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Sumy evangelism seminar
Sumy evangelism seminar

Probably, this month has been the hottest ever for us! The requests for our seminars and training arrived from various places. We could not ignore the needs and turn down the invitations, so we kept crossing the country from East to West and from North to South. Two topics were most popular almost everywhere we went – missions and family!

Sumy family camp
Sumy family camp

 The month started with a training mission in the city of Sumy (North of the country). It included seminars on the Biblical strategy of evangelism open to all the churches of the city, a family conference for the leaders of the churches and their spouses, and a message on the challenges of spiritual growth during the worship at the most senior congregation of the city (see the pictures attached).

Sumy worship
Sumy worship
For us, it was not just an opportunity to share, but also a great encouragement to see the diversity of God’s children. Although they differ in traditions and approaches, they are united by their longing to be His presence in the world, which is revealed through reinforcing family by God’s Word and through spreading the message to all people. Please pray with us for these lighthouses of hope in the ocean of the world!
Kharkiv children ministries training

 After renewing supplies of our book back in Kiev, we went to Kharkiv (in the East) to offer a conference for Sunday Schools teachers and the leaders of children’s ministries (see the picture attached). Shaping the biblical worldview of the next generation is one of the strategic priorities of our ministry. We encourage, train and equip teachers and parents to effectively resist the ongoing brainwashing with atheism and evolutionism as mediated through the education system. In the beginning of the year, we intentionally focused on developing resources for elementary school kids, and we are now developing them for teenagers. Please join our prayers about this work!

Odessa missions conference
Odessa missions conference

 After replenishing our book stock in Kiev again, we went to Odessa (South) to present workshops at the Youth Missions Conference. The first workshop was dedicated to the mission of winning the creation for the Creator understood as God’s purpose for man, as we see it throughout the Scripture (Adam was commanded to fill the earth out from Eden, Abraham’s children were chosen to become the blessing for all nations out of the Promised Land, and Jesus’ disciples are called to teach all nations out of the church),

Lviv music & apologetics ministry
as well as the model for implementing that command, as revealed in the ministries of Jesus and Paul. The second workshop was dedicated to a narrower issue of culture shock that the missionaries have to deal with as they enter a different culture: its causes, nature, aspects, dynamics and how to cope with it. The workshop ended with a practical event: a girl who had recently returned from a mission to Cambodia offered everyone the arthropod delicacies she had obtained there. It really enhanced the students’ understanding of the missionary prayer: “Where You’ll lead me I will follow; what You’ll feed me, help me swallow.” Please pray with us for these young messengers of the Lord as they enter the mission field!

 From Odessa, we headed straight to Lviv (in the West) to meet with a team of musicians and scientists (what an explosive mixture!) who have a vision to launch a children camp geared for the kids with various backgrounds, including those with special needs. They want the camp to provide a balanced mixture of the emotional and the intellectual through music and apologetics, and we love the idea! We had a very fruitful discussion concerning the vision, supplied the team with the resources we had with us (see the picture attached) and sent them more afterwards. We are going to visit their camp for the Day of Questions and Answers. Please keep this great project in your prayers.

Lisbon evangelists training
Lisbon evangelists training
Lisbon evangelists training
Lisbon evangelists training

 As if that was not enough for the month, another request came that we could not refuse – an invitation to provide training on practical evangelism in Lisbon (Portugal) to a congregation of immigrants from the former Soviet Union (Russia, Ukraine, Moldova).

Lisbon family seminar
Lisbon family seminar
Although they are far from their homeland, they remember that our real citizenship is in heaven. Many of them are working as cabdrivers and that provides them with great opportunities for personal evangelism. We spent two days with them exploring together the biblical principles of personal evangelism and discussing the biblical foundations for the family (see pictures attached). This fellowship was a special encouragement for us as displaced people! Please pray with us for these workers of the Lord, who are far from their homes.

Lisbon World Explorers Monument

 Olga and I celebrated our 34th wedding anniversary on our way to Kharkiv. Another event we celebrated in Lisbon was 40 years since we first met. After the Sunday service, our new friends took us downtown to the monument to the world explorers (see the picture attached). The people depicted on the monument would not have been able to make their amazing discoveries without those who equipped their expeditions for their missions. That was a great reminder of how important it is to equip God’s explorers for their mission of expanding the Kingdom to the ends of the earth. That is exactly what our ministry is about!

Korosten missions course 1
Korosten missions course 2
Korosten missions course 3

 The nearer the summer, the hotter it gets, and not only in terms of temperature, but also in the sense of preparing for the upcoming summer activities – camps, missions, church planting, leadership seminars, etc. That is why May and June are the “hottest” months considering the number of training sessions we provide at various venues to equipthe Lord’s people for effective ministry.

 It was a special joy for us to offer training on cross-cultural evangelism for a group of young missionaries at the city of Korosten (see the pictures attached). These devoted warriors of Jesus will soon be going on various missions within the country and beyond. Please keep them in your prayers. May the Lord be praised through their work, may He guide and protect them, and may His Kingdom grow!

Talbot School of Theology 3
Talbot School of Theology 2
Talbot School of Theology 1

 The Joint School of Christian Apologetics has proven very effective in training and equipping the servants of the Kingdom. It fills the gaps various schools may have in their curricula by offering the courses and seminars on some practical issues of the ministry in our cultural context. This month we were able to provide a course on the Bible and Logic at the Slavic Evangelical Seminary and a seminar on the Creation Science at the Talbot School of Theology, Kyiv Extension (see the pictures attached).

Slavic Evangelical Seminary
Slavic Evangelical Seminary
Slavic Evangelical Seminary
The approach used by JSCA opens up more opportunities for the students and broadens partnership between the schools. May the Lord be praised!

 In May we had the last sessions of the 3-month long project by the Christian Worldview School for the young missionaries from Poland, Turkey, Russia and Ukraine (see the picture attached). The final course focused on the issues of cross-cultural evangelism. Now the students are going back their mission fields. Please keep them in your prayers!

Christian Worldview School 1
Christian Worldview School 2
The final planning of teaching the Biblical Principles for Church Leadership was followed by a course on the topic offered in a retreat setting (see the pictures attached).It is crucial to be able to identify what aspect of our church life is based on the Bible and what is just matter of tradition, especially if those traditions emerged during the rule of communism to isolate the church from the world, preventing it from being the light and the salt. A video version of the seminar is already available online;
Leadership course planning
Leadership course
the book to supplement it has gone to the publisher. Please join our prayers for the church and its leaders to renew their role in accordance with the apostolic model in a way that is relevant for our post-communist society.
Creation Evangelism Conference

The last but not the least part of our life has recently been taken up with the organization of the Creation Evangelism Conference where we were responsible for the logistics, media, translation and the book table (see the picture attached). Videos of the conference seminars are already available online. We believe they will help many to deepen their roots in the solid biblical ground of the Kingdom message. May the Lord be praised!

Christian Worldview School
Christian Worldview School
Christian Worldview School

The highlight of the month was the continuation of a three-month project called Christian Worldview School in partnership with the Kyiv team from Youth With A Mission. The School provides intensive training for young missionaries from Poland, Turkey, Russia and Ukraine who are currently working in Ukraine. Every week they take different course, and they have already completed the first half of the programme. This month we provided two courses there: Church Leadership and Biblical Anthropology. Both are important for understanding our mission and purpose. That is why informal fellowship is as valuable as the lectures (see the picture attached). The project continues. The students persevere and press on. Please keep them in your prayers!

Mission School in Rudnya
Mission School in Rudnya
Mission School in Rudnya

A great shift occurring over the recent years in Ukraine is the trend to launch more and more intensive training sessions for the young national missionaries, who head out to the neighbouring countries and even to distant ones! It was very exciting to provide the course on Cross-cultural Evangelism at the Mission School in Rudnya between the courses for the in-country missionaries (see the pictures attached). Some of them are going on a mission to Mozambique a month later. Please keep in your prayers these young workers of the Lord as well!

Actually, Cross-cultural Evangelism and Church Leadership are our most popular courses now, and this is a good shift as well. During the last few months, prior to the presidential elections in Ukraine, The Bible and Civil Society was the most requested one. People were looking for the answers to current challenges, and it was a window of opportunity to tell more about what the Bible teaches concerning government, society, and the role of God’s people. Now the elections are over. The outcome is pretty sobering. The overwhelming majority have voted for the ignorant, arrogant and superficial comedian without any experience, vision or programme. His role was to play a person, who fulfills everyone’s wishes - to share the money of the rich with the poor, to jail everyone that the people are unhappy with (without a court hearing!), to make taxes and prices low but benefits high, etc. He never speaks to his opponents or people directly. But now, even before the inauguration, his manager declared that he was not going to fulfill most of his promises since those things are beyond the President's competency (in Ukraine the executive power belongs to the prime-minister – what a surprise!). The guy is just a simulacrum. People did not vote for him as a real person, but for the movie character he had played in a popular show. The only thing he shared occasionally about his views was his highly liberal pro-abortion, pro-drugs and prostitution legalizing ideas. Our long-suffering country needs your prayers!

On the other hand, the outcome of elections is pretty positive. Nine years ago, in a situation like this, only 5% of the voters were against going back to the Egypt of Communism. Now that number is 25% - pretty influential minority, isn’t it? The mindset of people is slowly changing. We will continue to teach the biblical principles for society, but I am glad the focus of the church has shifted to evangelism, missions and church growth. We must keep in mind where our ultimate citizenship is! Since we are enjoying this enormous religious freedom, God is using Ukraine as a hub to spread the Kingdom in the post-communist world. May the Lord help us!

Meanwhile, we continue to produce the video versions of our training courses and seminars for training and equipping the leaders in remote and restricted areas. Five more – “Introduction to Christian Apologetics,” “Biblical Strategy of Evangelism,” “Biblical Principles of Christian Leadership,” “Science and the Bible,” and “Informal Logical Errors in Apologetics and Evangelism” – are available now from our Joint School of Christian Apologetics  channel . Please join our prayers so that those who need them can access them.

Good Wharf church
Good Wharf church elders

We are very blessed by the partnership with Good Wharf church in Kiev, which has welcomed us as members and is facilitating many of our projects, providing prayers, venue and volunteers. Reliable Foundations Apologetics Online Club is just one of the outcomes of our partnership. Meanwhile, the church elders are planning a training retreat focusing on “The Biblical Principles of the Church Leadership” (see the pictures attached). Please keep it in your prayers as well.

Team building trip
Team building trip
Team building trip

Many of our workers, partners, volunteers and board members have had to leave their homes as we did since the war began. Now we travel around the country for team-building once or twice a year sharing comfort, encouragement and strategic vision, in order to maintain team spirit. Over time, it has become one of the most exciting parts of our work. Technologies like phone and Internet provide great means of communication, but nothing can replace face-to-face fellowship with prayers, laughter, mourning, meals and praise (see the pictures attached). We are so thankful to the Lord for the great family of faithful and devoted co-workers in the Lord! We are so thankful to every one of you as well – for all the care, prayers, support, comfort, wisdom and encouragement you have been faithfully sharing with us. May the Lord be praised!

Our strategic priority is to equip the national Church with the training and tools where needed. We develop training courses, seminars, media, printed and online resources, etc. to meet the most pressing challenges the Body of Christ has to face in the post-communist countries. Yet, over the last two months our resources were in demand more often than ever before.

 Due to the aggressive atheistic propaganda that lasted for several generations, the relationship between the Church and society was difficult but straightforward – complete isolation. That solidified into a tradition, so much so that even two decades after the nation’s Exodus from the Egypt of communism the status quo was never seriously questioned. However, the current political and military crises in Ukraine are forcing the Church to revisit its prophetic role in distinguishing justice from lawlessness. Given the upcoming presidential elections in Ukraine, increasingly the Christians ask: what is our role in the political processes we are involved in?

SCA Practical Ethics course Kherson
SCA Practical Ethics course Kherson
SCA Practical Ethics course Kiev

 Of the resources that we develop, two topics are in highest demand now – Practical Christian Ethics (making well-grounded decisions in searching for God’s will) and Bible and Politics (the role of Christians in the development of civil society).

Fool’s Golden Rule seminar Lutsk

 As a result of decline in religious freedom across the former Soviet Union – especially in the restricted areas and occupied territories – we focus strategically on media and Internet. Our goal is to produce an online video version of every course and every seminar we provide. We are receiving excited feedback on the online video courses we created focusing on Crosscultural Evangelism and The Biblical View of Civil Society. That encourages us to continue in that direction with great enthusiasm. Whatever happens to us, the country or the society, the resources uploaded to the Internet and downloaded by many users will continue to work for the benefit of the Kingdom. Incredibly, our main website was accessed from 79 countries last year only! Praised be the Lord for the gift of technologies that allow to spread, deliver, access and proclaim the truth effectively! The message of the Lord should be broadcast widely according to His commandment to proclaim from the roofs what is whispered in ears!

 On behalf of the Joint School of Christian Apologetics, we arranged two Practical Christian Ethics courses in Kiev and in Kherson back to back (see the pictures attached) and produced its video version accessible online to everyone. In addition, we made the video versions of the seminars “Fool’s Golden Rule” focusing on how the Biblical ethics principles is distorted by the health and wealth gospel, “Live by the Spirit” on the proper motivation of Christian life, “Christian at the Crossroads” on the choices we face daily, and “Laying the Foundations” on how to be properly rooted in the faith. All of these are available online now . Please join our prayers for those who will use them in line with the approach set forth in 2 Timothy 2:2. May the Lord be praised!

UES Apologetics course
UES Apologetics course

 The Apologetics course taught at the Ukrainian Evangelical Seminary was another big event (see the pictures attached). During that event we recorded the videos for several more online seminars – “The Biblical Strategy of Evangelism,” “The Biblical Principles of Christian Leadership,” “Science and the Bible,” “Informal Logical Mistakes in Apologetics and Evangelism.” All of them are in post-production now. Please pray with us about these projects.

Christian Worldview School
Christian Worldview School
Christian Worldview School

 The “Science and the Bible” course was also a part of the Christian Worldview School – the new project started in partnership with the Kyiv-based team of “Youth With A Mission” (see the picture attached). Young missionaries from Moldova, Poland, Turkey, Russia, Ukraine and United States attend this intensive training program. We are going to provide several more courses there. Please keep them in your prayers.

Shaping the worldview of schoolchildren - Dubno
Shaping the worldview of schoolchildren - Dubno

 In the town of Dubno, we were invited to offer a seminar for school teachers and the regional department of education officials on the role of science and the Bible in shaping the worldview of schoolchildren (see the pictures attached). This is the first occasion where the church has some real influence on the public education. Please pray with us for spreading this influence all around!

 Yet, a discussion topic stirring the greatest interest proved to be “Bible and Politics”. We organized a big conference on it in Lutsk, which was even attended by the mayor and members of the local Councils from several towns. We also provided seminars in Dubno and Kherson, interviews at Trans World Radio, and held a round table at UES (see the pictures attached). The upcoming presidential elections will test the civil society’s maturity – will it turn to the solid biblical foundations, or decide to turn back to “Egypt”? The proponents of the totalitarian past are interested only in one its outcome – the chaos that will make more people turn back to the “stability” of slavery (Numbers 11:5). But we know: whatever the outcome, the Lord is on His throne and we did not elect Him, but He elected us! May He be praised in everything we do!

UES Bible and Polotics round table
Bible and Politics conference Lutsk
Bible and Politics conference Lutsk
Bible and Politics seminar Dubno
Bible and Politics seminar Kherson

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