Lithuania declared itself independent from the Soviet Union in 1990. It remains a needy nation, economically and especially spiritually. Fewer than 1% of Lithuanians would consider themselves Lutheran or Reformed, and most of these would be nominal and/or liberal. Reformed orthodoxy in this nation is presently very weak. In order to cultivate interest in the reformed faith and provide materials that will further it, COAH is privileged to support the Center for Reformed Christian Literature, as well as a student for the ministry.
For some years now, Come Over and Help has been supporting a literature translation, publication and distribution ministry in the heart of the capital city of Vilnius. The Center for Reformed Christian Literature is operated by Julius Jonusas, an energetic and enterprising young man with a passion for the Reformed faith. In this small and inviting bookshop, attractively printed books by solidly reformed authours both contemporary and from the past, are available in Russian, English and Lithuanian. Especially important is the translation of books into Lithuanian, the native tongue. Julius estimates that the total number of Lithuanian titles that can be considered reformed is in the neighbourhood of 60. However, by God’s grace and with His help, we are looking to grow that number by translating and publishing devotional, practical and theological works.
We believe this bookstore, under God’s blessing, may be of strategic importance to the re-establishment of the Reformed church in Lithuania. Members of various evangelical churches are currently the largest consumers of Reformed literature in the country. Catholic priests have also dropped in occasionally, buying books such as Faith’s Chequebook by C. H. Spurgeon. And this is all besides the reformed community itself, which is demonstrating interest in a return to historic reformed theology and literature.
Come Over and Help is presently helping to support a young Lithuanian man, Vaidotas Ickys, as he studies at Puritan Reformed Theological Seminary in Grand Rapids, MI, USA. Upon completion of his studies, Vaidotas has a burden to bring back Reformed teaching and preaching to his native Lithuanian Evangelical Reformed Church.