Encountering Christ Conference, Year 2, New Testament
Kharvov, Ukraine, October 2013
This year, the Christian leaders returned to Kharkov with their wives for a week. These leaders came from seven different countries and three continents.
Conference Opens Doors into Many Countries
Strategic platform to advance the ministry to the former USSR countries.
This two-year conference was a strategic platform to advance the ministry of BMI to the former countries of the former USSR. Interacting with the pastors allowed us to investigate strategic training opportunities in their regions and to package the existing training materials into a new discipleship program. Our plans are to take this program and to initiate special discipleship movements in Russia through the new partnership with the Baptist Union, Belarus, Armenia and Georgia. We will use this program to train Chinese Christian leaders in Ukraine. The conference and its unique content has also opened doors of opportunity into the Central Asian countries where Christian leaders and churches live under persecution and are in need of practical ministry training.
The majority of the leaders represented Ukraine (including the Vice-President of the Baptist Union, the largest and oldest Protestant denomination of the land. BMI has partnered with the Baptist Union in the former USSR, and our Ministry Center is registered under the Union). The other pastors and teachers were from Vladivostok (Russia’s Far East, a city on the shore of the Sea of Japan near the border with China and North Korea), Minsk (Belarus), Tbilisi (Georgia), Yerevan (Armenia), as well as two leaders from China and Nigeria, both living in Ukraine and associated with our Ministry Center international outreach.
Jonathan (with Vitaly Sorokun interpreting) taught the 2nd year of the EC material, and Faith (with Anna Sorokun interpreting) taught the women from the BMI Women’s Ministry material and her own material on Internet Safety called Home Invasion. On the final day of the conference, there was a special marriage emphasis with a renewal of marriage vows.
“Spiritual truths neatly focused on Christ.”
Comments from the leaders:
“My heart is filled with pleasure because of the abundance of spiritual truths so neatly and beautifully focused on Christ. He taught us in a bright, simple, vivid and practical way. I am going to to use these truths as I prepare my sermons, council people and teach theology, because this material is universal, biblical and very practical from the theologial perspective as it was centered on Christ. This is the focus which is lacking today in lives of many Christians. I am going to reread Jonathan’s book with a pencil in my hand.
“My wife and I were one of the first couples whom Jonathan really wedded on the last day of the conference. We got married when we were still in the world. Back then, I did not make any commitments to Olesya, because nobody asked for any commitments. It was our first vow in the 20 years of our marriage!”
Special Additions: BMI Board Member, Kerry Olin and his wife Kathy joined the conference as well as David Snyder, from BMI partner Sustainable Medical Missions.
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