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.