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.