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January 2013

25 January 2013 In 2013

Do you know how to carol for others on Christmas Eve and to be at the family table at the same time? For several years we have amazing experience we call "Inside out caroling." As you know we have two public holidays (days off) during the season at our part of the world - a New Year on January 1st according to a public calendar and Christmas on January 7th (December 25th by Eastern Church calendar). Nobody wonders how this possible to celebrate New Year, i.e. the Circumcision of the Lord, prior to celebrating His birth. However the long prohibition on Christmas during communist regime moved all commercial aspects of the season (like Santa, fir, gifts, etc.) to the New Year celebration, and Christmas is left for celebrating God's incarnation in Jesus only.

After the communism collapse a traditional public Christmas holiday was restored and it is becoming more and more popular among people according to some folk traditions (mostly of ancient pagan nature of Koliada – see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Koliada). Many children are going from house to house on Christmas Eve now "doing caroling", as they think. They nock the doors wishing tenants all the best and bagging for treats and money. Nothing is about the birth of Jesus. Many kids are even from Tatar (i.e. nominally Muslim) families.

For several years we are celebrating meal with the family and friends on Christmas Eve waiting for carolers. When they come we are making inquiries what is the reason for doing this. Surpriselly few even know what is holiday is about at all! When the kids are completely lost in what is going on, we offer ourselves to carol for them instead. We sing actual carols and hymns, tell them the real Christmas message, supply with New Testament copies. And definitely give them some treats after all.

"Inside out caroling" is a great fun! Nevertheless it is not the only event the year got started with. Considering our experience on especially poor winter roads conditions in our part of the world, we try to schedule as much as possible distant trips for other seasons focusing on the neighbor areas while black ice and snow mud are on. Praised be the Lord - we are getting more and more church leaders in our hometown and surrounding not just wondering what a strange things we are doing, but interested in effective evangelism in general and in creation evangelism particularly. Training course "Apologetics and Evangelism" for pastors of Crimean churches (see the pictures attached) became very good project to start the year with. Please pray for the ministry development in our hometown!

The pastors not just enjoyed the course, it gave them some relieve also about what we are doing. They were glad to get sure we teach a solid doctrine as well as provide practically useful training on evangelism in modern world. The follow-up teaching of their churches leaders at the end of the month was a great blessing as a result (see the pictures attached). Additionally to the seminars we offer usually on effective evangelism, the Bible veracity and creation science, the audience was very interested in the issue of informal logical errors in discussions with unbelievers, and we covered it as well on their request. Please pray for these workers at God's field - may the Lord provide them strength, faithfulness and fruitfulness in spreading the Kingdom!

Teaching of their churches leaders

We always are looking for any opportunity to increase the ministry impact. Some of our Eurasian Apologetics Society volunteers work with prisoners, and search for any window of opportunity to spread the Gospel in jails. Christmas season (again, it is first two weeks of January in our part of the world) was especially fruitful for such an opportunities - we were able to send three library sets to jails around the country. At the city of Kharkiv our coordinator Zhenya has developed the ministry so successfully; it was even mentioned at governmental site of the regional jails department (see http://www.kvs.gov.ua/peniten/control/kha/uk/publish/article/82909). That is not a small window, but a wide open door already! May the Lord bless and expand his ministry abundantly! May His name be praised!

Another good news of the year beginning is the FD-222 training course first run ending. Ten of fourteen students completed all assignments and got certificates. Four more asked for a month delay - busy schedule of the ministries they started and/or got involved with did not allowed then to write a report on their final projects in time.May the Lord be praised through the work of His young gifted passionate servants!

Some of FD-222 students as well as our Eurasian Apologetics Society regional coordinators found out that the interest for the issues of dinosaurs is rising over again in our part of the world. Some of them even develop lessons and seminars about the reptiles, delivering the message of biblical truth through it. We decided to make video versions for several of them, planning to encourage children to make copies and share the disks with their peers. Hard to imagine easier and more effective distribution way I believe :-) We started with shooting the seminars developed by Stas, EAS coordinator in Kiev. And since we have arranged his coming with all his arsenal of images, toys, models, replicas, etc. any way, we did not content ourselves with the studio work only, but also arranged a presentation at the school for children with special needs (see the pictures attached). Both children and their teachers were extremely excited about it! Everyone got a gift at the end - "What Happened to Dinosaurs" evangelism booklets to share the message with siblings, parents and friends more effectively (these are the same booklets we were giving out in Kharkov a couple years ago when giant monsters models shared the central square of the megapolis with the monument of Lenin). Please join our prayers for the seeds planted.

The ripple effect keeps going in many ways! A host of a talk-show called "Smart-show" at a national TV channel found out about our movement as about some guys who deny Darwinism. He contacted Stas and offer to debate with a "heavy artillery" they launched - a strongly atheistic zoology professor from a National University. Stas made all the arrangements perfectly - he has invited two top-level scientists of Eurasian Apologetics Society as well as brought our books and textbooks to the studio. It sounds like the professor (a man with a white beard on the pictures) did not know much about problems with the Evolution theory; neither had he a chance to hear about creation science before. His expectations on easy triumph over "the church guys" were vain - Christians led through all the show. At the end they gave the professor some resources to read, and he seemed very pleased. The show is going to be broadcasted at the end of February. The greatest issue now is whether the editor will leave the part of the show with our textbooks or cut it off? Any way, please pray for the audience who will watch the show, for the TV team who already got the message as well as for the professor - may the Lord turn him from an adversary into companion-in-arms through the message and the books he got!

Please keep praying for the future Training Center. We would like to start actual construction late March, when it is warm and dry enough for making a good foundation. So far we are doing all required paperwork (bureaucracy is amazing in former Soviet Union) as well ordering an official architect project to be done according to our drawings (only architect project made by a licensed expert can be approved for construction). The most optimistic scenario is to have the building ready for use by the summer 2014. May the Lord help us!

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