Far Reaching Ministries—Russia

Far Reaching Ministries—Russia
Far Reaching Ministries—Russia

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Feeding Hungry Souls—Far Reaching Ministries Meets Needs in Russia

Wes BentleyStory by Wes Bentley, a Calvary Chapel pastor and founder of Far Reaching Ministries (FRM), used with permission. FRM provides humanitarian resources relief, including education for the poor and persecuted in various nations throughout the world. FRM’s mission is to carry the Gospel of Jesus to the lost and dying world, primarily using discipleship.

For a decade, we have shared with you the need for our Potatoes for Grandmothers program. The reason we share this story year after year is that the plight of the elderly in Russia has not changed. They are heavily burdened with paying for the cost of heating their meager homes, along with purchasing medicine, leaving them little to nothing left for food. We have discovered that most of them survive on potatoes, beets, and a cabbage soup with nothing else for nutrition.

The Lord has led us to the doorsteps of some who have longed for death, feeling that life was just too miserable to live. To make matters worse, many elderly have been victimized by their adult children, who sell their homes and leave them destitute and alone. We also find situations where grandparents have been burdened with raising their own grandchildren because the children cannot be raised by their parents. But through the Potatoes for Grandmothers program, many are coming to Christ and enjoying life again. This is due to our donors, whose hearts have been stirred to help the “least of these” and give to those who are often left with nothing.

“Then the King will say to those on His right hand, … ‘for I was hungry and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger and you took me in; I was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you visited Me; I was in prison and you came to Me.’ Then the righteous will answer Him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry and feed You, or thirsty and give You drink?’ And the King will answer and say to them, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.’” Matthew 25:34a, 35-37, 40

The food that has been provided through Potatoes for Grandmothers is often the most that these souls have ever had in their lives. We provide a food basket filled with staple food items, including meat, dairy, and baking supplies. In addition to the food, we provide a shopping basket filled with cleaning products, linen supplies, and hygiene items. Also, in cases of necessity, we purchase medicine, medical equipment, and we assist in making home repairs.

We have shared one testimony of an elderly man throughout the years. His story is not unlike many others we have heard again and again. We learned that he lost his two sons, then his livelihood. What does stand out about his testimony is that he expresses what many of the elderly cannot put into words and explains how simple provisions and love from the body of Christ can touch an individual’s life. He not only found happiness again, but he found Jesus.

Vladimir KomantsevI, Vladimir Komantsev, was born in 1935 in the village of Zaria, Levokumskogo district, and I lived my entire life on 4 Krasnaya Street. My whole life was completely connected with this village and at a Sovkhoz collective farm where I worked for 45 years as a labor veteran and a former member of the Communist Party. Never in my life did I think that a time would come when I would have complete disappointment for all those years of my life. I never thought that old age would be such a miserable existence. All that I had and saved for all those years, I lost. I was left alone.

My eldest son, Andre, came home from Afghanistan disabled, and soon I buried him. My younger son, Sasha, died in the first Chechen war. My knowledge and experience as a winemaker was not wanted and eventually I was dismissed from the collective farm when I reached retirement age. I always came up short with my meager pension. My monthly pension is not even enough to pay for my housing and public utilities. I had a small farm, but three years after traumas and surgeries, I could not maintain it, so I had to sell the farm. I was left with nothing; I had to survive only with the help of my neighbors. Never in my life had I thought I would be a happy man after so many years of disappointment. Having lost my sons, I thought I could never be joyful and happy again in my life.

It happened on Passover when missionaries brought me a lot of food. They brought me very wonderful and delicious food products! They told me that it was from believers in America who wanted to render aid to the poor, and they sent the food package. I cried when I saw all this food. I don’t even remember when I had seen so much food in my home. They told me that you are supporting me financially. They also gave me a Bible as a gift. I used to be a communist and never believed that God existed. I realized that God cared for me, spiritually and financially, by helping me through brothers and sisters. Meeting believers gave me great faith.

Since then, the missionaries visit me all the time and bring food. When I had surgery on my leg and thigh, it was a difficult time for me. Thankfully, I had brothers and sisters around me that God had given me. I repented after I experienced such brotherly love and care. Thanks to the brothers who would come visit me every week in the hospital. Thanks for the care of the wonderful family, who visit me and help me with many things. I became sure that our Lord is alive! I forgot how it was to be cared for that way for so long, and I found myself in a big loving family where I am loved and needed. I personally would like to express my gratitude to everyone who has taken part in my life and in the lives of those who are alone like me. Thanks to our Lord Jesus Christ and my brothers. I received peace and love in my heart. May the Lord bless all the brothers and sisters! I love you all!

Your brother, Vladimir

This Christmas, we will be distributing food baskets containing the much-needed food and household items, and we are once again inviting you to be part of this tremendous blessing. For $300 (USD), you can help an elderly grandfather or grandmother get through the entire Russian winter. Please know that much prayer and consideration is put into where and to whom the food should be delivered to. When we deliver the food, we are given an opportunity to share that it is because of Christ’s love that this blessing is made possible.

Tremendous gratitude is expressed by all, and many of them shed tears when they see the food that has been provided by strangers. Most of them have never seen so much food in their lives. For these weary souls, this is the best Christmas gift they will ever receive—loving kindness that is shared with them in their loneliness.

Merry Christmas from Wes & Vicky Bentley, Far Reaching Ministries

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All verses above are quoted from the New King James Version, unless otherwise noted.

© 2020 Calvary Chapel Magazine. All rights reserved. Articles or photographs may not be reproduced without the written permission of CCM. All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the New King James Version. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc.® Used by permission.

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