I reached the happiest time of my doctorate studies – I have submitted the draft of my dissertation to the seminary, and not going to see it again till I come to the campus and receive it from the editor. So, I am able to devote myself completely to the ministry – both to ongoing and future projects – for the entire month!
The month has started and ended with trips to Kyiv. On both trips we were delivering equipment to our ministry terminal there; however, the main event of the first one was the interview at the US embassy. It went well. I have got the visa to complete my studies; Olga got a five-year multi-entry tourist visa and will come later to join me for the commencement and to go back home together.
The second trip, at the end of the month, was devoted mostly to making the final arrangements for the Creation outreach in May preparation. We made the necessary agreements for using Planetarium facilities and for the commercials campaign at the city subway cars and at central stations and discussed the strategy with Kyiv team leaders. We should use the opportunity at Kyiv for as big an impact as it is possible. Please keep that project in your prayers.
The final decision on the lobby Creation-Expo displays design we made was to make them in a way that the exposition is going to be portable and we could use them over and over again renting space at other public places in Kyiv and/or other cities. Since the original exposition at Planetarium is going to be in Ukrainian (state language) according to its official status, as soon as the designer finish with it, he is going to make a Russian version also for our coordinators and volunteers could duplicate it in any region of former the Soviet Union they are at. Also, we consider the idea to make PDF versions of the displays available online for anybody who could download them and print them in size he or she is able. Imagine a small Creation-expo with Letter/A4 size posters in the corner of the high school classroom! The law forbids outsiders to come to the school with anything like this, but gives complete freedom to the students to do it as an initial project! This will help us to equip students as effective Creation missionaries to their peers and even to their teachers! Please keep praying with us about this idea as well.
At the same time, the officials from Ostrog Academy National University where we were presenting our materials at the Origins in Schools conference in November have contacted us with the idea of making a program for training schoolteachers in the aspects of Creation Science and Christian Ethics. If we will be able to work this endeavor out, it will be a double gain for the ministry! On the one hand, we will have constant access to our materials to the teachers of public schools who will be involved in that training (and, through them, – to their students and colleagues!). On the other hand cooperation with the top-range state university provides us with the semi-official status that opens many other doors. We face a peculiar problem here in the post-soviet countries: any education but the state one is “illegal” here. This is not a misprint – private education is not illegal in our part of the world, it is not against the law, not a crime. But there is no legal foundation for it either yet – the state educational system does not want to lose its monopoly, and any private training does not have proper official recognition. So, our cooperation with the state school of the national level will make others more open to our ministry. Right now we are planning the visit of the Ostrog Academy representative to Crimea in the first half of April for exploring the opportunity together. Please pray for the window of the opportunities that are about to open.
Another achievement of the month – the construction of Lingua Franca (“shared language”, “common ground”) multi-blog portal http://linguafranca.su for reaching youth subcultures is completed, and the first materials are posted there already! Please pray for it to be a powerful tool for Christian values proclaimed to the young people.
Join also our praises for the great work of God at our Amur (Eastern Russia) brunch! Their monthly paper “Fresh Look” is distributed now not in the Amur region only as it was before, but also in Yakutia (the biggest and coldest part of Russia) and in Khabarovsk Territory. The network covers most of the Russian Far East now! For better coordination in the region, they are going to establish the Far East Apologetics Society (FEAS) as a regional affiliation of the Eurasian Apologetics Society. The funny part of that is the abbreviation for FEAS in Russian literally means “Tao”. So, Russian Far East Taoists will know now what Real Tao looks like 🙂
Amur team is working on three summer camps currently – for kids, teenagers, and college students, using the Hexameron (Six Days of Creation) curriculum we developed and field-tested last year. They have printed teachers’ manuals and doing training for the group leaders already. Please keep praying for them.