Revive Our Hearts Podcast

Sharing a Passion for the Beauty of the Gospel

Episode Resources

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Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth: A woman named Anna has heard what it was like for her parents to follow Jesus in Russia.

Anna: They were persecuted or bullied for their faith in God. Often teachers would give them “F” as their grade, because they weren’t joining the Communist party as children, or their families, so often they would be bullied at school.

It was very difficult for them to study there, because of this faith that they had in God. At the same time, they said that their faith grew very strong because they knew that the world was not their home.

Whenever they were out in school, or outside, people would make fun of them . . . so they clung closer to God because of that.

Nancy: So why would she want to go back?

Leslie: We'll hear about it today on Revive Our Hearts with Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth, author of Choosing Forgiveness, for Wednesday, May 15, 2019.

Nancy: In recent years, it seems like most of what we hear coming out of Russia is bad news. But today we’re going to hear some really good news about what God is doing among some younger women who have connections with the former Soviet Union.

I love seeing how the Lord is at work in the hearts of these women, calling so many of them to freedom, fullness, and fruitfulness in Christ. And what a joy it is to be part of a ministry that God is using to pass on the baton of truth to the women of the next generation. Revive Our Hearts is helping these women put down their roots into the soil of God’s Word early in their lives, and I’m so excited to think about what God might have in store for them!

Today, we’re going to hear two stories of younger women who are in a unique position. Not only are they in a position to speak to multiple generations about the truth of God’s Word, but they’re also equipped to share that truth in two different languages.

Anna: [young Russian woman begins a radio recording] Testing . . . one . . . two . . . three . . . four . . . five . . . six . . . seven . . . (laughter)

Nancy: In a few moments, we’ll hear from a young woman who has a burden to make Christ known in Russia. But first, we’ll hear from some young women who are sharing the gospel in English and Ukrainian.

Tanya: Hi, my name is Tanya, and originally I’m from Ukraine. Our family emigrated from the Ukraine fourteen years ago, and we moved to the suburbs of Philadelphia and have lived there.

Nancy: Tanya heard about a church that was hosting a Bible study called True Woman 101.

Tanya: At that season of my life, I was just so open to it. I was drawn to, “What is it to be a woman?” Going through life, no one spoke to my heart so directly, and it just felt I really needed that kind of instruction and leadership.

So I signed up for the course. I think every chapter was just full of God’s truth. God was convincing me . . . just searching my heart.

I think I was always open to God’s Word, but I just never had been confronted with the weight of my sins. Every chapter of the study, I was just repenting of my sin, of my self-sufficiency and independence . . . just my pride, that I still fight and battle.

Every chapter was eye-opening. I was crying and repenting before the Lord every time. If you grow up in the Ukrainian Baptist Church, those issues were not as much explored, not as much opened—what it is to be a woman and girl.

This was just an amazing time for God to speak to my heart. It definitely opened God’s intent for marriage for me. I got engaged one year ago. Just finding out what it is to be a woman, to be in a relationship. It’s very different from just being by yourself and doing things individually.

God is truly opening my heart and just searching my heart through a different stage of my heart. How to interact in relationships . . . what is my role in how to serve? So God is truly working in my heart at this season.

I downloaded an app and went to the website, looked into more resources. Listening to daily podcasts gets me going every morning. Even before having my coffee, I put on Revive Our Hearts’ daily podcast. In the morning, God just showers me with an answer. It’s like the joy comes in the morning.

I feel like, sometimes, when I go through something—hardships—God is opening His Word to me and just kind of heals my soul and brings truth and light to my heart. Being filled with so much truth is so freeing, dealing with my own selfish desires and envy and comparing and pride; it’s still a fight every day. I felt really convicted about sharing that with girls at my church.

I’m sharing that with my sister.

Anna: My name is Anna. About five or six months ago my sister came home ecstatically happy and joyful that she was in love with God’s Word, and she had to read it every day. She had joy even in hard times—like an inner satisfaction and something deeper. I needed to check that out, because that was really amazing.

We started getting books in the mail almost every single day, and they were all by Nancy! That’s how I heard about her for the first time, and then I downloaded the app and started listening to the podcast.

I actually found a book that I had in my library, Lies Young Women Believe, and it was in Russian. I bought it in Ukraine. I did not even connect and realize that it was actually the same author that my sister was in love with.

Nancy: As Anna listened to Revive Our Hearts, she learned about the importance of a daily quiet time and began reading God’s Word.

Anna: The more time I spent reading God’s Word and praying and spending time with the Lord, my heart was just overflowing with joy. When everything was going very well—and when there were hard times—that joy did not change. It was still so present in my life, and that’s what I treasure above all—because no matter what happens, I have Christ and He’s all I need.

Nancy: These sisters continued sharing the resources of Revive Our Hearts with their friends. One of them was fifteen-year-old Alina.

Alina: Originally, I’m from Belarus. I moved to America with my family when I was three years old. Tanya was telling me about her experience with True Woman 101, about going through that book study. Then she told me about their app.

I downloaded the app, and ever since, whenever I get up in the morning also, I turn it on—like she said. I like listening to it and listening to other people’s stories (on it). I especially like listening about missionaries who go to other countries, who serve through different ways. That really inspires me also, thinking about my future: “Where do I want to serve; what do I want to do?”

Nancy: Alina’s older sister, Alla, had also started listening to Revive Our Hearts.

Alla: My name is Alla, and I was born in Belarus.

Nancy: Alla knew how much her younger sister wanted to attend a Revive Our Hearts conference.

Alla: My sister was turning sixteen, and we were thinking about what to give her for her birthday. I knew she wanted to attend this conference, but she didn’t have a job or money to pay for herself.

I said to my husband, “This would be a great gift that would last her more than a year! This would be something to remember!” So, we went ahead and bought her the ticket, and that’s how we surprised her!

Nancy: So she and her husband surprised Alina for her sixteenth birthday, and paid her way to attend one of the Revive conferences, similiar to the one coming to Indianapolis this September.

Alla: And then, I found that my friends were actually planning to attend the same conference, so we gathered together and we did a road trip, which was perfectly fine!

Nancy: This journey all began of the question in Tanya’s heart, “What does it mean to be a woman of God?” And in God’s loving providence, He used Revive Our Hearts to point this young woman and her friends to the truth of His Word.

Tanya: My life was definitely changed after hearing God’s Word through Revive Our Hearts. It’s amazing that we have Nancy and other older people who can teach us, so then we can teach other people. Whatever God teaches me, I think it would be my responsibility to pass it on to other people.

I teach a Sunday school class, and I have many amazing girls that are younger than I am. I love to get together with them and just to pass on to them what God has taught me.

First it is about me growing in God. Then my plan is to take this back and spread that around!

Nancy: Tanya and her Russian-speaking friends have caught the vision of passing the baton of faith to other women and showing the world around them the beauty of living out the gospel together.

Tanya: At a time like this, being grounded in God’s Word, knowing the truth for my life and what is it to be a woman and just living this out . . . Then God will do His work through me, reflecting His purposes for a girl through me.

Nancy: Here on Revive Our Hearts, you often hear us talking about a True Woman Movement. We just heard an example of how this message can spread from one woman to the next. To see the video version of this sweet story, visit us at ReviveOurHearts.com.

Now, our next guest also has a passion for sharing the truth of God's Word with Russian-speaking women.

Anna 2: My name is Anna, and I’m from Vancouver, Washington. I go to a Russian-speaking church. Recently, we opened up a new ministry where our second morning service is in English, so we are trying to reach out to our community as well. We fled persecution, pretty much. We all immigrated in the nineties.

I was six years old when I immigrated to American with my parents. My parents, several generations ago, their families came to Christ. I think that was because there were American missionaries who came to the area—the doors were open before the USSR and where no visitors were allowed into the country.

They weren’t allowed to say they were Christians, so they would meet up quietly in the evenings. They would share about their baptisms being at night. They would be baptized in the river, but it would be a group of five people and very quiet and nobody knew about it, because they could get jail time for being baptized.

My parents would always share stories about how they were persecuted or bullied for their faith in God. Often teachers would give them “F” as their grade, because they weren’t joining the Communist party as children or their families.

So often they would be bullied at school. It was very difficult for them to study there, because of this faith that they had in God. At the same time, they said that their faith grew very strong because they knew that the world was not their home.

Whenever they were out in school, or outside, people would make fun of them. So they clung closer to God because of that, so that allowed their faith to grow very strong. They would meet at houses. There was a time when they weren’t allowed to bring children under eighteen to the church, so the government would send a representative to the church gate [or whatever entrance] to make sure that no one was under eighteen.

My mom grew up in a Russian village, so in their village they met at a house—it wasn’t a specific church building. The city where my dad is from, they had a small, small building that was the church, but mainly they met in homes . . . whoever was willing to sacrifice their house to meet at.

Often, pastors got taken to jail after a service, and they would have to stay in prison for five years or more. A lot of the elders in our church, they’ve all been in prison, the Russian jail. My grandpa, he was in jail. All of our history, all the Christian people, they were in jail. It’s very common for me to hear stories about prison time from my uncles and my grandparents.

After the USSR fell apart, the government was still persecuting believers. Our family heard that in America you could have freedom to go to church and not be afraid to bring children to church or worship at your house and have Bible study groups. So our grandma initially moved with my aunt.

Then, each family just kind of slowly started emigrating. Our pastor—his name is Alexi—studied at Grace Community Church at the seminary there. That was a very different way of studying the Bible and a lot of the Russian people never heard that perspective of just dissecting the Word of God and reading verse-by-verse, slowly, and going into the passages very deeply.

When people started to hear the way our pastor preached, that made the Russian community blow up and become known world-wide. At our church right now we have live translation, where we have services live where people in Russia can join in.

We have pastors’ conferences and women’s conferences at our church that people access from around the entire world that speak Russian. Our church has grown significantly because people were moving from other states to our church.

They saw that the church was more important than a good job or a good house. Our church has grown a lot because of the Word of God, honestly—because of that.

Even my dad will tell me, “Anna, when we were growing up, we realized that there was nothing in this world that attracted us, and that made us run to church all the more. It made us run, not only to church, but to God and His Word.”

I see that growing up in America, with a lot of freedom, a lot of the youth have heard the stories of our parents being persecuted in Russia. We know those stories, but that’s all they are to us—they’re just stories. They’re not what we’ve experienced growing up.

I would say we’re a lot more like “chill” to the church. We don’t run to serve, we don’t run to the Word of God as much as our parents did. We see that the world has a lot to offer; there are a lot of captivating things in the world.

In our church, our pastors do a lot of work to instill that passion in our youth group. We have a lot of discipleship groups in our church where women reach out to younger women and men to younger men.

I heard about Revive Our Hearts ever since I was probably about ten or twelve years old. I grew up reading Lies Young Women Believe. That really changed my heart and my thinking, definitely—and then listening to the radio station and joining the different podcasts online.

The women at our church were very involved in my life and wanted to help me grow spiritually, because our church was going through a revival where we really wanted to grow spiritually—especially because there was freedom in America.

There was a lot of discipleship was going on in our church, where women were reaching out to each other. Revive Our Hearts was one of the ways women were helping each other. The women who understood English . . . not all of the women, because some of the women speak Russian only.

That’s where my idea came from, that I wanted to start translating, because there were so many women who didn’t understand.

I grew up being embarrassed that I was Russian. In school it wasn’t popular to be from a different culture. You eat different food. You have a different cultural background or history. So I didn’t share with people that I was Russian. I just pretended like I was born here and raised here.

When I was nineteen—five years ago I think—I went to Russia. For the first time, I realized what an amazing culture and history I have—the people and relatives we left behind. How amazing it is that that God chose for me to be born in Russia, but then emigrate to America and be raised in such a blessed country where everything is available, and there are so many resources, and there’s just this freedom to talk about God without being persecuted for it.

When I went back to Russia and talked to my sisters in Christ and my relatives and friends, I saw that they were still under this kind of like a burden. There is freedom, but not the freedom we have here, and the resources they do have are very limited.

I really wanted to reach out to them, because I felt very burdened by the fact that me, being originally from the same country that they are, growing up in America with all the resources, being so blessed by God, I could do so much for them by knowing two languages, being able to translate for them. I would translate different articles that I found useful for myself and send them to them so that they could also read them and grow from them.

Probably five years ago is when God kind of started to turn my thinking around from a kind of consumer perspective to more, “How can I serve my sisters who don’t understand this language?” I think that’s when the idea initially started.

Well, I started this . . . not like a website. . . it’s a Facebook page that they have in Russian. I would just post different articles up there that were translated. I started two years ago, probably, but I’ve been only working on it by myself, so it’s going really slow.

I think that growing up in such a country where there are so many resources and God’s just blessed you with so many things, that you realize that you did nothing to deserve any of it. God just chose to place you in this country where you could grow so much.

It just kind of burdens you to realize that there are sisters in Christ who don’t understand this language and don’t have the resources that I have. I just really want to do God’s will and reach out to other women, if that’s His will for my life.

I don’t have any great or grand plans for myself. I’m just praying that, if it is God’s will to use me, I’m ready to make that step and go in that direction, if that’s where He’s leading me. I don’t want it to be something where it’s me trying to push something that is not within His will for my life.

I think that if Revive Our Hearts wasn’t there when I was twelve, I would have not known that there are so many other women who are on fire and have a great passion to grow in God. I think that not having those resources available would have made it harder for me to grow.

When I had those resources during difficult trials, I saw that God really blessed me through the articles that I was able to read and then through the blogs and through the radio. It’s amazing how God uses different people and different resources to help you cling to Him all the more.

I’m very thankful that God gave America, this country, such a great resource! I think that, if it wasn’t for Revive Our Hearts, there are so many young women who would not be where they are right now—especially even in our community.

Even though we were raised in a very Russian-speaking church, we knew about this resource and women always encouraged us to go on the website to listen, to read, to read the books. I grew up knowing that this was a resource I could trust.

It was biblical. That was the greatest thing for me—the fact that it was based on the Bible, it wasn’t based on opinion. The Bible was written by men, but it was inspired by God. I really treasure that, because it did help me through a couple very difficult times in my life to grow—as a teenager—and then even now.

Nancy: It is so exciting to hear about the vision the Lord has put on Anna’s heart. 

What an incredible privilege it is to know that the Lord is using Revive Our Hearts to pour into Anna and the women we heard earlier in the program. I don’t have the ability to go to Russia today, or to communicate in Russian, but God uses the body of Christ to work together. We pour into these young women so they can then pass along the truth to the lives of others.

When you support Revive Our Hearts, these are the kinds of connections that you help to make possible. We wouldn’t be able to provide resources to Anna—and other women like her—without your support. Here in May we’re counting on your support in a significant way.

May marks the end of our fiscal year when we wrap up our books and begin a new accounting cycle. It’s when we are thinking through how to continue and extend our existing outreaches and to plan for new initiatives that we are eager to get under way. In order to keep Revive Our Hearts in a healthy financial position, we’re asking the Lord to provide at least $775,000 here in May.

If you want to be part of investing in young women like Anna and our other friends, now is a great time to get involved. And if you’ve never given to the ministry before, your gift will be doubled as part of a matching challenge for first-time givers. A friend of the ministry will match each gift up to a challenge amount of $75,000 to those who've never before given a gift to Revive Our Hearts.

When you support the ministry with a gift of any amount, we’d like to send you a new resource we've developed called Refresh. Our team has designed this special tool to help you experience thirty days of personal revival. It includes a number of devotional readings, as well as thirty daily prompts to help you reflect on Scripture and journal your responses to some heart-searching questions.

This beautiful new Refresh kit is our way of saying "thank you" when you make a gift of any amount to help with our need this month. You can make your donation online at ReviveOurHearts.com. You can also call us at 1–800–569–5959.

Thanks for helping Revive Our Hearts invest in these women so they can share the message of Christ and His gospel with others.

Leslie: Thanks Nancy. Not long ago, Nancy and some of the Revive Our Hearts team traveled to South Africa to speak to women there. God has been stirring there for several years, and women’s leaders in that country have been saying, “Please come host a conference!” Hear one of Nancy’s messages from South Africa, tomorrow, here on Revive Our Hearts.

Revive Our Hearts with Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth wants to keep pointing you to the truth of God's Word. It is an outreach of Life Action Ministries.

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