Rationale for Support


Bishop Kuggapi
Pastor Arri Kuggapi Bishop of the ELC

Young gifted youth workers like Nadia and Alex of deep faith with vision and a heart for young people represent the future for growth of the ELCIR.  The ELCIR was decimated under communism, church property was confiscated and/or destroyed, half the members liquidated in the 1930s, many of the remainder sent to Siberia or elsewhere. As we know, the good news is that the communist era is over and many Russian people want to worship and learn about God. But, as you can imagine, this has been difficult with few remaining church buildings and few people with training in the faith. But, the ELCIR is now being “reborn,” from 10 congregations in 1993 to over 80 today, with a small seminary near St. Petersburg.

ELCIR Seminary

The reality behind this encouraging picture is that much of the funding is supported by churches and organizations outside of Russia.  The income of most Russian members is simply not yet sufficient to provide the needed support; for example, teachers earn about $400/month, yet the cost of living is actually higher than ours.  There is expectation for an improved economy and the ELCIR is emphasizing stewardship and self-support, but this will take time and outside support is needed to bridge the gap—this is where support like that for Nadia and Alex is so important and so beneficial.  There is a need to identify additional sources of ongoing support as well as for increased budgetary support (both salary and ministry expenses) for Nadia and Alex—and for the Petrozavodsk church as the new church building is completed and it begins to reach out to the people of Petrozaovodsk, a city of 300,000, and to Karelia.



Learn more about Vision Petrozavodsk …

ELCA Northeast Minnesota Synod Website

East European Missions Network



Faith ~ Love ~ Community