January 2009

The highlight of the month was my trip to the apologetic consultations in Kyiv (see the pictures attached). It was arranged by the L’Abri ministry (founded by Francis Schaeffer) for networking and encouraging Christian leaders from Byelorussia for implementing various aspects of apologetics in their ministry. Byelorussia is the last dictatorship regime in Europe. It is controlled by Kremlin/Gazprom pretty much, but mostly – by its “permanent president”. The limitations of the church life and evangelism there among former Soviet countries could be compared with Turkmenistan only.

One minister shared how he was persecuted with accusations in international terrorism, weapon trade and human trafficking. “All those accusations are true actually”, he told. “We are involved with human trafficking by kidnapping people from the world and bringing them to the Kingdom; we are terrorists for the world because we undermine its atheistic foundations; we do trade weapons spreading the sword of the word of God and equipping people with the armor of righteousness on the right hand and on the left”

The fellowship was very fruitful, and a common understanding was developed that only worldview based evangelism can bring the true transformation of a person, church, and the society and that a truly biblical worldview could be established starting from Genesis only – Creation, fall, and promises of the redemption are foundational for the messianic role of Jesus, His death and resurrection.

We should pray and see what the Lord could make from our cooperation with the Byelorussian brothers. The main challenge we face there is the limitations in the delivery of our materials to Byelorussia. We need brave and committed believers who will be ready to take a risk to be accused of smuggling as well – the very way many believers were smuggling Christian books to the Soviet Union, or like our brothers in Central Asia supply our materials to believers in closed countries there. Please join our prayers for the situation.

In the area of video production, the first step is made for the project of the year – “The Gift of Christmas” children’s musical, a stage version (see the pictures attached). We performed it around the Russian Christmas celebration (January 7) and now have a better idea of the plot and requirements of the actors. Now we are starting the casting for the video version. At the same time, we have released a video seminar Christian Origin of Science.

A new children’s apologetics camp curriculum is on the way as well, and we are doing the preparation for its field testing at our camp this summer. Three camps are in preparation for the summer also in Russian Far East – for kids, teenagers, and for college students!

The freedom we experience in our part of the world has a funny nature – the officials just do not care. However, they are not against what we are doing with children only as long as everything is fine. If an accident happens – we are in deep trouble. The same is even truer for the camps arranged by the teams in Russia and Central Asia, where religious freedom is limited and the officials are looking for any excuse to shut the missions down. So we are planning everything as carefully as we can and constantly praying to the Lord for the safety of the camps. Please join our prayers as well.