This month it became obvious that our new level strategies (internal teamwork development as well as external focus on teaching the teachers and leading the leaders) are already working.
The first week of the month Vadim and I spend in Kiev providing intensive training course Introduction to Systematic Apologetics for Christian leaders (ministers, evangelists, educators) of Ukraine and Byelorussia. It was a blessed time of mutual sharing and encouragement for spreading of the Good News of Jesus in the countries of total atheism.
Most of the month we were busy with day-to-day work as well as developing the network of the Apologetics Society, planning and preparing for the upcoming Symposium in May and the children camp in June.
But the greatest event of the month was at its very end. Our team went to Kiev for organizing and taking part in the conference on the people’s rights for equal presentation of the various views on the origins (i.e. both evolution and creation) in the state approved (i.e. the only legal) school program made on their taxes.
The day before the conference, on April 26, a press-conference was made with presentation of a good, however unrecognized, Biology textbook by Dr. Sergey Vertyanov (Russia), which provides a balanced approach to the issue. We have invited for the press-conference not only Dr. Vertyanov, but also Dr. Verves and his colleagues – devoted Darwinists, the authors of the school textbook officially approved by the Ministry of Education. Three state-wide TV and one radio companies and some smaller ones came to cover the event. Having no any valid arguments to support their rigid dogmatic position, the Darwinists have stalked out of the meeting. That made the top news on the media!
The next day when the leaders, the participants and the media thrilled with the intrigue came to the National University for the conference, they found out that the room reservation is cancelled! It made even more news for the media. One of the biggest national-wide TV companies has even intimidated the university administration with charging them for neglecting principles of democracy and freedom of speech. A national-wide radio station had interviewed all our leaders for the news program.p>Another venue was found very soon at one of the churches, and the conference was very successful – thanks to the Darwinists of the National University for the promotion they made for us! That was a considerable step for the future changes in the (post)-communist education system.
At the same time another part of our team – Zhenya and I – went to Kursk (Central Russia) to teach a two-week apologetics course to a group of local ministers at Trinity College. The religious freedom is much more limited in Russia comparing with Ukraine and the college had to change the location unexpectedly a couple weeks ago. Not everything is settled yet at the new facilities since they are still under the constriction; however the students accept the material with great enthusiasm. I am very glad that Zhenya was able to go with me and be involved with teaching and studying with the students, along with assisting me with this new way of life there.
The systematic problems evangelical churches and schools have with the officials in most of the former soviet countries – Russia, Byelorussia, Uzbekistan, etc. force us to pray even harder about our greater dream – to build a multi-purpose training center at the sea shore of Crimea, where the evangelists from all over the former Soviet Union could come for brief intensive training and go back to the field refreshed equipped and encouraged. The center that could be self-supporting by making money as a Christian family resort during the Summer high season and be used for the courses, retreats, symposiums, camps, seminars, conferences the rest of the year. We do not know when and where exactly it will be, but have a strong feeling this is what is extremely necessary for the Kingdom development in that part of the world. Please join our prayers for it.