Slavic Evangelical Church in Winnipeg, has experienced significant growth over the last two years, so much so that they are bursting out of their current building and moving to a new one this October.
Pastor Denis and his spouse Albina are from Russia and moved to Winnipeg four years ago for her work with Square One World Media. Denis wasn’t sure where his path would lead when they arrived, but God had a plan that led them to Slavic Evangelical Church.
When the war in Ukraine broke out, the church began to see a lot of new faces – people coming from Ukraine. Many people are searching for answers. “We [Denis and Albina] are from Russia, but we do not support the war. In our church, we constantly pray for Ukraine for the needs of Ukrainian people and for the war to stop. This is another testimony for people who come from Ukraine to see Russians supporting them and helping them.”
“Because Christ. Because love. Because of his peace. It is a miracle,” Alvina offers with a glimmer in her eye.
The church is a multinational home to more than ten different nationalities.
Albina lists the ones she knows off the top of her head, “Armenian, Georgian, Ukrainian, Russian, Belarussian, Moldovan, Korean, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, German.” She says, “It is a very interesting place to build bridges.”
Albina and Denis continue, “In one year, we served in many different ways to more than 100 families. Sometimes with furniture needs, some have come to our kids’ events that we organized at our picnics. Some people needed just some answers to their questions. They didn’t know who to approach or what to do. Some of them attend our church regularly. Some of them came just once. And well, speaking about Ukrainians who are coming, many of them never attended a church. So these are unbelievers who maybe once a year went to an Orthodox church or are totally atheistic people who are not ready to start going to church. We have some wonderful testimonies of people who were just attending a church once a year or didn’t really attend at all…and then they came, and they started reading the bible. And now they’ve become very interested. We see how God is working in their lives and how, for them, the bible is not just a religious book that’s on the shelf, but they are seeing how they can apply it to their lives!” As many newcomers try to find a new home, they pray that they will find God here in Canada.
They explain that the new attendees coming from Ukraine have also caused their current church members to get more involved and be more active. The church’s spiritual health is growing as they have new opportunities to connect with others and share the love of Jesus with the people around them.
The growth they are experiencing has made it so that the building they currently call home is not working anymore.
“A new building was a dream that we were praying about. We didn’t even expect that God would send us our own building. At our last Easter service, we couldn’t invite everyone we wanted to because the church was packed even without us sending invitations. And we really wanted to invite more people! It was really hard.”
They continue, “It was a big answer from God when this option came up. Nobody even believed we could really win the offer because our church budget is so limited.”
But they did win the offer and are planning their first celebration service for October 15th – Thanksgiving Sunday. They have big hopes and dreams for this building, starting with the basics – services where everyone can fit in and room for Sunday school classes.
In the midst of growth and a heartfelt commitment to serving their diverse community, Slavic Evangelical Church is embarking on a new chapter with their upcoming move to a larger building. As they prepare for their first celebration service this October, they are eager to provide a welcoming refuge for all, a testament to the power of faith, love, and unity within their vibrant multicultural congregation. Please join them in prayer as they continue to grow and illuminate the lives of the Slavic community in Winnipeg with the message of God’s love for all.