caucasus region to have Sabbath School Bible lessons that they can study. Let’s help our children help other children learn of God’s love. Let’s give a big offering today for the children of the Trans-Caucasus region.
Narrator: These are the projects for this quarter. Now it’s our turn to give abundantly to help the Euro-Asia Division grow. As the children sing, the deacons will collect the offering. Ask God what He would have you give to help Euro-Asia today.