Home » News » Articles » EASTERN EUROPE AND RUSSIA 2023 UPDATE


Note on the Ukraine/Russia War: Of course the war in Ukraine has taken a devastating toll, and it is not over. Some of our ministry friends have been driven from their cities, and we can no longer travel to Ukraine, Russia or Belarus.

We are so thankful to many of you who gave during the first months of this war.  This was a critical time, and 100% of all gifts were deposited through pastors in Kharkiv, Ukraine to people desperately in need of food! BMI ended up feeding 250,000 people for several months through these churches.

FIRST CONFERENCES IN THE "STANS"  (Specific location and members' faces hidden for safety purposes)

Surrounded by immense, well-known countries such as Russia, Iran, Afghanistan, and China, there lies an array of remote, often forgotten about lands commonly called the “Stans,” with Kazakhstan being the largest in land mass. Formerly part of the Soviet Union, they now exist independently—with most of them being over 95% Muslim and very few Christians. They boast a vast variety of topographies from emerald grasslands, to stark deserts, to snow-capped mountains, where you might be able to find a beautiful Christmas tree!

Two conferences were held in one of the "Stan" countries. The region is called Central Asia. The first conference began a 3-year cycle of BMI training, and participants came from several of those countries. All the leaders are experienced mentors who need further fine-tuning of their skills.


In addition a 2nd training conference was held in the same location where Christian leaders from Ukraine, Russia and Belarus fellowshipped, discussed and learned together in unity!  Wars are usually driven by politicians and not the people, and Christ's love transcends all borders!

Jonathan also visited Romania and Turkey exploring possibilities for training conference locations due to the sad but present situation that he cannot visit Ukraine, Russia or even Belarus at this time. These conferences were facilitated by Vitaliy Sorokun, BMI V.P. and Regional Director.



In 2023 Vitaliy and Anna lived in the USA as refugees from the war. During this time Vitaliy kept
mentoring four BMI Ministry Partners from Africa – Lincoln, Joshua, Kioko, and Pascal. He also added
four more men whom he has been training to become new BMI Ministry Partners – David (Loas), Nueng
(Thailand), Roy (Philippines), and Gustavo (Costa Rica). Vitaliy has also traveled extensively around the
USA speaking at various churches, conferences and events.

In December Vitaliy made a move to Bratislava, Slovakia, to live and to serve there. This is a strategic
location which gives Vitaliy access to two European airports and train stations (Vienna and Bratislava).
Vitaliy will have multiple international trips in 2024 to conduct personal meetings with BMI regional
directors and ministry partners.



Excerpt from Nadia's 2023 Report:

"Powerful explosions still rock the city of Kharkiv, and the people often receive cell phone alerts stating, "ATTENTION! Residents, the occupiers are striking! Stay in shelters!" Can you imagine living like this? Yet, despite the air raid sirens and explosions, my husband Vitaliy and I keep serving God through serving people. During the war, Vitaliy has actually mentored two new young pastors and two deacons! I have also been teaching the Steps of Christian Living to the women in the area in person and online. The mentoring movement is continuing even in this horror.

A few months ago, Dr. Vitaliy Sorokun got acquainted with some Ukrainian displaced families in Poland. He gave me a brilliant idea to start Zoom meetings with two ladies, pastors’ wives Helen and Olha, for mentorship relationships. Helen and Olga are very active in women’s ministry in Poland now. They got really interested in the BMI materials. I worked with them for 5 months. We successfully completed the Seven Steps of Christian Living via Zoom and Google Classroom. They are ready to begin to mentor other ladies, and to continue multiplying mentors."


While Nadia and her husband had escaped to western Ukraine for many months, they are now back living at home in Kharkiv, Ukraine which is only a 40 minute drive from the border of Russia. They are still living within the horrific drum beats of war with bombings occurring frequently. Despite all this danger, she and her husband continue to pastor their church and help people in great need.

This year, Nadia has taught the 7 Steps of Christian Living to many women in Ukraine, Belarus, and Poland and Uzbekistan. She is also assisting Sergei Naboichenko's (Regional Director for Russia) wife in reaching out to her community in Russia. Additionally she enjoys teaching women Sue Burnham's book, Living with Your Emotions.


Sergei is the Superintendent of the Baptist churches in the Kaluga region in Western Russia. He is also a leading minister of the Pastoral Department in the Union of Evangelical Christians – Baptist of Russia. His primary focus is mentoring and growing a new generation of leaders for the Russian-speaking churches, and he is building his ministry around the BMI mentorship multiplication philosophy.  Sergei was a trained aeronautical engineer and responded to a call to do ministry full time.

Sergei is pursuing ongoing mentorship with leaders in his region, overseeing all BMI ministries in Russia, and also has had good receptions in teaching BMI Technology and the Family.

Sergey is married to Diana, a widely recognized women’s ministry leader in Russia.  Together, they raise three children: Yana, Lisa, and Elisha.


Each ministry Regional Director and Ministry Partner focuses on 7 Areas/Goals:

1. Foundations (living the mentorship life/ leading by example)

2. Financial Sustainability - working toward and maintaining their own financial support so not to rely on western money

3. Teaching the BMI 7 Steps of Christian living to groups and in their mentorship settings

4. Teaching additional BMI materials including Encountering Christ, Practical training, Technology and the Family, Living with Your Emotions

5. Establishing BTMP partnerships with colleges and seminaries to incorporate in their curriculum

6. Thorough follow up on all

7. Work toward developing Mentorship Multiplication Movements in their areas

Eastern Europe and Russia Ministry Partners:

  • Rev. Sergey Drozd - Belarus

  • Rev. Ivan Kozorezov - Russia


Rev. Sergey Drozd - Belarus

Sergey Drozd joined BMI as the Belarus Ministry Partner in 2012. He is married to Elena. They have three sons. Sergey serves as a Baptist pastor in Minsk, the capital city of Belarus. He is also the Vice Rector of Minsk Theological Seminary – the leading theological training institution in the country, which has a long-standing partnership with BMI. Under Sergey’s leadership, BMI training materials and philosophy have become one of the key features of the seminary’s educational process. Sergey is also the Deputy Bishop of the Baptist Union of Belarus.

Sergey Drozd

Rev. Ivan Kozorezov - Russia

Ivan serves as the lead pastor of a Baptist church in Nizhny Novgorod, Russia’s fourth-largest city. Ivan actively develops the ministry of mentorship multiplication in his local church. He also serves alongside the BMI Russia Regional Director Sergey Naboichenko. Together, they oversee the BMI training in Russia and are tasked to launch mentorship multiplication movements in Russia’s many regions.

Ivan Kozorezov


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