Friday, September 3

Two Russian Families

World Magazine Blog links to this page with the story of two Russian brothers who are evangelical pastors with Russian Ministries, whose children--eight of them, altogether--were hostages inside the school:
As night fell in Beslan, Russia, families remain in turmoil as many still wait and wonder about the fate of the children that were taken hostage by terrorists on the first day of their school year two days ago...

Sergey and Taymuraz Totiev are brothers and local pastors in the region. Eight of their twelve children were held captive. Two of the eight are known to be in hospital. The fate of the remaining six is unknown at this time.
Let's uphold these two pastors and their families in prayer, along with all the other families who had children there.

[Update, September 4, afternoon:
Pastor Sergey Totiev, a local pastor in the Beslan area, whose children were held as hostages in the school, spoke by phone today to Sergey Rakhuba, vice president of Russian Ministries. Sergey Rakhuba also spoke with Pastor Yuri Sipko, the president of the Union of Evangelical Christian Baptists, who is also in Beslan and was an eyewitness to yesterday’s events. Here is a summary of their discussions.

Pastor Totiev confirmed that Anya, his 8-year-old daughter, was killed. Azum, one of his sons, is being treated in hospital where doctors are trying to preserve vision in both of his eyes. His niece, Madina, has left the hospital and returned to her home. She has not spoken and is in a state of shock. Sergey and his brother Taymuraz had 8 children in the school during the ordeal. The five other children remain missing. Many children were sent to a larger hospital in Vladikavkaz. But the area surrounding Beslan is now sealed off, so he is unable to travel to that city and search for the remaining children in his family.

Pastor Totiev said that he fears that the number of dead may be as high as 500, but no one yet knows. Some of the bodies will be difficult to identify because of the explosions that were set off at the school. He estimates that 60 percent of the dead will be children.

Pastor Totiev wants to express heartfelt gratitude for people around the world who have prayed for him, his brother, their children and all the people who are directly affected by this terror.
Read more.]