NEWS / MISSIONS

Street Gang To Christian Ministry!

“Hello, my name is Tatyana. I grew up in a small town and was brought up in a rough neighborhood as the Soviet Union was collapsing. My big brother was the leader of the street gang. I was negatively influenced by him and began to drink, used bad language, and engaged in street fights to prove my toughness and to gain power and influence. One day, I decided to visit a Christian church for the first time on a dare and a promise. I kept my word, so I would not lose face with my other gang members who dared me to go. And then something amazing happened. I was overcome by the Holy Spirit and I gave my lie to Christ that day. I repented of my sins and accepted Jesus as my Savior. It was on that particular day that God drastically transformed me and turned my life around.

After I departed the church service, I literarily had the inability to use foul language. It is as if God closed my lips and I was unable to cuss, no matter how hard I tried! And because my vocabulary was limited without using bad words, I avoided people because I needed time to get used to my new identity.

Due to a biblical course taught by pastor Kostya that was based on Ron Putnam’s books, I was strengthened in my faith and obtained a solid foundation as a Christian. I am growing in the Lord and I have a strong desire to serve God. I realize that God allowed me to struggle with my past sins, so I can now help other people with the same struggles that I battled earlier in life. He has called me to serve those individuals who are deeply lost and have nowhere to turn.

I praise the Lord for these Bible classes – because of them I have gained knowledge and confidence to go and share the Gospel with people in this world. I have begun my ministry as an Evangelist and Ron Putnam’s resources have been a tremendous blessing. I want to thank Ron and all the sponsors for making this possible and for the wonderful lessons I learn from the course every time!” — Tatyana

Christmas

Dear Friends, after Ron announced his vision to reach orphan and terminally ill children during the Christmas season, we began pooling our resources of people and money. We originally planned to provide stuffed animals to all the children in the hospitals, but the hospital administration discouraged us because of sanitary reasons. Therefore, we purchased Legos, dolls, creative kits, candy, cookies, and also presented each child with Christian literature (the literature was donated by Living Hope Baptist Church in Kharkov and the gifts were wrapped and the wrapping paper donated by Good News Church of Kharkov). Because many children have poor hygiene, we also supplied many kids with shampoo, tooth brushes, tooth paste, and soap too.

Before engaging in this outreach, we needed to secure the administration’s approval for each location; you cannot just come to a hospital or orphanage and shower kids with gifts. By God’s grace every location accepted us, which is rare because many other Christian ministries have been denied access. But God’s favor was upon us and we were allowed to bless many children. It was truly a miracle from God!

We were allowed to share the Christmas story, as well as, Jesus’ death and resurrection with the kids and their families. It was a joy to witness so many family members intently listening. We could all see that the Holy Spirit had gone before us that day because this message “deeply touched” all who listened (kids and adults alike). I am being sincere when I convey that it was a miracle to see how everything worked together perfectly and went so smoothly. Your financial donations for the presents, the openness of Ukrainian volunteers, discounts at department stores for buying the presents (which is very rare), the open hearts of the secular administration at all locations, and the open spirits of the children and family members. The entire event was ordained by God!

You helped reach this terminally ill child with the love of Christ by giving a Christmas gift, candy, and Christian literature. Thank you!

It was also a miracle that the MegaVoice audio devices and stuffed animals arrived on Christmas Eve only an hour and a half before the start of our Christmas program to the orphans! The box traveled to us from half way around the world and we received these items at the last possible moment – it was truly amazing! When the delivery driver called me to deliver the package to my home, I was in our ministry car doing some last minute errands. I discovered from our conversation that his delivery truck was only one street away from me – in a town of 1.5 million people. I was able to receive your package from America three minutes later!

Our Christmas program to orphans had two parts: first, we presented the Christmas story; and second, a professional entertainer provided entertainment for the children. Afterwards we distributed the Christmas presents. All the children eagerly received the truth about Jesus and almost every child accepted Jesus as Savior that day.

 

Thank you very much for blessing so many unfortunate children. It made an eternal impact

- Vova Yevsukov

Short-Term Missions

Perhaps you are an experienced short-term missionary or you are considering your first overseas mission trip. Either way, we are excited that you are thinking about joining one of our trips and wanting to impact the lost for Jesus Christ! Most likely, your trip will change your life in some manner and expand your heart for the world!

We assume that part of your motivation is founded in your desire to be obedient to the Great Commission. But you need to ask yourself certain questions. “Why am I going?” Do you want to give God a week or two of your time to serve him, instead of yourself? Perhaps you have a heart for orphans, evangelism, or helping the poor. If so, this agency may be a good fit for you!

Our short-term mission trips involve orphanage work, construction projects, evangelism outreaches, and prayer trips. You do not have to be a skilled worker to join our organization. If you have a loving heart, profess Jesus as your Lord and Savior, and come with a servant attitude, then we need you!

Don’t feel like you have to be a gifted carpenter to work on a construction project. You will be amazed at what you can accomplish with instruction and encouragement. Frequently, your presence and willingness to do the small things go a long way.

We want you to join us year after year. So it is important that you have a good trip experience. We encourage you to select the right trip for you. Review each trip carefully, pray about your selection, and see if you have peace in your heart that comes from the Lord. If this happens, then begin the process. It will be exciting to see how the Lord blesses your act of faith in stepping out.

Let me provide some insight on our evangelism and orphan projects. Be realistic about the depth of evangelism you will be able to do in Ukraine. Many people expect that their cross-cultural efforts will result in many conversions for Christ. Realistically, there may be a few conversions, but Europe is a very hard mission field today. Furthermore, the Ukrainian government is cracking down on Christian evangelism. There is still the ability to minister openly, but come realizing that your efforts are to build upon our existing ministries that keep going long after you are back home. In other words, you will be planting seeds which we will be watering throughout the year. Don’t expect dramatic results, even if that this happens, then praise God!

Before deciding which short-term mission trip you’ll go on, ask yourself these key questions to help select the right trip for you.

Questions to Ask Yourself


• Why are you going? What is your motivation?
• What type of experience are you looking for?
• Am I willing to be a servant and not seeking personal glory?
• Am I a good fit for this organization?
• Have I considered the pitfalls?

Pitfalls to Consider and How to Overcome Them
Just as the people who go on our trips are not perfect, so are the actual trips themselves. This is not a vacation, but a trip to a developing country, where anything can change at any given moment! That being said, your STM experience will be a good one if you remain flexible, attempt to understand the diversity of your teammates, and appreciate the fact that Ukrainian culture is different than yours.

Individuals going on a short-term mission trip can help themselves immensely by examining their own hearts, approaching a trip correctly, choosing wisely, and praying continually! Here are a few pitfalls common to STM and how you can overcome them:

PITFALL #1: THRILL SEEKING

There are some individuals who look for the “experience” rather than coming to serve as a humble servant. This personality type can often become disillusioned, disappointed, and cause negative spirit within the team atmosphere. Their destructive behavior can often leave other team members and Ukrainian nationals embittered.

 

Ways to Overcome


While there is a certain amount of adventure to your trip, it’s important that your focus remains on the task at hand. Check your heart and maintain a servant attitude.

In an effort to alleviate this problem beforehand, Slavic Christian Ministries will contact your pastoral referral. Without his or her favorable consent you may not be accepted as a missionary. Please remember that you are not approved for a trip until the application screening has been completed and you receive an approval email!

PITFALL #2: LACK OF PREPARATION

You may arrive with proper motives but we understand that in all likelihood you will have inadequate preparation. In the beginning you may experience a lack the cohesiveness that develops throughout the week. You may also lack cultural sensitivity and an awareness of your own ethnocentrism―which can offend others and give a negative impression to the Ukrainians.

Ways to Overcome


Each person should be prepared as much as possible before arriving on the field. You need to thoroughly research our website and complete all assigned tasks given to you by our ministry beforehand. For example, teams that work with orphans are expected to learn an assigned Vacation Bible School lesson before coming to Ukraine. You will be expected to teach and train other team members how to minister to the kids during your one-day assigned teaching.

Slavic Christian Ministries will also provide a day of training during your first day on the field. We will have team building projects, time for interaction with other team members, give basic information on Ukraine and your trip, and help in any other way to make this a safe and rewarding trip for you and the Ukrainians.

PITFALL #3: SELF FOCUS

Mission trips today are often used to bring about positive change in your life. We want that to happen for you too! But once again, check your heart – what is the motivation of your going?

Ways to Overcome


Remain focused on God and his purpose for the trip, rather than focusing only on you. Ask yourself, “Why are you going on this trip?” Although experiencing and serving in a different culture may be rich and rewarding, the ultimate goal for going is to express the love of Christ to a hurting and lost culture. Keep focused on the primary reason for your trip – to serve Jesus and to mirror Jesus to a viewing world. Think of others before yourself.

PITFALL #4: PROJECT SELECTION

Not all mission trips are the same. Make sure you decide the reason why you are going before choosing a trip. Orphan projects and evangelism projects are rich in cultural experience, but can be stressful at times because of the great emotional demands. Building projects are much easier emotionally, but have very little cultural interaction and limited time with Ukrainian nationals. Prayer trips have some cultural experience and interaction, but not as much as with our evangelism and orphan projects.

Ways to Overcome


To safeguard yourself, carefully evaluate your trip, you’re desired expectations, and what you are emotionally willing and able to give. Be honest with yourself and do your research on each trip. Determine your physical and emotional limitations.

PITFALL #5: DEPENDENCY

There is the possibility that you may get emotionally involved with the people you meet and build relationships with during your trip. Naturally, you may want to provide material blessings because of your huge heart. While you may not see this as a problem, it can cause extreme problems to the national leadership and our organization. It can cause division among the Ukrainians who don’t get anything and a sense of dependency upon those who do receive something from you. At the same time, some nationals may want to manipulate you in order to get more from you. This may be the hardest of the pitfalls to overcome because you are wanting to give out of a sense of love.

Way to Overcome


First and foremost, don’t trust your emotions! It is good to give, but we need to do it in appropriate ways. Preventing this pitfall is best accomplished by asking your team leader if it is alright to give to someone money or valuable assets while on the trip.

Slavic Christian Ministries will do the necessary research and discover if your generosity will be appropriate by analyzing each case by case request. If there are no foreseeable problems, then we would be happy to honor your request.

However, the best way, is to become a financial partner with our ministry and allow us to target projects in an appropriate manner. Trust us that our years of experience and vast network of relationships will accomplish your desired outcome in an appropriate way that honors Christ, protects you from manipulation, and deters Ukrainians from becoming dependent Americans in unhealthy ways.

I believe that you will have a successful, rewarding, and blessed trip if you follow these simple guidelines. We hope to hear from you soon! Ukraine needs you and our Lord needs you too!

A Hardened Atheist Redeemed for Christ

Hello, my name is Oleg Khlopov and I’m from Kharkov, Ukraine. Growing up, my family always attended church, but I have been a hardened atheist my entire life. During my childhood my relatives called me a “daredevil,” because I was a mischievous kid, broke windows, caused trouble, and even started a fire.

As the years passed, I was married and had a son. But somehow, someway, I became addicted to drugs. All I remember is that I began arguing with my family and I tried to calm myself down by medicating myself through illegal drugs, until one day I woke up and realized that it consumed my entire life. My wife had divorced me and my life unraveled in dramatic ways. I eventually was brought to this Christian rehabilitation center by the police because I was in such bad shape.

While residing here in this facility, I was “annoyed” by these Christians who kept inviting me to their Bible lessons. After a while, I decided to attend their meetings in an attempt to destroy their faith and theological arguments about Christianity. But over the passage of time, I realized that I was the one changing!

I began attending church, reading my Bible, and truly seeking to learn, until one day I accepted Jesus as my personal Savior during an altar call. Slavic Christian Ministries theology teach, Kostya Deneka said that I’m now a totally different person.

After attending Slavic Christian Ministries theology courses and after I studied Ron Putnam’s book The Way to Intimacy, I was am amazed at how wonderful this course was for me! I was deeply impressed by the chapters “Giving” and “Worship.” I felt with all my heart that giving and worship of God would transform my heart and bring me back to health emotionally and spiritually.

My life is constantly changing due to our Bible lessons and because other Christian friends are investing in me. I’m not ready to leave the rehabilitation center, but I am getting better every day. If someone would have told me that I would be a true believer a few years ago, I would never have believed him. I’m thankful for the teacher’s and God’s patience with me. God has prepared one more surprise for me – He gave me an opportunity to meet the author of the book that we are studying. This is incredible! Ron Putnam flew all the way across the ocean and visited my rehabilitation center, so he could provide us hope and assurance in Christ. I wish there were more people like those serving in Slavic Christian Ministries. Thank you for pointing me to Christ!

– Oleg

Because of your prayers and help in our ministry, people like Oleg are turning to Christ through the Holy Spirit’s leading and through our efforts.

College Students Making a Difference!

This past May, Slavic Christian Ministries was honored to host twelve short-term missionaries from San Diego Christian College’s “VISION Music and Drama Team” in our city of Kharkov. There were ten college students and two additional team leaders (one of whom is on staff at SDCC). They were very active, gracious, and spread many seeds across our region. I am so thankful for this team because they produced so much joy for so many Ukrainians. And I believe that this team was encouraged during their visit too! Below is part of a letter/testimony from Larry Wilson, the team leader and associate professor from the college:

It was great to see so many different kinds of ministries going strong in northeast Ukraine. As you no doubt intended, we saw various types of churches, ranging from conservative to very contemporary, as well as a variety of approaches to ministry, such as Calvary Chapel’s bilingual approach and pantomime team…

My students and I will never forget the great feeling of sharing love with the orphans, both younger and older, the blessing of worshiping with the various congregations, especially where there were songs we could sing along with in English, and the privilege of sharing our songs and dramas, breaking through the language barrier with the message of the gospel. Above all, we are thrilled to know that, in addition to seeds planted and doors for ongoing ministry opened, the Lord allowed us to see a harvest of some twenty souls (seven in Kharkov), through the team’s ministry and the preaching of John Townsend. May God continue to bless you, your family, and the ministry of SCM.

– Larry Wilson, Associate Professor of Music, San Diego Christian College

As many of you know, we have a high regard for short-term missionaries because they add so much to our on-going ministry efforts. If you would like to join us for a future trip, please contact me. We would love to see you in Ukraine! Thank you again SDCC Vision Music and Drama Team!

As always, I want to thank you for your continued love, prayers, and sacrificial giving. Because of your help many people’s lives are being saved for our Lord Jesus! Please enjoy the remaining portion of your summer!

Vision Trips

Over the last year, I have spent a good deal of time networking with churches across America. Seeing the Lord open the heart of so many pastors fills me with joy. New friendships are developing and some churches are now considering either vision trips or mission trips through SCM to Ukraine within the next couple of years.

Todd Farrington of Hope Community Church was a recent representative to Ukraine (see Todd in the photo above). My team and I really enjoyed Todd, his pastoral heart, and love for Christ’s kingdom. He connected with many pastors and orphanages, and observed the basic workings of our ministry. Todd wrote,

I am so humbled with the idea that God would use me to do His work. After spending 8 days in Ukraine recently, I am reminded (once again) how big God is! He is so present and at work in this beautiful country… I was able to meet with a number of denomination presidents, pastors and bishops to see what God is doing in Ukraine. We shared prayer requests, and the number one request for each of these leaders was a need for pastors, or help training people to be the pastor of the churches they are starting. Please pray that the people of Ukraine will continue to place their trust in God and continue to do His work. Pray that God will use our new friendships to build His Kingdom. While it is in such a dark place spiritually, God’s presence is so obvious and that is so exciting!

Ron is working hard to bring the gospel to so many in a country that is spiritually dry and dark, but so thirsty for the Good News. Ron’s effort is showing much fruit for the Kingdom. Whether in orphanages, drug rehabilitation centers, or in the many churches and denominations that he is working, everyone was grateful for all the Ron has done and continues to do! It was a real blessing for me, and for Hope Community Church to begin to develop this friendship/partnership with Ron and Slavic Christian Ministries.

Another representative—from the San Diego area—is scheduled to visit Ukraine this June. Like Todd, he too will be researching SCM’s ministry to discern if God might be calling them to bring a team of short-term missionaries to Ukraine next year.

Saved in the Nick of Time

During the last few days of my itinerary, I was scheduled to travel to Kiev for a couple of very important meetings and to distribute my second theology book to Christian colleges across the city. Almost without notice, the meetings were cancelled or never materialized just before our departure. We cancelled this portion of the itinerary and I was momentarily discouraged.

Remembering the mission’s adage, “Always remain flexible,” I gathered myself and began making additional appointments with people whom I was unable to visit earlier. Almost immediately, the Lord impressed upon my heart to preach at the Baptist’s Drug Rehabilitation Center in Kharkov. It was the strongest sense of conviction I experienced during the entire trip. I knew God was planning something special at this rehabilitation center. Because of the limited amount of time before my plane’s departure, I squeezed in this ministry event several hours before takeoff.

When I arrived, the men and women were anticipating my arrival, patiently waiting for me in their chapel. Without hesitation, I removed my coat, gave a short introduction about our ministry, and directly entered into the sermon, discussing the different perspectives of biblical faith I had parsed from Hebrews 11:1.

The crowd listened intently, but showed little emotion. At the end of the sermon, an alter call was given for anyone wanting to repent. By God’s grace and somewhat to my surprise, nine people came forward, repented of their sins, and gave their lives to Christ!

The director of the facility was very pleased with the results. He remarked to me, “I have been preaching the Good News to them for several months now, and no one had come to Christ.” Apparently, SCM was the vehicle through which God chose to bring these precious souls into his eternal kingdom. They were saved just in the nick of time—hours before I departed for home. What a perfect end to my trip!

All-in-all, sixteen people accepted Christ during my travels (each person’s first time)—nine during that meeting and seven more as a result of an earlier sermon I preached.

Rebuilding Lost Lives

There is a very special church in Kharkov named Kingdom of God, which also runs a Christian rehabilitation center. It is a “niche” church because it is comprised mostly of recovering drug and alcohol addicts. Both the church and rehabilitation center meet the needs of the most distressed in society, outside of orphans. However, you would not know this by the joy that you see on the faces of these people because of their newfound freedom in Christ and from their addiction.

The pastors themselves are also former drug addicts, who began these two ministries a few years ago. One of the two pastors (whose name is Igor) met his wife in the church, and married her despite the fact the she has AIDS. What a testimony to Christ’s love. He married his sweetheart despite the risk to himself!

Not only is this a thriving church, but the Christian rehabilitation center is nationally and locally recognized by the secular government. The residents explained to me that this is one of the few places available in the entire country that ministers to addicts suffering from AIDS. Truly this ministry is a beacon of hope in an overwhelmingly hopeless situation.

Needless to say, I felt honored and blessed to preach in this church of about 200 people last summer. When I gave the altar call at the end of the sermon, six people accepted Jesus as their Savior (You can see the photos at the end of the letter). It was a very joyful moment. The pastors were delightfully praising God for those six conversions.

But despite my joy, I also experienced heartbreak when one of the six converts cried and asked me to pray and intercede for his wife who had just been diagnosed with AIDS, and did not know Jesus as her Savior. After another holy moment when the entire church prayed, we all resumed the celebration, and many people came forward for individual prayer. It was a holy moment in time because you could sense the gratitude and joy in the midst of each person’s struggles.

A surprising testimony came back to me this winter when Artoem, one of the six converts who accepted Jesus that Sunday talked with our ministry. He reaffirmed his commitment to Jesus, and he testified that his life was truly changed since that day when he came forward for salvation. He is now forming a team of people to begin a new Christian rehabilitation center in the city of Dnepropetrovsk, which is about four hours away from Kharkov.

When our director, Vova spoke with Artoem, Vova said “I could see that his attitude was genuine and that he had much gladness in his heart.” Praise God! What else can I say, but praise God! Let Christ’s kingdom advance!

Please pray for the finances for Kingdom of God church and rehabilitation center, so they can continue to make an impact for recovering drug, alcohol, and AIDS patients.

Season of Salvation

This has been a very encouraging season here in Ukraine. I was able to see the conclusion of several of our courses, sponsor short-term missionaries, review future locations of ministry, create new denominational alliances, and engage in weekly preaching throughout our region. While each area had its own encouraging merits, I am most excited about the salvation of people through our ministry during this trip.

Through all of these avenues, I have seen 64 orphans and 34 adults make commitments to Christ. I am hoping that before our return to America two more people will accept Christ, so we can have a round number of 100 people who have made commitments to Jesus during my time here in Ukraine!

One personal story that remains with me is concerning a Ukrainian woman in her mid-thirties, named Enna. A few years ago, Enna married a Muslim man from Northern Africa. She has two children from this marriage. In recent times there has been a struggle in her family because the Holy Spirit has been drawing Enna and her children to Jesus, but Enna’s husband has been pushing the family towards his Muslim faith.

One Sunday morning I preached in a small church of about 40 people in Kharkov. Enna had returned from Northern Africa back to Ukraine for a short period of time to visit her Ukrainian family. It just so happened that God drew her as a guest to this church the same morning that I preached.

As usually is the case, at the end of my sermon, I asked if anyone wanted to accept Jesus Christ as his or her personal Savior. Enna came forward and fell to her knees immediately. With heavy flowing tears from her eyes, she repeated the prayer of salvation and became a redeemed child of God.

She explained to me that she had wanted to accept Jesus as her Savior for a long period of time, but didn’t have the opportunity in her Muslim country. Christians know that anyone can accept Jesus as Savior anywhere at anytime, but it was important for Enna to receive Jesus within a Christian community and church. So God drew her to Ukraine so she could receive the Savior of her soul. She has now returned to her Muslim home, I believe.

Please pray for Enna since her trials are only beginning. Now that she is back with her Muslim family, she will have the extreme difficulty of telling her Muslim husband of her new relationship with Jesus. Most likely, the only peace that she will experience in her future is if her husband will also accept Jesus as Savior. Until then, please pray for Enna’s spiritual and physical safety (it is dangerous to be a Christian in a Muslim land and family), her children’s and husband’s salvation, and the other 97 people who accepted Jesus this summer.

Pastor’s Conference

PASTOR’S CONFERENCE WENT WONDERFULLY

 

In October we organized two pastor’s conferences for three different denominations for Family Discipleship Ministries (“FDM”). We had about 80 pastors and lay-leaders at the event. Afterward, we had many of these pastors meet with the leaders of FDM to discuss beginning this ministry in Ukraine. The president of FDM said that in all of his travels, this was the most open and excited group of pastor’s he has ever met.

We are currently helping FDM connect further with these pastors so their relationship can begin to take root within this culture. FDM is planning on coming back to Ukraine next September.

With domestic violence, alcoholism, abortion, and drug use all reported to be around 50% within this culture, you can see that this ministry can have a large impact in this region. Please pray that Ukrainian churches will follow through with this ministry.

Launching Fall Courses

SCM Launches Fall Courses

In September, we began our “school year ministry” once again. We began our English and theology courses for eight different groups and totaling 180-200 students. These courses meet weekly until next April.

Most of our English students are younger, but Vika, one of our English teachers reports that one elderly lady is coming to her courses, who is a scientist. She said to Vika, “Now I see that the Bible doesn’t contradict the science, as I used to think, but on the contrary it supports it!” Vika reports that this woman is not saved yet, but close. Wait until we get her in our theology course! Undoubtedly, God will continue to touch this lady’s heart.

Natasha, one of our other employees has been working passionately in expanding MOPS (Mother’s of Preschoolers) to three different denominations. By the end of this month, we are hoping to begin eight MOPS groups.

This is exciting because we introduced MOPS to Ukraine this past July 30th, when we had our first conference. We are seeing the natural outpouring since that conference. Leah, a professional MOPS representative in Russia helped us with this conference in July. We are considering bringing Leah back to Ukraine once again to help Natasha with training and vision-casting. Please pray not only for the viability of MOPS in Ukraine, but our English and theology courses will bring people to a saving relationship with Jesus, and mature people in Christ.

Who was Blessed the Most?

This summer we had 23 short-term missionaries come and minister to orphans, different Christian churches, people in a hospital, some of our English students at a picnic area, and they presented two seminars. From the feedback I have heard from Ukrainians and Americans, I don’t know who was more blessed, the missionaries or the Ukrainians. Several of the missionaries said that this trip was “life altering and has blessed them tremendously.” But as I survey what these missionaries accomplished, the Ukrainians were very blessed too!

The missionaries worked extremely long hours (between 12-16 hours every day), but everyone was filled with joy as they saw the Lord move in their midst. There were between 50-75 people who made professions of faith; many of them orphans. The two orphanage directors appreciated us so much that SCM has now hired one permanent orphanage worker and we are looking to hire a second orphanage worker in the next few weeks.

One of the conferences that was presented was a MOPS conference (Mothers of Preschoolers). This was an exciting conference because we had the opportunity to introduce MOPS to Ukraine. There were between 150 – 200 people from about 30 different churches who were in attendance. A lovely couple from Russia traveled three days by car just to be our guest speakers. Because of everyone’s involvement, it was a huge success.

We are now dialoging with pastors about this ministry, and we will hopefully begin eight MOPS groups before December. Please pray for open doors and hearts as we proceed forward.

EXPANSION OF OUR EDUCATIONAL MINISTRY

SCM is organizing another pastors conference this upcoming October. We are sponsoring a ministry from San Diego called Family Discipleship Ministries.

Just as their name implies, they minister to families by providing educational resources that help them become more Christlike within their family unit. Please pray that this conference and the subsequent course will be a grand success. Currently, we have three churches already signed-up to take this new course in the fall.

SCM also has branched out to multiple denominations with our courses. They include a conglomeration of non-denominational churches, Baptists, Pentecostals, and perhaps a Calvary Chapel and a couple Messianic Jewish congregations.

We will be providing each church the opportunity of having two of our four ministries. They are English evangelism, Theology, Family Discipleship, and MOPS. And don’t forget we are now engaging in on-going orphan ministry too.

Vova’s Ministry Update

Vova, our ministry director in Ukraine has had a wonderful evangelism-filled summer. He wanted me to share this brief update with you:

This summer I have engaged in many evangelistic activities, which includes preaching, showing Christian films, visiting people and praying for them. I would like to tell you about two events. During one of our evangelistic outreaches I had one hundred and ninety men (approximately fifty non-believers) who came together. This event, like so many others, included my sermon, showing a Christian film, singing songs and inviting people to Jesus and the local church. It was wonderful to see God encouraging Christians and opening the hearts of non-Christians.

I also have been evangelizing within local hospitals. As is often the case in cancer wards, the people are despondent and initially not open for conversation. But we have enjoyed seeing the blessing of ministering to these people. During one of our outreaches we began showing God’s love to the people and listening to their personal stories. After we interacted with them, their hearts began to melt as we proclaimed God’s love for them and Christ’s salvation. One time recently five men prayed to accept Jesus as Savior. When we left many people thanked us for coming.

Both of these stories reflect my ministry through SCM and my local church. Please keep praying for SCM and our evangelistic efforts. We love you and appreciate you very much in America.

Vova is such a wonderful Christian. We love him very much.

In other news, we are expecting a wonderful kick-off for our September start date. As you may recall, we had ten English courses last year. This year we are doing so much more. Natasha, our English department head, has improved and enhanced our teaching materials and ready to teach these English courses once again. Furthermore, we are beginning five new discipleship courses, beginning between one to three new churches, partnering with a children’s day shelter (pseudo-orphanage), youth program, and publishing our discipleship materials.

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