Acts 17:17 says, while in Athens, Paul disputed in the marketplace day by day with those who happened to be there. Like a modern bazaar in Central Asia, the ancient agora was not as much a place for trade as a location where people came to socialize and discuss various ideas. The apostle was delivering the Good News – the most important news one should hear – at the very venue where people kept coming for the news. We have a strong belief that the Internet, as opposed to a supermarket, is the 21st-century equivalent of the 1st-century agora.
CCSA Site Visitors January – June
was always an important part of our work, but never before was it as important as it is now at the time of quarantine, when most of other ways to reach people are unavailable, and many people are locked in self-isolation with the Internet as the only access to the outer world. We have dual focus at all our four campuses now: meeting the immediate opportunities to spread the message of the Kingdom and develop the content for future projects.
The latest 6-month statistics of the online ministry proves how relevant that approach is under the circumstances for fulfilling our purpose to communicate the Truth to sceptics, strengthen the saints in their confidence in the Truth and equip God’s people to proclaim God’s Word effectively. Our main website – a resources hub – has been visited from 67 world countries (see the map attached), excluding those from the restricted areas who have done it anonymously through a VPN. May the Lord be praised!
Since people of our culture prefer personal interaction to a group involvement (again, not much has changed from the agora times), we have been using my personal Facebook page with 6,650 followers as another ministry tool. We encourage our volunteers worldwide to follow the same model. At the same time, we have set up the Eurasian Apologetics Society group where they can share their resources and ideas. It includes about 700 members; approximately 2,000 posts were published there during the half a year! Additionally, roughly 200 publications were posted on each of the dedicated pages we manage on the social media most popular in our part of the world, i.e. Instagram, Facebook, Telegram and VK. Also, the online library received 1,400 book requests. Praised be the Lord!
We are carrying on distance teaching – from the online Bible studies and leadership training to the Master Level courses (see the pictures attached) – and respond to the immediate challenges that God’s children face. After completing the online message series “Peace In the Midst of the Storm,” we discovered that many married couples experience Cabin Fever problems due to the unusual amount of time they are spending together in isolation. To meet the need, we have developed 12 talk series titled “The Art of marital intimacy. Biblical Reflections on the Intimacy in Marriage,” teaching couples to trust and serve each other. At the moment, we are working on a follow-up brochure on Christ-like sacrificial relationships between spouses.
Cross-Cultural Evangelism Online Seminar
Though a major conference on cross-cultural evangelism we had planned to attend was postponed, some motivational seminars and discussions were provided in the online format (see the pictures attached). Please join our prayers for the Lord’s international heralds to “walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise people, redeeming the time, because the days are evil,” making the most of every opportunity, i.e. using the pandemic limitations for intensive training and spiritual growth on the one hand, and utilizing the options specific to their ministry during this time, on the other hand.
Some say our today is very different from our yesterday because we do not know what is going to happen next. But they are wrong. Our today is different because now we do know that we do not know that (though earlier we had illusions we knew that.) But doesn’t the Scripture say: “Whoever thinks he knows something really doesn’t know as he ought to know. But the person who loves God is known by him.” (1 Corinthians 8:2,3)? May the Lord lead us in preparing His workers not to fall back into the “old mode” or to discover a “new old mode,” but to operate in the “new mode” continuously. That implies bringing out the new treasures from their storeroom (i.e. the skills and strategies developed during the time of pandemic), as well as the old ones (i.e. those they practiced previously), and always being prepared to develop new and effective ways of delivering the eternal and unchanging Good News to the constantly changing world.