BIEMs of Light January 2019

Praises Rejoice with us!

  • We had requested prayer for Ira, the sister of one of our missionaries in Central Asia. Ira had cancer, which required a hysterectomy. Surgeons successfully removed the tumor. However, in the process they also found her left tube was severely infected and about to burst. Praise our Lord that they operated in time to catch that. Thank you for praying!

  • Such a cause for praise! BIEM’s Igor Fomichov shares that, after 18 years of praying for the salvation of his parents, both of them have now placed their faith in Christ! His father is already with the Lord after having accepted Christ early in 2018, and before year’s end, his mother, too, repented. Hallelujah! Never stop praying for loved ones!

  • In Central Asia, a Christian woman needed an operation on her neck during the last week in December. The surgeons were amazed at how smoothly everything went, and she was able to talk quite soon afterward. “Peace” used that opportunity to share her faith in the hospital, where she led two women to Christ!

  • The year 2019 marks 38 years of God leading, guiding, and blessing the ministry of BIEM for His glory. There have been plenty of challenges along the way, but we thank God for blessing in every one of those years. We also praise Him for you who stand with us!

Praises Rejoice with us!

  • Literally all of BIEM’s missionaries have been involved in special evangelistic outreaches for Christmas and New Year. (In Eastern Europe, the Orthodox calendar places Christmas on January 7, so special services and follow-up are still happening.) Please pray for the salvation of souls!

  • Opportunities have opened up to conduct regular ministries in two orphanages in Ukraine. Finances are needed to conduct these outreaches on a regular basis. Please pray about this need so that in hearing the Gospel, these needy children will embrace Christ and gain a Heavenly Father.

  • In Yucay, Peru, missionary Juan Bautista Huillca Quispe also has a vision for evangelizing another nearby town called San Juan. He requests prayer for God’s guidance in that effort.

  • During our Winter Kiev Seminary session this month, plans will be laid for a special missions conference targeting Central Asia in connection with the Spring seminary session.  Please pray that God would enable and bless such a conference for our seminary students.

Challenger Update

Here is an excerpt from our most recent Challenger publication.

In October, BIEM’s newest secretary, Lauren, traveled to Ukraine with members of Mt. Tabor Baptist Church in Lebanon, Indiana. Here she shares impressions from that trip.

I can honestly say this trip has been the answer to a long-held dream. I went to Ukraine for the first time when I was twelve, and have dreamed of going back ever since.

While I loved many things about this trip — the Ukrainian countryside, traveling, and don’t get me started on the food!—as I look back over my pictures, the people stood out the most.

When I boarded the airplane for this trip, the only people I really knew were Sam and Amy, my coworkers from BIEM. I will admit I was nervous about spending a week and a half with strangers. But God removed that fear immediately. The Lord gave our motley crew great unity. I got to watch our group take care of each other by carrying bags, deciphering names of food, and sharing hair-doing skills.

Our group was made up of ten people from Indianapolis, a couple from Canada, and Sam and Amy. The youngest member of our group was Derek (age eleven). I was next youngest; everyone else was over fifty. One of the couples from Indy was also blind. While in Ukraine, we were accompanied by Eugene (BIEM’s Ukrainian director) and Igor, who served as our drivers. Church planter Lyosha was our interpreter.

Our main purpose for the trip was to participate in widows’ and orphans’ services in a number of the different churches BIEM supports. Some of the services were held in local orphanages or boarding-school facilities. We also had the opportunity to visit two of the Drug and Alcohol Rehabilitation centers run by BIEM personnel or local pastors. In the process, we did a lot of driving. We stayed in Bilogorodka, just west of Kyiv in the Second Baptist Church of Bilogorodka, pastored by BIEM’s Director for Ukraine, Eugene Buyko.

Our trip was punctuated by excellent meals, great conversations, and so much laughter. As I look at the pictures, I can almost hear the laughter. I know very little Russian and Ukrainian, but every once in a while I would get the jokes.

Since we spent most of the trip traveling hither and yon, we spent a lot of time in the two vans. Combine bad suspension, bumpy roads, and a fully European driver, and it makes for some exciting adventures. I rode in the blue van, driven by Igor Fomichov, one of BIEM’s church planters. Igor and our interpreter Lyosha (another church planter) shared many laughs throughout the trip. And anytime that Sam, Eugene, Igor, and Lyosha get together, laughter is sure to ensue.

And the people. The people are beautiful, from the impulsive hugs of little children to long, broken conversations in the van. We met widows who were so grateful for a simple bag of groceries. We met kids who were excited for gifts and love. I got to reconnect with the wives of several church planters, whom I have met over the past year, when they have visited the BIEM office.

And their stories. Over the course of the trip, we got to hear testimonies from several BIEM church planters and other Christians. From Vitaly Yurchenko surviving being in the affected zone on the day Chernobyl exploded, to Igor Fomichov’s dramatic transformation from a life of drugs and crime, I am so grateful for the grace of our Lord, who sees value in all people, the broken, the prideful, the scared, the disabled, and the criminal.

I have no pictures of one of my favorite parts of the trip. On Friday night, after a long day visiting the Philadelphia Rehab Center in Fastiv, plus the Velykоpolovetske orphanage (an hour away from Fastiv), and finishing with a widows’ service at the River of Life Baptist Church in Fastiv, we were finally heading back to Bilogorodka. It was probably 9:30 at night, and we had an hour and a half drive over fairly bad roads. I was sitting towards the front of the van, chatting with Lyosha and Igor, when Igor asked whether I can sing. Igor’s English is about equal to my level of my Russian — very limited. But many hymns have been translated into Russian. So we sang. We sang all the verses of all the hymns we could remember, and when they knew the songs, the Ukrainians joined in. We sang all the way back. There is something about worship that is beautiful in any language, even if you don’t understand what is being said.

I returned home with a renewed love for a country on the other side of the world, for a language I barely under- stand, and for people I call my brothers and sisters in Christ. Please pray for these families as they reach out to their communities to impact lives for Christ. Please pray for the continued influence of the connections made through the widows’ services. For many of the widows, it was their first time in church. While many of the widows we interacted with were older, a number were younger women, widowed by the conflict that continues in Eastern Ukraine. And please pray for us who went on the trip, that God would continue to teach us and mold our hearts through this experience.

Throughout the course of this trip, over 700 widows and orphans heard the Gospel and received help. Pastors of the churches involved report they have gained regular attenders from these meetings. May the Lord work in hearts to save souls and make them church members!

 

 

December Video Update

Watch this video on Vimeo by either clicking on the following link or by copying and pasting it in your browser:

https://vimeo.com/306188633

Dear Pastors and Friends,

Warm Christmas greetings from the Slobodians! 

This month's video features some of our Ukrainian church planters sharing blessings from the recent special services for widows and orphans that were held in several locations.  The widows enjoyed a meal prepared by the church along with a service where the Gospel was presented.  Each widow received a bag of groceries and those who did not have Bibles were given one.  The children were treated to a special children’s program featuring the Gospel and received a gift box with toys and supplies.  Both the widows and children heard testimonies from the American church group from Indiana that participated in this outreach,

Not only were these meetings a wonderful blessing, but also the news of this expression of Christian love spread throughout the communities which lifted up the testimony of the church.  In one location, the mayor attended, and in another location, a deputy, which is the Ukrainian version of a congressman, participated. 

May God bless you with a blessed Christmas and wonderful New Year!

Sam & Amy Slobodian

BIEMs of Light December 2018

Praises Rejoice with us!

  • We requested prayer for a container shipment to Ukraine. Praise God, it arrived safely. Although customs agents checked and triple-checked the contents (probably due to increased international tensions in that region), everything was received!

  • In Bila Tserkva, Ukraine, BIEM’s Bruce Tuttle praises God that classes are going so wonderfully at the Pastors Training Institute. He writes, “Day after day, the men arrive at classes . . . and they are cheerful, respectful, and seem to retain an enthusiasm for learning. These fellows have been a delight to know and to teach!”

  • Our missionaries in one Muslim nation invited 70 locals with whom they’ve become acquainted to gather for a Harvest celebration, which is a holiday usually celebrated by churches in Eastern Europe. These locals listened with interest to the Christians’ emphasis on praising and thanking God. Not only did no one express hostility, but afterward some asked questions about Christianity. “The Lord touched hearts, and people began to think about the Lord and their own souls.”

  • In Bogotá, Colombia, William Suarez praises God, both for new people attending services and for those who have recently put their trust in Christ. New believers are requesting to be baptized. Along with this praise, William says the church has a good problem: They are outgrowing their meeting place! So this is also a need for prayer.

Prayer Pray with us!

  • The Republic of Georgia held its national election on November 29. Although BIEM doesn’t comment on politics, please pray that the changes and unrest there will lead to opportunities for our missionaries to share Christ, the eternal King.

  • All of the churches associated with BIEM are planning special Christmas and New Year services with an evangelistic thrust. Please pray for the unsaved to accept the invitations, and for them to understand clearly the Gospel message.

  • The sister of Luda S. (one of our missionaries in Central Asia) has been diagnosed with cancer and needs surgery. Please pray for a successful outcome to that operation.

  • Tensions have recently increased between Ukraine and Russia. As a result, Ukraine has declared martial law. Please pray for peace. Also pray for Ukrainian citizens to turn to God during these uncertain times.  

November Video Update

Watch this video on Vimeo by either clicking on the following link or by copying and pasting it in your browser:

https://vimeo.com/301878908

Dear Pastors and Friends, 

Happy Thanksgiving from the Slobodians! 

This month's video comes from Ternopil, Ukraine and features church planter Vitaly Bilyak. We were there recently with a group from our home church along with a couple from Canada. We were able to celebrate Thanksgiving with the church established there. For such festive occasions Ukrainians often wear their embroidered shirts called "Vyshyvankas." Our whole group joined in this tradition. 

Believers in Ukraine do not all celebrate Thanksgiving on the same day. Rather each church picks a Sunday in the Fall to have their special Thanksgiving service. It was a great blessing for us to be able to thank the Lord together with these dear saints. 

May God bless you with a wonderful Thanksgiving! 

In Christ, 

Sam & Amy Slobodian

BIEMs of Light November 2018

Praises Rejoice with us!

  • Not all children who attended summer camp have started attending Sunday schools and churches—but some have! Praise the Lord for each decision made and for continuing opportunities to influence the younger generation for the Lord!  Some of our church planters report gaining families who are now regularly attending as a result of this past summer’s camps.

  • In Belarus, the father of a girl who accepted Christ in a past summer camp had been cruel to his own daughter to make her stop attending church. But she clung to Christ and the church. When he fell off a roof and was injured, he was humbled to the point of asking believers to pray for him. He’s recovered now—and he’s lifted the ban on church!

  • In Western Ukraine, a Bible Quest competition was held for teams of young believers. After studying the Book of Judges in-depth, teams had to go from station to station in a forest to do various assignments. Thus, youth applied their understanding of Judges while fellowshipping with others in a fun way. The young people declared the event had a positive impact on them!

  • In the Republic of Georgia, BIEM’s Micah Tuttle meets with a group of young adults every Sunday for Bible study with an emphasis on Christian leadership. Some have requested a second weekly class. Praise God for raising up serious young leaders!

Prayer Pray with us!

  • The container we shipped to Ukraine is now at sea, due to arrive in the port of Odessa on Nov. 22. Please pray for God’s enabling hand on Vitaly Bilyak, Eugene Buyko, and our other men as they take on the daunting task of clearing this humanitarian aid through Customs.

  • In the Lugansk war zone area of eastern Ukraine, churches and believers need your prayers. Russian-backed rebels have confiscated non-Russian Orthodox churches. Meeting to worship in private homes in groups larger than five is banned, with violators facing huge fines. Local believers fear that area could return to Soviet-style persecution. Please pray for these brethren facing great difficulties.

  • When BIEM missionary Igor Fomichov recently visited the U.S., folks gave toward a vehicle to replace his problematic 1998 car (with 310,000 miles). It would be a great help to the ministry to upgrade to a vehicle with 7 seats.   $6,500 is still needed in order to do this.

  • In October, the special services for orphans and widows began in Ukraine. These services demonstrate the love of Christ by sharing the Gospel and material goods. Please pray that God will use these continuing special services to touch hearts. Praise God for the finances He has provided for this project. So far, we have received $13,545, well over our $12,000 goal.

Challenger Update

Here is an excerpt from our most recent Challenger publication.

“For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, that God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.” (Ephesians 2:10)

 This fall, BIEM missionaries in Ukraine are once again organizing special meetings for two distinct categories of people: widows and orphans. The services for widows will share the Gospel, plus a meal, and each woman who doesn’t own a Bible will receive one along with a sack of helpful items. The services for kids will be held primarily in orphanages. Typically, the kids hear a Bible lesson where they learn about Jesus, and children’s Christian literature will be distributed along with an age-appropriate “care package” for each child.

Why the special outreaches? Pastor Sergei Debelinsky, one of BIEM’s first church planters and President of the Brotherhood of Independent Baptist Churches of Ukraine, explains:

“Probably most people wonder about the meaning of their lives: why we’re alive, what we can change, and what we should be doing. God’s plan for believers is to live for others, to live a life whose purpose is serving others. Intrinsic in the Bible verse above is the idea that God has prepared for us a field in which to perform ministry services. He expects us to do them as if for Him....

“Probably one of the most famous Scriptures concerning good deeds is ‘Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the father- less and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world’ (James 1:27). God expects His people to have a special mindset concerning orphans and widows. His will is that they be visited and given assistance as a smaller imitation of God, as it is written, “a father of the fatherless and a judge of the widows, is God in His holy habitation...” (Ps. 68:5).

 Not just hearers of the Word, Sergei and his wife have adopted numerous orphans. Passionate on this topic, he points out additional Scriptures:

  • In Exodus 22:22 God protects them: “Ye shall not afflict any widow, or fatherless child.”

  • In Psalm 146:9, God portrays Himself as aiding them: “The Lord...relieveth the fatherless and widow.”

  • Through Isaiah 1:17, He calls upon us who believe in Him to aid them: “Learn to do well...  relieve the oppressed, judge the fatherless, plead for the widow.”

In Ukraine today, the pension a widow receives isn’t large, only $100–$150/ month, depending on work history. And numerous widows are far from elderly. These are young women who have lost their husbands in the military conflict that continues in the East. Believers can guide such women to spiritual truths amidst their loss and despair. In God, widows and orphans can find fresh hope, meaning, and support.

Sergei advises, “It’s precisely when the wound is bleeding that we must apply God’s balm for healing and hope. We must hurry to do good deeds, remembering the transience of a person’s life. The opportunities that are available today may not exist tomorrow....

“These people don’t just happen to be near us. God allows them to be near us, and He expects something from you and me concerning them.”

Sometimes, widows who first enter a church for these services take an interest in the Gospel. Some accept Jesus Christ as Savior. And no one can count the number of orphans who gain a Heavenly Father through loving Christians.

BIEM appreciates these special opportunities to reflect God’s love. A minimum of $6,000 is needed for gifts to be distributed. However, in order to magnify the potential, we hope to raise $12,000.

 

 

October Video Update

Watch this video on Vimeo by either clicking on the following link or by copying and pasting it in your browser:

https://vimeo.com/294841740

Dear Pastors and Friends, 

Hello again from the Slobodians! Recently the thought occurred to us that a brief tour of our headquarter facilities in Indiana would be interesting for our viewers. Therefore, this month's video update will give you such a tour. However, even when we compacted it as much as possible, it turned out to be much longer than our normal video updates. Next month we hope to return back to our approximately 3 minute format. 

The wonderful facilities God has blessed us with are truly a miracle that we thank God for every day. Towards the end of the video there are some aerial views of our office and warehouse. 

If you are ever traveling through the area, please do stop by for a visit. 

In Christ, 

Sam & Amy Slobodian

BIEMs of Light October 2018

Praises Rejoice with us!

  • We thank God for the total of 749 salvation decisions reported from the various summer camps BIEM sponsored, attended by over 3,000 children and youth. We also thank the Lord for those already believers, but who grew in faith through this year’s camp programs.

  • In Western Asia, three more souls recently repented of sin and placed their faith in Christ! Another recent blessing was the baptism of a man and two women who previously came to Christ. Among the spectators were a number of Muslims. To God be the glory!

  • Near Moscow, many of the men who have completed the program at Liberation Rehabilitation Center met at their annual gathering. They praised the Lord for liberation from substances and for new lives in Christ. There are now more than 40 families in Moscow area churches where the father was saved through this ministry. Praise God!

  • Sam Slobodian and a good number of our Ukrainian personnel attended the 25-year anniversary celebration of the Brotherhood of Independent Baptist churches of Ukraine in Kiev. Thanks to a generous donation, a large group of Christians from the war zone in the East were able to attend. For them this was a blessed reprieve from the hardships and isolation of their situation, and their presence refreshed all at the conference. It also served as a reminder and motivation to pray for and support relief efforts in the East.

Prayer Pray with us!

  • A church group from Indiana will be traveling to Ukraine this month to take part in the special services and distribution for widows and orphans. Please pray for safety for the travelers, and especially for God to work in hearts of the unsaved through this effort.

  • In Sepahua, Peru, church planter Wilber Huillca requests prayer, both for his ministry in the church in the city of Sepahua and among the indigenous peoples living in the jungles. May God help believers to grow in grace and illuminate the understanding of unbelievers and show them their need of Christ.

  • BIEM’s first attempts to begin a spiritual work in Smolin, Ukraine, were resisted by some in the community. Praise God, this year a day camp was attended by more children than expected. (Some parents stayed and watched and listened to everything in the camp.) Pray for God to soften hearts and make them receptive to the Gospel.

  • We are rejoicing that more than half of the needed $12,000 for this Fall’s Widow and Orphan distribution has come in. Please pray that the remaining need be met.

September Video Update

Watch this video on Vimeo by either clicking on the following link or by copying and pasting it in your browser:

https://vimeo.com/290300670

Dear Pastors and Friends,

Warm greetings in Christ!

This month's video update comes from our headquarters in Indiana where we have just finished loading another 40 foot container.  This container is heading to Ternopil in Western Ukraine where our church planters in Western Ukraine will distribute the goods.

Church items such as tables, chairs, desks, pianos and other musical instruments will be used in the new church plants. The gardening equipment, tools, furniture and exercise equipment will be used in the Drug and Alcohol Rehabilitation Center. The clothing and medical supplies will be distributed to the needy in the church and in the community.  Some items that are designated for ministries in central Ukraine will be transported there.

In this video you will hear from Eugene Buyko and Igor Fomichov who are with us right now speaking at a missions conference at our home church in which all the speakers are BIEM Ukrainian church planters.

In Christ, 

Sam & Amy Slobodian

 

BIEMs of Light September 2018

Praises Rejoice with us!

  • Earlier, we shared that BIEM had received a $2,500 matching-funds offer toward the $5,000 cost of replacing the roof of a building in Fastiv, Ukraine, that houses both a church and a successful drug and alcohol rehabilitation center. Praise God, donors provided the needed funds—plus an extra $1,000, which was needed for a cost overrun!

  • Sam and Amy Slobodian just returned from some Ukrainian summer camps. A highlight was that a good number of parents visited the local church for the first time. BIEM missionaries and volunteers conduct over 20 camps overseas each summer, with over 2,000 children and youth attending. Over 60% of the children are unchurched. So, these outreaches contact new families, resulting in souls being saved!

  • In Central Asia, a Muslim woman hired to cook at a Christian wedding heard the Gospel and saw the changed lives of believers. Through this wedding, she placed her faith in Christ!

  • This month, BIEM is pleased to host several national missionaries. These men will visit churches in the U.S., including a special missions conference where all the missionaries will be BIEM church planters. They will also help to load our next 40-foot container, which will be shipped to Ukraine. May these godly men be a blessing in each place!

Prayer Pray with us!

  • This fall, BIEM missionaries in Ukraine will organize special meetings for the widows in their communities. Other special services will be for needy children. The services will share the Gospel, and each widow will receive a Bible, plus a bag of groceries. Each child will receive a “care package.” The widows’ services will be in churches; the children’s meetings will be in orphanages. A minimum of $6,000 is needed for the items to be distributed. We hope to raise $12,000. Pray for this need and for the souls of listeners.

  • Praise God for the great turn out of 80 people for Vitaly Bilyak’s family camp in Western Ukraine. 40% of the families were unchurched. Pray for the follow-up efforts.

  • September 11 is the loading date for BIEM’s next container of aid to Eastern Europe. God’s bountiful supply includes 4 pianos, 200 folding chairs, 30 tables, 600 new winter coats, medical supplies, plus donated clothing. There are also gardening tools and equipment for our drug and alcohol rehabilitation centers. Please pray for safe loading, and for our Ukrainian workers, who face the huge task of clearing everything for humanitarian purposes so the shipment is duty-free.

  • In Yucay, Peru, church planter Juan Bautist Huillca asks that we pray for musical instruments for their church. Among these, the greatest need is for a piano.

August Video Update

Watch this video on Vimeo by either clicking on the following link or by copying and pasting it in your browser:

https://vimeo.com/286030915

Dear Pastors and Friends, 

Hello from Ukraine where we are working in a couple of summer camps. This month's video comes from one of these camps. 

Summer camps are an important part of our ministry and are vital to the development of new churches which gain contacts in the community by getting acquainted with the parents and friends of the campers. Like this one, some of the camps are held on the grounds of the church. The Lord has blessed this new church with a location which puts them in the middle of an area where new homes, apartments and townhouses are springing up all around the church. Most of the campers have come from the surrounding neighborhood.

Praise God for those who give towards BIEM's summer camps which makes these efforts possible and results in the salvation of many souls each summer. 

In Christ, 

Sam & Amy Slobodian

 

BIEMs of Light August 2018

Praises Rejoice with us!

  • God is definitely working in the children’s summer camps. Although camps will continue through August, we are hearing reports of children saved, and even of adult parents or teachers listening to the Bible lessons. May God continue to use these camps!

  • In Desna, Ukraine, a woman who attended a funeral was reminded of the brevity of life. She attended the local BIEM church plant with her daughter, and the next week her husband joined them. At that service, both husband and wife accepted Christ!

  • In Yucay, Peru, church planter Juan Bautista is grateful to God for a children’s Bible club, for faithful leaders, and for other opportunities for growth the Lord is providing. He invites you to praise God with them and adds, “More than anything, may the Lord give us the courage to serve and obey Him.”

  •  

    Ukrainian BIEM missionary Igor Fomichov was granted a visa to visit the USA! On Igor’s first visit to this country, supporting churches were greatly touched by his testimony and ministry. We trust other churches will be equally blessed as he visits in September.

Prayer Pray with us!

  • Upon our request, BIEM missionary Lyosha Savchuk has also submitted a request for a visa to visit churches in the U.S. His interview in Kyiv will be August 7. Please pray all goes well so more friends of BIEM can enjoy meeting and hearing him firsthand.

  • In August, ten non-Christian families plan to attend Vitaly Bilyak’s family camp in Western Ukraine.  He requests prayer for the Lord to show them their need of Christ.

  • In a predominantly Muslim nation of Western Asia, our church planters have been approached by a number of couples on the brink of divorce. Please pray for them as they give counsel from God’s Word, not only about divorce, but about the deeper need—Jesus!

  • BIEM church planters Vitaly and Alexandra Keller have recently relocated from St. Petersburg to Ukraine. In addition to all the paperwork and logistics of settling in a new country, Vitaly is meeting with missionaries and pastors and praying for guidance in how best to be used in church planting in their new area. Please pray for divine wisdom in these decisions.

     

     

July Video Update

Watch this video on Vimeo by either clicking on the following link or by copying and pasting it in your browser:

https://vimeo.com/281464367

Dear Pastors and Friends,

Hello once again from the Slobodians! 

This month's video update features the testimony of Bogdan who was saved at the Drug and Alcohol rehab center in Fastiv, Ukraine that we featured in our May video update. In that video we mention the need for replacing the roof on their building which serves as the church, the rehab center, and the parsonage. 

We praise God for supplying the funds for this need. After Bogdan's testimony, you will see a few pictures of the work underway while listening to Pastor Vadim's family singing a song which proclaims the necessity of living with the Lord.  Pastor Vadim and his wife Luba have 7 children.

We know you will be blessed by Bogdan's story who one day stopped in the street he was at and in desperation called out to God for help. Almost immediately, God sent someone to his home who invited him to this Center where he was saved and grew in Lord. Today, Bogdan directs this ministry. 

Praise God for His saving grace and redeeming power! 

In Christ, 

Sam & Amy Slobodian

 

BIEMs of Light July 2018

Praises Rejoice with us!

  • On July 2, BIEM received donations that pushed our camp fund to $40,000, which is the minimum we needed for this camping season. Praise the Lord, and thank you to each of you who gave toward this vital ministry!

  • Our personnel in Central Asia report salvation decisions! Fifteen souls trusted Christ in their first camp. This was followed by two women turning to Jesus, and then four more children. Next a young lady (age 24) experienced a difficult spiritual struggle even to pronounce the words, “Jesus Christ is Lord.” But she did and has trusted Christ! Lastly, the mother of a boy saved in camp last week also has placed her faith in Jesus! Praise God! 

  • In June, BIEM missionary Nikolai Ryzhuk traveled with another pastor from Belarus to Vyatskie Polyany, Russia. There they took part in a youth conference where many young people were moved to repentance of sin. We praise God for this spiritual fruit! 

  • The great majority of opportunities in our ministry to formerly Soviet lands were once impossible. Many of you prayed with us through days of communist persecution. Let’s praise God again for so many doors of opportunity that were once shut but are now open!

Prayer Pray with us!

  • One of BIEM’s first church plants in Ukraine (city of Fastiv) in turn started a “daughter church.” This second church has opened a Christian drug and alcohol Rehabilitation Center for their region. They need a new roof costing at least $5,000, but—praise God!—a donor has made BIEM a $2,500 matching-funds offer. Please pray that this need will be met.

  • Christian summer camps for children and teens will be taking place on each of our mission fields in Eastern Europe. Some are day camp situations; others involve living in tents, cabins, or dorms for the whole camp. Please pray for God’s Holy Spirit to work in both leaders and campers! 

  • In Central Asia, there has been a sad incident of a local woman who fled to local believers after her husband beat her. Please pray for wisdom for those assisting her, and for God to open her eyes to the truth of the Gospel. 

  • Once again, BIEM rejoices for another graduating class from the Kyiv Theological Seminary. Please pray for God to use each graduate for His glory!

June Video Update

Watch this video on Vimeo by either clicking on the following link or by copying and pasting it in your browser:

https://vimeo.com/276890286

Dear Pastors and Friends,
 
Hello once again from the Slobodians!


This month's video update features an update on the war in Eastern Ukraine by Pastor Sergei Sheptala. Brother Sheptala is from that area and plays a large role in delivering aid to needy families and churches there.

For many years BIEM has worked with the Brotherhood of Independent Baptist Churches of Ukraine which has 20 churches in the war zone. This war has produced an economic disaster. At least half of the population of more than 4 million have left as refugees. Those that remain struggle to survive and are in need of basics like food, clothing and medical supplies. This provides an opportunity for churches outside the war zone and BIEM to provide aid to these believers and churches. As they share donated goods with the community this has opened hearts to the Gospel.  In fact, some of these churches have seen dozens saved and baptized as a result of these evangelistic outreaches.

Despite harsh conditions, churches they are planning summer camps for children and youth that will include orphans.  Please pray for these efforts and for the finances needed.

In Christ,

Sam & Amy Slobodian  

 

Prayer Request

Every summer, BIEM supports many camps in Ukraine, Russia, and other countries.

Please pray with us for many children to attend camps as well as much fruit to arise from God's Word going forth! The seeds planted during these camps continue to bear fruit for months and years to come. Read some stories about the continuing effect of summer camps in our most recent Challenger

If you are interested in supporting BIEM's work with summer camps, you can donate online, by phone at 317-718-1633, or by mail at P.O. Box 707 Danville IN, 46219. 

Challenger Update

Here is an excerpt from our most recent Challenger publication.

In the 1990s, Pavel Rumachik of Dyedovsk, Russia, approached BIEM with a question: “If we Russians do the work of construction ourselves, do you think our American brothers and sisters in Christ might help with funds to build a church?”

It was an excellent question. Up to that point, BIEM had requested dona- tions for evangelism, Bibles, Christian literature, and other projects, but back then we’d never attempted to raise funds for a church building. We put the matter before our supporters, and God’s people responded enthusiastically!

Now twenty years have passed since Truth Baptist Church opened its doors in Nahabino, Russia. Through this church, God has worked mightily to save sinners from all walks of life. However, because many of the church’s very first converts were drug addicts, early on this congregation emphasized ministry among people with substance dependencies. As a result, they have led the way in opening multiple Christian rehabilitation centers for alcoholics and drug addicts, which in turn have freed many more souls from the shackles of sin and guided them to new life in Christ.

Concerning the church’s 20th anniversary celebration, Pastor Pavel gives full credit to the Lord: “First of all, we thank God that twenty years ago He founded a church in Nahabino. We held a special service of praise to the Lord. Our theme came from the central portion of Psalm 136. We used it to help us recall the mercies, which the Lord bestowed on us twenty years ago. As pastor, I read the first part of each verse describing God’s blessings, for example, ‘O, give thanks unto the Lord, for he is good.’ Then the entire congregation continued in unison, ‘For his mercy endureth forever.’ In this way, I pronounced twenty-two mercies aloud to the church, and twenty-two times the church responded about the eternal mercy of God. It was such a triumphant service!”

The whole congregation sang the Russian hymn “Let Everyone Exalt Christ.” A Christian orchestra led the congrega- tion and visiting friends in much praising. This orchestra included trumpets, violins, a guitar, a piano, synthesizer, flute, and triangle. The musicians were adults, but also children who study in music school.

With obvious enthusiasm, Pavel continued his description. “Two choirs — one all males, and one of mixed men and women — sang majestically. Of course, our children, youth, families, and guests also praised the Lord. The hymn ‘All Earth Is Full of Your Grace’ accompanied by an orchestra was a wonderful adornment. We had two sermons. The Lord has blessed us, and we rejoiced.”

After the service, everyone stayed for a delicious dinner. Women of the church provided a wide variety of flavorful dishes, which contributed to the fellow- ship and festive atmosphere.

Later that evening, the anniversary continued at a second service, which included participation by more guests, some of whom had traveled far distances to join in the celebration. In that service, church members shared many recollec- tions of God’s blessings in the spiritual founding of the church, and in the con- struction of their building.

Pastor Pavel’s father, Peter Rumachik (86) spent eighteen and a half years in Soviet prisons and labor camps for being an active Christian. During Soviet days, he never expected to see such blessings in his lifetime, and he, too, shared a short message from God’s Word. In conclusion, everyone watched a slide presentation about the history of the church.

Pastor Pavel offered these final words to BIEM concerning their day of remembering and rejoicing: “Praise God for everything! May the Lord bless all of us to praise Him, and to be faithful to Him, as we await the soon-coming return of the Savior for us!”

 

BIEMs of Light June 2018

Praises Rejoice with us!

  • Despite community pressure exerted by an Orthodox priest, our missionaries in the Republic of Georgia report exciting opportunities reaching both children and parents through weekly Bible clubs in two different communities. May God bless and work in hearts!

  • The BIEM home office would like to express thanks for special donations. The first is a forklift, which will literally take a heavy load off our staff and volunteers. The second is an empty, 40-ft., extra-high shipping container, which will provide a permanent space for storing the processed & sealed cartons of donated clothing destined for shipment overseas.

  • In addition, BIEM has received donations of 3 pianos and 60 boxes of winter coats! We certainly praise God for all these items, which will be huge blessings overseas.

  •  

    In St. Petersburg, Russia, a BIEM missionary praises the Lord for saving the two adult sons of a woman in the church. She had been praying for her sons for the past two years.

Prayer Pray with us!

  • Summer camps—We praise God for the $19,748 that has come in for summer camps. However, this figure means summer is upon us and we still need just over $20,000 to match our goal from last year of $40,000. Please join us in prayer about this serious need.

  • In Belarus, BIEM missionary Nikolai Ryzhuk shares about a local family that became homeless when their house burned down. The local church was able to respond with gifts of clothing and other items. Pray for this family, that God will help and supply their needs and draw them to Himself.

  • In Desna, Ukraine, the church is pleased that military recruits from the city’s base continue to visit the church, as opportunities permit. Yet an ongoing need in this church is for a musically inclined believer to lead their music ministry. They ask us to keep this request in mind.

  • The Christian rehabilitation center near Ternopil, Ukraine, needs a couple Christian men who are firm in the faith to provide leadership and daily oversight of the ministry. Please pray for the Lord to provide qualified men.

May Video Update

Watch this video on Vimeo by either clicking on the following link or by copying and pasting it in your browser:

https://vimeo.com/271304706

 

Dear Pastors and Friends,

Hello from the Slobodians!  Thank you for taking the time to view our monthly video update.  We thank God for all those who are interested in and pray for our ministry.

This month's video comes from Fastiv, Ukraine and features the Philadelphia Baptist Church and Rehabilitation Center.   Vadim who started this ministry was one of the first converts of the church BIEM planted years ago in this city. His conversion from a life of crime and addiction was so dramatic that it made a huge impact in the community, and many others were saved as a result.

Eventually Vadim married Luba, the pastor's daughter and sister of Eugene, our Ukrainian director that many of you may be acquainted with.  Therefore this church is a 2nd generation church plant which operates a very successful drug and alcohol rehabilitation ministry.  They need to replace their roof which is constantly leaking.  Please pray about this need which will cost $5,000.


In Christ,
Sam & Amy Slobodian