Hood View Church Responds To Needs of Sister Church
When four families, including pastoral family Alexei and Elena Novoselov, were displaced by a fire that swept through an apartment building owned by Hood View Church’s sister church in Irkutsk, Siberia, earlier this summer, the Boring, Ore., congregation was quick to respond with a special offering to assist the displaced families.
This year Hood View celebrates a 10-year sister-church relationship with the Irkutsk Church that began following an evangelistic series led by Monte Church, North Pacific Union Conference Native American ministries director and Hood View member. When 400 people chose to be baptized, the existing 50-member congregation was challenged financially and logistically. Three months later, Hood View sent a team of two pastors and three laypeople to deliver donated supplies, advise in the organization of worship services, and show how to present children’s Sabbath School classes and how to develop youth programs.
Hood View has since sponsored two students, engaged couple Anatoly Simoshov and Olga Usoltzeva, to attend the Zaoski Seminary in Russia. Following their graduation and marriage, they were assigned to pastor in northern Siberia. Hood View also assisted the Irkutsk Church by sending funds for heating fuel and delivering numerous boxes of blankets, clothing, gifts and evangelistic materials. According to Susan Davis, Hood View sister-church correspondent, “It is exciting for our church members to maintain personal relationships with the members of the Irkutsk Church. We are able to see first-hand how the gospel is touching lives in Siberia.”
Other churches need sponsors. One of Simoshov's congregations meets in an abandoned post office. The children’s Sabbath School classes are held in rooms with holes in the walls—a real problem during harsh Siberian winters.
Within the last few years, Monte Church again visited the Irkutsk congregation, which has blossomed into four additional congregations, 11 home churches and a community services center.