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Singer looking for identity finds it in Christ

EUROPE (BP) — She is a ball of energy with laugh lines deeply engraved at the corners of her eyes. And she is one of millions living in an Eastern European metropolis, but one of only a few pastors’ wives in her city.

A few years ago, Tanya* and her husband moved to the city to start their now-thriving church of 30 to 40 members. They are part of a church planting movement of at least six new churches in about three years — church growth that is extremely unusual here after the tumult of Soviet repression.

Tanya became a Christian in 2002. As a singer in a band, she had dreamed of love and popularity.

“I wore beautiful dresses, sang songs … lived brightly and loudly — but inside, I was empty,” she acknowledged. “I thought no one loved me. … When I repented, I understood that I was lovable and God accepts me.”

Now Tanya has a deep desire to show God’s love to those around her — those who, like her, are “catastrophically in need of love.” One Sunday, Tanya poured out her heart to a young, single mom, who had traveled two hours to get to the church’s worship service. The connection was life-changing; a few weeks later, the single mom was baptized.

Pray for the new churches in Tanya’s area.

Pray for the men and women in the churches to continue to grow spiritually, to have a passion to share the Gospel, and to desire to see new churches planted.

Gifts through the Cooperative Program and the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering make it possible for Southern Baptists to partner with local believers such as Tanya to share the Gospel in Eastern Europe.

To learn more about ministry to European people, go to imb.org/Europe.

*Name changed.