Category Archives: Newsletters

February 2006

The major achievement of the month was completing of a great technical adventure of transferring all our videos from VHS to DVDs. The discs are much easier to duplicate, to mail and to store. Now the videos are available to the evangelists, pastors and preachers much easier and in a descent form. It is hard to imagine, but total of what we have made is 50 videos on 16 DVD-ROMs! Isn’t it amazing how great is a work of our God?!

As for strategic development, I have a very good and productive meeting with Igor Kurlyanov, a missionary at North China and Russian Far East. He was my student at Donetsk Christian University eight years ago, and back then he was dreaming already about the missionary work in China. Now his dream came true. He lives with his family at Blagoveschensk (Russia) right at the China border and doing the ministry in both countries. But the things he have studied on the Creation Evangelism at my classes a while ago as well as his current ministry experience make him concern about the desperate need of apologetics for effective Christian persuasion. That is why he desires to serve as our coordinator at Russian Far East and North China. Praise the Lord for sending the workers for His harvest and the opportunities He makes thru His faithful servants!

Another development of the month is making the textual resources we produced earlier more available! We have issued a new CD-ROM ‘Apologetics Electronic Library’ that includes many books on Apologetics and Creation Evangelism, PowerPoint presentations, video files and a complete copy of our web site. We have sent a copy of the CD to every Christian college, university and seminary of former Soviet Union for making all these materials available to the students at those schools local servers.

Also we got very interesting contact with the organization that arranges the conferences for 1000 Ukrainian pastors in Kiev and 600 in Kharkov. We have decided immediately to publish 2000 copies of the revised and updated version of ‘Biblical Strategy of Evangelism’ with the information about our ministry and upcoming Summit on apologetics at the back to give a copy to everyone who will attend those conferences. Please pray for more ministers will see the need for the apologetics in general and for Creation Evangelism in particular thru these materials we are going to give them.

We have a sad news and prayer concern as well. A manager of our video production department Mikhail Bankovsky found out that his father is seriously sick, and Mikhail had to move back to his parent’s home. It is at Mikhail’s apartment all our video production equipment was set up. Now it had to be reassembled, transported and installed again at new place. That has delayed our video production projects considerably. Please pray for the physical, emotional and spiritual strength of Mikhail’s family (all of them are reconciled with the Lord, and this is a great comfort!) as well as for the Lord’s guidance in catching up with the delayed projects.

The last (chronologically) event of the month was my departure to teach at Kursk (Russia) for two weeks. I love to teach! It is so great to see ‘Aha!’ in students eyes when they start to realize how important to go and challenge the worldview of secular people instead of just recruiting and indoctrinating them without proper change of the mindset called ‘conversion’. Please join my prayers for the seeds planted will bring a proper harvest in God’s time.

The students were young people mostly, but there are some middle age ones as well. Two of them were former criminals who served more then one sentence, but now they came to the Lord and ministry to the prisoners themselves. Another was a Gipsy missionary to his own people. Beyond the classes I also was preaching ate the churches, met with Christian youth groups and secular schools students. Also I had more time for doing the assignments on my doctorate studies than I have at home usually where much more things are at the plate.

The school administration is extremely excited to find out about the distant learning courses we develop now and they will be glad to coordinate their usage in Russia. It increased our outreach opportunities considerably.

Please pray for all the projects mentioned above. Pray also for my family and for our team. You are in our prayers as well.

January 2006

It was a month of the challenges, adventures and rejoicing!

Uncommonly cold weather (we had about 0 F instead of 30-35 common for this period) was reinforced with the cold breath of the ‘big brother’. I do not know how much it is reflected in Western news, but Russia had undertook an attempt of neocolonial control over Ukraine as a monopoly natural gas supplier. Gas delivery system had to be reformed instantly, and we had extremely low gas (the major source of the buildings heating) pressure in the pipes, and even did not have it for half a day at all with the temperature about 0 F outside. The heating system of many houses and offices was destroyed by freezing. However our team had a good care of the equipment. The God’s care and brothers’ support had helped us as well – at the most critical moment we were able to purchase enough electrical heaters for our offices and rooms and prevent the disaster.

Another adventure of the month was a spontaneous video production to meet the immediate outreach opportunity. The TV version of the great religious mystical novel ‘Master and Margaret’ by brilliant Ukrainian XX century writer Mikhail Boulgakov had being broadcasted all over Russian-speaking world and raised a great interest to the novel itself.

The novel tells about Satan visiting Moscow in Stalin’s times to spread the alternative Leo Tolstoy style ‘gospel’ about just a good guy Jesus, a teacher of non-resistance morality. In the times when nothing but evil was around, the writer gave in artistic manner the ‘from Satan’ argument for God’s existence (‘the 7th proof’ as he coded it in the text, hinting on 5 arguments by St. Thomas and the moral one by Kant): if one agrees that evil exists – the author makes the reader to think, – there should be a the Good; if lie is real, there should be the Truth, if Satan is real (and from his work in Stalin’s Russia we can see he is), there should be God.

However the movie director, being an atheist, did not recognized the religious meaning hided deeply in the novel, seeing nothing but anti-communist satire (which it is very much) there only. We have used the immediate opportunity of how popular the movie is and have produced the video ‘Lie and Truth in Master and Margaret’ spreading the Gospel message and equipping the believers for effective evangelism among people who are impressed by the fiction story and the movie.

We have made the ‘Lie and Truth’ DVD pre-release order available at our web site. Just imagine – we got the first request for it from a Christian School just in couple minutes after the information was posted! It happened to be extremely in demand!

We also have changed our TV broadcast schedule to put the ‘Lie and Truth’ on air in two parts in January while the issue is hot. Guess what – we had to change it again, so many requests came up to repeat Part 1 again before broadcasting Part 2 – people want their friends to watch it as well. Skeptics are doing our job inviting skeptics to watch gospel program! Isn’t the work of our Lord amazing?

Strategically important event of the month was one-day follow-up team retreat on the team work development. We have planned to do one more in a month as well.

Right after the entire team retreat we had to do our video production team evaluation and planning conference. The main concern we had is that the planned projects are taking too long time. We do the broadcast in time always; we produce spontaneous works like, for instance, the one on Master and Margaret, or Gospel in Blues, etc. But major projects stagnate. It is extremely painful and especially vital for the projects that require continuity like distant training courses or Urok (Tough Choices) video.

We have decided to reform the video department technical and personnel structure. We are about to get another workstation that will give us an opportunity to split broadcast, current projects and pioneer projects into three separate tracks not overlapping on the computers to increase our productivity. We have decided to take Alisa Bankovsky as a full time worker (she was a volunteer by now, and we always prefer to take former volunteers to the staff – it brings together volunteer’s passion and employee’s responsibility) to be in charge of the computer works and oversee the technical projects (like distant learning courses for instance). Misha Klimov (another full-time worker) will be in charge of pioneer projects, Misha Bankovsky (still the volunteer) – of the broadcast and general leadership of the video production.

We have decided to set following target dates for the projects we are in currently:

  • February 25 – ‘Walking thru the Past’ to be completed
  • March 1 – ‘Urok’ shootage to be completed

Alisa starts with the distant training courses as a priority project for her and will come up with the target date for it later on. She takes flash design work from Yuri and frees him this way for the web-site interactive features developing. Please pray for all these projects and for the team work development.

You can see our web-site http://www.scienceandapologetics.org getting alive again with the apologetics/creationism news (in Russian) updating both in HTML and RSS formats as soon as we e-mail them out.

The feedback from the people we serve is always a great encouragement for us. Here is a couple letters we have received recently:

“I have studied Natural Science at the university. Even though now I am working as a production worker now, scientific materials in geography, physics and biology are still very interesting for me. I am 32. I have been a Christian for 11 years. I am a member of a Baptist church. I am so glad to know that there are scientists who believe in God! They live in my country! It is wonderful that they submit all possible scientific data with the greatest sources of information – the Bible. May the Lord bless you on His field, and help you be His witnesses” Igor Voloshkov, Nizy, Ukraine.

“I am a Sunday school teacher. I really like your materials. I believe they are very useful and valuable for us and for the generation that will come after us because they help to reveal the truth of the Scripture” Irina Zgonnikova, Evpatoria, Ukraine

There is another exciting news – the creation evangelism seminars for the nationals in Uzbekistan got started! Here is the message from our coordinator there Andrey Gorkovenko:

“It has happened! I have delivered the presentation on the dinosaurs to the Uzbek-speaking group with the Uzbek translation (if I am not mistaking, this happened for the first time in Uzbekistan). The responses are just great! People were even surprised that all that materials could be available in Uzbek so fast. One guy even confessed that he did not believe that dinosaurs ever existed (what he knew about dinosaurs from the school did not fit his biblical beliefs – SG). I am so excited, and so thankful to the Lord! The next stage is to go on with this and other presentations around various cities, and, eventually, – in schools and universities.” Andrei Gorkovenko, Tashkent (Uzbekistan)

Praised be the Lord!

Our publishing ministry keeps going slowly but steady. The ‘Case for Creator’ book should be printed next week, ‘Refuting Evolution 2’ translation is delayed till March probably – we do not want to loose the quality of the work.

Creation Evangelism children camp planning is at the team forming shape, Eurasian Apologetics Summit is in the program shaping and the participants enrollment currently. Please pray for these two pioneer projects especially.

Please pray for all the projects mentioned above. Pray also for my family and for our team. You are in our prayers as well.

November 2005

The month was full of blessings and I invite you to rejoice and praise our Lord together with us for the great works he is doing in us, through us, and around us.

At the very beginning of the month a great surprise happened – friends of mine, unbelievers, who are working in tourism now, invited me to help them in organizing the National Conference of Active and Extreme Tourism Operators. They have invited me to consider me as an expert in conference making, but I was well acquainted with most of the participants because of my former active involvement with hiking, mountings climbing, speleology (caves exploration), etc. This made me one of them and gave me the opportunity to practice myself the strategy we are teaching others – to develop common ground with people first before we can discuss the worldview differences productively. We did have a common ground with them from the beginning and had a lot of fun together during the conference hiking the mountains around the venue and riding there on jeeps, bikes, and even … donkeys (see the picture attached)! And the Lord had opened a great door for evangelism there – I offered everyone to watch our video The Rocks Cry Out as a way to find some more interesting facts and ideas about Crimea – the area everyone there knows and likes, and they agreed! I was very afraid the message will be rejected since at the end of the video the Good News is proclaimed openly and directly. But only a couple of persons was sarcastic and defensive – the rest accepted it with great enthusiasm because they recognized the truth in the Biblical approach to the geology facts the all were well familiar with. The reaction was amazing! After applauding the video (right after the Good News proclamation), many unbelievers approached me for copies of the video to show it to other unbelievers! They wanted their friends to be involved in the joy of the mindset change they experienced! A leader of the national alpinism Federation even asked permission to demonstrate the video at the Federation congress that going to be at Crimea soon! Please pray for the seeds planted there to produce a proper harvest.

The second greatest event was at the very end of the month – we went with our ministry team retreat. We spent the time together in prayer, fellowship, networking, planning, and studies on teamwork (see the picture attached). Everybody came back home refreshed and full of enthusiasm and ideas for the ministry.

At the retreat, we were able to see the first completed fragments of the ‘Tough Choices’ video and rejoice about the progress of the project. The new editing station gives the opportunity to work on both video projects (‘Walking thru the Past’ and ‘Tough Choices’) simultaneously with the broadcast preparations and we hope to complete the former project by the end of the year and the latter one by the spring.

The website reconstruction (Russian part) is about to be completed and you may be will be able to see its new design by the time you reed this report.

The ‘Humble Defense’ book is printed finally and we will be able to supply the schools with it by the next semester thru the Eurasian Accreditation Association network.

Eurasian Apologetics Summit national participants registration is started and we see a considerable interest for it, so please pray with us for this upcoming event.

During the month considerable renovation of the Eurasian Apologetics Society was done and our manager Timothy and intern/coordinator Zhenya have an adequate working place condition now.

At the same time, we have started the strategy and curriculum development for Creation Evangelism children camp. This is another project we would appreciate the prayers for.

Please pray for all the projects mentioned above. Pray also for my family and for our team. You are in our prayers as well.

October 2005

Dear board members, beloved brothers, and sisters,

Thank you very much for your care and prayers. With great joy, I present you October 2005 report.

It is hard to believe that six weeks of my studies in Asbury is over now. It was a great challenge, inspiration, and encouragement for me. But there is no place like home after all. I am very glad to be back with Olga and Dasha, with our team, and with the church – I had assigned preach on the very first Sunday on my arrival.

A great blessing of the time in the States was a visit of Zhenya, our daughter – she came for a weekend and we had a great fellowship. We sort of switched the roles this time since she was my cross-cultural coach now instructing me how to operate an American type of washing machine and how to make an order in a Subway. I hope I will not forget her instructions till my next session at the seminary. 🙂

This month became the greatest testing of our team’s ability to work autonomously – we were responsible for technical support of the greatest outreach event of the year, the Man and the Christian Worldview symposium. The first time it was made exclusively at the Commonwealth International University (former Crimean-American College) campus; for the very first time we used a simultaneous translation wireless system, and for the very first time the team had to do it in my absence. And they did a great job! I’m wondering now – do they need me at all? 🙂

Zhenya Medyanick became a great addition to our team. We took him for a year-long internship, and his main focus is studying right now – he is a very capable and teachable young man. He takes an initiative with enthusiasm when necessary, and I would consider him for delegating his public relationships and teaching responsibilities if he will decide by the end of the internship that our ministry is what God is calling him for. Please pray for guidance.

‘Tough Choices’ video shooting is on the way. It seems we have got the best casting we ever had. We have made most of the outdoor scenes while the weather was good. Please keep having this project in your prayers.

Web site redesigning takes more time than we expected – we have collected so many materials there during these years, and all addresses have to be re-written for the new version to work properly. I hope it will be completed by the end of November, at least – by the end of the year.

The ‘Humble Defense’ book translation is completed and it is at the press now. The book is a work of a group of authors, who demonstrate the logical, historical, philosophical, and moral reliability of the biblical worldview. The book is at the same time evidence for unbelievers, encouragement for believers, and a great tool for effective Christian persuasion. Publication of the book in Russian would be a great help for pastors, missionaries, evangelists, and all believers for well-grounded witnessing about Christ in the society, where three generations of people were brainwashed and indoctrinated with atheism and communism.

At the same time, we can see already how our materials, models, and approaches help Christian persuaders in other parts of the former Soviet Union to develop and expand their ministry

Apologetics training center in Tashkent (Uzbekistan) had its first training conference for national leaders. The amount of the literature we can send there is limited, however, every participant was supplied with the collection of 40 our videos in mpeg4 format on two DVD-ROMs they easily can copy and distribute in their areas all over the country. We are still working on developing the local team there for apologetics materials translation into Uzbek. Please pray for these projects as well as for these people who faithfully do the ministry under the threat of persecution. Please pray for our forthcoming trip to Tashkent in September 2006.

The group of our symposium regular attendants from Kursk (Central Russia) has made the first conference on the critical issues of worldview, following the model they have adopted from our practice.

A group of scientists, our coordinators in Kyiv (Ukraine) communicates Ministry of Education regularly on the need for equal representation of evolutionary and creation cosmogonies in school textbooks and of leaving to the students the opportunity to evaluate the evidence and make their judgment on the base of the known facts themselves. Right now they negotiate with the administration of state planetarium the opportunity of doing their monthly seminars on scientific creationism various issues.

Right now the main of our work is planning and developing the vision for future projects. Among them there are the following ones:

  • November 30 – December 2, 2005. Christian Center for Science and Apologetics team building retreat.
  • January 23 – 27, 2006. Teaching Apologetics at International Center for Christian Leadership (Kiev). Zhenya Medyanik is going to assist me to be able to teach the course himself in the future.
  • February 26 – March 4. Teaching at Holy Trinity College, Kursk
  • April 3 – 13. Studies at TCM Bible Institute (Vienna). This is the last course I have to take to complete my MA studies – to have a degree Darwin had J
  • May 10-13. Man and Christian Worldview symposium round table
  • May 13-15. Graduation at TCM Bible Institute (Vienna).
  • May 20-25. European Leadership Network forum in Hungary.
  • June 5-17. Teaching Apologetic course to pastors from former Soviet Union at Donetsk Christian University campus.
  • June 20-30. Creation Evangelism children’s camp.
  • September 18-30. Training Uzbek national ministers in Tashkent.
  • October 5-6. Man and Christian Worldview symposium conference
  • October 7-10. Eurasian Apologetics Summit.

My next session at Asbury Theological Seminary is scheduled for January-February 2007. I have to read couple of dozens of books and write couple dozens of papers by then.

Please pray for all the projects mentioned above. Pray also for my family and for our team. You are in our prayers as well.

Yours by the love and grace of Christ Jesus

Sergei

August 2005

First of all, I would like to tell you how much I appreciated your prayers – all of them were answered this month! Despite many various things I had to do before leaving for two months (I had never left home for so long period since times of my research expeditions to the Arctic) to Asbury Seminary, God powerfully works in various areas of our ministry.

The greatest personal challenge for me was an unexpectedly huge reading assignment I had to do in addition to all current work (teaching, preaching, management, etc.). On the one hand, I did not expect any assignments at all before the orientation at the seminary, on the other hand, most of the books came late because of the postage delay and I had to cover more than 1.000 pages of reading of mostly technical stuff additionally to everything that was planned beforehand. I was shocked at first, but the Lord provided serenity, time, and energy to complete everything.

The greatest news of the month – we have started shooting the outdoor scenes for ‘The Lesson’ (‘Tough Choices’) video for/about teenagers and their specific challenges including gender roles and relationships, friendship, drugs, sex, abortions, values, faith (see the still picture attached). In one phrase, the video will be a story personal journey of a girl named Masha (on the right at the picture) from deepest conviction ‘Love is God’ to ‘God is love’. The video is our part of a greater Good News Production Intl. project with the basically same plot culturally adopted and locally produced in Kenya, the US, Mexico, Ukraine, Thailand, and Singapore. By our initial plan, it had to be completed by now, but various hindrances and adversaries did not allow us even to start it for a while. I believe this is a sign that a great door for effective work has opened here (1Cor.16:9) and Satan is very unhappy with it. Nevertheless, we got started due to the prayers of many people. Please keep praying for the project – we would like to complete it by the end of the year.

At the same time we are doing cutting, montage, and editing of the ‘Walking thru the Past’ video on paleontology, so this project, God willing is going to be completed this year as well.

However, God gives us a new vision as well – to start a TV show for children. It is more a dream rather than a project yet, but a very workable one. Please pray for the Lord’s guidance in the way of families outreach thru the children. Since the ability to be extremely busy and to dream at the same time usually does not work together, we fill this new vision as an answer to the prayers as well.

Another area where we experience big progress after a long period of struggle with obstacles is book translating. There are three projects that have to be completed and be ready for the press soon – Humble Defense by Scott & Moore (September), Case for Creator by Lee Strobel (October), and Refuting Evolution 2 by Jonathan Sarfati (December). The first time such big projects (the first two of them) are going to be in transition from translation to publishing project while I am away, and it will be a great practice/testing for our team. Please pray for them, as well as for the funds for the book printing to be available.

In general, training the leaders for both our ministry and for the church to be able to serve boldly and with confidence was a big part of what I was involved in during the month. It was done by the way of face-to-face fellowship, lessons, preaching, etc. I plan to preach one more time at the church before I leave as well as to lead a one-day retreat ‘God’s vision for the church leadership’ based on Acts 20:17-35.

Also, we almost completed the re-design of our website and it will have a new modern look in a week or two.

Another personal challenge I faced was to not neglect my family because of the business rush. I had to set apart and carefully protect the time I have devoted to my wife and children. Also, we made a trip to Kyiv to see Zhenya off to the school, as well as spend three days with the tent on the seashore.

On the way there and back I was able to explore some places looking for a potential venue for Eurasian Apologetics Summit we plan for next fall (see http://www.scienceandapologetics.org/engl/anons.html).

The greatest answer to the prayers has been received from our coordinator in Uzbekistan Andrey Gorkovenko. He writes:

“Yesterday I attended the huge meeting of Uzbek pastors from many denominations. I praise God for such a wonderful “cloud of His witnesses”. Many of them were excited about our work in translating some apologetic books. I found some new connections that I believe will help to improve our work and the team that will be involved in translating and publishing process. I’m going to have some new meetings soon so we could talk about details on how to do our work more effectively. Please pray for the good team and success in my ministry here.”

Isn’t it a great answer to the prayers – such a development in the midst of fear and persecutions? We have received some words of encouragement also from other former communist countries, and glad to share with you a couple of them:

“I am really glad to receive the materials from your Center regularly. It is a great commitment to share the Word of God through science. It is such a pleasure for the intellectuals and scientists who are willing to share Good News with their colleagues. Praised be the Lord for your ministry! May He richly bless it! I have two extended degrees myself: one pedagogical, one – theological, and I work as a school teacher. Therefore, the materials you send are very useful and helpful. Thank you very much! Your brother Alexei Burtsev.” Astrakhan, Russia

“I am writing to you with great joy because your work brings the fruit of truth – the pure fruit on the way of getting closer to knowing the Lord. I am going to become a teacher of chemistry and biology. From the very beginning, when I just started learning the theory of evolution, I was protesting against it without having any sound arguments. I am willing to learn more, for every lie to be disgraced, and for people to no longer have any obstacle in accepting the gift of our Lord – salvation! I appreciate your materials about evolution and looking for more. I believe that your literature will bless and straighten more and more people!” Dribin, Byelorussia

So, with words of praise as well as great joy and peace in my heart, I am packing to leave for my studies at Asbury Seminary, where I going to be September 11 – October 22. Please keep in your prayers my travel and the studies, my family, our team, and all the projects mentioned above.

You are in our prayers as well.

Yours by the love and grace of Christ Jesus

Sergei

July 2005

The month began with the Crimean-American College board meetings. The college was established a decade ago as a way of evangelism thru education. The students were getting state-recognized secular training but had to study some courses offered by the Biblical studies department inscribed into the curriculum. Dozens of them had accepted Christ as a result. In time the school became attractive to the Christians to send their kids to the school where they can get both Christian training and secular profession. The changes of the education dynamics, in the political situation, as well as new opportunities of the ministry as well as an international partnership, required new approaches to development.

The board by its decision has finalized the vision of transforming the school into Commonwealth International University with two schools in it – language school (Crimean-American College) and Institute of Theology and Philosophy (former Biblical Studies department and International Association for Education). Please pray for the great opportunities it opens.

Another great event of the month was my studies on Theology and Practice of Prayer course at TCM Institute (Haus Edelweiss, Austria). It was a great time of study, fellowship, inspiration, and encouragement. Many ideas and materials I got there I am going to use at ‘School of Prayer’ weekly Bible studies the church elders decided to start this fall.

Our great Lord has arranged everything in an amazing way, so our Central Asia coordinator Andrey Gorkovenko (Uzbekistan) was able to come to Haus Edelweiss for taking the course on Apologetics and Ethics exactly at the same time I was there. As a result, we got a great opportunity for fellowship in between our classes. We have spent hours walking in the woods and discussing essential issues of the ministry in Central Asia development – like vision and strategy development, planning, reporting, personal and ministry accountability. Please pray for the ministry of Christian persuasion and persuaders training in the countries where preaching of the Good News is prohibited and persecuted.

Regretfully, it was not possible to work it out for me to take the OT1 (the last course I have to take for my MA program completion) as an independent study since this is a required course, and I will have to go to Haus Edelweiss again in April. Since the completion of the program was set as a priority for the ministry development, I had to reconsider my Spring 2006 teaching traveling schedule accordingly. There is a time to teach and a time to study, as Ecclesiastes wrote or something like this 🙂

We have made all the shootings we needed and made the cutting plan for the ‘Walking thru the Past’ video on paleontology, so the cut is about to be started. Please pray for this project as well.

The book ‘Stones and Bones’ by Carl Wieland was reprinted over again. This is the very first book published by our ministry 10 years ago, and still one of the most demanded ones.

The rest of the month beyond working myself and training the team in the daily management of the ministry, I was doing pre-class assignments for the studies at Asbury Seminary, where I am coming to on September 11. Please keep my travel and studies in your prayers.

Please pray for our ministry, for all the projects mentioned above. Pray also for my family and for our team.r team.

June 2005

The month has started with my last trip to CCX (IFES/Intervarsity-Ukraine) board meeting in Kyiv. It was the last responsibility I planned to delegate during the transitional period of the ministry. In accordance with the plan, I have resigned (one step in 6 months) from the chairman positions at Tabitha clothing ministry board, CCX national board, and Simferopol Christian Church council. However I keep staying as a recourse person at Tabitha and as an elder at the church, it was time for me to leave from CCX board at all giving more room for younger and more passionate for the student movement members (I remained the only one at the board who never experienced Christian students movement himself, and they have all CCX graduates there now), but the board asked me to stay 6 months more in order to the back-up new chairman for making the succession process more smooth. Now this prolonged responsibility is over now, and I am ready to back to school!

Nevertheless, I keep enjoying teaching as well. Right from the CCX board meeting, I went to Zhourahvoushka resort in the forest not far from Kyiv to teach the ‘Preaching Jesus in Cinema Theaters’ (Evangelism thru secular movies) course at Eurasia International Fellowship of Evangelical Students Institute. What a wonderful school it is! They have had 160 students from 21 countries this year! Only my class of 13 students had representatives from Belarus, Georgia, Moldova, Russia, Scotland, Tajikistan, Ukraine, and the US (see the pictures attached). Isn’t it amazing? Olga, Zhenya, and Dasha were with me there and we had a great time together. Zhenya was assisting me in leading discussion time during the course and was involved in the praise worship team as well.

The book ‘Sexuality’ by Elaine Pountney was printed right in time for her course on the issue and received with well-predicted interest. Every student of the school was glad to receive also a copy of ‘Old Earth? Why Not!’ book by James Nienhuis on behalf of the author.

In cooperation with Euro-Asian Accreditation Association, we have supplied libraries of all Christian colleges and seminaries in the former Soviet Union with five more titles of the books we published: –

  • Foundations for Christian Education by Eleanor Daniel
  • Logics and the Bible by Sergei Golovin
  • Old Earth? Why Not! by James Nienhuis
  • One Blood by Carl Wieland, Don Batten and Ken Ham
  • Why Won’t They Listen by Ken Ham

The rest of the month beyond doing myself and training the team in the daily management of the ministry, I was doing pre-course assignments for TCM class on Prayer at TCM Institute (Haus Edelweiss, Austria) where I am going to July 18-29. I am still short of the funds a little, but the Lord provides in amazing ways, and we have purchased air tickets already. Please pray for the funds, for my trip and the safety of the family, for the Lord’s guidance in my studies.

I have received a pre-class reading assignment for the studies at Asbury seminary as well and doing it as well.

Zhenya is here with us for the summer break and is involved in ministry as well. She has translated the ‘Jesus in the Cinema’ workshop script into English, and after some editing, it will be available at our site www.ScienceAndApologetics.org. Let me know please if you would like me to mail you the script directly when it is available.

This month we have produced two DVDs based on the shooting we made while two prominent apologists were here in Simferopol.

The first one is ‘Creation in Evangelism’ – a conversation with Rev. Timothy Alferov – a Russian Orthodox priest, physicist, and well-known writer on the issues of scientific and moral apologetics.

Another one, ‘Religion and Society’ includes presentations, lectures and workshops of Bruce Little, professor of South-East Baptist Theological Seminary, our ministry board member as well as one of the most faithful co-workers in the academia outreach ministry.

The first DVD is targeted at Christians, who underestimate the role of apologetics in general and creationism in particular for successful evangelism, another one – is for non-believers who are interested in various social issues that are used as bridges for communicating the Gospel to them.

Please pray for the Lord will help us to use these tools for the Kingdom’s sake.

Please pray for our ministry, for all the projects mentioned above. Pray also for my family and for our team. 

May 2005

The greatest event of the month was the ‘Freedom and Responsibility in Science, Medicine and Society’ round table of our regular ‘Man and Christian Worldview’ symposium. It was 20th one and it was the best one so far! We had quite a few new participants, but many old ones as well. It is a real joy to see how the hearts of former strong atheists melt gradually and the strongholds of post-communist academia fall down step by step by the work of the Holy Spirit thru the cumulative work of faithful coworkers in Christ. Our team was responsible for the technical equipment of the symposium and the book table as usual (the pictures of us and our books display are attached).

The greatest pleasure was to see the Philosophy professor from Kyiv who was coming several years to defend his Marxist ideology. He was aggressively anti-Christian all the time, but did not have peace and was coming over and over again. It seemed no argument can make him reconsider his dogmatic position. But the symposium is not papers and discussions only. He had fellowship with the professionals of his own level who are Christians and their love and patience were stronger than any argument. He was able to see videos and listen to concerts both with direct and indirect Christian messages we presented to the speakers as entertainment. He was provided with books on apologetics and various aspects Christian worldview.

This time we can not recognize the person. His mentality revolved! He confesses that the last drop to the cup was the book ‘Case for Christ’ we published several years ago in partnership with Literature and Teaching Ministries. He would never purchase it, but Rick Deighton, a missionary from Idaho, who faithfully participates in the project for several years, gave it to him as a personal gift. The professor told us that he teaches his students from that book! Aren’t the ways of our Lord amazing?

We had Pavel Begichev, a musician (harp) and prominent evangelist from Samara (Central Russia) as a special guest at the symposium. Beyond representing the paper ‘Freedom and Responsibility of a Musician’ he has performed a concert/testimony ‘Gospel in Blues’ at the night entertainment program, as well as a workshop on history and development of Christian music at Simferopol Christian Church right after the symposium. We have taken all materials on the video and going to issue a DVD ‘Christianity and Modern Music’ on it. The goal would be reaching for Christ those who are interested in music on the one hand, as well as responding to some strange ideas Christians have about music.

Please pray for that project as well as for the seeds planted during the symposium for the Lord sent the workers to water the ground and to take care of sprouts, as well as for the harvest in a due time!

The greatest personal news of the month is Zhenya’s return from Kentucky Christian University. Despite the hardships of the first time being so far and so long from home, struggling with cultural and academic adjustments she did quite well. Your prayers, support, encouragement, and care considerably enhanced her spiritual and academic growth and maturity the studies at a great Christian school provide.

After a couple of days of rest and coping with jetlag Zhenya has joined our ministry team assisting with the text translation and the seminars technical equipment.

I am very glad the Asbury Theological Seminary has accepted me even I am short of those two courses, but I really would like to complete the TCM program after all. However, starting the ATS studies this fall reduces the probability of catching up with the courses I still need for TCM graduation. Nevertheless, the opportunity exists for me now to take the reading assignment for completing one of the courses by correspondence as well as to take another course I need in Haus Edelweiss’s class. In order to use this opportunity, I should go to Austria in July by myself, since the course is offered for another national group at that time, not for Ukrainians. It means I should travel there alone and at my own expense.

The cheapest way to the House Edelweiss Ukrainian students team takes usually (by going across Eastern Europe changing trains and buses} is long and, the main issue is not safe enough for going alone (especially – carrying the laptop computer). However, the airfare is extremely high in Europe during that particular period. Nevertheless, the gracious designated gift of a brother in Christ has provided half of the airfare and that is only another half needed now. Please pray for the funds, a safe trip, and the Lord’s guidance in my studies.

Video shooting animals and the visitors at the zoo as well as the interviews with the former ones have supplied us with very interesting responses on people’s beliefs on their origin, relationships to the creation, and responsibilities toward it. It will make our ‘Walking Thru the Past’ video based on Moscow Paleontology Museum shooting much more interesting than stones and bones panoramas only. The script of the video is in the progress now. Please pray for this project as well.

A last but not the least part of our ministry in May was preparing ‘Preaching Jesus in Cinema Theaters’ (Evangelism thru secular movies) course development I am going to teach (and Zhenya – to assist) at Eurasia International Fellowship of Evangelical Students Institute not far from Kyiv on June 5-11. The institute provides intensive training for staff workers and volunteers of the Christian student movement in the former Soviet Union – those who are involved in the most vital outreach for today’s students – future teachers, physicians, lowers, civil and mechanical engineers, army, and police officers, etc. Please keep the school in your prayers as well.

Please pray for our ministry, for all the projects mentioned above. Pray also for my family and for our team.

March 2005

You know the greatest news of the month already: I am accepted for the Beeson International Leaders program at Asbury Theological Seminary. It will require 1.5 months at the campus every 15 months. The first time period I should be there is September 12 – October 22. Please pray for my visa to go there, for my travel, for my family staying here, for our team that going to run the ministry in my absence.

Beyond the usual work of teaching, preaching and current materials printing, we were involved much in strategy and vision development for our Center and our closest partners at the field – International Association for Education and Crimean-American College.

In particular, the syllabus for the distance learning video course ‘Systematic Apologetics’ final version has been developed and we are going to offer that course since April. We are going to advertise it thru mailing and online at our Internet site.

On the other hand, we have completed the shooting of another distance learning video course – Science and the Bible. After some editing, it will be available for the taking from a distance as well.

We study the materials that were shot at Moscow Paleontology Museum. The materials are extremely interesting and thought-provoking. Our challenge now is how to make the video out of them which would be interesting and challenging for non-believers as well. Please pray for the Lord supplies us with creative ideas for this project.

The book Letting God Create Your Day, Vol.3 by Paul Bartz came out of the press already. However Foundations for Christian Education by Daniel and Wade print is delayed a little bit because of the political changes in Ukraine – it was exactly the time with the great customs management style and leading personal change when the paper for the project was going thru the customs. Therefore the paper came late and the book goes to the press only now. Please pray for this project as well.

The unstable political/financial situation in the country has made us decide to cancel Family and the Bible this year – not many people were ready to come without having a clear picture of how much transportation and lodging going to cost, nor could secure budget for the event. Therefore we decided just to abstain from it for a while. It is the seventh year, after all, we are doing it, so we should provide a year of the rest for the soil – to practice trust in the Lord.

However, we got plenty of time to complete the long-going video projects mentioned above as well to make a proper evaluation for new challenges and opportunities.

During the month I was assisting to teach Apologetics course Crimean-American College, as well as was helping to do some staff training workshops.

Despite the difficulties caused by the plans change, the Lord encourages us by the feedback on our materials work for the Kingdom. Let me share a couple more with you.

“Thank you very much for everything you sent and wrote to us. Praise to the Lord! What perfect timing! My youngest daughter is turning 12 soon, and I have worked with kids of that age at Sunday school. Their interests and views are so much different, it is very interesting, but the fact that I am not a teacher was scaring me. I was looking for something special for them, and it turned out to be so close. I am praying for the best way to use your materials with them. Right now I am enjoying the pamphlets and ‘CREATOR’ with my daughter. I have devoured three magnificent books in three days. It is not surprising that Burgen was rewarded with a gold medal for the first book; I would have given him ten medals for the second one as well. I am so glad to have those books, as well as so glad that they are written in such a good natural Russian. And it is such a pleasure that the Center for Science and Apologetics happened to be not far from us. Great! Of course, it would be very good if as many kids as possible could have a ‘Big Difference’ book for themselves and their friends. I just want to offer the book to them. Thank you very much for the video materials. It is such a pity that it was so close, but we did not participate in it. Let’s trust the Lord. His things are always on time. I prayed about the necessity of the ministry for that age. And I got the answer! I have found out a lot from your materials: things I did not know, things I understood wrong. God touched me, and a lot of my pain was cleaned away. My family relationships were down and out. I am so thankful for the books that gave me strength in love, helped me to come to the Father, and to see everything in a different way.” Laenko Nelly, Evpatoria, Ukraine.

“I have bought your books ‘Evolution of the Myth’, and ‘Weird and Wonderful at the store on Sunday, the 27th of February. I have read both of the books at once. I liked them so much, that I decided to buy more books, and give them away to my friends as gifts. I went to the store the next day, but unfortunately, I was able to buy only three last ‘Evolution of the Myth’ copies, and ‘Weird and Wonderful’ was already sold out. So now the books are the most valuable ones in my library. I am going to tell about the books everywhere I can.” Muromtseva Olga, Moscow region, Russia.

Isn’t the Lord the greatest comforter and encourager?

On March 29th we (Sergei, Olga, and Dasha) are going on two days train trip to the Greek embassy in Odessa for our visa to go for the Southeast Christian Church European partnership missionary summit. Please pray for God’s guidance and protection.

Please pray for our ministry, for all the projects mentioned above. Pray also for my family and for our team. 

February 2005

The greatest news of the month is: two self-governed mission daughter ministries are officially registered in two countries – Russia and Uzbekistan.

The first one is based in Kursk where I am coming to teach at the college annually. The ministry has started by Andrey Goorsky – our former manager who got married to a girl from a very good Christian family recently and moved to Russia where she is getting an internship after medical school. Andrey has a great vision on apologetic ministry development in Russia for better equipping Christians for effective evangelism.

The second one is quite distant – in Tashkent. It is established by Andrey Gorkovenko (isn’t it funny? – all my best disciples have the name, Andrey). He is ethnical Ukrainian with Uzbek citizenship and extremely keen on training Uzbek national church leaders and developing worship in the Uzbek language for the nationals could fit it naturally (the majority of Christians in Uzbekistan are Russians and Koreans, and worship teaching and preaching going in Russian there). Andrei has started the church, church leaders training center, and the library. He is going to translate most of our books into Uzbek.

Please pray for these new ministries – for God’s guidance, safety, and support for them. Please pray for the Lord to make me a good encourager for both Andrey’s and provide me an opportunity to visit them at least once a year.

Our video-producing team made a very successful trip to Moscow where they shoot a lot of great materials at the stronghold of atheism – the Moscow Palaeontology Museum. Now we will work on developing this material into a video on how all those displays can be used as evidence for Biblical truth. Please pray for this project.

The video version of the seminar ‘Jesus in Cinema’ has been completed and is in distribution now in DVD and MP4 format. People consider it very informational and spectacular (it includes various video clips from the movies of 1912 – 2004) and equally interesting for Christians and non-believers. It attracts everyone who is interested in motion pictures art by discussing its various problems and approaches, but the indirect message above it all – what the Good News is about. Telling people what they want to hear we deliver them what they need to hear.

Several publishing projects have come to the final stage. The Best Things in Life book by Peter Kreeft and Old Earth? Why Not! by James Nienhuis has come out of the press already, Letting God Create Your Day, Vol.3 by Paul Bartz is in biding and will come next week. Foundations for Christian Education by Daniel and Wade are at the press and going to be completed in two weeks. Please pray for these projects.

The rest of the time was filled up with regular activities like preaching and teaching at the church and local missions, duties as boards member for Crimean-American College and for Tabitha clothing ministry, preparing for two sets of workshops (one is for unbelievers and another one for equipping Christians) I am going to do on my trip to Kostroma (Central Russia) where I am going to at the end of March. We continued to shoot the ‘Science and the Bible’ video course as well and plan to complete the shortage in March.

The strategic policy of teaching teachers and training trainers has brought first feedback. Here are clips from a couple of very encouraging letters I have received recently:

“I and my colleagues would be absolutely ungrounded without your materials. Communicating young people (I work mostly with teenagers and young adults) on the principles of Christian ethics, I have to undermine their atheistic way of thinking and evolutionist worldview first. This is almost impossible without powerful facts of science you supplied me and my colleagues with.” Victoria Fedirko, iterant evangelist; teacher of Christian Ethics at state schools. Sarny, West Ukraine.

“May I thank you for your books. They are extremely interesting and masterfully crafted. I teach ‘Philosophy of Science’ and ‘Ecology’ courses at colleges of Moscow. Therefore I constantly use your materials and always recommend them to my students.” Prof. Dmitriy Troitskiy, Ph.D. (Chemistry), Russia.

Praised be the Lord for revealing His eternal ultimate glory via our rather limited co-working at His field!

Please pray for our ministry, for all the projects mentioned above. Pray also for my family and for our team. 

January 2005

The major event of the month was teaching Systematic Apologetics at Donetsk Christin University on January 10-21.

The political situation in Ukraine has made this visit to Donetsk very special compared with previous ones. The region is ruled by the most powerful criminal gangs which tried to make their corrupted representative Yanukovitch (Yushchenko’s opponent with two criminal charges (street robberies!) served and one waived) the president of the country. The population majority of the region (mostly – coal miners) continue to live in communism-like conditions of slave labor. They have voted for the guy as one soul. People fear any changes and consider lies and corruption as the only way of government. They are not far from the truth regretfully because of man’s fallen nature, but the problem is – they do not see wrong in the situation. Just a typical story: a student answers the question at a church youth service how God works in her life: ‘I prayed hard for God’s help in passing the test and got a chance to cheat successfully, therefore’.

Donetsk Christian University campus was like an island of freedom surrounded by old (communism) time lifestyle where people do not want to leave slavery because they remember the fish, which they did eat in Egypt freely; the cucumbers, the melons, and the leeks, and the onions, and the garlic. They are happy to give up their freedom because of responsibility-phobia.

Therefore my trip to Donetsk was quite different from my usual teaching trips this time. It was like visiting the battlefield to help, inspire, empower and equip people who face real challenges every day because of their desire to share their faith. People around them who fear freedom, consider everyone with different opinions or political orientations as a personal and national enemy. Nobody suffered physically so far, but verbal abuse is common. Sometimes students were thrown from public buses (the campus is out of the city) when their co-travelers found out that they are in favor of Yuschenko.

As a result, I had various meetings, workshops, and seminars additionally to 4-6 hours of everyday teaching. I met with secular colleges students as well as state schools teachers. I preached at a church and at the Family Development Center. The issues we discussed ranged from classical arts to bioethics moral issues.

Now I am back home to the regular activities that include leadership and preaching at our local church as well as teaching lessons ‘How to Know the Will of God’ for the Tabitha ministry staff, Wednesday night in-depth Bible studies on Genesis 1-11; ‘Jesus at Cinema’ movie club.

TV and radio programs broadcast is going on. It was an additional way to proclaim absolute truth when people were seeking what is right in political turmoil. We plan to go to Moscow in the middle of February to shoot the video on the Moscow Paleontology Museum evidence for the Bible. Please pray for this project.

The Best Things in Life book by Peter Kreeft is in the press already. Three more books are going to the press in February: Letting God Create Your Day, Vol.3 by Paul Bartz, Foundations for Christian Education by Daniel and Wade, and Old Earth? Why Not! by James Nienhuis. Please pray for these projects.

Another prayer request is a decision for my D. Min study at Beeson International Leaders program. I am accepted as a student by Asbury Theological Seminary, but the decision on the scholarship is going to be made in February. Please pray for the Lord’s guidance on this issue.

Please pray for our ministry, for all the projects mentioned above. Pray also for my family and for our team.