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Global Mission

Russia: Nordic Walking and Making Friends

Elena loves working out in her local park. She meets people there who care about exercise too, and they become friends. For a fullbody, low impact workout, she teaches them the Nordic walking technique (hiking with poles).

But it’s not just about the exercise—it’s about the people. This health outreach is part of the Sequoia Health Center, an Urban Center of Influence in Siberia. Nordic walking classes engage community members in a nonchurch setting. When the weather is nice, the group meets in the park. But during the winter, it’s often cold and snowy, so they meet in the health center for indoor exercise and health education classes instead.

Center volunteers, like Elena, can follow Christ’s method of ministry. To introduce members to Jesus, Elena shares her faith and prays during class. “I like that all the classes begin with a prayer,” says Svetlana, a dedicated group member. “Our instructor is a believer and a professional. She’s always friendly, and my health has become better!”

Elena’s ministry has led to close friendships within the group. They’ve prayed together and even visited each other during holidays. She hopes that each person will come to know Jesus. Will you pray for Elena and the friends she’s making through Nordic walking?