Graduates… What are they doing now?
My name is Dave Brubacher. I am married to Martina and we have two boys, Nathan and Matthew. Shortly after we were married in June 2000, we spent a year in Odessa, Ukraine, on a missions internship. During our year there we were exposed to many different ministries, needs, opportunities, and great people. Upon our return to Canada we were convinced of two things. We believed God was leading us into career missionary service, somewhere in the Russian-speaking world, and we knew that we needed further biblical training in order to do the work God had in store for us. In preparation for our future ministry we both enrolled in seminary, graduating in April 2005; Dave with an MDiv in pastoral leadership, Martina with an MA in counselling. During our time in seminary, we chose to serve with SEND International (www.send.org) because they have focused work in the Russian-speaking world and are committed to church planting and theological training.
While working at, and attending, Forward Baptist Church in Cambridge, we were able to raise the necessary support and moved to Kiev, Ukraine, in February 2008. We immediately began studying Russian at SEND’s language school. Our two years of language study were very challenging, but also very fulfilling, both as we increased in our abilities to communicate in Russian and as God showed us where He wanted us to serve after we completed language school.
After much prayer, talking with SEND leadership, and visiting many different fields in Ukraine and Russia, we were invited to join the team in Ulan-Ude, Russia. Some people pray, “Lord, please don’t send me to Africa.” For Martina, who grew up in the jungles of southeast Asia, her prayer was, “Lord, please don’t send me to Siberia!” But that’s where God has called us to serve. We both wanted to serve in a place where the needs are great, where the believers are few, and where churches need help and support – and that is where God led us. Ulan-Ude is a very unreached area of Russia, with 0.1% evangelical Christians. This city of 460,000 has only a handful of small churches. Many of the pastors have received very little biblical training – much less than Martina and I have been fortunate to receive. In addition, this region of Russia is home to the Buryat people group, an unreached people group who are Tibetan-Buddhist. After our visit to Ulan-Ude in the summer of 2009, we knew where God was calling us to serve.
Our move to Russia in October 2010 has not been without its challenges. Documents/visas pose a constant threat to long-term service in Russia. We are currently home in Cambridge, experiencing first-hand some of these visa challenges, after being in Ulan-Ude for only three months. During those three months – from October-December 2010 – we saw God’s hand on our family. We were able to begin developing relationships with several pastors and with our church congregation, which consists of only 25 people. We were able to set up our apartment and begin to find our way around the city, as well as begin setting up the Christian Resource Center, a place where solid Christian resources will be made available to pastors and church members across Ulan-Ude. We have also been able to provide book sets to six pastors. Since Christian resource books pertaining to theology, biblical interpretation, church leadership and ministry, family and relationships, missions, etc., are very difficult to obtain in this area of Russia, we know that these book sets, and the establishment of the Christian Resource Center, will be a tremendous support to the church in Ulan-Ude.
Our boys making snow angels Siberian Snowplow Our family at the ice festival
Of course, we could write so much more about our journey into missionary service, about the years of language study (which very much continues), and our life and emerging ministries in Ulan-Ude, but space is limited. If you would like to see and read more, please go to our blog site for more information about all that we have written.
WISDOM FOR TODAY
“The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting a different result.” Albert Einstein
“The trouble with quotes on the Internet is that you can never know if they are genuine.”
“Sir, my concern is not whether God is on our side; my greatest concern is to be on God's side, for God is always right.” Abraham Lincoln
“Don’t cry because it is over. Smile because it happened.” Dr. Seuss
“You are never a loser until you quit trying.” Mike Ditka