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world’s first communist state. He was
a ruthless ruler who had no regard for
the sufferings of others and mercilessly
crushed anyone who opposed him.
At one time, he sent a telegram to
his Comrades instructing them to crush
the opposition in their districts. lenin
informed them that they should pub-
licly hang those who opposed them so
that it would instill fear into the people
who saw the hangings. He also told the
leaders to seize their grain and publish
atvians have suffered untold misery
at the hands of the Soviet Union.
After taking over Latvia in 1940, the
Soviets began deporting the elites to
the Soviet Union. When they reoccu-
pied the country after the Nazi German
occupation, they severely punished the
latvian people for alleged collaboration
with the enemy and for resisting Soviet
occupation. There were mass deporta-
tions. They did this to enforce their po-
litical and social policies and to silence
their opponents. In one night, 15,500
residents were arrested without a court
order and sent to other regions. Among
them were 2,400 children under the age
of 10. The Soviets sent thousands of
latvians to GUlAG prison camps in
Siberia. They were herded into cattle or
freight railroad cars. Many of the sick,
elderly, and infants died on the way.
After the fall of communism that
had enslaved, oppressed, and persecut-
ed latvians for decades, the people in
anger and frustration toppled the huge
statue of lenin, and his head rolled into
the weeds. Statues of lenin were de-
stroyed in other places in cities and vil-
lages in latvia.
We enjoyed a delicious lunch and
had sweet fellowship with our new
friend and his family. In the afternoon,
our host’s pastor and his wife joined us
l M ary r ay with interpreter a ngela
and shared stories with us about their
years in the underground church. They,
along with their fellow Christians, had
suffered abuse and persecution. Some
of their brothers and sisters in Christ
had been imprisoned and some gave
their lives for the cause of Christ. In-
stead of being bitter, the pastor and his
wife rejoiced that they had the privilege
of suffering for the lord Jesus Christ.
hey had to worship in secret, but
still they were faithful. The pas-
tor’s wife explained, “We only had one
Bible in the whole church, and each
family was allowed to carry it home for
a week.” She said, “We were so excited
T continued on page 15
14 • NATIONS
t he e nd of the w orld is the i sland of U shUaia .
t his island at the tip of s oUth a Merica
has a popUlation of More than 57,000.
W here in the w orld is
Tierra del Fuego—The eNd oF The World?
Ushuaia is the capital of Tierra del Fuego, a province,
of Argentina. It is commonly regarded as the southernmost
city in the world. Ushuaia is located in a wide bay on the
southern coast of Tierra del Fuego. The Martial Mountains
are to the north and Beagle Channel to the south.
The island has very little fundamental Gospel witness and is in
need of missionaries. A BIMI team distributed and covered the
island with Bibles, which were well received. The language is
Spanish. For information on opportunities in this part of the world,
those interested may contact Rev. Roger Blevins, South America
Director, BIMI at PO Box 9, Harrison, Tennessee 37341.
continued from page 14
when it was our week to have the Bible, and we were so sad
when the week ended and we had to return it.” These dear
servants of the lord now had the joy of openly sharing their
faith with others without the fear of persecution.
eaving the village that day, I thought about lenin,
who was the head of the Communist Party. He was
a wicked and evil man who had no mercy on those
who opposed and disagreed with him. Then I thought about
the lord Jesus Christ, Who is the Head of the church. His life
was full of love, compassion, and mercy. lenin was head of
the Communist Party and his followers were forced to follow
him. Jesus is the Head of the church and His followers will-
ingly worship Him. Lenin’s body is in a coffin in Moscow,
but Jesus’ tomb in Jerusalem is empty because He defeated
death and He is alive and because He lives, we live also.
lenin’s memorial in that small latvian village was a bro-
ken statue and a concrete head in the weeds. Jesus’ memorial
in the village is a loving, kind, compassionate group of be-
lievers who willingly followed their lord through suffering,
sorrow, and persecution.
l “Upon this rock I will build my church; and
gates Ray of hell shall not
prevail against it.” Matthew 16:18
14 • NATIONS
Handwritten Bible Concordance from
Underground Church in latvia
NATIONS • 15