May 2008

This month together with the previous one was the most challenging period we had in a while – never before we had so many various strategically important projects going back-to-back! It was great test for the teamwork – for the level of interaction, cooperation, and mutual support. And I should say we have proved it: we are the team now, not just some people working together.

The Symposium (a short-term mission to the tribes of academia) went great. We have very representative gathering of the professors from Moscow, Sanct-Peterburg, Kiev and other universities (see the picture attached) as well as guests from France, US and even Australia (see the picture attached). Everybody was actively involved into discussion on the biblical foundations vs. naturalist lack of grounding in physics, biology, sociology, politology and even in mathematics. At the night program we have show them Ice Age Civilizations and Black Sea show and had very good responds. Please pray for the seeds that were planted.

Right on the return from the symposium we have started the first retreat of key leaders of the apologetics ministry leaders – Eurasian Apologetics Society national coordinators. Unlike the Summit few years ago, it was ‘closed’ event – the actual leaders who makes a grassroots level change in Amur region, Uzbekistan, Central Russia and Ukraine came together for the first time (see the pictures attached). It was extremely blessed time of worship, fellowship, prayers, training, networking and strategy development (see the pictures attached). We shared lot of ideas, updates, personal testimonies, and set up close and long-term goals for the apologetics and effective evangelism development in our part of the world. I believe it was a significant milestone for the ripple effect in the ministry. Another thing that made it special in our history – for the first time we made such a project using our own facilities and our own transportation only! The last part of the retreat we made as a hike to Eskeekermen, the Crimean Gothland archaeological site, the place where the very first known translation of the Scripture into Slavonic language was made. May the Lord be praised for blessing us with strength and encouragement, and providing a single vision for effective ways of spreading His Word and the Good News in our countries and cultures! Please join our prayers for the Lord’s guidance in the ministry in post-communism part of the world development.

The last big “project” of the month was not planned ahead but extremely opportune. Four recent months was the most hectic time for me in last few years – so many projects was going back-to-back: my doctorate studies in America and Korea, media production workshops right on return, academic symposium immediately after them and the international network coordinators retreat starting on the day of the symposium ending. The retreat was the most strategically important one – it launched the ministry on the completely new level providing it the sufficient momentum to go on whatever happened to me personally. The very last project in this continuous chain before the brake for Summer projects preparation was one and the half days assistance in teaching at the town of Theodosia, about 65 miles away from Simferopol. In order to pick up the main speaker, the equipment, and the books for distribution I had to leave at 6 am. I did not feel well, but abstaining from food was making me well in couple hours usually when I had feeling like this before. When we came to the teaching venue at the time of the chapel worship, I did not feel any better. And then, during the worship I got very clear thought (I believe it was from God), that was going completely against my plans: I should go home immediately. I told the main speaker that he should be ready to teach himself, made arrangements for his next day transportation back, and drove home. At home I went to the clinic where the doctor has commanded to serve the surgery table with me immediately! The stone had blocked the bladder and it became 154 mm (about 6″) swollen. You know the rest of the story – I was home again in three days feeling much better then before the surgery.

Looking back I praise the Lord for his guidance and protection. It is hard to imagine this happening with me at the campus in US, or in Korea, or during 12-14 hours flights I had there and back. The Lord has allowed me to complete all pioneer projects that definitely required my participation and He did bring me to the clinic right in time before it is late, with sufficient time for the recovery before the summer projects. Even causing me to not take any food into my mouth was providential – I could handle anaesthesia without any problems. Please join our praises!

The Lord is constantly blessing our ministry with personnel growth. Vadim Tsaritson, our international coordinator, used to combine those responsibilities with the work of the resources manager. And when it became too much for him, a media production team volunteer Sasha Zagidov was ready to work as a part-time resources manager. Please pray for the new member of our team.

The preparation for “Tvorets” (the Creator) children camp is almost finished. We have trained a team of mentors (some of them are former kids from the camp) and the curriculum. This year we will use ‘Six Days’ curriculum – the very first one developed by our own children department. We are now on the last stage of preparing – updating equipment for games and studies, medicines, etc. The dates for the camp are the same – June 21-30. Please pray for the Lord to bless us with wisdom and patience, and for the children to spend amazing time together at the sea shore, to gain knowledge from the Lord and to have fun.