ELKHART, Ind. (BP)–Christians around the world are being asked to pray for Georgi Vins, 69, who has been diagnosed with a malignant inoperable brain tumor.
In 1979, Vins was stripped of his Soviet citizenship and exiled to the United States with four Soviet political dissidents, in exchange for two Soviet spies caught in the United States. The swap was arranged by then-President Jimmy Carter.
In the former Soviet Union, Vins had been general secretary of the Council of Evangelical Baptist Churches, the leadership body of 2,000 persecuted congregations, and had spent many years in prison for his Christian activities stemming mainly from his stance against the 1929 Legislation Regarding Religious Cults which required any religious groups to be registered with the government.
Rick Barry of Russian Gospel Ministries International, Inc., Elkhart, Ind., which Vins started after his exile to the United States, said Vins goes to the hospital five days a week for radiation. As of Nov. 6, he had three more weeks of radiation ahead, when doctors would assess his condition and the growth of the tumor had been arrested.
“His wife is assisted by their children in caring for Brother Vins at home and driving him to the hospital,” Barry said. “He comes to the office a couple of times a week. Although physically weaker, he is thankful that he is able to write and dictate various short stories and articles, and rejoices that his mind and ability to function haven’t been impaired at all.”
In a message to his supporters, Vins wrote, “Of course, the Lord is powerful and could shrink my tumor. But if not and God calls me to heaven, I won’t be sorry to go! However, my greatest desire is that the work of Russian Gospel Ministries continues — whether I am personally on earth or with the Lord. Russian Gospel Ministries does not belong to me or any man. It is God’s. The Lord’s work must go on.”
Currently, Russian Gospel Ministries translates and publishes Christian literature; supports about 50 national pastors financially; helps provide funds to purchase land or building supplies in order to construct new prayer houses (church buildings) or remodel existing structures; ships humanitarian aid, including food, clothing and medical supplies; and has recently opened a medical clinic in Kiev.”