Sam and Amy Slobodian

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Sam Slobodian was born on May 1, 1954 to Ukrainian missionaries, Peter and Mary Slobodian, in Saenz Pena, Argentina.  Although he had come to the United States at the age of three, he did not have a real introduction to the English language until his first day of kindergarten.  As young children do, Sam learned the language quickly and one of his more vivid memories of those days was the time his father came home with a small green AM radio.  The idea was that somehow the knowledge of the English language would be imparted to the immigrant family as they huddled around the radio and listened to it in their small but very clean fourth-floor apartment, located in a run-down neighborhood of Minneapolis, Minnesota. Childhood for Sam and his sisters, Ann and Debbie, was quite normal and saturated with church activities since their parents began establishing Ukrainian and Russian Baptist churches to reach the Slavic population of Minneapolis while they both were studying at University of Northwestern – St. Paul and Central Baptist Theological Seminary.

When Sam was ten, he began to do some serious thinking after his Daily Vacation Bible School teacher asked each boy in the class to give not only the date of his birth but also the date he was born again, his spiritual birthday.  Having been raised in a preacher’s home and having heard the Gospel preached continually, Sam reasoned that he must have been saved at some point, even if he could remember neither the date nor the circumstances surrounding his decision.  However, the Holy Spirit soon convicted Sam that the reason he could not remember anything about this event was that it had never happened!  And so by the end of the week Sam received Christ as his personal Savior and wrote the date down in his Bible:  June 24, 1964.

When Sam was twelve, his family moved to Chicago, Illinois. Having completed their studies in Minneapolis, Sam’s parents were drawn to Chicago by the opportunity of ministering to the huge Slavic population of the city.  Though he was not thrilled with spending Saturdays in a Ukrainian grammar school, looking back it seems that even in those days God was preparing Sam for his future ministry.  As a dedicated Christian young man growing up in Chicago, Sam was active in church and youth activities and had an effective witness for Christ in addition to always managing to find employment.  Even though Sam earned academic honors in high school, being named an Illinois State Scholar, his main interest was trumpet, which he hoped to pursue professionally.  Sam became a serious musician and eventually was recognized as one of the outstanding high school musicians of the city.

As a senior in high school, Sam began to struggle with a call to preach.  After the Lord dealt with Sam through the Word and some specific circumstances, Sam surrendered for full-time Christian service.  As a result, he did not audition for any of the talent scholarships available from many major universities. One day the band director called Sam aside and told him the exciting news that he had been offered a talent scholarship that had no audition requirement; others and his reputation had spoken for Sam.  Indeed, the document was on his desk, and it had only to be accepted.  When Sam responded by saying he was planning on the ministry, the director replied, “Sam, that’s wonderful. I’m not even going to try to talk you out of that!”

After high school, Sam served as the youth pastor for East Maine Baptist Church in Glenview, a northwest suburb of Chicago.  The youth group multiplied under his ministry, and he involved many of the youth in the soul winning and bus ministries, starting several new bus routes  During this time, Sam attended Northeastern Illinois University, where he earned a bachelor’s degree.  Feeling the need for theological training and preparation, Sam resigned the youth ministry at East Maine in order to attend Central Baptist Theological Seminary, where he earned a Master of Divinity.  While a student there, Sam served as the first assistant pastor of the Valley Baptist Church in Golden Valley, Minnesota, where he developed the youth ministry into an extremely active program featuring camps, retreats, and cross-country bus trips.  Eventually brother Sam earned a Doctor of Missiology Degree from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School in Deerfield, Illinois.

While at Central Baptist Seminary, Sam met Amy Lindner, whose family attended Fourth Baptist Church, which housed the seminary. Amy, too, had grown up in a Christian home, where she was saved at the age of 10 as a result of evangelistic meetings in her home church in Littleton, Colorado. Amy attended Pillsbury Baptist Bible College, and after they were married she completed her education at Hyles-Anderson College, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in elementary education. Amy and Sam were married on June 6, 1977.  After Sam’s graduation from seminary, they immediately moved to Chicago, where Sam had been called as pastor of Southside Baptist Church of Chicago.

Sam and Amy devoted themselves completely to the inner-city work and God blessed with a harvest of souls and a wonderful congregation of loving people.  After three fruitful years, Sam led the church in a move to the southwest suburb of Oak Lawn, where the church had already started a Christian day school.  This proved to be an excellent move for the church and the school soon numbered over 300 students.

In 1982 Sam became increasingly burdened and challenged by the ministry (Baptist International Evangelistic Ministries- BIEM) that he and his father had established the previous year to reach behind the Iron Curtain. This burden and challenge continued to grow to the point where it was evident that this was the calling of God to leave the pastorate in order to serve as a missionary with BIEM reaching Russia and Eastern Europe.

In 1990 dramatic changes came to the ministry of BIEM with the advent of glasnost and perestroika in the Soviet Union. The collapse of Communism resulted in many new opportunities for ministry in Russia and led Sam and Amy to consider moving there. Discussing the matter with BIEM’s board and with others with longtime involvement with the Slobodians and BIEM, both in Russia and the West, helped Sam conclude that they would be most effective operating from the United States. Today Sam serves as president of BIEM, and Amy works in the ministry's office. BIEM specializes in Russia and Eastern Europe, where the mission has planted numerous churches by supporting, training, and equipping nationals. BIEM also distributes Bibles and Gospel literature; maintains a seminary in Kyiv, Ukraine; translates and prints discipleship and pastoral training materials; conducts evangelistic outreach ministries; sponsors Christian summer camps for children and youth; provides material aid; and helps new congregations to build churches.

In 1993 the Slobodian family moved to Indianapolis, Indiana, to establish a new office for BIEM. God has greatly blessed this move and the ministry has steadily expanded. The Slobodians are members of Mt Tabor Baptist Church of Lebanon, Indiana, and have 5 children: Sarah, Susan, Steven, Sharon, and Stephanie. Susan married Mat Harvey in 2007; Sarah married Nathan Crouch in 2007; Stephanie married Aaron Anger in 2011; and Sharon married Ashton Brandyberry in 2012.

The Slobodians' Reports











October Video Update

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

Dear Pastors and Friends,

Greetings! Our video update this month comes from the city of Lviv which is in far western Ukraine. There Brother Yura and his wife Violet are laboring for the Lord. They both grew up in western Ukraine, though from a different part. Yura grew up in the same church in Dubno as another of our church planters Vitaly Bilyak did.
He is one of 7 brothers, several of which are now serving as pastors.

In this video, Brother Yura asks for prayer for the need they have to redo the heat in their building. This is a big project since it involves pulling out a large rotting floor and replacing it with cement which will cover heating pipes and then installing ceramic tiles. Circulating heat through piping in the floor is currently the most economical way of heating a building in Ukraine when gas is available. Since the first floor of the entire building is involved between 15 and 18 thousand dollars is needed for this project. Please join with us in prayer that God will supply this need.

Sam & Amy Slobodian

BIEMs of Light October 2019

Praises Rejoice with us!

  • Just days before school in Ukraine began, our missionaries Lyosha and Alusia Savchuk learned that their son Kirill had meningitis. In September he spent 3 weeks in the hospital, but is now home with no apparent harm from the meningitis. We praise God for Kirill’s recovery.

  • We praise the Lord that, according to our latest update, over 60 Muslims came to Christ in Central Asia this summer!

  • BIEM has now received and translated all the reports and statistics regarding the summer camps we helped to sponsor. Hallelujah, out of several thousand children and teens who attended Christian summer camps in multiple countries, 1,019 are known to have made professions of repentance and faith in Christ! Praise God! Others who were already saved had opportunities to deepen their understanding of the Bible and to grow in grace. For those who didn’t make outward professions, we pray the Lord will water the seeds of Truth planted in their hearts and bring forth more fruit in the future.

  • Praise the Lord, in September the Seminary in Kyiv enrolled 12 new students, bringing the total number of those who are studying in order to be used of God in ministry to 45. New students are a special blessing since there was a large graduating class last spring.

Prayer - Pray with us!

  • After some medical challenges, the mother of BIEM missionary Vitaly Keller has passed away. Thank you for your prayers for the encouragement and comfort of that family.

  • In the country of Georgia, missionary Micah Tuttle urges us to pray for God to raise up Christian leaders who were born and raised in that nation. Right now, there are more sheep than there are doctrinally-sound shepherds who are trained and able to lead them.

  • In Belarus, missionary Nikolai Ryzhuk has an aging vehicle that has become undependable. He hopes to sell it and to purchase a replacement vehicle. In Ukraine, church planter Anatoly Kosyanchuk is facing the same dilemma with his ministry vehicle. This is a serious need, since a missionary/pastor needs dependable transportation. Please pray for God to bless in this.

  • The film King of Glory is currently being translated into two of the languages of Afghanistan. Please pray for all those involved in this process, and ultimately for the distribution, that this film will be seen and open the eyes of people who need its message.

Challenger Update

Here is an excerpt from our most recent Challenger publication.

Summer camps provide a wonderful way to introduce children, teens, and young adults to the Gospel! Camps lift young people out of their routine and provide a wholesome atmosphere where they enjoy nourish- ing food, fun games, God-honoring music, Bible teaching, and handcrafts — all with adult leaders who reflect God’s love for them. We can’t thank you enough for your prayers and donations to make summer camps possible, but let us share quick peeks at some of the camps. This year, combined reports indicate 1,019 souls repented of sin and accepted Christ as Savior!

“My name is Julia. I’m 17. This summer I served in a camp with disabled children. My ministry was leading games. In order for this to be fun and interesting for them, I tried to prepare games accord- ing to their abilities. With great joy I observed each camper. A few moments were difficult for them, but then my team would assist them. Even the grandmothers and moms who accompanied them would get involved. This camp united us and created camaraderie. In the end, when you see a tired smile, your heart just rejoices at their joy.

“It’s so painful and hard to be in their situation. How thankful I am to God for my salvation and health.

“Thank you very much for your financial blessing, that I could help such kids at least a little bit and have a share in their difficult lives.”

More pictures and stories from this summer’s camps are featured in the Challenger.

September Video Update

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

Dear Pastors and Friends,

Greetings from the Slobodians! This month's video comes from Drogichin, Belarus where Brother Nikolai has planted a church that is reaching souls and thriving for the glory of God. In this month's video, he expresses his thankfulness for what the Lord has done.

Pastor Nikolai Velichko, the long time pastor of the large church in Kiev which houses our seminary, is from this area. In this video, he shares an interesting account of how Americans played a huge role in building churches in this area back before the Soviets took control of the area and makes note of the fact that now through BIEM, Americans have returned to help our Belorussian brethren in reaching souls and building churches in this needy area.

In Christ,

Sam & Amy Slobodian

BIEMs of Light September 2019

Praises Rejoice with us!

  • Thanks to friends of BIEM who donated specially needed items, Sam Slobodian and our director in Ukraine, Eugene Buyko, were able to deliver a much-needed computer, projector, and brand-new flannelgraph to our church planters in Lviv, Ukraine. We praise God for opportunities to provide helpful tools for our missionaries!

  • The church in Desna, Ukraine recently baptized 8 people. This church has lost many previous members as they have gone on to become missionaries in other places, so this was an exciting development!

  • Praise God, a memorial gift given to BIEM in memory of a longtime friend of this ministry will cover the cost of sending the next 40-ft. container of supplies to Ukraine. We also rejoice that 2 Ukrainian coworkers, Igor Fomichov and Eugene Buyko, will be here to help load the container in the second half of September.

  • In Central Asia, a Muslim fellow who made no decision in camp during August came to talk to our missionary after church on September 1. He said, “I can longer go through life without Christ.” Hallelujah, he put his faith in the Savior!

Prayer - Pray with us!

  • The same missionaries mentioned in the first praise item above, Yura and Violetta Levtseniuk, are facing a problem as the seasons change. The church’s heating system needs to be replaced. Please pray that God will supply the $15,000 needed for this project, which includes an energy-efficient furnace, new pipes, and a new cement floor over the pipes.

  • This month, Sam Slobodian will be recording a new trumpet CD of Christmas music. Please pray for Sam and the other musicians involved that God would bless and be glorified through this project.  Look for details concerning this in our next issue of The Challenger.

  • BIEM church planters Sergei and Vika Skripnik have been laboring for several years in western Ukraine with no suitable meeting place. Currently worship services are held in their home. Recently a new, but unfinished building went on the market for $50,000. The price is excellent, but BIEM funds are currently earmarked for other projects. Please pray for wisdom as we consider this building and the need in that region.

  • Summer camps are now over! We haven’t received all the statistics from camp leaders, but we know the Gospel seed was sown and that many accepted Christ while others did not. Please pray for both kinds of campers, that God will work in their hearts and lives.

August Video Update

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

Dear Pastors and Friends,

Warm greetings from the Slobodians! Recently I had the opportunity to visit Oleg, one of our church planters in St. Petersburg. This was on the way back to the US after being in Belarus. Since brother Oleg speaks English fluently, we did not need to interpret for him as he shares a word about his ministry.

St. Petersburg is a huge city with a lot of history. This is the city Russian Czar Peter the Great made the capitol of the Russian Empire. When World War I broke out in 1914, the Russians changed the name to Petrograd because they thought St. Petersburg sounded too German. In 1917 the Bolsheviks seized control of Russia and introduced Communism. In 1924 they changed the name to Leningrad to honor Lenin. In 1991 after the Soviet Union collapsed, the name was changed back the original and it has been St. Petersburg ever since.

Besides many beautiful historic buildings St. Petersburg is known for its dreary weather with an average of only 17 days of sunlight a year. Praise God for brother Oleg and his family who are bringing the glorious light of the Gospel to this needy place.

In Christ,

Sam & Amy Slobodian

BIEMs of Light August 2019

Praises Rejoice with us!

  • We praise the Lord for quite a few recent donations of musical instruments, such as pianos, guitars, and orchestra instruments. These will go onto our next 40-foot container shipment, and they will enhance the musical ministries of various churches in Eastern Europe. If you have a good, used instrument you would like to donate, churches are always appreciative! (Tax deduction statements are available for each donation.)

  • Right on the first night of a tent camp near Desna, Ukraine, a tremendous thunderstorm blew in. Leaders led their panicking campers to the vehicles for protection from the elements. But God worked through the storm. Leaders maintained their calm and led the kids in prayer. Later, when fearful parents arrived to check, they were amazed at everyone’s calmness in camp. God used the storm to strengthen faith and to glorify Himself!

  • Once again, BIEM had opportunity to sponsor a service for widows, this time in Kodra, Ukraine. These women heard a Gospel message geared to their situations, and also enjoyed music, conversation, a complimentary meal, and a sack of groceries. The attention helped to soften hearts of the women and their relatives. May God work through such events!

  • In Lvov, Ukraine, a clogged sewer line at the church at first presented a headache but turned into a wonderful chance to share Christ with workmen. Praise the Lord for such coworkers who seek Gospel opportunities even in the midst of difficulties!

Prayer - Pray with us!

  • One of our Ukrainian missionaries, Vitaly Yurchenko, will be in the U.S. to accompany Sam Slobodian as they visit churches and bring live reports. Please pray for safe travels and mutual blessings. Perhaps more believers will catch a vision for overseas ministry!

  • At the end of July, the sister-in-law of one of our missionaries in a Muslim land (Sasha) died in childbirth. This death was a shock. She leaves behind 2 sons (ages 7 and 4), who are currently with missionaries Sasha and Julia. Please pray for this husband and his children.

  • On July 10 one BIEM missionary texted to say that 22 youth in Central Asia had come to Christ through camp! Since then, others have accepted Christ, too. Please pray for these young people, who face religious opposition at home and in their communities.

  • BIEM plans to ship its next container in September. The contents will all be used for Christian ministry. The receiving church still has to complete some legal work with customs in order to receive this shipment.  Please pray that they can complete this in time.

July Video Update

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

Dear Pastors and Friends,

It was a blessing to be in Belarus recently where BIEM has done some church planting and was able to build two church buildings. Of all the countries which made up the Soviet Union, Belarus has been the slowest to move towards democracy and other reforms that came with the collapse of the Soviet Union. For example, in Belarus you can still see statues of Lenin standing and they still have the KGB. This does make for a difficult field but nevertheless, praise God that the Gospel is being preached and souls are being saved.

When I was visiting Nikolai, one of our church planters, I had the opportunity to make a video featuring their garden. In Eastern Europe, many people including pastors depend upon their gardens for much of their food. We thought you would find it interesting to see this.

In Christ,

Sam & Amy Slobodian

BIEMs of Light July 2019

Praises Rejoice with us!

  • Due to a wonderful response to the tribute article about Peter Rumachik and the generosity of other donors, BIEM will be able to provide a church building for a new church in Siberia, near where Peter was once exiled for his faith. How wonderfully ironic that the USSR’s method of punishing a Christian eventually resulted in a new church in that place!

  • When our warehouse was getting filled with donations of good, used clothing to ship overseas, a youth group from Pennsylvania stopped here during their mission trip. That group sorted and packed a huge amount of those clothes. A local church also plans to send volunteers soon, so before long the next shipment should be ready to go!

  • An answer to prayer—BIEM missionary Bruce Tuttle has received word the Ukrainian embassy approved another 90-day visa for him. When he returns to Ukraine, step 2 will be to apply for a new 1-year visa to live in Ukraine, so this praise item includes a prayer need.

  • We praise the Lord for the start of a new project—dubbing the film King of Glory into the Turkmen language. This will require patience, wisdom, technical prowess, and safety.

Prayer - Pray with us!

  • Please pray for one of our missionaries in Russia. Although prudence suggests we not name him, an elderly man happened to pass away during a church service. As a result, local police summoned the missionary for interrogation. (Just after BIEM received this news, we received an email from a friend who told us he was prompted to pray especially for the missionary, sensing he was in danger. This happened right during the time he was being interrogated!) Please pray there will be no negative repercussions from the authorities.

  • Summer camps are being held by our personnel in various countries. There have been a few early reports of souls saved. Please keep praying!

  • Let’s never forget to pray for those evangelizing. As one example, BIEM’s Vitaly Keller and fellow church members often use various methods to strike up conversations in the parks and on sidewalks in Kyiv, Ukraine. (They meet people from all over!) Please pray that the Scriptures shared will put down roots and grow in the hearts of those who listen.

  • The First Baptist Church in Bilogorodka, Ukraine, received a list of about 50 disabled children in their area. Believers visited all of these children to greet them and to deliver gifts, which included Christian children’s literature. The children (and most of the parents) received the visitors with joy. Please pray for the salvation of parents and kids.

June Video Update

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

Dear Pastors and Friends, 

Greetings from the Slobodians! We trust the Lord is blessing you with a wonderful summer. 

This month's video comes from Desna, Ukraine. This is the military city where a church has been established. One of the truly amazing blessings of this effort was that we were able to purchase property so that church could meet in its own building. 

Over the years many souls have come to Christ here. A good number have ended up in full-time ministry. This video features Igor and Lyosha who both grew up on this base. Both were saved and then went on to full-time Christian service. Igor now pastors the church in Desna and Lyosha is our church planter in Chernihiv a large city to the north. 

In Christ, 

Sam & Amy Slobodian

BIEMs of Light June 2019

Praises Rejoice with us!

  • Last month we requested prayer for Julia, one of our missionaries in a Muslim nation. She had been experiencing a difficult pregnancy. On May 30 she gave birth to a healthy baby girl. Praise the Lord, and thank you for praying!

  • In our previous BIEMs of Light we still needed nearly $29,000 to meet our minimum amount necessary for summer camps. We praise God that friends responded. We have now received the $40,000 needed for camps this year!

  • In May, BIEM held a missions conference in Kyiv, Ukraine, primarily for seminary students, but also for others interested in ministry in Muslim nations where Russian is spoken. God blessed that conference, where a number of attendees expressed that they will pray concerning the possibility of ministry among Muslims. Others who attended also became more sensitive to the needs and promised prayers for these restricted lands.

  • In May and June, BIEM was able to host two of our church planters from Ukraine, Vitaly Bilyak and Eugene Buyko. Praise God for the warm responses from churches they were able to share their ministries with in Michigan, Missouri, Indiana and Illinois. 

Prayer - Pray with us!

  • In the Republic of Georgia, BIEM missionary Micah Tuttle declares, “We need Georgian helpers!!!” Along this line, the Lord has prompted a man named Zauri to ask that Micah train him in how to preach. They meet weekly. Pray for God to confirm this calling if it’s truly from the Lord, and for more Georgian believers who wish to be used in God’s service.

  • In Drogichin, Belarus, the church held evangelistic meetings for the community under a large tent. Praise God, there was a sunny break in a week full of rainy weather for these services. The believers praise God for the weather and good attendance, but wish more people had trusted Christ. Please pray for God to continue to work in hearts.

  • Some summer camps have already begun. Workers are thrilled for the excellent weather and large turnout of campers! Please pray for safety during the camps, for all the adult workers, and for God’s Word to bear fruit in campers’ lives.

  • On June 16 there will be an evangelistic outreach aimed at widows in Kodra, Ukraine. Local widows will be invited to the church for a meal, for testimonies, a Gospel message, and a complimentary bag of groceries. Pray for softened hearts and responses to the Gospel.

Challenger Update

Here is an excerpt from our most recent Challenger publication.

Recently one of BIEM’s dear friends, Pastor Peter Rumachik, passed away. This Challenger includes a special tribute to his life. For the rest of the article, please read the Challenger!

If you were asked to name just one Christian from our time who had lived an exemplary life for God despite great pressure, which one would you name? For many believers around the globe, the choice would be Peter Vasilievich Rumachik.

On January 29, this faithful servant of God (and long- time friend of BIEM) passed to his eternal reward at the age of 87. But who was Peter Rumachik? What makes him so respected among believers? Let’s glorify God by taking a brief look at how He led in Peter’s life.

Early life

Peter was born in the Soviet Union in 1931, the period when Stalin’s atheistic government was already working to strangle the church and eradicate faith in God. Because his mother was a Christian, Peter heard the Gospel from a young age. He and his closest childhood friend Victor regularly met to read the Bible together.

So, even as a boy, Peter believed in God, and he understood the only way to Heaven was by God’s grace through faith in the Savior, Jesus Christ. Yet, he saw the reality as the atheistic authorities imprisoned active Christians, confiscated Bibles, and seized places of worship. Understanding how difficult life could be for a Christian in the Soviet Union, at age 16 Peter made a decision about becoming a child of God. “Not right now, and not even in my youth or when I’m middle aged, but I’ll follow the path of Christ when I am per- haps 50 or 60.”

However when his best friend died at age 18, Peter realized he had no guarantee of living to old age. He could die any time. Three months later, cutting through snowy woods, he knelt in the snow and prayed, putting his trust in Jesus Christ. In 1948 he was baptized.

Becoming active

Peter once recalled, “From the very beginning of my turning to the Lord, I believed deeply in my Savior, loved Him, and strove to serve Him in any way.”

The period from 1955– 1960 became particularly memorable for him. During those years he played an active role in preaching and assisting to start a house church in the Moscow suburb of Dyedovsk. By the end of the 1950s, the authorities had fined Peter and the other preachers multiple times. In 1961 the authorities began conducting searches of their homes. The authorities brought criminal charges against Peter and four others: starting an illegal church, holding crowded meetings in a home, allowing children to be present at church, and for disobedience to the VSEKhB (the government-registered and controlled group of Evangelical Christian- Baptist churches). He and the others were put on trial and punished by being exiled to Siberia’s primitive Krasnoyarsk region.

Continued in the Challenger.


May Video Update

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

Dear Pastors and Friends,

Thank-you for your prayers for our missions conference focusing on Central Asia in Kiev earlier this month. God answered those prayers, and the conference was a tremendous blessing and exceeded our expectations. Praise God!

Our May video update features this conference which was incorporated in the May Session of our Seminary in Kiev. There was a strategic purpose in this since there is a consensus among those involved in missions that Ukrainians are best suited to work as missionaries in Muslim Central Asia. They share the Russian language in common, they are in close proximity, and most of all, they are neither American nor Russian.

The Ukrainians received the information enthusiastically as conference speakers, including some from Central Asia, spoke about the need and what God is doing in these places. We praise God that at least 5 responded with a serious interest to serve in these lands. Please pray that God would enable and direct them in this path as well as others who are praying about volunteering as well.

In Christ,
Sam & Amy Slobodian

BIEMs of Light May 2019

Praises Rejoice with us!

  • In April, BIEM missionary Vitaly Keller and others were able to set up a display on a main street in Kyiv, Ukraine. The collection consisted of framed works of Christian art. Using any painting, the display provided opportunities to share the Gospel with passersby. Evangelism—may God water the seeds sown in those conversations!

  • The building that BIEM helped the church in Ternopil, Ukraine, to buy now has new Sunday school rooms. Men from the church refurbished rooms that had remained in rough, unfinished condition after the purchase. They turned out beautifully and are in service!

  • Two different times recently, children of BIEM missionaries Sergei and Vika Skripnik landed in their local hospital. Praise God, neither occasion turned out to be serious, but both occasions gave opportunities to share the Gospel with others!

  • Our missionary in Bila Tserkva, Ukraine, Bruce Tuttle, is thrilled with his Bible students’ receptivity and eagerness to learn. They are halfway through 6 semesters of studies. Bruce says, “Pray that every course will have a part in building the character, wisdom, abilities, and spiritual passion of our students.”

Prayer - Pray with us!

  • In May, BIEM plans to hold a missions conference in Kyiv, Ukraine. A main goal is to increase understanding of the needs and opportunities in the Muslim lands of Central Asia. Please pray God will use this conference to raise up more laborers for those regions.

  • Julia, the wife of one of our missionaries in a Muslim nation, is in her 8th month of a very difficult pregnancy. Please pray for both her and the child to remain safe and healthy.

  • Elections in Ukraine recently brought a new president to that nation. Unfortunately, corruption has been a deep-rooted problem in Ukraine. While no one can promise this new administration can defeat the corruption, Scripture tells us, The king's heart is in the hand of the LORD, as the rivers of water: he turneth it whithersoever he will. Therefore, please pray that God will see fit to direct the newly elected leadership in ways that are righteous, especially that the current state of full religious freedom would continue in Ukraine. The blessing of this freedom has greatly aided missionary work in this needy land.

  • Funds for summer camps are slowly trickling in. We currently have $11,403 of the $40,000 needed. Please pray for God to supply the remaining $28,597 through His people.

April Video Update

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

Dear Pastors and Friends,

Warm greetings in Christ! This month's video update features what BIEM is doing to help the needy in Ukraine's war zone which is along the east, bordering Russia. There are about 20 churches in that area that we fellowship and work with through the Brotherhood of Independent Baptist Churches of Ukraine. On this video you will see Pastor Sergii Sheptala, whose residency in the war zone permits him access to this embattled area and Sergii Debelinsky, who is the president of the Brotherhood. 

Funds given for clothing, food, coal for heating, and other needs are distributed by the churches not only to their own members but also to those in their community. Since the Gospel is presented along with distributing the aid, many souls are being saved, and several of these churches now have baptized believers in their membership through these efforts. Please consider helping with this need by designating gifts as "Aid for Ukraine."

In Christ, 

Sam & Amy Slobodian

BIEMs of Light April 2019

Praises Rejoice with us!

  • When doctors told new believer Elena in Lvov, Ukraine her cancer would kill her in less than two months, she had one wish: to be baptized and glorify God. BIEM’s Yura Levtseniuk arranged for her to be baptized immediately. Believers and relatives attended and heard Elena’s glowing testimony. Three days later, she was with the Lord. God still saves souls!

  • In Kyiv, the Kellers rejoice: “Our little house church has multiplied by two. We prefer not to call it division, since we have multiplied purposefully to make room for new people to come. We decided to multiply every time there are more than 20 of us in one location.”

  • In Chernigiv, Ukraine, the Savchuks’ church continues their new outreach to orphans at a mental hospital. Although not always an easy ministry, the children are always glad to see them, and this work has become a special type of evangelism for this young church.

  • Over the years, ministry friends have donated guitars, orchestra instruments, and even pianos for BIEM to ship to Eastern Europe for ministry. One church in Kyiv, Ukraine, has formed a saxophone quintet using all donated instruments, and the musicians provide special music at services. Thank you to all of you who have donated good, used instruments for churches. If you have a musical instrument to donate, we can use more!

Prayer - Pray with us!

  • With spring in full swing, the children’s camp season will soon be upon us.  Each year, God greatly blesses these camps for kids and teens with salvation decisions and strengthened faith in young ones growing in the Lord. Please pray that we will receive the target amount of $40,000 needed before the first camps in June. Currently we have $3,527.

  • One of our couples in the Republic of Georgia reports some conflicts and tensions among people attending the church. Please pray for peaceful resolutions and that the name of the Lord not be tarnished. Also, a woman who has translated many materials from English to Georgian for them has stepped down for health reasons. Pray for a qualified replacement.

  • In Yucay, Peru, Juan Bautista Huillca Quispe is happy that his country has religious liberty. However, he notes that his particular area is steeped in religion and customs that create barriers for the Gospel. Please pray for the Holy Spirit to open eyes and draw souls to Christ.

  • One of our missionaries in Russia (it’s best if we not name him or his city) wrote to say: “We need wisdom and strength to fulfill God’s commission in difficult times.” He and his family use a number of methods to meet and evangelize the lost. Please pray for them as they share the Good News, both with ethnic Russians and with Muslims coming for work.

March Video Update

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

Dear Pastors and Friends, 

Greetings!  This month's video update comes from the military city of Desna and features Igor Fomichov, who is the pastor of the church there. The large military shower facility happens to be right next to their church. Therefore thousands of soldiers are marched past the church building every week on their way to the showers. Brother Igor came up with a plan of using this as an opportunity for evangelism by mounting a Bible verse on their building.  

He began to share this idea with others asking for some ideas of what would be the best Bible verse to use.  Eventually, someone suggested rather that than mounting just one verse, they should mount a digital LED outdoor screen. This would have the ability not only to change verses from time to time but could also display an invitation to attend the church and show the times of the services as well as special events. Folks began to get excited about the possibilities and then one day God provided the funds for this project. Praise the Lord!

In Christ, 

Sam & Amy Slobodian

BIEMs of Light March 2019

Praises Rejoice with us!

  • On Feb. 20 BIEM’s David Cateam (Central Asia) underwent surgery, which he calls “a miracle blessing.” Months earlier doctors had told him he had an irreversible decompensated bladder. They predicted tubes, bags, and catheters the rest of his days. But God sent a Christian doctor who made a referral to a leading surgeon who performed a “perfect” operation, giving David his normal life back! Grateful for praying friends and this amazing answer, he says, “Our ministry continues by God’s grace for God’s glory.”

  • Praise God for the new BIEM church planter that has been appointed in Latin America.  Douglas Serrudo Quispe, his wife Julia, and daughter Heidi have begun their ministry in Cuzco, Peru.  Please pray that souls will be saved and that a strong church will be established in this place.

  • In the Republic of Georgia, the Hoblitzes are excited at how God has been growing their church. Two newer members are young men who escaped persecution in other lands and have become active in the church’s evangelism team to their community!

  • God is continuing to bless the puppet ministry of the church in Chervona Sloboda, Ukraine.  Church planter Vitaly Yurchenko reports that last month they had 15 different Evangelistic Puppet presentations in schools, orphanages, churches and other children’s institutions.

Prayer - Pray with us!

  • More evangelistic services emphasizing widows have been held in Belarus, and a couple more are planned for the near future. Please pray for God to enlighten those invited, so they will appreciate not only the gift bag of groceries, but also the love of Christ and His offer of salvation. May souls come to him through these outreaches.

  • In Chernigiv, Ukraine, BIEM’s Lyosha and Alusia Savchuk and others from their church made an initial visit to an orphanage near them. Praise God, the administration appreciated this visit, which included a presentation of the Gospel. Please pray they can start a regular ministry here.

  • This month our national missionaries Vitaly and Olena Yurchenko will be visiting a number of American churches with Sam Slobodian. Please pray for safety during travels, but even more importantly that God will be glorified as they bring firsthand reports from the fields.

  • Many have been praying for Sam and Amy Slobodian's grandson Noah Harvey ever since he had his heart transplant.  The Harveys are now facing some new challenges. A website has been launched where you can get more information. It is