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Week of Prayer – Day 7

December 4, 2010

The Udmurts of Russia

Imagine loving someone you have never met, in a country 6,000 miles away. It happened to two American couples when God gave them a heart to reach the Udmurts, a minority people group in Russia, more than two years ago.

Charlie and Heather Murphy* met Will and Marie Thompson* while attending seminary in Texas. Today all four are Russian language students in Izhevsk, the capital city of Udmurtia.

“I loved the Udmurt people before I ever took a trip here, before I ever met one of them,” Charlie says. “And that really was just a love that came from God.”

Southern Baptists had prayed for the Udmurts during 2007 Day of Prayer and Fasting for World Evangelization.

Most Udmurts live as outcasts in rural villages where they eke out a meager existence from their family gardens.

“Without a doubt,” Charlie says, “the thing that burdens me the most about this people is just the depression. You can see it on their faces. … Some turn to the animism, some turn to the Orthodox Church, but right now very few are turning to Christ.”

Will echoes these sentiments. Udmurtia, he says, is “a place ready to receive the gospel … Hopelessness is just an open field—open soil for the gospel.”

Pray for Udmurts to put their trust in Christ and boldly share their faith in their villages.

*Names changed

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