CELEBRATING RUEBU’S 95th ANNIVERSARY
Most people have heard about the Revolution of 1917, which took place in Russia. It not only affected the lives of people living in Russia, disrupting their lives and resulting in the destruction of over 100 million lives in Russia alone, but it also divided the world into two hostile camps. Indeed, the tragedy that godless communism brought to the world is impossible to fathom.
Two years later, in 1919, a much less known event took place in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Delegates from twenty Russian-speaking Baptist churches in the USA met in Philadelphia to form the Russian-Ukrainian Evangelical Baptist Union (RUEBU) in order to strengthen their ministry.
As a result, during its 95 years of ministry RUEBU – led by the Spirit of God - touched millions of lives worldwide and brought many into the kingdom of God.
1. RUEBU churches have ministered in the USA to tens of thousands of Russian-speaking immigrants and their descendents. This ministry continues today.
2. RUEBU’s missionary outreach through the Slavic Missionary Service and its churches resulted in the support of missionaries in Eastern Europe (Belarus, Poland, Russia and Ukraine) and in South America (Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay). This includes the support of orphanages, Bible institutes and building of new church structure. It continues today.
3. RUEBU’s radio ministry, which was especially important and effective during the days of the Soviet Union continues today worldwide through the website of the Slavic Missionary Service.
4. RUEBU’s summer camping program, held in our Evangelical Christian Center in Ashford, has ministered to tens of thousands of children and young people. This includes a unique ministry to hundreds of children from Russian-Jewish families who emigrated to the USA. This ministry continues today.
5. Publication of Slavic Christian literature, both books and magazines.
6. Ministry to the elderly through the home for the aged in our Evangelical Christian Center in Ashford.
7. RUEBU pastors continue to be involved in many other ministries both in Eastern Europe and in South America. This includes missionary work and teaching in theological seminaries in Belarus, Poland, Russia and Ukraine. The list goes on.
During its 90 years of ministry RUEBU, literally, has touched millions of lives with the transforming Gospel of Jesus Christ. It continues to play a vital role in ministering to Slavic immigrant families in the USA. Its churches are also reaching their communities.
In reality RUEBU is not a convention but a “missionary society.” RUEBU churches have always been missionary-minded. Not many, or large in numbers, we have always been obedient to Jesus’ commission to proclaim Christ to the nations.
RUEBU’s many ministries were made possible thanks to the participation of many unsung heroes whose names may not be known to all but are well known to God. In due time He will acknowledge their faithfulness and make their names known. Until that day there is still much work to be done.
May we continue to be sensitive to the Spirit of God and allow Him to lead us in our effort to make Christ known to all nations.
By Dr. George Boltniew