Category Archives: Newsletters

May 2021

Apologetics Center new building

You already know the main news of the recent weeks: we are no more hostages of the property in the territory occupied by Russia! We have experienced the fulfillment of the promise  “I will restore to you the years that the locust hath eaten” (Joel 2:25). The long-waited relief came so unexpectedly! Not only did we sell our Apologetics Center we were not able to use, but also despite the enormous real estate cost difference between Crimea “gray zone” and Kyiv metropolitan area, we managed to purchase the facilities of the same worth (see the pictures attached).  It was mainly because the new facility requires an interior renovation and needs the furniture and appliances. Otherwise, it would be twice more expensive! The building has everything we need:  a gathering hall (for the training courses, retreats, fellowships, media production, etc.), conference room, office space, study room, a guest room for visiting partners, separate storage chambers for the books, equipment and food supply, a large garage, a two-bedroom residential area and even half an acre of land for the outdoor activities.  May the Lord be praised!  We hope to be able to complete the renovation and move into the facilities by winter.  Please join our prayers for the necessary resources.

We carried on with the ongoing ministry in the quarantine formats for most of the month – teaching and preaching online, developing media resources for YouTube, and publications for various social media platforms. We also used any opportunity to visit the IDPs living in a village we mentor.

Christian textbooks on science

The month’s climax was the softening of the quarantine restrictions right before our long-planned mission to Kremenchuk. The trip’s main focus was the very final session of the  Christian Leadership Master program at Kremenchuk Evangelical Seminary (see the pictures attached). We dreamed and prayed about doing it offline, and it actually happened! It was a  joyful time of exploring God’s guidance in developing the next generations of faithful servants of the Lord. Second Timothy 2:2 approach in action: “And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also”! Please pray with us for the multiplication of the workers at the field of the Lord in our part of the world!

The students of the course are involved with international missions as well as various ministries across the country, including the foster families’ movement. We were so glad to supply such families with the Christian textbooks on science that shape the worldview according to the instruction: “Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it” (Proverbs 21:6 – see the picture attached ).  May these children abandoned by their physical parents rejoice in the arms of their heavenly Father because of His faithful servants who care about every one of them!

Finally, we had a very fruitful online round table with the Christian Master programs deans on the current challenges of  Christian education in the former Soviet Union countries (see the pictures attached). It was an extremely productive exchange of ideas and experiences. Thanks to the Lord!

The month in total was so full of exciting news, events, emotions, and praises!  Hard to express all of them with words!  Thank you so much for your constant, faithful care and prayers!

April 2021

Site visitors 2021 1-4

Due to another round of lockdown, our focus has been on online ministry development. We focused on posting the everyday messages to the most locally relevant social networks and channels (Facebook, Telegram, Instagram, Vkontakte) and our regular YouTube content. Since the beginning of the year, users from 117 countries have visited our website (see the map attached)! The previous record was 76 countries through the entire year 2020. May the Lord be praised!

We continue to teach and preach online at the maximum-security prison through our partners in the prison ministry in Lviv. Everyone at the general block is able to attend the meetings.

The prisoners in the life sentence block even arranged a worship room there (I apologize for the quality of the pictures attached – it depends on the resolution provided online; the names of the places and persons are blurred for security reasons). Please pray for these people who have found Jesus while serving their sentences. May they become His light for others in that place of darkness! May those who are going to be released eventually become the Kingdom witnesses to their former inmates!

The youth conference at Kyiv on the Veracity of Scripture was online as well.

Only those who are in direct fellowship with us anyway were present at the venue. The rest of the participants followed the discussion via Zoom. Nevertheless, it was very engaging (see the pictures attached). Please join our prayers for these young leaders of the next generation. May they become new Calebs and Joshuas of the nation that experienced the exodus from the Egypt of communism to the desert of secularism!

Media is the key to reaching young people, and it is crucial to reach them in their native language. As Ukrainian schools switch their teaching to the national language, more and more young people in the country prefer to speak, read, listen, and watch in Ukrainian rather than in Russian. Spoken by 33 million people (mostly – domestic, but also the diaspora communities in Canada, Australia, and the USA), Ukrainian belongs to the world’s top 50 most used languages (#44). Regretfully, there is little or no Christian media content available in Ukrainian.

That is why we are so excited to announce that our volunteers in the partnership with the content development group at Rivne (Western Ukraine) decided to start a team for producing and teaching others to produce native-language media content. We highly encourage them to go on with this project, supplying them with some essential equipment and providing intensive training on media production (see the pictures attached). Please pray with us for the development of this important initiative.

Apologetics graduation

Finally, please join us in celebration of a very special milestone for the post-communist world apologetics ministry. The Joint School of Christian Apologetics has graduated the first students with an MA degree in Christian Apologetics (see the picture attached). May the Lord be praised! May these warriors of Him be faithful to the apostolic precept: “Take the teachings that you heard me proclaim in the presence of many witnesses, and entrust them to reliable people, who will be able to teach others also.” (2 Timothy 2:2).

March 2021

The new wave of COVID hit Ukraine. The case rate level is higher than ever before, and the death rate level has multiplied five times. We are now under strict quarantine restrictions again. Many of our partners get sick. Some passed away, young and old, and it is extremely painful – we could never prepare ourselves for this.

However, what we were prepared for during this new wave is shifting our teaching, preaching, studies, and fellowship to online format again. We are well equipped and much more experienced compared to a year ago when the pandemic just started. The Kingdom’s work never stops!

Nevertheless, the month of March provided a brief window between the two lockdowns, and we did our best to get the most of it for the ministry. The biggest project of that period was a short-term trip to the city of Kherson. It included meetings with regional leaders, a seminar for youth leaders of the town, and a South Ukraine youth conference.

The seminar was in a format of interactive fellowship on the biblical principles of leadership development for the church and missions (see the picture attached). The conference’s theme was the evidence for God’s existence provided by the Bible, science, history, philosophy, experience, etc. Based on the experience of last month’s conference at Rivne (Western Ukraine), we have already planned it for 200 people, rather than 50 as it was our mistake last time. And we were wrong again! 250 young men and women signed up for it in advance, and some more showed up at the last moment. It was a great joyful time celebrating the love and wisdom of the Lord together. The participants were excited about our books for equipping themselves and others for the ministry work (see the pictures attached). The video report from the conference will be available soon. Please join our prayers for these children of God who are to pass the baton of solid biblical faith to the church’s next generations!

We had to cancel most of the offline projects scheduled for the month (like teaching at Transcarpathia and seminars at Ternopil). Nevertheless, we decided that the public schools’ Christian teachers’ conference on shaping children’s worldview is too strategically important to cancel it (new restrictions were announced just the day before it). We changed its format. Though the conference was initially for teachers from many regions, we limited the attendance to only the local ones who are in contact anyway (see the pictures attached). The rest joined it online – the on-demand video is now also available. We used those days of softer restrictions in the best way. The quarantine restrictions became much tougher two days later. All the schools are closed now till at least mid-April. Please pray with us for God’s guidance, wisdom, and protection for our teachers.

Book for Universities

Another great news: we got the first university-level textbook on Christian doctrine published in the Ukrainian language (see the picture attached). Due to the partnership with Tavriysky Christian Institute, it is approved for use at colleges and Universities of the country. Even students in secular schools will now be able to study the foundational issues of Christian faith by the book produced by Christians, not by atheists like it was before. May the Lord be praised!

Ukrainian Evangelical Seminary

The fraternal fellowship with the Ukrainian Evangelical Seminary administration (see the picture attached) complemented the joy of the month. We evaluated what the Lord teaches us during times of uncertainty, shared the experience we got, discussed the possibilities the future may provide. The partnership’s upcoming plan is to video-record the Bible and Logic course at the end of April. It will be used for the combined training format we practice (offering the lectures’ videos followed up by online discussion afterward). The format of the recording itself will depend on the epidemic situation. Please keep these plans in your prayers.

Please pray for our country, for all our partners’ health and safety, for the opportunities to reveal God’s greater glory through the challenges we face.

February 2021

I have learned a new folk saying: “Weed Andreeya do Yordahnah ukrayeenska ramadahnah” (“The Ukrainian Ramadan is from Andrew to Jordan.”) It means that the holiday season in Ukrainian culture lasts from St. Andrew’s Day (November 30th) to the day of Jesus’ Baptism (January 19th). Although the saying sounds funny, the businesses and services activity is pretty low during this period. This year it was next to zero, of course, due to the quarantine restrictions. But the work of the Kingdom never stops!

Youth leaders’ development is our special focus. As you are reminded, not many of those who experienced Exodus entered the Promised Land. A new generation with new leaders had to come into being. Most Christians in our part of the world, who experienced Exodus from the Egypt of communism to the desert of secularism, are first-generation believers. We had had a late start after spending a big part of our life in the slavery of sin, not knowing Jesus. Now we have a lot to catch up on, helping others to enjoy the Kingdom’s glory from our younger days. Yet, so often we try to reach the people of the 21st century by telling them about the problems of the 20th century in the language of the 19th century! We often forget that Jesus is not only the Truth! He is also the Way and the Life. Life does not stand still, however, and the youth is in the front lines of church life now!

But how can we cross the cultural gap between generations? The Scripture provides a model in Paul’s strategy. Wherever he arrived in a town, he would first find a synagogue and preach there – a place where the listeners would understand his message. However, the Jews were not his target audience (they often rejected his message), but the God-fearing locals were. They could adapt the message to their own culture and then reach their people more effectively than foreigners could.

Young Christians are not only those who will pass God’s Word to future generations but also those who are already “infecting” everyone with the “virus” of the living faith. Admittedly, they are doing it much more efficiently than those who are older. While the “old guard” discusses the problems of generations (“X”, “Y” and “Z”), the representatives of these generations, for whom the 21st century is their “natural habitat,” bring the Good News of salvation to their peers in the very language they understand and in the very context of the challenges they face.

Therefore, our priority is to share the experience and knowledge the Lord gave us with the younger ones in accordance with the apostolic principle of 2 Timothy 2:2: “Take the teachings that you heard me proclaim in the presence of many witnesses and entrust them to reliable people, who will be able to teach others also.” “But train up a child in the way he should go” shows that he is just a reserve of the church (even if it is a “strategic reserve”), and when he is older, he will not cease from being just a reserve. Our youth are not a reserve, but a vanguard of God’s people!

With this in mind, we were planning to hold a youth leaders’ conference on the biblical foundations of sharing a Christian worldview in Rivne. We had expected it to be a modest event with two dozen participants. However, while the word about it was spreading, people from other places in North-Western Ukraine started to sign up – from Lutsk, Dubno, Ostroh, and smaller towns. It is not our custom to refuse those who desire to be the agents of change for the greater glory of the Kingdom, and so, eventually, we had a list of about 200 people! We are so thankful to the biggest church in the city for allowing us to use their facilities! It was really a joyful time for exploring God’s guidance together! (See pictures attached.) May the Lord be praised!

We are planning now, God willing, and unless the quarantine gets in the way, to hold similar conferences in other parts of the country – in Kherson (South-Eastern Ukraine) in mid-March and in Ternopil (South-West) at the end of March. Please keep those events in your prayers: pray for our safe travel, participants’ health, and, above all, for the Lord’s continuing guidance.

The holiday season makes many people wonder about the historical veracity of the Christmas story. A rich heritage of traditional symbolism behind it causes some to confuse traditions with the pure message of the Gospels and even makes it sound like a myth to others. That is why the seminar “The Historicity of Christmas” was a great challenge for doubters and an encouragement for the faithful (see pictures attached). It was a real joy to explore together step by step what exactly the text says and where other ideas had come from! Please pray with us for the seeds planted during the seminar to grow!

At the same time, we continue to provide courses of the combined format at seminaries. The combined approach(where the students watch a media version of the course at the time of their choosing and gather online later for discussions and questions/answers sessions) offers many advantages. It allows us to teach at several schools at the same time; provides a flexible schedule for the students, and reduces the “Zoom fatigue” effect. All that makes the online sessions real fun, whether it is an intriguing course like “Biblical Anthropology” or such a “dry” one like “Bible and Logic” at the Slavic Evangelical Seminary. At the same time, I am learning new ways to teach as well. For instance, when I was teaching “Systematic Apologetics” to the Kremenchuk Evangelical Seminary” I used Google Class and Meet for the first time (see pictures attached).

Regretfully, we had to once again cancel the opening of the offline Master’s program in Moldova due to uncertainties created by the pandemic. The prospect of getting somewhere in the post-Soviet “frozen conflict” zone of Transnistria stuck for two weeks of quarantine doesn’t sound attractive at all. So, we will provide “Practical Christian Ethics” (the first course of the program) in the combined format again in early March. Please pray with us for the course and for the program development in general.

Church Finances Workshop

Since we moved to Kyiv we have had many opportunities to partner with other ministries located in the city and region, like organizing talks for the Hope TV programs(see the pictures attached). On the other hand, the experience that the Lord has granted to us throughout the years of our ministry is the result of His enabling, not ours. That is why we have to share it with everyone who is likely to find it helpful. That is why we get involved occasionally in projects that are beyond the scope of our ministry. As an example of that, we can mention a workshop on managing church finances (see picture attached). May it be for the glory of the Lord!

December 2009

Walking with the Lord is a great adventure! We did not plan anything specific for the last month of the year – a common routine only. But the Lord has blessed us with two great unplanned opportunities!

Our ministry to the public schools teachers gaining a snowball effect! School teachers’ advanced training supervisor at another district of the country (Novograd-Volynsky – it is 1000 km / 14 hours Ukrainian roads drive away from us) found out about our August seminars from his colleague at Soomy and asked if we could visit them as well. As Russian proverb puts it – “forge iron while it still hot”. We agreed immediately before the person change his mind, and went off to present “Science and Religion” seminars to the schoolteachers of the region. “Religion” is a euphemism for Christianity at the public institutions. But we have an experience how to provoke proper questions, and when we are asked, we free to answer! The Lord kept us safe in the road as well as during the rich time there. Praise Him!

Novograd-Volynsky is a town with 50.000 habitants, but it has 11 public high schools because of several military bases with the officers’ families around it. Because of the recommendations school teachers’ advanced training supervisor got about our seminars, the teachers and the superviser himself were less suspicious then Soomy audience was and we got the opportunity to cover much more issues during the seminars. But the Lord has prepared even more for the questions/answers session. Several good questions became the serves that allowed preaching the Bible directly at the end!

The first good serve was a question about UFOs and aliens. It allowed starting a discourse on metaphysical realities. The second one was about global warming, and it initiated a discussion about atmosphere balance changes and involved issues of Noah’s flood, Ice Age, Ice Age civilizations and Genesis veracity in general, and it paved the ground for a Bible-based confidence. The very last question was “Why Christians believe men should rule over women?” (all teachers at the seminar were ladies), and it allowed to tell about God’s plan for human race, about marriage, about the fall, and, finally about the redemptive work of Jesus! And do not forget – all that was going on at the public institution! Our resources manager told me later: “I was scared you are going to make the altar call!” Believe me – that was my desire! But remembering the responsibilities to not frame people who recommended and invited us, as well as wanting to have the door still open, we planted the seeds in different way – supplied everyone with follow up literature as well as left a set of all our books and videos for the city department of education library (see the picture attached). Urok (The Lesson) video was specially accepted for showing teenagers in schools as a visual lesson on the issues of responsibility, trust, premarital sex, abortions, reconciliation and forgiveness.

The story goes on even more amazing way – the supervisor told that the framework we offer is the most important one for the school students’ proper ethics development, and we should present our approach to the Mayor of the town – that will give the educational department more freedom and authority. Reference that the program is approved by the mayor would be a good sign to the parents since the Mayor is much respected person in the town (not a common situation in our corrupted society). The meeting was arranged and we had very good positive discussion with the mayor (at the picture he is in the middle between me and Vadeem, the resources manager) and supplied a City Hall library with a set of books and videos as well. I still hardly believe what happened! Definitely the Lord has prepared the hearts of all those people according to the prayers! Please keep praying with us for the soil prepared and seeds planted will produce a harvest in the due time.

The last project of the month (and of the year) was “Basics of Christian Faith” and “Evangelism Strategy for Post-modern Audience” seminars at Kiev. A new online media ministry is about to be started there. They has involved a great bunch of young extremely gifted and motivated Christians, and doing several workshops (mostly – professional training) for them now. But one week they devoted to development of the team as a mission and invited us to run the seminars. That is a great opportunity to build a Bible-based worldview among those who reaches a multitude of youth audience!

Since the features of what is called “postmodern culture” are exactly the same Roman world had in the times of Jesus and His apostles, we had a great feast of exploring the Bible together (see the pictures attached). We arranged the seminars in a way we discussed the fundamentals of Christianity every morning and the application of them to the realities of today’s culture after the brake. No doubt we spend most of the time in the Book of Genesis since that is exactly where all important concepts are rooted in – even Jesus refer to it all the time, and who could be better model for us then Jesus Himself?

All our discussions were videotaped for the sake of the workers who are going to join the team in a future – for everyone to be at the same page on the strategically important issues. We left a complete set of our books and videos for the library of the ministry as well as supplied everyone with the follow-up materials. Please pray for the fruitful outcome from equipping that young gifted Christians for the effective spread of the Good News with the powerful media tools they have!

November 2009

The key event of the month (if not of the year) was a mission trip to Uzbekistan. Thank you very much for your care and prayers – the trip was highly smooth and safe, as well as extremely successful and fruitful at the same time.

The first half of the trip goal was making the workshops at Uzbek Apologetics Association Summit. It was called “summit” as a gathering of top leaders of Uzbek national Apologetics / Creation Evangelism movement – ethnic Uzbeks, Koreans, Kazakhs, Russians, Ukrainians, Turkmen. Sorry, but I can share the picture with the participants from their backs only for the safety reason since several of them are professors at state universities and their involvement should not be exposed to the authorities. For the same reason no observers were invited, speakers only, but all workshops was videotaped and are available for others now.

Sharing the ways the Lord works through individual ministries helped all of us to encourage, edify and enrich one another as well as to see the big picture of the Kingdom spread in the country as well as to make some strategic decisions for the network, approaches and strategy further development. It was extremely exciting experience for everyone, as well as a great joy for us to see the first fruits in Uzbekistan produced by our strategy of finding, training and equipping local leaders in the regions we would never be able serve ourselves – both geographically and culturally. Praised be the Lord for His great work in post-communist part of the world!

The rest of the trip goal was international retreat of Eurasian Apologetics Society coordinators. Key Apologetics / Creation Evangelism movementleaders from Russia, Turkmenistan, Ukraine and Uzbekistan spend extremely valuable time together sharing the vision, experience, challenges, dreams, prayers and praises (see the picture attached). Making Uzbek Summit and International retreat back to back allowed the coordinators be involved and share their experience at the Summit at the one hand, and Uzbek national leaders be involved into the retreat to better see themselves as a part of the international movement on the other hand. The very first time we had at the retreat someone from Turkmenistan – the most closed country of Central Asia. While it is hard for a Western missionary to enter Uzbekistan where Ukrainians and Russians can go freely, Turkmenistan is closed even for the foreigners from former Soviet Union. But through devoted national Christians the Good News penetrates even that stronghold! Praised be the Lord!

Please join our praises for both Uzbek national Summit and international retreat and prayers for better fruits form everything there for the sake of the Kingdom!

September – October 2009

While we were doing arrangements and preparation for the most important fall project – the conference on Darwinism – the Lord has opened a door for an outreach to the top scholars at Crimean Astrophysical Observatory, one of the top research centers in former Soviet Union and huge stronghold of atheism. Our materials on science and the Bible allowed me to become involved into discussion with the leading researcher of the observatory Dr. Efeemov on the issue of Bethlehem Star a couple years ago. The man does believe it was real, he collected big bibliography on it and even developed a survey on how the magi could came to the conclusion on the Birth of the King based on their astrological interpretation of a two years long chain of astronomical phenomena with the “star” as a last link in it.

Finally, after two years of insisting, the astronomer agreed for our publication of the survey with my preface on debatable moments of his paper. That may become a great evidence for many: even a leading humanist who refuses all “religious stuff” can not deny the facts related to his area of scientific expertise!

Despite many things needed to be taken care of during the preparations for the Darwinism Conference and Apologetics Summits (both the Uzbek one in November and International one next year), the Bethlehem Star project became the main focus for me because of its great potential as a testimony to Dr. Efeemov himself, to his students and colleagues, to many people who will trust the opinion of the expert. Several times a week I was going to the mounts to visit Dr. Efeemov at the Observatory; discussing various details of his survey publication before all atheistic propaganda mantras were removed from the text. I wrote a preface and he approved it and even wrote a note of appreciation for CCSA help. So, the book was published urgently (before he may change his mind) and we made its presentation at the October conference!

The man still refuses the core of the Gospels on the basis of the atheistic indoctrination in their inconsistency, so we have a wide range of the related issues to discuss. He is pretty cautious and I did not give him entire library at once to not scare him and loose the entry point. So far I was supplying him with various books one by one for cleaning up his wrong believes about the issues that were coming up during our discussion on his book – historiosity of Jesus (Case for Christ), impact of Christianity in culture (What If Jesus Was Never Born? and Case for Faith), intelligence in the Universe design (In the Beginning Was Information and Case for Creator). Also I gave him Starlight and Time with the excuse of asking his expert opinion, as well as I gave him several of my books (gift from the author is culturally appropriate here and never considered as a pressure). I hope the Lord will touch that person eventually (please join our prayers for him), but some benefits of that development are available already:

– I got the opportunity to access the observatory from time to time and to supply also some of his colleagues and students with the books and videos we would not be able share with them otherwise. Please pray for the seeds planted.

– Efeemov agreed to give a video interview about the star; we shoot the interview having 8’optical reflection telescope (the second biggest in former Soviet Union) as a background (see the pictures attached). After the hours of the discussions we had, Efeemov spoke openly to the camera about reliability of the gospels as historical texts! We are going to use the interview for production of a documentary on the Gospels historical accuracy. Again, the input of the humanist scientist in support of the facts will be a powerful testimony for many. Please pray for the project!

– At first he asked for 20 copies of the book to give as the author to his closest friends and colleagues. But in a week he called and asked to bring him 100 more copies! It sounds like the book has raised a great interest at the observatory, so that all they which dwelt in there heard the word of the Lord Jesus (cf. Acts 19:10). Beyond the man’s theory, the book includes the Gospels textswith the astronomical and historical evidences for their reliability, my commentaries and the address of our web site where more materials could be found. By the Lord’s providence we got a volunteer in the man who distributes the message to the spheres of the scientific community we could never reach otherwise! Please pray for the Lord to prepare the hearts of the people to hear the most important message of the Gospel!

Nevertheless, the main event of the month was International Conference “The Impact of Darwinian Ideology on the Sciences, Education and Society” (see the pictures attached). It was extremely productive. Twenty-two speakers from Byelorussia, Germany, Russia, Ukraine, USA and Uzbekistan took part in it. Fifteen of them have doctoral degrees in physics, mathematics, technologies, biology, humanities, medicine, philosophy and theology. The very first time in former Soviet Union Darwin’s theory was discussed on the academic level specifically from the viewpoint of its ideological basis on the one hand and its fruits in the society on the other. The speakers provided grounded criticism of the Darwinian ideology from the positions of science, philosophy, worldview, ethics, etc. The negative influence of Darwinism on culture and society was pointed out as well.

The participants emphasized the inconsistency of Darwinism as an ideology. While actual observable speciation within syngameons (the clusters of species or semispecies linked by hybridization) can be clearly explained within the terms of Creation / Intelligent Design, the idea of the natural origin of all living organisms from a common ancestor is a purely speculative ontological concept. The principles of Darwinism do not correspond to the scientific criteria of observation, repetition and verification, which leave Darwinism beyond the range of the scientific method. They can only be taken by faith a-priori. Therefore the evolutionary naturalistic worldview fits the category of a doctrine.

Now the Kyiv brunch of our Eurasian Apologetics Society is going to use the resolution of the conference (in the law suit against the Ministry of Education, the curricula monopolist in Ukraine, requiring developing and implementing the curricula that would equally expose the facts in the light of various ontological beliefs. Please pray for the success of that legal precedent as well as for other possible upcoming fruits of the conference.

The joyful finale of the period was the weekend of seminars on friendship and evangelism for the Fellowship of Evangelical Students regional leaders (see the pictures attached). Ministry to students is among our top priorities. However, our main goal is to communicate them that ministry to the peers should be their highest priority as well. Nobody knows students better and nobody can communicate them better then their fellow-students. Their today classmates are future teachers, scientists, officers, doctors, politicians. Sharing the Gospel with them now, while they are students, impact the way the country is going to be in twenty-plus years, when their own children will be students. It is a great joy to equip young enthusiastic Christians for the ministry in the most effective ways, helping them to transform the mind of a new generation! Please pray for Christian students in former Soviet Union!

At the same time our video production team still using last sunny days before the fall for shooting our children musical outdoor scenes (see the pictures attached). Our goal is to complete the project by Christmas. Please pray for it as well.

Our greatest upcoming project now is Eurasian Apologetics Society coordinators international retreat and national society summit in Uzbekistan (the dates are changed for November 9 – 16 due to the flights schedule). However our trip there is under danger because of the promises of the authorities to start a national quarantine because of the flu epidemic (37 persons died in Western Ukraine). Please pray for us as well as for the project.

August 2009

Nothing special was planned initially for the month but preparation for big projects of the fall – the conference on Darwinism, Central Asia Regional Apologetics Summit and International Retreat of Eurasian Apologetics Society Coordinators. However God has His plans for the Kingdom’s growth.

The invitation from the agency for public schools teachers advanced training at Sumy to make aseminar on science and the Bible for the school teachers of the region was an unexpected door opening for us, as I wrote in the July newsletter. However it was not the only special opportunity God prepared for us. While we were packing and loading, Christians from Zaporizhzhia called looking for Creation evangelists for the youth camp at Azov shore, which is almost on our way home from Sumy! Amazing, how everything comes to work together!

God guided and protected us all the way during our trip across the country from South to North and back. However the first contact with the representative of the Soomy Institute for School Teachers Advanced Training was pretty chilly. The lady has warned us that our module ‘Science and Religion’ (they do not mention Bible in the curriculum) is included to the schedule of the training course on the recommendation of Ostroh National University, but we should not criticize Darwinian Evolution since it is scientific and approved by the state textbooks.

She actually was saying one thing, but meant another. The mentality shaped by the communist rule had shifted the meaning of many concepts here. People do not see often difference between arguing and abuse, criticizing and scoffing, etc. because abuse and scoffing were the methods of the propaganda against the Bible for many years. So, when the lady asked to not criticize Darwinism, she actually had no idea about the option of proper argumentation instead. Any way, the lady told us that we should tell the teachers that “science does not contradict religion because they never overlap” (the quote). I asked why she would not tell that to the audience herself. “We need you to stretch the message for entire day of classes” – was the answer, derisive but fair.

We understood that the lady did have a reason to worry – the issue is at the very edge of what is allowed to teach at the state school and she will be responsible if we say something in the way inappropriate for the state institution. We did not want to frame her or loose the door opened as well. So, we have started our classes with the origin of science – how foundational the Christian worldview was for it, then we moved to the limitations of science and finally we ended up with the philosophical and methodological problems of naturalism, including Darwinism. The audience was pretty skeptic in the beginning, but became much more involved very soon (see the pictures attached). The teachers were highly surprised by the very possibility of discussing the issues without insulting the opponents in the way communists did. Nothing was matching the propaganda they heard about science and religion relationships before, but everything was supported by clear facts and evidences. Their understanding of the issue was challenged scientifically.

We left Soomy at the same day night having no time to get any feedback. But four days later, when we were on our way home after the camp, the lady called us herself and with great excitement told that she has realized that we did tell the teachers everything we planned actually, but in the way that did not confronted formal policies. She told also that everybody was pleasantly shocked and excited, and our module got the highest (10.0) rating among all other courses! Praised be the Lord! Our hope that the message about the approach will be spread among other Institutes for School Teachers Advanced Training (every region of the country has one) and we will be able to bring the Creation Evangelism message openly to many other schoolteachers – the most strategically important group in the society! Please keep that opportunity in your prayers.

Right from Soomy our team went half-way back South to the Azov Sea Northern coast, where we spend extremely blessed time at the young adults Christian camp (see the pictures attached) teaching, preaching, leading discussions and doing workshops on various issues of evangelism, Creation, Bible, family and other aspects people were asking for.

On the other hand it was great to see how the network we are developing is working already. Some Christians in Petrozavodsk (Karelia District on the Russian border with Finland) were planning a great outreach event in the beginning of the month, while they found out that they need a message on Creation proclaimed for it. They contacted us, but our team had no opportunity to go there considering the distance and our full schedule. But we put Petrozavodsk brothers instead into contact with our network coordinator at Sanct-Peterburg, much closer to the region and they made the arrangements between themselves and the mission was accomplished with our minimal involvement!

July 2009

The month started with our mobile team trip to the camp near Krivyi Rig, an industrial center of Ukraine and the longest (126 km / 80 miles) city in Europe. The camp was based in cabins in a beautiful pine forest. Going there I could not imagine what a great adventure it is going to be! I was not receiving so great encouragement passion and motivation in the national mission field for many years! What was supposed to be a camp for teenagers mostly became a camp for young adults – only fey teenagers came because of the number of young adults from different cities signed up for it passion forget proper training to spread the truth of the Bible to their families, schools and work places. Out of the general environment of apathy in post-communist churches, it was for me like getting into a powerful flow of fresh air! From the morning till the late night, during seminars, workshops, meals, brakes – guys and girls was attacking me with questions about God’s design for the world, for marriage, for relationships in the context of the Scripture (see the pictures attached)! We came back home tired but happy and thankful to the Lord for the evidence that our focus on developing a new generation of His people in our part of the world is not a mistake! Please join our prayers for all these young people to be bold ambassadors of the truth!

Summer is a great time for camps, and every year more of them are using our curricula. Here is feedback we got from Siberia, where our curriculum was used at the children camp:

“In our prayers for children camps we asked the Lord to provide us a curriculum, staff, funds and children. The respond was such an unexpected blessing to us. A representative of Christian Center for Science and Apologetics has contacted us and offered their curriculum “Six Days of Creation”, as well as the resources for the workshops and support for children from indigent families. We liked the curriculum so much, especially after we worked through it during the staff retreat. Obviously, we did not know a lot about the world we live in, so teaching one another for practice was a wonderful experience, filled with the Lord’s guidance. Thirteen children out of sixty four confessed their faith and accepted Jesus. A few days after the camp was over, children and even the parnts started to call us, expressing their wish to go to the camp again. We highly appreciate the help Christian Center for Science and Apologetics provided. Thank you so much for your hearts of servants! We would not accomplish that much without you. Praised be the Lord!” Voronov Vadim, pastor; Rusinova Elena, the camp director.

As I wrote you before, feedback communication not a part of our culture (generations of life under KGB rule trained people to keep their opinions – good or bad – private). However encouraging notes keep coming once in a while. Here is another one:

“I would like to express deep appreciation after reading your books “How Man Became Ape” and “The Global Flood”, for the painstaking, workmanlike and honest job you have done with them. There are many good books but they are written in a very difficult for comprehension manner often. I love to read books where everything is clear, well combined and thoughts provoking at the same time. “The Global Flood” is a great model for such books. For many years I was collecting material to put various evidences into something like it, however your book has reached that goal and I do not need to write anything else. I have read it four times and give it to all my friends to read – no one was indifferent to it. The book is well grounded scientifically and logically, but not overloaded with academic vernacular or fairytales. It fits the comprehension of a modern person perfectly. I have a little son Nazar, and I will definitely read your books to him when he will be ready for it. Thank you very much!” Gena Voitko, Alchevsk, Eastern Ukraine. – Praised be the Lord!

Another great news for the glory of the Lord – our “Simply Essential” short films serial on Creation Evangelism/Apologetics got a Bronze Crown Award by International Christian Visual Media Association. This is a third Crown Award our video production receives in two years, and all our crowns are worth for only one thing – to lay them down at the Throne of the Lamb.

We have released a new short (60 sec) episode of the serial recently, the most powerful so far from my point of view, – Crutch for Dweebs. You can watch its English version on-line at or download a full-screen version (43 MB) at. Other issues are available on-line in Russian.

Amazing, how great adventure serving the Lord is! Every time we consider something as a fulfillment, we are finding out later that it was just approaching what God wants us to do next. Recent national creation conference at the state university and giving out our materials at the national conference of public schools regional inspectors prepared ground for accepting our ministry at the places we never were before and at the time we did not plan to do anything but ongoing activities and preparation for the future projects. A representative of the regional state agency for public schools teachers advanced training at Soomy (Sumy) has contacted us asking us to come and make a seminar on science and the Bible for the school teachers of the region. They just asked if anybody would be interested in it, and 40 teachers signed for it straight away. Soomy district is the northernmost region on the very border with Russia, the most remote part of the Ukrainian “Red Belt”. We did not have any coordinators, entry points or even contacts there so far, and now the direct access is provided to the school teachers suddenly! God’s plan and timing is perfect! We have program, materials to present, mobility to get there and no other projects planned for that time, and have accept the invitation immediately. Please join our praises for this new opportunity as well as pray for God’s guidance in it.

All these experiences force me to ask you again to join our prayers about our long-term dream which I believe would be the most strategically important potential project for spreading the Kingdom in post-communism part of the world – Multipurpose Resource Center. On the one hand economy decline is not the best time for starting such funds consuming project, but on the other hand because of economy decline some interesting offers start to coming on the property close to the sea shore area. The property values decline rate differs. Ready for use facilities are still way expensive and their cost ‘shrinks’ slowly and not much 10-20% only, while the renting costs even keep growing. But the speed of the land cost decrease as bigger as farther the plot from the shore walking distance – sometimes even more then 50%! I do realize we should be realistic, but at the same time we should keep sharing our dream and prayer request with others – everything is in God’s hands. Please join our prayers about it as well as for God to send us (you and me) proper people for sharing this wonderful opportunity with, who may be interested in partnership in a great ministry for the Kingdom in the post-communism part of the world spread.

As the last, but not least, I would like to share news and a prayer request about unplanned/unexpected ministry God provided to me. We have visited a Crimean Tatar (Muslim group in Crimea) ethnic coffee shop occasionally, which, as we found, happened to be a Muslim fundamentalism spot for recruiting into Islam tourist who are passing by. It was impossible for us to speak about the Bible with them, and they even refused to touch the book of Gospels in their own language we offered. Nevertheless, they were openly interested in our books about Creation, Flood and origin of man (see the pictures attached), which are pointing on the authority of the Bible after all. The creation evangelism/apologetics books are proved again to be a good tool where direct message is rejected! I will keep visiting this place trying to build personal friendship with these people. Please pray for me to hear the Lord when He will be giving me proper words in proper time to tell them about His love and grace they do not know doing their best trying to please God with their obedience to the rules.

June 2009

It would take too long to describe all fun, joy and experience we had during the top event of the summer – our annual ‘Creator’ children camp. After long and busy preparations we spend ten wonderful days in games, studies, explorations, prayers and learning God’s story of the world and His will about it and about ourselves.

As usually, our major goal was a field testing of the curriculum before we offer it to other camps, Sunday schools, day programs, etc. for filling the gap between what children study at public school and at the church in order to make them effective missionaries to their peers and even to their teachers. The main difference this year was the origin of the curriculum – our team has designed it from the very beginning! (We were doing the adaptations of the translated ones only previously). The curriculum deals with Earth – its physics and history – how great recent catastrophic events like the Noah’s Flood and Ice Age impacted its geology and civilizations and how could we use the facts about it for proving the veracity of Genesis and the Bible in general. Two girls gave their lives to Jesus as a result, one of them – from the family of non-believers. Please pray for their growth and strengthening in Jesus as well as for the other planted seeds fruitful outcome in proper time!

At the same time our Amur team was doing the very first children camp on Christian Apologetics in the Far East. Please pray for the seeds planted in all apologetics camps of this summer!

May 2009

I am back home, managing the transformation of plans and priorities after the ending of my studies. It seemed as a long way ahead four years ago, but has passed pretty fast and is over now! The graduation was especially joyful because Olga has joined me for it (see the picture attached). My study is her achievement as much as my one due to the increased burden she carried during these four years both in the household and in the ministry.

On the return, I got right into the middle of the stream of the major projects – ongoing and upcoming ones. The “Red Belt” of Ukraine continues to be the object of our special care. Our mobile team has made a long-planned “landing party” in the city of Makiivka (Donetsk coal mining region) with seminars, sermons and training courses, as well as equipping libraries of leading churches there. Not many changes in the way of life and people’s ideology happened in the miner’s towns of the “Red Belt” since the times of communism – neither in the secular world, nor in the church. After going there one always have a feeling of traveling in time 30 years back, sometimes even 50 years back. The churches do not see often the benefits civil freedoms provide for evangelism, and still have self-preservation as a main goal, retreating from the world instead of challenging it.

They are half-way (20 years!) through the desert of secular democracy, but live and act like if they still in the Egypt of communism. However we have a great hope there — we call it “Winter Crops Generation,” as an analogy with the young crops planted in late fall which lays calm during the winter under the snow, but produce rich harvest when snow melts in spring. 

 WCG is teenagers and young adult who do care about their country, believing that only Good News of Jesus Christ can transform it. They see the opportunities apologetics provides for spreading it in the modern world. Considering general spiritual background of the region, Media Challenge course made for them was a special joy for our team (see the pictures attached).We found out also that one church of the region is doing popular Ethics optional classes in the public school of the region, using our “Urok” video as a model for problems solution (have problem – do not hesitate to look for advice at the church). 

WCG has a great potential not only in the “Red belt”, but everywhere, where “adults” are too slow in going for the ministry outside the church fence. That is why it was strategically important for us to take part in the “Youth for Christ” national conference in Irpen, where we had an opportunity to tell about the resources (books, videos, on-line, etc.) we have available and how they could be used in the ministry to young people both in the church and outside of it.

However the greatest event of the month was Creation Outreach in Kyiv. For two weeks prior to the project posters on Creation Evangelism were posted at every car and at every downtown stations of the subway (the main means of the transportation in the city — see the pictures attached; actually, even now, two weeks later, 80% of cars and two stations still have them free of charge – the company do not bother to remove old posters till somebody else pay for a new one). Millions of Kievians and visitors were exposed to the evidences for Creation! As a result, about 1.500 attended during the outreach week May 25-31 at Kyiv Planetarium — former stronghold of communist atheistic propaganda — Creation Expo and other events: seminars, public debates, book fair, round table discussions with leading Darwinists (it was least interesting part actually, since no other counterarguments except “Creationism is religion, Darwinism is science” were offered), videos demonstration, and academic conference on the last day. Please pray for the seeds that were planted there abundantly!

Now we are involved actively in preparing upcoming projects. Please pray for them as well, especially for:

June 20-30 – children camp (Crimea)
July 2-6 – teenager’s camp (Kryvyi Rih, Central Ukraine)
October 15-17 – conference on Darwinism jubilee (Crimea)
November 2-9 – international coordinators’ and Uzbek national apologetics summit (Uzbekistan)

April 2009

I am back in Kentucky completing my studies at the seminary. This final year my program looks like army service: short periods of running alternate with long periods of doing nothing 🙂 It provides me more opportunities to be involved with the ministry back in Ukraine through Internet. While the studies are reaching the point of extreme (defense on Monday), good updates are keep coming from the ministry field.

The ripple effect of the November Creation in Education conference is going on. The Ministry of Education of Ukraine initiated a national conference of district inspectors/supervisors (people who control advanced training for high schools teachers) in the beginning of the months. The organizers of the conference contact us themselves to ask if we could and would like to providebooks on Creation for the conference. Could you believe in this? Of cause we sent them a supply of books right away! Every regional high schools state inspector was supplied with the set of Creation Science resources. Since it was done as part of the official state-organized event, nobody was complaining of the ‘cult’ attempt to impact the system of education (three generation of communism trained people to believe in infallibility of state system). Please pray that the seeds sown produce a harvest in a due time.

“New Look”, a paper the Amur team issues and distributes in Russian Far East is available to everybody in electronic form now at http://scienceandapologetics.com/biblioteka/novyy-vzglyad/

One of the most postponed book projects – Starlight and Time by Russell Humphreys – is completed finally. Communist propaganda in Soviet Union was using science as a tool to build strongholds preventing people from believing in God. Christian apologetics disproved most of false ideas and theories used for it, however one question is avoided often: if biblical account of Creation is true, how could we see the light from the stars and galaxies located billions light years away from us? The book provides an overview of various possible answers to this question, as well as provides the one developed by the author on the base of latest concepts of astronomy and theory of relativity.

The editors are done with other book that took a while – None of These Diseases by McMillen & Stern and it at the publishing now. Apostolic model of evangelism shows us how important is itto find a common area interests with your audience for challenging their unbiblical beliefs. That common ground provides and effective starting point for Good News. Regretfully, this is not an easy task in the contexts of postcommunism and postmodernism atmosphere of relativism and apathy. Nevertheless, there an area everybody cares and seek the improvement in – the area of physical health. The book is a great model of medical apologetics. Dealing with the issues no one can afford to ignore, it provides undeniable evidences of biblical truth and demonstrates deep care of God for people He created. This book is an effective tool for winning people for Christ in any culture.

Ice Age Civilizations book translation is finished and the project is at the last stage of final editing before going to the press. The book brings really powerful evidences for the historic account of Genesis accuracy, unreasonably neglected by most modern creationists. So, we are back to our publishing schedule after the delays caused by the need for experts’ check and additional editing of these books due to the lot of special terminology. Please join our prayers for the effectiveness of these recourses for the Kingdom!

God continues to open various doors. Few weeks ago a young man (his name is also Sergei) has volunteered to be our local coordinator for high schools in Kiev. We have supplied him with the recourses, and by now he met with more than 30 schools teachers and convinced them to use our books and videos for their classes.

We made a presentation at Christian conference “Personal Faith in Times of Global Crisis” in Orel, Central Russia. The message we communicate is importance of faithfulness to a Biblical account for personal faith. We tell that crisis is not a disease, but a symptom. Sin is the disease and entire world is terribly sick. And Jesus is the only cure. So, the question “Why God makes Christians suffer of a crisis (economical, political, etc)?” is wrong. God does not send crisis to Christians – he sends Christians to crisis because He wants to be there through them!

We got an encouraging proof for our approach right there at the conference. When we were doing media training courses in Russia last year, a young man Sasha, who was not a believer, got involved (he is the one who hold a girl’s arm on the first picture of the September 2008 newsletter http://scienceandapologetics.com/en/index.php/newsletters/2008/itemlist/date/2008/9?catid=12). He definitely had few opportunities to hear about Jesus before, but working side-by-side with a team of young people who are faithful to the Bible message and practice what they preach became the real evidence for him to accept Jesus, and he is a church active member now! Praised be the Lord! We found out actually that there are two (!) self-governed youth video production ministry teams formed by our former media courses participants are working in Central Russia already! What a joy to see the works of the Lord there!

Our production team has issued “Useful for Life” – a new (#7 at http://scienceandapologetics.com/en/index.php/multimedia) comic issue of the PSA-style “Simply Essential” short videos serial.

Here is the dialogs translation:
A boy plays a street fight computer game. 
Mother: “For how long this fight will go on? I am sick and tired of it!” 
Father: “Easy! The fittest survive in the world. Go on, son – it will be useful for your life”

At http://scienceandapologetics.com/en/index.php/multimedia we have placed also a 4 min. video in English that reflects general information about our ministry. Please praise the Lord and pray for us while you are watching it and feel free to share it with others.

The busiest month of the year is on! I am finishing my studies. The manuals for summer camps curricula are in the page layout process – we plan to present them at the youth and children ministries national conference at the end of the month. The team that makes “Gift of Gratitude” musical for children video version has finished the basic casting and is working on the costumes and choreography currently. The landing party to the churches of Makeevka (Eastern Ukraine) is about to be launched. And Creation outreach, debates and conference in Kiev is at a hand. Please keep all these projects in your prayers!