The prayers of the women were answered with the local trainings spreading across Russia (each flag represents a local training location)
It all started with a prayer meeting in front of a map
by Laurie Lind, Entrust staff writer
Resources for Christian growth remained limited in Russia in the years immediately following the Cold War. Vera Izotova took advantage of whatever she could—materials translated into Russian, a correspondence course—to strengthen her understanding of scripture and her walk with Christ.
She was a ready and eager learner when she began taking Entrust training modules in 1999, the year Entrust launched concerted women’s ministry training in her country. That training was the outgrowth of a prayer meeting. Several women serving with Entrust, along with friends of Entrust, prayed in front of a map of Russia. They asked God to show them how to provide comprehensive equipping in ministry for women across all the time zones of that vast nation.
In time, the National Women’s Training Program came into existence. Women traveled back and forth to Russia, holding ministry trainings in strategic cities. Eventually, enough Russians completed the training to take it over for themselves, in Russian.
Vera was among those first learners. The modules provided her with the opportunity to “grow in the knowledge God and his will in all spheres of my life, and to transfer this knowledge to other sisters in the evangelical churches in Russia and nearby regions.” She graduated from the program in 2005 and, in 2009, she became its director.
“As director of NWTP, I am in charge of training women in 21 city training centers, with 325 women involved in Russia and beyond.
“God is using this program to train women for spiritual growth and maturity, and in ministry to women in and outside the church (family counseling, parenting, evangelism and so on).”
One of the greatest impacts of all the training on her personal life, Vera says, is what she learned in Evangelism and Discipleship. Vera tells story after story of spiritual conversations she’s initiated with people of all ages, social classes and belief backgrounds. Her courage and creativity in introducing Jesus to friends and strangers alike demonstrate how she applies what she learned in just one of the training modules.
Along with her leadership team, Vera is planning the 20-year jubilee of NWTP, set for September 2019. It will be a glorious time of remembrance and celebration. All stemming from a prayer meeting in front of a map.