NRB International Insider
To Russia...and Beyond...with Love
His story is compelling, reading like a novel or script for a Hollywood movie. A young man, born in Finland and reared in Canada, returns to his native land for Bible school. God has spoken to him in dramatic ways, setting a course for his life…one of intrigue, danger, romance, and adventure in Russia and the Soviet Union. Taking Bibles and Christian literature into the country and, eventually, taking the love of his life, Laura, out of the country. In between, Hannu Haukka experienced the joy of seeing many thousands come to Christ as Lord, and great frustration as Russian authorities tried to limit his work, including exiling Hannu from Russia for 11 years.
At one point, in a series of events that only God could orchestrate, Hannu was successful in getting the animated Bible stories, “Super Book” video series, on Russian national television. The year was 1989, before the fall of Communism. When the series began, the response was overwhelming…so much so that the Russian postal service did something astounding. The mail volume so overwhelmed the Russian post office that Hannu’s ministry, International Russian Radio and Television (IRR-TV), was asked to pick up all the mail at the post office, look through it, and bring back to the postal service what didn’t belong to the ministry!
IRR-TV, based in Finland, now reaches beyond Russia, impacting lives in the Middle East and China. And in just the past few weeks the ministry has won the rights to program a new national television channel covering all of Finland. Hannu is busily assembling a team and acquiring and designing programs for this new channel called “Suomi TV”, translated…Finland TV.
At the same time, IRR-TV is deeply involved with major market evangelism media blitzes throughout Russia and moving into the Middle East. These month-long campaigns use radio, TV, newspapers, billboards, bus advertising, and other media tools to get the Gospel message to the masses. A phone number gives people the opportunity to learn more about a relationship with God through His Son, Jesus. In each city tens of thousands of calls are being received and great numbers of souls are being ushered into the family of God.
As you might expect, Hannu Haukka and his teams often receive intimidation and threats, with some of the team members being detained by authorities. But IRR-TV continues to proclaim God’s Truth, that many will know the hope found in Christ.
I was reminded of a song I originally heard sung by the travelling group, The Continentals. It said in part:
We will carry the torch; we will lift high the flame
We will march through the darkness with the light of His name
Till the glory of God is seen by the world
We will carry the torch of the Lord.
One of the verses says:
No foe can defeat us, there's no need to fear
The Lord goes before us to make the way clear
So with our hearts all aflame, let His fire be spread
To give light to the darkness and life....to the dead.
God's people around our globe are answering His call on their lives. They are doing extraordinary things in His name, often in the face of strong opposition. Pray with me for faithful servants, like Hannu Haukka, as they carry the torch and lift high His name...for the glory of God.
Ronald L. Harris, DD
Senior Vice President for Strategic Partnership
National Religious Broadcasters
703-330-7000 (NRB HQ)
National Religious Broadcasters
Dr. Ron Harris
Senior VP for Strategic Partnership