April 2008

It is hard to believe that it was only a month, so much it was filled with experiences, adventures and joy of the work at the field of the Lord!

After a last week of my session at the seminary all our international students group went together for a week to Seoul, Korea. It was very exciting adventure and helpful experience to see the effective Christian ministries in that mostly Buddhist country!

Right from Seoul I went back home to Ukraine and found lot of great news. Our new office building in fully equipped and furnished now. We have hosted our first visitors in the mission guest rooms! The only work that is actually left there is the backyard organizing, which is going to be completed by the end of May.

The new media postproduction facilities allowed us to release all the projects that were in process for a while, including the Russian dubbing of ‘A Doctor Looks at the Crucifixion and Resurrection’ as well as ‘Evidences of the Flood at Msta River’ documentaries. Right now we are working on the new short films.

Our girls’ mobile team (Zhenya and Lena) had very successful trip to Voronyezh (Russia) where they were leading workshops at apologetics youth conference (see a picture attached). The goal of the workshops was to teach young leaders to communicate the full truth of the Bible to the youth subcultures, not conforming with the world, but becoming a light of it to save at least some.

About 200 young people we expected to come for the conference from various parts of Central and Southern regions of Russia, but there were about 500 persons. Even experienced pastors and church leaders found the workshops very useful for being faithful to God, serving people on the work places and at the universities. It reminded each one of us – they say – that we are called to fulfill the great commission.

Lena for the first time in her life was a speaker at the conference. She presented a workshop on using Internet resources for the evangelism among youth. In the modern youth culture they communicate via Instant Messengers and e-mails – that’s why on-line evangelism is one of the most effective approaches in our ministry. Zhenya over again has presented a workshop on witnessing to the youth counter-cultures. The issue it appeared to be so important and burning for the young people that this time about 60-80 people attended the workshop, while the room could only hold 20-30 people – so the workshop had to move out into a lobby.

This trip had a great importance for our ministry. Equipping the next generation of effective evangelists is our strategic goal! In our post-communist part of the world we feel this need especially strongly. Our peoples have experienced a great exodus from the slavery of communism into a desert of secular democracy. We are responsible now whether will the next generation enter the Kingdom, or keep wander in the wilderness.

Right on my return from Korea all our team went to the rented venue (please keep praying for us to have our own one) at Aloushta, a small town at the sea shore, where we had a great time we had with young gifted people from Byelorussia, Russia, Ukraine and Uzbekistan, who came here to Crimea for the Media Challenge workshop on using video as an effective tool for evangelism, apologetics, church services, education. The goal was to teach and encourage young leaders to teach and encourage others to use any equipment young people they have available – from cell phone to camcorder – for effective ministry (see the pictures attached). In the countries like Byelorussia, Russia and Uzbekistan, where opportunities of evangelism are very limited, the media could be a gateway to the groups where preachers can not go themselves, as well as video workshops can provide access to young people.

On the return from Aloushta we had a second workshop on using media for the ministry – the regional one (see the pictures attached). It had a little bit different goals from the international one. All participants was from our region, Crimea (except one girl from Byelorussia who desperately wanted to attend the international one, but we had no more room there and we managed to incorporate her into the regional one). We hope that people from both workshops are going to use the skills they got there right away, but our secondary goal was different now. The participants for the international one were selected carefully with the hope they some of them may be will be media ministries leaders in their regions some day. As for the regional one, may be some of them will as well, but we are going to use them already as volunteers in our ministry projects. Please join our prayers for the Lord’s guidance in the development of our training programs – both in the technical skills and in the missionary content.

The workshops were very successful both from our point of view and from the participants’ feedback. Here is what they wrote:

  • The information I gained during the workshops was new for me, it was important, relevant. Of course I would like to gain more and have more time for practice. The speaker was great – it is always sad to say goodbye to people like that…
  • I enjoyed the simple approach, the clarity. The basics that every beginner needs to know were gained.
  • The workshop is terrific! It helped me to systematize previous knowledge and gain some new one.
  • It was a great privilege and blessing for me to take part in the workshop! I am sure a lot of people would like to participate, however I actually had an opportunity to attend the workshop. I am very grateful to all who sacrificed their time to share the knowledge with me.
  • It is a great impulse in my work with video camera. I have a desire to create for the glory of God.
  • I thank God for the opportunity to take part in the master class, to meet people, who are absolute professionals in media. May the Lord bless all people, who took part in the workshop. It is a great opportunity to lead people to the Lord through media.
  • Just super! It would be hard to com up with something better!

Thank you very much. Such projects are very encouraging, and I believe that they will be a great impulse for the development of Christian work in media.
Everything was just great! I loved the kind atmosphere very much.
New friends, connections, and a lot of good impressions.

In a meanwhile our main work is a preparation of big upcoming projects. The Worldview symposium, a short-term mission to the tribes of intellectuals, as we call it, is going to be on May 14-17. It is a sort of a working model of Areopagus. The professors of secular schools are coming from various parts of the former Soviet Union to discuss an issue in an academic way, and this is an open door for us to tell them about God the Creator in a way Paul did in a setting like this.

On May 17-20, right after the Symposium, we are going to have an event the most strategically important we ever had – the retreat of Eurasian Apologetics Society national coordinators. The actual leaders of the apologetics development in the churches of China, Russia, Ukraine and Uzbekistan will come together for the training, fellowship and prayers to develop the vision for the next stage of the EAS development for the greater glory of God.

In June 21-30 we are going to have “Tvorets” (the Creator) children camp for field testing of the very first national curriculum (the ones we had before were translated ones) for equipping children for not just standing strong in their faith in a secular school environment but even be a missionaries using the state school Science curricula for bringing their peers and teachers to Christ.