Upon return to Russia, he was exiled for preaching the Gospel. Policemen followed for months. This continued for two years. The second year was spent entirely in Siberia. Disguised with odd clothes and glasses, and hunted by the authorities, he slept almost every night in a different place. Thus, he covered many cities and villages, preaching the unsearchable riches in Christ Jesus everywhere. Professor Neprash testifies that "joy unspeakable" flooded his soul during those years of persecution and exile.

After the Revolution, he came out of exile. Every week he held services in eight of the largest halls in Petrograd. Even the Bolshevik soldiers invited him allowing the use of their buildings free of charge. Open air meetings were held. Nothing was ever done like this in Russia. The first one took place on the square in front of the Czar's winter palace. The people flocked from all sides of the square. They listened intently to the message and said, “Why did he not tell us these things before? Will you not come and tell us about God and how to live in new Russia?”













Dr. Ivan Neprash in New York

Since the Revolution, millions have heard the Gospel through the testimony of persecuted Christians. Only a few of them were educated. Most of them were peasants or working men. It reads like a chapter in the history of the early Church, when the then known world was evangelized by ordinary men and women.

Finally, Professor Neprash was invited to come to America to prepare missionaries for Russia. (During this time he founded the Russian Missionary Service, which later became Slavic Missionary Service, a mission primarily designed to reach the masses in the Soviet Union through Biblical literature and humanitarian aid.) Many who have come under his tutelage have gone to different lands to labor for God. This story is the struggle of a soul saved out of the darkness of atheism and led into the kingdom of light. Multiply this story by millions and you will have a true picture of Russia's need even to this day.

(This article was condensed and revised by Rob Zapotoski,
International Field Representative of Slavic Missionary Service,
from an article printed in the "Sunday School Times" over sixty years ago.)

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