On September 30th, Vitaly Bilyak, BIEM’s missionary in Ternopil, Ukraine, received a call at 1:30 am. The Rehabilitation Center run by this new church was burning. Praise the Lord, neither the minister on duty nor the six rehabilitants living there were injured. However, since fire insurance is not a realistic option in Ukraine, there is an urgent need to do some rebuilding before winter sets in. Fortunately, the large, 2-story workshop recently built was untouched. Therefore the rehabilitants have been moved into this unfinished building to carry on that ministry. The rehabilitation work is crucial. It has successfully rescued lives from the bondage of drugs and alcohol. Even more critical, it has rescued souls from hell as former addicts repent and place their trust in Christ.
New Life Baptist church in the heart of Ternopil is certainly an urban location. Because some of this ministry’s first converts were drug addicts and alcoholics, the church saw and responded to the need for a drug and alcohol rehabilitation center. The program features Bible Study, personal counseling, and physical labor.
Since this rehabilitation center began in 2008, nearly forty men have successfully completed the program and are now living productive Christian lives. What a testimony of God’s great saving grace! However, an almost equal number quit the program, which of course is voluntary. Of those, 10 have already died as a result of their downward path. This gloomy fact highlights the shining victories in the lives of those who have concluded the program. The Rehabilitation Center has literally saved both the souls and the lives of dozens.
Because of the fire, there’s an emergency need of $10,000 to rebuild the exterior of the burned building and get it roofed before winter, and also to finish the portion of the workshop now being used for ministry. Certainly, more funds will be needed later, but the wonderful news is that some materials and all of the labor is being provided by Ukrainian believers. All of the windows and doors will be donated by a Ukrainian business owned by Christians. Volunteers from Ukrainian churches are already arriving to help.
Please consider helping with this urgent need. All gifts, no matter the amount, will be greatly appreciated. If you can help, please designate your gift “Rehabilitation Center” and send your donation to BIEM, 121 Commerce Drive, Suite 50, Danville, IN 46122. To make a donation online please click the red donate button at the top right of this page.
Following is a letter with photographs from Vitaly Bilyak.
Letter from missionary Vitaly Bilyak about the fire
Greetings to you, dear friends,
As you probably realize, the past week has been hectic. Because of the fire at our Rehabilitation Center, we’ve had to change all our plans.
The fire started overnight between September 29 and 30. God saved all six rehabilitants and the minister in a miraculous way. One of rehabilitants dreamed that the house was on fire. It scared him, and he woke up to see the fire was real.Praise the Lord that nobody was hurt or killed. Everyone is all right.
This letter is a summary of the situation. Wehadtomakedecisions about the future of the center.
One idea was to send the rehabilitants away to other centers. We rejected it and decided to continue our ministry while renovating the building.
The house was destroyed so badly we had to remove the roof. We need to rebuild the upper part of all walls (about1.6 feet). The doors and windows (except for one) are totally destroyed. The recent kitchen addition is gone. The bedroom burned, too, along with all the beds and the men’s personal belongings.
Praise the Lord that we have a big workshop and a large room for the storage.
We moved the rehabilitants to the shop’s large storage room. We use an electric heater. The shop is the temporary living room, dining room, and storage for building materials. We’ve added a temporary shower and electric boiler to the shop rest room.The washing machine is also there.
Plans and needs
We need to act quickly! Since winter is coming and fall is a season of hard rains,we need quick, decisive action. The dirt road is really bad, so Step 1 is to buy and transport building supplies before the heavy rains.
Rehab Center – the house
Our plans are to fix all the walls in the building before winter. It is also important to rebuild the roof and attic.
Weplan to create a higher roof than we had before. That way, we will gain a loft for center’s needs. (In the loft we want to build two-three rooms for fellowship and a library.)
While working on these immediate steps, we will plan the following stages.
Rehab Center – the workshop
In order to continue this ministry in wintertime, we must make bedrooms for the rehabilitants. It is much quicker to make rooms in our workshop than to wait for the burned house to be rebuilt. When we planned to make living quarters above the shop, our plan was to have several rooms for rehabilitants who have no place to go after they finish the program. The fire forced u
s to speed up this work. Such living quarters will allow the men to spend the winter relatively comfortable. Before and during the winter, the rehabilitants and we will reconstruct our building. After we complete the renovation, the men will move back to the house, and the dormitory over the shop will be used as we planned.
Here are the steps we need to take:
- Finish the floor.We have wood for it; we only need some panels (OSB) for the rest room.
- Mount the dry wall.
- Do the electrical wiring (outlets, switches).
- Install a water heater. Water is already there.
Most of this work we will do on our own or with the help of willing friends from other churches. We need at least $10,000 for building materials and transportation. We will be extremely grateful for your help in renovating the Rehabilitation Center for alcohol and drug addicts.
With all respect and prayers for God’s richest blessings upon you,
Yours in Christ,
On July 22, Mary Slobodian, wife of BIEM founder, Peter Slobodian, passed into eternity. She went to join her husband, Peter, with the Lord, peacefully at her residence in Gladstone, Missouri. She was 83 and is survived by 3 children, 11 grandchildren, and 14 great-grandchildren. Funeral services are as follows:
690 East 56th Street
Brownsburg, Indiana 46112
Phone: (317) 852-4296
Viewing at Noon on Saturday, July 26
Funeral Service at 1 PM Saturday, July 26
Interment at Lincoln Memory Gardens, Zionsville, IN
Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his saints. -Psalm 116:15
Special prayer needs Ukrainian believers asked us to convey.
- Please pray for civil peace in that nation. Citizens in the West and in the East of Ukraine need to return to a state of living together peacefully and participating in one unified society.
- As people see the failures of human political leaders, pray they would realize the need to put their hope in the Lord. This is a prayer for a revival that would turn Ukrainian people to God.
- Pray that exterior powers would refrain from interfering with the internal affairs of the nation during this difficult time.
- In light of the many changes in government offices, please pray for the country’s internal structure to be rebuilt and stabilized.
- Another concern is the number of people who are carrying weapons. Criminal elements were operating during the unrest, taking advantage of the distractions. Pray for law and order to prevail.
- Pray that this situation would result in opportunities for God’s people to evangelize. This would require being able to draw people’s focus off of politics—not easy to do these days.
- Please pray that whatever government or leaders God allows to remain or come into power, that Ukraine would continue to have freedom to preach the Gospel and do missionary work.
Thank-you for joining us in praying for the people and the nation of Ukraine!
Our seminary in Kiev, Ukraine, has seen a good enrollment of new students this fall, including 4
from the country of Belarus. We praise the Lord for this ministry and for every student it trains!
In Peru, new church-planter Jaime Ovalle requests prayer for an evangelistic campaign being
planned for November. Pray for power in preaching and for the salvation of souls!
In Komarivka, Ukraine, a young Orthodox priest has begun attending the Baptist church
services and is causing problems. He accuses the locals of teaching heresy and refuses to stop
coming until he converts them all to Orthodoxy. The missionary doesn’t want to throw him out
physically, but requests prayer that God will open this young man’s eyes the same as He did to
In one of the restricted lands where our missionaries work, a young woman was brutally attacked
a week after her baptism. She had to flee her hometown. Please pray for her health, safety, and
adjustment to the new area. A male new believer, Ali, has been threatened by family members.
Please pray for these and others taking their first steps on the Christian path in these hostile
One of our active former Muslims in Central Asia is Pastor Eagle. He has seen good spiritual fruit with souls turning to Christ. However, the local police are questioning all the neighbors about him in their efforts to find any accusation against him. Pray for him and his wife. Meanwhile, Pastor River has 5 groups to which he ministers. They baptized 10 people this past summer!
Read the full report in November’s BIEM’s of Light
In Otradnoye, Russia, Oleg Vladyko lists these needs: “We need to raise $1000 to finish the work on the sides of the building. Prayer for the orphanage ministry. We are meeting with the children outside of the compound in small groups since the new director is not ready to meet with us at this time.”
Read the full report in November’s BIEM’s of Light
BIEM is excited to have made an initial delivery of Bibles and related materials to former Muslims in order to assist them in evangelizing a particularly restrictive nation. (Forgive the vagueness; we’re being elusive for a reason.) May the Lord use His Word to save souls!
Read the full report in November’s BIEM’s of Light