The picture above: Pastor Leonid and Galina Filimonov and evangelist Asbjørn Skjortnes

In 2006 evangelist Asbjørn Skjortnes was introduced to pastor and church founder Leonid Filimonov, through his brother in law Kjell Lie`s emergency relief work in Latvia . Kjell who now is home with the Lord did a wonderful work in Latvia. Leonid Filimonov is married to Galina and they have three children, all active in church work. He was born in Ukraina in 1965 and God called him to service in 1978. His father was a pastor, and Leonid helped him in the service and preached in various churches in Ukraine. In 1984, Leonid came to Latvia, where he was appointed to be a deacon in the church. Since he was appointed to be a youth pastor in Jelgava and then to be the second pastor.

Leonid has been involved in starting many new churches in Latvia.

From 1990, Leonid has been involved in starting nine new churches from scratch in these towns: Iecava, Eleja, Kalnciems, Jurmala, Jaunolaine, Saurieshi, Riga, Liepaja and Lielvarde. Some churches was started together with his brother Vasily, some when he was a bishop and some with other people by his direction. These churches are now autonomous with their own pastors and leadership. Leonid now serves as pastor of two churches, in Jurmala and in Kalnciems. In addition, he frequently organizes evangelistic meetings with the intent to plant new churches. In the beginning the congregation in Jurmala rented a cinema where they arranged meetings, then they hired a school.

New laws in Latvia

An amandment made it no longer possible to hold religious meetings in public buildings. So they had to build their own church building outside of Jurmala in 2004. Now in addition the church wants to build a suitable premises for their children`s work. This is a great need since the church is growing and new families have been saved and added to the church. If you want to support Leonid in realizing this vision, you can give your gift via Follow Jesus Ministries and mark with “church planting Latvia”.

Fruitful cooperation between the ministry gifts.

The picture above: Evangelist Asbjørn Skjortnes preaches the Gospel of grace in “Living Word Church” in Kalnciems.

Leonid and evangelist Asbjørn Skjortnes has had a fruitful collaboration in which many people have been saved, healed , and the focus has always been on planting and building new churches.

Together they have travelled in various cities and towns in Latvia: Riga, Olaine, Jelgava, Daugavpils, Ventspils, Liepaja, Dobele, Kalnciems, Jurmala, Iecava, Eleja and Bauska. Leonid has organized evangelistic services for Asbjørn with the intent to see many people saved and plant new churches. Everywhere, many people have been saved and healed and the churches have grown and been strengthened in the faith to the Lord`s glory. Pastors Leonid and Galina Filimonov still have a vision that many more churches will be planted in Latvia, so that people can be harvested into the Kingdom of God.

Evangelist Asbjørn Skjortnes will continue to have monthly meetings in Latvia. Please pray that still many people will be saved so that the churches will continue to grow.