by Sergei Golovin, Regional Director, GNPI-Ukraine
I am amazed how many opportunities to praise the Lord that difficult times provide! Over and over again it reminds us of accounts from the book of Acts when the believers were dispersed by secular powers, resulting in the spreading of the kingdom instead of its destruction.
Three Strategic Advancements
September started with a great trip to Zhitomir, a region we had never visited before. A trip like this would be exciting even in usual circumstances, but in a given situation it was even more exciting, as well as a great encouragement for us. We were able to serve on three strategically important levels. First of all, there was a group of volunteers – passionate, national leaders who are using our materials for the development of creation/worldview evangelism in the region. It was also a great joy for them and for us to discuss ministry opportunities, develop the vision and strategy for their work as Eurasian Apologetics Society coordinators, as well as future partnership and training. Please keep this vanguard of the spreading of God’s Word in the region in your prayers.
On the next level there were seminars for believers about the urgent need of a biblical strategy for shaping the worldview of the next generation. It was attended by ministers, youth pastors, and group leaders of various churches of the region. The material was received with great interest and motivation. An elderly minister, who had spent two terms in communist camps for his faith, came forward at the end and shared how much they had missed out on this kind of training before the collapse of communism and how much easier it would have been to spread the Good News if they had had such resources available back then. We were all deeply touched! Please pray for the brethren of Zhitomir and for the spread of the Truth of God in the region.
Finally, the most exciting opportunity of the trip was an invitation by the city education department to address public (state) school humanities teachers on “a common foundation for public ethics.” This opened a door to speak openly about God’s nature and his plan as the only reliable foundation for any ethical system, as well as about Scripture as his revelation for us about creation and our role and purpose in it. Only one lady out of the entire audience was unhappy about us “presenting only one view and only one religion instead of all of them” (please pray for her – something in her heart is resistant to admit the truth). However, other teachers were very open for the message – times of trouble make people search for the truth and hope desperately, and we have an exciting opportunity to share it. Please pray for the seeds planted among school teachers – people who will have the greatest impact on the next generation!
Moving Forward, Even Without a Car
After Zhitomir, the next place we went to was Crimea. I would hesitate to share some details of the trip for security reasons, but it was, as a whole, successful and useful, all things considered. We had a great opportunity to see and encourage the team, to evaluate the situation and the challenges that it brings, and to retrieve some winter clothing. It was a great reunion with the staff there, challenges and opportunities, evaluation and strategic planning, as well as a possibility to comfort and encourage many friends.
A Home Away from Home
We agreed that in God’s providence the ministry had been well prepared for the move of the office to Kiev. According to our leadership development plan, we already had two offices, so one of them just moved to the mainland. The Crimean office will continue to ship books and disks (our warehouses are still there) as well as Website management and development. They are going to provide more training for the body of believers in that region, as well as exploring new opportunities of equipping the saints for using media in evangelism, as well as expanding the ministry to mainland Russia. We will put special emphasis on training believers for Internet ministries development – through blogging, podcasts, social networks, etc. Our goal will be to develop an army of online evangelists! Please pray for that development.
After the visit we returned to Kiev, where our part of the team (Olga, I, our daughters, and many volunteers) continued to provide the ministry coordination, supply both ministry needs and personal needs for the Crimean team, as well as going on with teaching and training in mainland Ukraine. I already have quite a full teaching schedule till the end of the year.
Another exciting piece of news: our brand new project, Reliable Foundations Club, has started! People from several churches came to the first meeting; some were accompanied by their unbelieving friends. Online podcast made the club session available to many more people despite borders and wars. Praised be the Lord for the gift of modern technologies that allow the spreading of the message so effectively! The issue of the club season, The Good Creator of an Evil World, touches everyone personally, especially in these days in our part of the world. That is why deep and intensive discussion followed the presentation. It allowed us to better show God’s initial plan for the world (as it is revealed in Genesis 1-2, fulfilled in Jesus, and reaching its complete fulfillment soon) as the only true foundation that provides a proper understanding of the issues of evil and suffering. The meeting continued late into the night, but people were not going home until almost an hour after that, and continued discussions in groups. They earnestly requested that the club should continue and promised to spread the message about it more widely. So, we are making preparations for the next session. Please pray with us for them.
There are still a lot of uncertainties. However, the spread of the Truth is continuing! May the name of the Lord be glorified!