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December 2010

In 2010

newsletter dec2010aIt was an exciting month to close an exciting year! Some space in our schedulers allowed us to manage two more invitations for ‘landing parties’ – at the city of Poltava (a new region for us) and one more at Kiev.

The ‘landing party’ at Poltava was a real blessing both for us and our students! We spent a joyful time exploring together relevance of the Scripture and ways of spreading the Good News in the most effective ways. During the training course, workshop and fellowship with the church leaders of the region, everyone especially appreciate the books we were equipping them with for further development (see the pictures attached). The Lord has protected us especially on the way back which took 10 hours - rainfall with the temperature about 30F made the road a perfect skating track. That is when the holes in Ukrainian roads are really helpful :)

The ‘landing party’ at Poltava
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To the Kiev trip we were invited by a church for a retreat in the wood about 30 miles away from the city. The church has rented a cottage for the elders' families to spend valuable time in training and fellowship (see the pictures attached). We had a privilege to present there the workshops on Genesis foundation for personal growth in Christ, for family life, for effective evangelism. What a joyful fellowship in Jesus it was! We appreciate the prayers about our safety especially. The Lord has protected us all the way to the site despite a thaw with deep fogs (the visibility was even less then 10 ft couple times!). We came to the venue safe and sound even before the darkness. The way back was a real gift for us: the sun was shining, the sky was crisp blue, the road - dry and open - not many drivers went on the way scared by the forecast of heavy snowfalls. And the snow had started to fall heavily right after we passed the area! Praised be the Lord!

The ‘landing party’ at Poltava
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Among the other exciting news of the month is release of a great project we were working on for two years - a musical for children "Gift of Gratitude"! The musical communicates the hope in Jesus everyone who believes in Him has. The movie specifically deals with the issue of oncological (cancer) disorders among children (very big problem in our part of the world after Chernobyl disaster). First and last scenes were actually made at Children Oncological Clinic we partner with and where some our workers serve as volunteers. Now we are going to broadcast it on all TV channels we have access to through the entire period from Western till Eastern (January 7) Christmas celebration. Please join our prayers for the Lord to prepare the hearts of people to hear the message.

Training and fellowship in Kiev
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We keep searching for the opportunities with the existing Christian textbooks on Science translation as an alternative to the atheistic education monopoly in our part of the world. However because of the approaches difference, even a close enough curriculum does not match exactly our need for the books that will balance post-communist state textbooks. Only new national textbooks can meet the need perfectly. In a result of the issue discussion, a team of motivated experts grew for writing textbooks on Physical Sciences! Please join our prayers for the Lord lead the team as well as for eventual formation of teams to write national textbooks on Biology, Earth Science, Astronomy, Chemistry as well.

The end of the year is a proper time to look back and give thanks to the Lord for everything He did in our lives and our ministry. The year was very fruitful – every plan was completed. Nevertheless the Lord has provided much more then we ever planned and we grateful to Him for those surprises especially.

Training and fellowship in Kiev
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Among the greatest surprises was getting a Small Groups Retreat House, a first step to our great dream of Multipurpose Resource Center. It was not something we planned specifically, but the Lord led us this way. We have got the place unexpectedly as just a shell brick structure, and it took forty days only to complete renovation and start having small group retreats there right away! Great is our Lord! Please join our prayers for intensive training ministry development as well for the future Multipurpose Resource Center building in God’s time.

Another unplanned project was my Ph.D. degree defense in Ukraine. The new Ministry of Education catalog of officially approved academic specialties issued in the beginning of the year had Theology included there (first time since communism) among philosophical areas. Together with Christians at Odessa University of Humanities we decided to create a precedent before things change back. This resulted with my defense there on March 31st. May this precedent work for the Lord’s glory!

We have field tested our curriculum “I am wonderfully made” at our annual children camp “Creator.” This emphasized anthropology – the person, anatomy, character traits, and the image of God in us. We presented this curriculum at a book fair in Kiev.

Lot of ‘landing parties’ (both planned and unplanned ones) and training courses during the year provided many opportunities to share the message at schools, colleges, universities, churches etc. at Kiev, Donetsk, Rovno, Melitopol, Kishinev (Chisinau, Moldova), Poltava, Kursk (Russia), Transkarpatia, etc.

Two strategically important events were held during the year - The Second Eurasian Apologetics Summit and the very first Creation Science Colloquium. The Summit was a great opportunity for evaluation and planning of Apologetics ministries in former Soviet Union. It had been four years since the first Summit where Eurasian Apologetics Society was established. There are four self-governing, self-supporting and self-propagating ministries and a network of volunteers across all former Soviet Union came out of the movement! Praised be the Lord!

The Colloquium was on Apologetics and Biology Sciences. The need was explored for more technical publications, rather than the more general kinds of materials. Some terminology issues were resolved, so we all can have the same meaning, be on the same page about common terms (for instance, by using a concept of syngameons).

Our publishing ministry was especially fruitful this year as well – thirteen books were published, nine of which are new titles, five – by national authors! God is really good! Please join our praises for Him as well as our prayers for a big dream of getting our own printing press.

We highly appreciate all your care, prayers, support, encouragement, feedback! We realize well: only God’s guidance allowed us to accomplish so much in just a year! And this is special blessing for us that He provided everything necessary through the joy of our partnership with you on His field. Please keep praying for our ministry, all our projects, all our team, for our families, for God’s guidance in everything we do.

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