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,
Many friends of BIEM don’t realize that our founder, Ukrainian-born Peter Slobodian, received Christ and began serving the Lord in Argentina. He and his wife Mary occasionally returned to Latin America to visit friends and to evangelize in Spanish.
Now BIEM has accepted an opportunity to boost church planting in Latin America, the continent of our roots. The “beachhead” for this evangelistic thrust is Peru. In that country, there are two fundamental Bible schools for national believers. The students receive a solid foundation of Bible knowledge and training in church-planting. However, after graduation these men face an uphill struggle. Despite ministerial training, they must work secular jobs simply to survive.
Enter BIEM. We have experience providing limited-time support to approved nationals to help them plant churches. What we don’t have is a Bible school in South America. Conversely, there are quality schools, but not a program to assist graduates. In this win-win scenario, the schools already there will provide the education, plus recommendations concerning graduates, and then BIEM would financially aid such men for two years while they focus on evangelism and church-planting.
This model is reminiscent of Paul’s statement in 1 Corinthians 3:6, “I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase.” When the goal is spiritual fruit for God’s glory, it’s unimportant who planted or watered (or who taught, and who financed). We merely want to see souls saved to the glory of God.
Why limit the support to two years? This time period was recommended to lessen the risk of nationals becoming dependent on American dollars. Another advantage is that U.S. churches who want to take on such a project don’t need to pledge support forever. In 24 months, their commitment is done. Even if the church planter ends up working part-time after the initial two years, in the worst-case scenario his church is two years farther along than it would have been.
The first candidate, Segundo Rodriquez, has already been accepted and is busy on his field in Peru. The second man that we aim to help was saved out of drug addiction. He has already started a church in his mother-in-law’s home, which is in a drug-ridden area of Urubamba. (At the moment, he drives a taxi to earn a living and can’t concentrate on church-planting.) The third and fourth men hope to work as a team in the Peruvian interior.
Of course, accountability is crucial. These church planters will be answerable to a team of five advisors (three Americans and two Peruvians) who teach at the schools in Trujillo and Urubamba. In addition, BIEM board member Pastor Andy Counterman will oversee this program as part of his regular ministry trips to Latin America.
The pluses are abundant: trained workers, endorsements, favorable economics, a system of accountability and oversight, local advisors, and good stewardship. If this program functions as well as we hope, then we can expand it into other Latin countries.
We praise God for another way to serve God and to grease the wheels for world evangelism!
BIEM’s Drug & Alcohol Rehab Center is currently at capacity with men whose lives have been hurt by addictions. The Rehab Center now has a waiting list that is continually growing with more and more men who want to change their lives for the better. This is not done on their own power, but through the power of Christ in their lives. Instead of the hopelessness of their addiction, hope is giving through a personal relationship with Christ.
Current recovered addicts are making bunk beds with their own tools to accommodate as many men as possible. There is also a need for a similar women’s Rehab Center. Will you consider giving to these needy ministries?