The month was worthy of praise in many ways!
We praise the Lord for your care, prayers, and help! By His grace and through your sacrificial partnership, we have 51% of the Eurasian Apologetics Center building renovation estimated cost either donated or committed already! We have started the construction works already and are hoping to complete the renovation and move in by winter. Please continue to pray with us about this plan!
Another reason for the praise was the long-waited opportunity to hold an offline master-level course Bible and Logic and record the video version (see the pictures attached). We planned to do it a year ago but had to cancel it due to the quarantine restrictions. The lockdown demonstrated the effectiveness of our strategy to produce video versions of the courses for training and equipping the Kingdom workers in restricted regions. When the pandemic made almost every region a restricted area, all of our courses were in great demand by many Christian schools and seminaries. The logic course was the only one we did not have a video version of yet.
Nevertheless, the year of waiting was not in vain, however. We have enhanced the course with many new ideas and illustrations. As the main improvement, we updated it with the special block on the Critical Thinking Foundations presented by Andrey Goryainov (see the pictures attached). Andrei is a man of many talents: he has degrees in music, civil engineering, biblical studies, and education.
He has been a member of our team since his student days. For a while, Andrei was either a part-timer or a volunteer involved in video production, publication design, book writing (his “Physics of God’s Creation” is among our best books!), children ’s camps, etc. Since his escape from Crimea, he has been with us full time and stepped into the position of ministry administrative director recently. The classes on critical thinking were his first teaching experience at the master level, and he did a great job. Please keep Andrei, the faithful worker of the Kingdom, in your prayers.
The most exciting experience of the month was a short-term mission trip to Kryvyi Rih, a very special place. Despite the population of 600,000 and dimensions of almost 100 km, Kryvyi Rih is just a provincial town according to the official administrative status.
“Stability” could reasonably be the second name of the city. Not much changed there in recent decades. Private owners of the mines and metallurgical plants replaced the communist party leaders, but the life of the townspeople is mostly the same – get out of the mine, have some beer, watch TV, have some sleep, and go back to the mine. The level of wellbeing is extremely low: many people live below the poverty line, many children are deprived of parental care, alcoholism and drug abuse are serious problems, especially among young people.
Yet, an amazing thing happened in such a gloomy setting. Christians of all kinds, usually divided by the doctrinal issues, tradition, hierarchy, etc., got united by the same concern: “while the authorities do nothing about the situation, we should do the best we can about it!” Protestants and Evangelicals of all sorts, Roman and Greek Catholics, Russian and Ukrainian Orthodox – all came together and established the local Council of Churches to work for a change despite all the differences and in the name of Jesus alone. That Body has invited us to do a day-long forum for its leaders on the biblical view of God’s people’s role in civil society.
Should the citizens of the heavenly Kingdom care about the fallen Babylon they live in? The Scripture says: of course, they should! “Seek the peace and prosperity of the city to which I have carried you into exile. Pray to the LORD for it, because if it prospers, you too will prosper” (NIV Jeremiah 29:7). The forum was an exciting time to explore together the biblical principles on how to be the light and the salt even in the darkest and decaying places (see the pictures attached). A lot of biblical and historical men of God were mentioned as examples.
On the way, I was invited to preach the churches’ sermons series “Traps in Nomadland.” The sermons challenged the issues of pride, ingratitude, unforgiveness, despondency, loss of focus, and other ones we should be aware of as aliens and strangers on earth. After the forum, I was invited to take part in the “God and the City” program at the local TV channel discussing the role of Christians in society with the Russian Orthodox Church (the most numerous one in the region) influential priest Cyril Hovorun (see the pictures attached). Please pray with us for the fruits of this trip and this great movement. It is an outstanding example of the unity of the Body revealing the love of Jesus to the world by feeding the hungry, sheltering the homeless, healing the sick, and preaching the lives to the dying!