Four Questions: Dr. Victor Akhterov, Director FEBC-Russia & Ukraine
Q: What are you passionate about?
Our mission expresses it best: We proclaim the Good News by media to inspire people to follow Jesus Christ.
Q: Growing up in the atheistic Soviet Union - what was the most difficult part?
Being the only Christian in my school, maybe. Or spending my teen years without my Dad, who was imprisoned for his faith. I don’t know. You don’t think about these things as you are growing up, it’s simply your reality.
In a way, it was fun to be standing up to the system – having secret prayer meetings in the forest, etc. We rebelled against the godless government, not our parents.
The painful reality for me was that for a variety of reasons, the church could not effectively preach the Good News to the people around us. Most new church members were children from Christian families.
Today, the church in Russia and Ukraine is still struggling in sharing Christ with “outsiders.”
Q: What is FEBC doing to help the Church?
We lead by example. We talk about Jesus on the air, in thousands of media conversations every month.
Consider a recent conversation on FEBC Russia’s broadcast:
The host invites listeners to ask questions concerning family situations related to the coronavirus.
A young man who lost his job sent in his story - he is desperate, battling serious depression.
For the next 10 minutes, our broadcaster talks about this, emphasizing Biblical truths:
- Our intrinsic value as human beings, created by God
- Christ who suffers with us
- The true source of joy and genuine compassion...
As the broadcast is going on, online conversation explodes on several social networks. People are sharing their opinions, and our numerous volunteers are sharing Christ.
As a result, the young man who shared the story, as well as many people who are talking about this online, are invited to local churches by our volunteers. We do it together.
Q: So you work together with the Church, with help from their volunteers?
Yes, in the past year, we’ve been increasing the number of online conversations.
When COVID-19 hit, we opened a toll-free helpline. We were not ready for the massive number of heartbreaking calls.
> People who are on the verge of taking their lives
> Children who want to know what they are living for
> Wives of abusive husbands
> Listeners who lost their jobs
These are the situations that we are dealing with every hour.
We are bringing more counselors on board despite budget cuts.
More people came to know Christ in the past six months than in the past three years. God is working through FEBC, and people are responding by committing their lives to Him.
In the meantime, three large media ministries stopped working in Russia and Ukraine.
So, we must do more, and we will. I want our partners to share in our joy as they see their contributions bringing amazing results.