by Harold Kurtz, Frontier Fellowship’s first director
This reflection was originally published in Presbyterian Frontier Fellowship’s “The Frontier and You” newsletter, Fall, 2005 edition.
Two years ago, I was asked to speak about Africa at a community Women’s Day celebration in the Church in Siberia. I shared about the explosion of the Church in Africa and how people worship God and follow Jesus in the context of their mother cultures.
In the telling of those stories, the Spirit got loose! Six people came up to the pastor afterwards and said, “I want to become a follower of Jesus!” Five of those who made a decision were Nenets, who heard in the stories from Africa that they too could follow Jesus and not commit cultural suicide. Three converts were a couple and their daughter, part of a fishing clan living in teepees north of the Arctic Circle.
“God is at work and we are privileged to be a part of it,” Donald Marsden, our PC(USA) missionary in Moscow, wrote after our visit back to Siberia this February. We had returned to teach, encourage and evaluate our partnership outreach to the Aleut peoples along the Arctic Circle. The couple who had made a profession of faith two years ago reported that now their teepee village of five multi-generational dwellings is all Christian! And the village was talking about building a teepee church—the first ever!