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/242306655

 

Warm Thanksgiving greetings from the Slobodian's.   Praise God for His many blessings.  Here at BIEM, we have much to be thankful for.  

One of those special blessings is the shipment of yet another container to Ukraine is featured in this month's video update. This particular container was an especially bountiful shipment because it included a wide assortment of donated items besides clothing and medical supplies. This one also contained an auditorium full of church pews, over 300 folding chairs, dozens of tables, sports equipment, furniture, and a beautiful oak pulpit especially made for the church in Bilogorodka.

As you will see in the video, Eugene Buyko and Igor Fomichov from Ukraine were on hand to load the container along with some wonderful volunteers who brought a forklift with them since there were so many heavy items.

BIEMs of Light November 2017

Praises Rejoice with us!

  • The container loading we requested prayer for last month went very well.  Praise God for the volunteers who helped load and for the forklift that was provided, since this container had a lot of heavy items.  The container was due to leave port November 1st and should arrive by Christmas.
  • In August we mentioned that a businessman volunteered to fund an electronic sign in front of the church building in Desna, Ukraine. Praise God the sign is now up and functioning and has already brought visitors into the church! Praise the Lord for yet another tool to attract souls.
  • Although the 2017 summer camps are now behind us, we remain grateful to God (and to you) for making each of these camps possible.  3,614 children and teens heard the Gospel. Of those, camp leaders’ combined reports relate that 677 campers (and a few parents!) made specific decisions regarding repenting and asking the Lord to save them. A 2017 camp report is available upon request.
  • Sam Slobodian and a couple of American pastors plan to travel to the Republic of Georgia and Ukraine at the end of November to minister to churches and BIEM missionaries there. A scheduled highlight of the trip will be the ordination of two BIEM workers in Ukraine, Alexander Petrenko and Lyosha Savchuk. We anticipate a joy-filled, God-glorifying trip!

Prayer Pray with us!

  • In Popina, Belarus, the small congregation of believers has been meeting in the home of Pastor Andrei Taranovich since they don’t yet have a church building. In the last couple days of October, two of the pastor’s grandsons were playing with fire and accidentally set fire to the interior of the home. Praise God, the boys ran outside in a panic and are safe, but now the pastor’s house (also the church’s place of worship) needs repairs they can’t afford. Please pray.
  • In Fedorivka, Ukraine, Mikail Titarenko witnessed to three retired men living next door and had an excellent opportunity to share the Gospel. He asked for prayer for their salvation.
  • The government of Turkey has suspended the issuance of visas to US citizens due to a diplomatic dispute. BIEM personnel often travel through Istanbul during trips overseas.  Please pray that this issue would soon be resolved.
  • Pray for Sam Slobodian and a couple of American pastors planning to travel to the Republic of Georgia and Ukraine later this month to minister to churches and BIEM missionaries there. Pray for opportunities to share the gospel and encourage fellow brothers and sisters in Christ, especially through the ordination of Alexander Petrenko and Lyosha Savchuk. Praise God for providing dedicated laborers for the fields. 

Challenger Update

Here is a story from our most recent Challenger publication.

In August, Central Asian evangelist Elijah and his family saw God work in wonderful ways as they delivered mp3s with the New Testament, Bible lessons, Christian songs, and testimonies in Central Asian languages such as Tajik, Kyrgyz, Uzbek, and Russian.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

My name is Erkin. Because of my illness, I’m completely blind. I have been with Christ four years. I do not read and cannot move without help. Not long ago I was operated on and I began to see the glory of God. Still, to my great regret, I cannot read the Word of God. But not long ago God made me a wonderful gift. From the city came a minister [Elijah] and blessed me and gave me an mp3. I did not even know there is such a thing as mp3. Now I listen to the Word of God whenever I want. I am very grateful to God for such a wonderful gift. I do not have to ask someone to read the Word of God to me; now I listen to the Word of God when I want! Thanks to my God and those who donated their finances for this blessing. May God bless you abundantly.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

My name is Jyldyz. I was born in 1964. In 2015 I accepted Jesus as my Lord and Savior. I cannot
read the Word of God. I only listen to God’s Word in church. My eyesight is -9. God heard my prayers and through the ministers gave me an mp3 from which I can hear the Word of God. This is an incomparable blessing. When I received the mp3 into my hands, my tears began to ow. I am infinitely grateful to God and Jesus Christ. Thanks to all who have contributed to the spread of the Word of God.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

This year I will turn 89. My name is Vitaly. Since I see poorly, my wife wrote for me in large letters verses from the Scriptures every day. I could not read the Word of God, but now I have an mp3, and through it I listen to God’s Word. I was so glad when I was given this player. It is my dearest gift in life. When I received it, I did not let it out of my hand and enjoyed it all the time. I was edified by the Word of God and did not give it even to my wife. She took offense. [He laughs.] She complained to her friend about this and told God’s servants who distributed the mp3s. Finally, my desire was fulfilled; the Lord heard my wife’s prayer and answered. Now we listen to the Word of God together. All glory to God.

Gifts designated “Central Asia Ministry” will purchase more Here it Now! (HIN) players. Can you help?

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/238876132

Once again we greet you in the name of our wonderful Lord.  We are thankful for the privilege of serving Him by planting churches in needy areas overseas.  An important part of this ministry is training nationals as pastors, missionaries, and Christian workers.

This month's video update features a couple of new students just beginning their studies in our seminary in Kiev.  These two brothers are from the war zone in the eastern Ukraine. When the war began we lost all of our students from that area of Ukraine.  It is a great blessing and an answer to prayer to see them returning.

 

BIEMs of Light October 2017

Praises Rejoice with us!

  • Through our Hear It Now! ministry, over 5,000 mp3 players have been distributed throughout Central Asia. These little electronic players carry the Good News, including the New Testament in their language, Old Testament lessons, songs, and testimonies by their own people. We receive reports of Muslims trusting Jesus as Savior every month. Praise God for using technology to reach restricted countries where Christianity is greatly suppressed!
  • On October 14 we will be loading a forty-foot container bound for Ukraine. Praise God for all the donated items we have received for this shipment, which include a complete set of pews, 350 folding chairs, a pulpit, and 60 tables. Along with clothing, medical supplies and sports equipment, these items will be a great blessing for new churches in Ukraine. Please pray that the loading goes well.
  • In Russia, what began as one Christian rehabilitation center has now grown to a network of 11 such centers. Over 2,000 have received help, and at least 400 former addicts now lead a sober, God-honoring lifestyle. Thank God this ministry continues!
  • In the Fontibón district of Bogotá, Colombia, church planter William Suarez held a children’s event. “We were able to preach to many people. A number of children who attended were saved, and their parents also heard the Gospel.” May God water the seed’s sown in hearts!

Prayer Pray with us!

  • Please pray for someone to help us create mobile apps for our Hear It Now! ministry to Central Asia. Our Central Asian workers have ideas but not the technical knowledge needed.
  • On October 13-14 in Ukraine, a 4th “Bible Quest” will be held, with 120 teens participating. This event requires in-depth study of God’s Word, plus specific actions, such as going into the community to share the Gospel with someone and invite that person to church. Please pray for God’s blessing on this outreach that more workers for the harvest would be produced.
  • In a Muslim land where women have no refuge from abusive, alcoholic men, BIEM has established a Women’s Shelter. Here, hurting women can find comfort and learn of a loving Heavenly Father. Pray for those who minister there: our brave national pastors (Almond, Zealous, Righteous), our courageous manager Julie, and her helper Rose. Pray for the women and kids at the Shelter to receive Jesus and stand strong in their new faith.
  • During this month of October, Sam Slobodian will be traveling with 4 of our national church planters visiting in the United States. First Pavel Rumachik and Andrei Yudintsev from Russia will be here, followed by Eugene Buyko and Igor Fomichov from Ukraine. Please pray that God will bless the meetings where they will be speaking.

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/233197878

Warm greetings from Ukraine!  The Lord has blessed us here with great weather, which was very good since our team had the privilege of participating in two outdoor baptisms and an all church picnic.  One baptism was in Ternopil which is in Western Ukraine. This month’s video involves the other baptism which was in the area of Desna.  That is the place where a thriving church has been established on a large military base.  This church has launched two other church plants and will soon be launching a third.

This video features BIEM national missionary Igor Fomichov introducing the four new converts that had been baptized.  Three are from Chernihiv, a large city which has several colleges and universities.  The fourth person is from Goncharovsk, which is another military base north of Desna.  Praise God for folks responding to the Gospel and following the Lord in believer’s baptism.

 

BIEMs of Light September 2017

Praises Rejoice with us!

  • Hallelujah! We requested prayer for two church planters whom BIEM had invited to speak in American churches to receive permission from the U.S. to come. Their interview at the embassy in Moscow went well, and they received visas. They plan to come this month!
  • Although not all reports from summer camps are in, those we’ve received indicate happy children, happy parents, and tired (but happy!) workers. Many kids from non-Christian homes attended their first Christian camp and heard the Gospel. Workers express exuberant thank you’s to BIEM’s supporters for making such camps possible.
  • On August 2, the Lord blessed our missionaries in the Republic of Georgia, Micah and Alisha Tuttle, with the birth of a son. We thank the Lord for this new addition to their family! Also, the Tuttles praise God for the salvation decision of a woman who had attended Bible studies for a year but trusted in religion only. Now she has placed trust in Christ alone.
  • Church planter Vitaly Yurchenko in Chervona Sloboda, Ukraine has been able to reach out to a local orphanage.  This can become a regular outreach.  Praise God!

 

Prayer Pray with us!

  • This month BIEM president Sam Slobodian will be in Kyiv, Ukraine, with 3 pastors (from Indiana and Minnesota), who will teach in our Fall Seminary session. They will also minister in churches and participate in baptismal services in Desna and Ternopil. Please pray for God to bless these sessions and baptisms, which are public evangelistic events.
  • Last month we requested prayer for Rachel, our missionaries’ daughter with Lyme disease: They report, “Rachel is doing much better. Thank you for prayers. We wondered if 21 days of antibiotics would cure her, but for now her symptoms have ceased. We pray that she will not relapse and that our schedule of travel won’t adversely affect her health.”
  • Writing from Peru, church planter Wilber Huillca reminds us of a basic truth: Christian workers pour out themselves for the sakes of those they try to reach and disciple for Christ, but they are not immune to attacks from the Devil. He says, “Pray for our spiritual lives. May God help us to conquer the trials that come every day. Pray, too, for economic provision for our family and the ministry….”
  • BIEM missionary Igor Balashov is currently leading a team in the Far East of Russia, as far as the Magadan area. Please pray for the Holy Spirit to work through them.

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/228757915

Hello again from the Slobodians and all those serving with us at BIEM.  We thank the Lord for the blessing of serving Him together with you.

We are still in our summer camp season.  This months video comes from the camp being conducted in Bilogorodka, Ukraine which is on the outskirts of the capitol city of Kiev.  You will see and hear Pastor Anatoly say a few words about this ministry.  He was saved while serving in the military then enrolled in our Seminary in Kiev.  This is brother Anatoly's third church plant.  

Praise God for such dedicated servants who have a heart for children!

 

Urgent Prayer Request

In the same restricted-access country of Central Asia where police recently raided Pastor River’s church, Pastor Mark ministers in a totally different region. As Pastor Mark exited a building supply store today, two men attacked and viciously beat him. The attackers took no money. The assault is apparently related to his Christian faith in this predominantly Muslim land. Pastor Mark is currently being treated in a hospital. At the moment the extent of his injuries isn’t known, but doctors used many stitches around his mouth and his injuries are affecting his vision.    Please pray for him and his wife, Fern, who is expecting.

BIEMs of Light August 2017

Praises Rejoice with us!

  • In Western Asia, two more souls have come to Christ in a Muslim land. This husband and wife faced many obstacles to faith. The husband was an atheist. The wife is in a wheelchair due to a serious accident and asked many “Why?” questions. God used our missionary Sasha and the Scriptures to remove the obstacles and replaced them with faith!
  • When church-planter Igor Fomichov of Ukraine was visiting U.S. churches in July, he mentioned informally a long-range hope of mounting a Bible verse on the church building so soldiers passing by would see it. A businessman has stepped forward to fund something better: an electronic sign capable even of pictures. This project is now being pursued!
  • Pastor River and his wife Hope have faced much pressure in Central Asia. The authorities raided a service at their home, then posted men to watch the residence. They also summoned those who had been present for questioning, which caused fears. Thanks to prayer by God’s people, the pressure on Pastor River is lessening for now. We don’t assume they are no longer under observation, but we praise God for this reprieve.
  • In Peru, missionary Wilber Huillca reports, “Praise the Lord, we have been able to bring the Gospel to our brothers from different communities and ethnicities, such as the Yine, Yaminahua, Amahuaca, Kaquinte, Machiguenga, Ashaninca, Shahui, and others. During our stay here in Sepahua, God has opened doors for us with the Amahuaca and Yaminahua people, with whom we now face new challenges.” May God continue to bless and help!

Prayer Pray with us!

  • Pray that two of our Russian church planters whom we have invited to visit the U.S. to speak in churches will be granted visas.  Their consultation at the U.S. Embassy in Moscow (which determines whether to grant the visas) is on August 3.
  • The daughter of our missionary Tim experienced health problems following an insect bite (a tick). They had fly back to the U.S. on July 21, and she has since been diagnosed with Lyme disease. Please pray for restored health for this young lady.
  • Please continue to uphold in prayer church planter Nikolai Ryzhuk in Belarus. He’s no longer bedridden, but his severe back pain does limit what he can do physically.
  • The last of the summer camps will be taking place in August. Please pray for God to work in campers’ hearts!

Urgent Prayer Request Update

Thank you for praying for Brother River. While he is not in the free and clear, the persecution has eased for now. He wrote, "Thank you for your prayers, God has answered. Things have eased up and we are able to meet again." Please continue to pray for them as they can still be raided at anytime. Pray for wisdom and safety.

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/225293122


Praise God for the wonderful privilege of serving Him together with you in spreading the glorious Gospel to a needy world.

This month's video update comes from western Ukraine where church planter Vitaly Bilyak operates a Christian Drug and Alcohol Rehab center outside the city of Ternopil where their church is located.  This ministry had a pressing need for a vehicle since it was taking the men 2 1/2 hours to travel to church through a combination of walking and public transportation.  One of our recent projects was to raise funds for a vehicle to meet this need.  

Praise God that, when this project was shared in the churches that Vitaly recently visited, this need was met!  In this video, brother Vitaly expresses gratefulness for this great blessing for the ministry.

 

Challenger Update

Here is a story from our most recent Challenger publication.

When a sinner repents, Heaven rejoices. In our church, we too greatly rejoiced. Victor is a man for whom we have prayed a long time. He actively helped in building our church. He became the first person whose heart found peace in Christ after many years of wandering in darkness.

Victor came from the world, from a non-Christian family. All of Victor’s life passed without the Lord; therefore, when he repented that was a special event for us. Tears of joy welled in our eyes. We sang hymns of praise and thankfulness. The whole church got on their knees and gave praise to the Creator for this saved sinner.

However, while the church was rejoicing, the enemy of mankind’s souls was pre- paring a serious trial for Victor to shake his faith. When Victor’s wife learned he had repented, she began pressuring him psychologically. For two weeks she would not talk with her husband. Later she used words to pressure him at any opportunity. On Sunday mornings before worship service she would say, “Don’t forget to give away all the tithe to your church.” (That was as if to say, “Take all our money and give it to your church.”)

Friends and relatives wondered how it was possible he would no longer drink alcohol. They wondered if Victor had fallen into a cult.

It takes courage to openly declare you’ve become a follower of Christ, that you want to change your life, especially when everyone around you is far from God. There’s a risk everyone will turn away and say that you’ve lost your mind. But Victor had thought through his decision with regard to the Gospel and Christ. He openly said: “I am a believer. I no longer drink!” Thank God for his decision and courage. This was the first fruit of his repentance. 

For a long time, Victor has taken medicine for his heart and blood pressure. He has bottles of medicines standing on the windowsill in a certain order, so even with his eyes closed he can take the right one and make no mistake. One evening he came home after a hard day of work, and he took his pills, drank the necessary dose and...felt oddly. He lay down and all his body felt weightless. Victor thought he was dying. It turned out his daughter-in-law had unwittingly shuffled the medicines. As a result, he took ten times the normal dose of one medicine! When Viktor finally began to feel better, his concerned wife said tenderly: “Victor, go to your church. You will sing psalms. It will help you feel better.”

His wife’s new, softened attitude is a huge answer to prayer. Fellow church members in Ukraine were praying, and so were Americans Victor had met when they visited Bilogorodka to help with the church’s construction. People on both sides of the ocean prayed fervently.

There will be more trials in Victor’s future. We are praying, and we ask that you, dear brothers and sisters, please support Victor in prayer, that the Lord be with him in all his paths and give him peace of heart.

Thank you again to each of you who donated to BIEM’s church construction fund, which in turn led to Victor’s repentance. Saving sinners is the heart of ministry!

Urgent Prayer Request

Please pray for our national pastor, River, and his family who have been serving with BIEM for 12 years in a Muslim country. Sunday night, police broke into his home and disrupted a gathering of believers.  All the Bibles were confiscated.  The police demanded to know who the pastor was and declared they would put him in jail for a minimum of 15 days.  No one would say who the pastor was.  Ever since, an armed guard has been stationed at River's house.  River can't leave, nor can anyone come visit.  This is like an unofficial house arrest and local authorities may also be using this opportunity to collect more information about the group of believers.  River's wife, Hope, is eight months pregnant.  Please pray for their safety, especially that the intense pressure will not affect the pregnancy.

BIEMs of Light July 2017

Praises Rejoice with us!

  • The financial need for the summer camps has been met! These camps for children and teens have already begun, so this is also a prayer request for God to work through them.
  • In Ukraine, two dedication ceremonies took place in June: the new church in Bilogorodka and the completely rebuilt Rehabilitation Center outside Ternopil. Both of these facilities turned out even better than imagined and stand out as wonderful testimonies.
  • Last month, we asked that you pray for our shipping container to arrive quickly and pass through Ukrainian Customs. It did! The cargo of chairs included in this shipment arrived in the nick of time to seat everyone at the Bilogorodka dedication service! Praise the Lord!
  • We also requested prayer that two foreign-born coworkers be granted visas to visit the USA. God granted this request! In May and part of June, Igor (church planter in Ukraine) and Sasha (a BIEM national missionary in a restricted country) were able to visit many churches, where they preached and shared directly about their respective mission fields.

PrayerPray with us!

  • In a restricted-access nation in Central Asia, 50 children came for camp. A number of them made professions of faith in Christ, but 6 in particular gave evidence of truly understanding their need of Christ.  Later, after local policemen threatened and intimidated our BIEM missionary against preaching and holding services, 90 people came for family camp. There, 8 former Muslims placed their trust in Christ as Savior! Please pray for continuing fruit and for safety for our personnel.
  • In Peru, missionary Wilber Huillca and others will soon begin creating an audio recording of the Bible in Yine, the language of one of the tribal groups in the Peruvian jungle. Please pray for God to bless and use this project to save many more souls for His Kingdom.
  • In Belarus, even though BIEM missionary Nikolai Ryzhuk’s spinal condition is better (less painful) than previously, he still cannot perform manual labor or drive long distances. Please pray for relief for this brother.
  • BIEM’s missionary Micah Tuttle (Republic of Georgia) shares this request, which all of our missionaries could echo: “As you pray for us, pray for a sincere love for men’s souls, for a bold courage in our witness, for a pure heart before God, and for a steadfast faithfulness in this ‘good’ fight. We are very much aware of the need for prayer support back home and are incredibly thankful for your prayers, your love, and your financial support!”

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/223140578

 

We have just returned from Ukraine where we both had a chance to participate in some of the summer camps that are underway.  What a blessing!

This month's video update comes from Lutsk, Ukraine and features Pastor Victor and children's worker Vala of the Resurrection Baptist Church.  They operate several camps each summer which is a big part of their evangelistic thrust and has consistently produced contacts for the church.

This is also the ministry which operates the special camp for Downs Syndrome children and their parents.  Lutsk is in Western Ukraine where BIEM has planted two other churches in addition to this one.

Urgent Prayer Request

Our missionary Tim and his family are courageously serving the Lord in a country strongly opposed to Christians. The spiritual attacks have been increasing weekly especially from false believers who try to destroy their ministry. Recently, Tim held a camp for children and there were 6 campers who accepted Jesus as their Savior and 2 other people who have just come to Christ. Now he is being summoned to appear before the authorities. Please pray God will intervene in this meeting and preserve their ministry there. Pray also for these new converts who are already facing strong opposition for trusting Christ.

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/217151650

Warm Greetings in Christ!  This months video update features students from Belarus who are attending our seminary In Kiev, Ukraine.

Belarus which is just north of Ukraine is one of the areas where our church planters have faced government opposition.  Despite going through a period of government interrogation and an arrest that lead to several court appearances as well as a fine, our brethren in Belarus continue their ministry which focuses on evangelism and youth work.  They ask for prayer regarding their upcoming tent evangelism meetings.

April 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/214919982

This month's video update comes from Vinnystia, Ukraine which is a large city about 4 hours southwest of Kiev.   Just two days before Easter a fire destroyed the church auditorium pastored by one of our graduates brother Pavel Yanovsky.

Since this church like most churches in Ukraine did not have fire insurance, a fire like this creates an opportunity for other churches to help rebuild.   We were in Vinnystia with a group of pastors from various churches all bringing the collections taken up for this need.  Praise God no one was injured even though there were several youth spending the night in the facility when the fire took place.  The fire moved very quickly and though the auditorium was destroyed, the church is able to continue their meetings by squeezing into the portions of the building that survived.

BIEMs of Light June 2017

Praises Rejoice with us!

  • With God’s blessing and help from friends, we are progressing toward our goal for summer camp programs. At this time last month, we needed $26,000 to match last year’s level of $40,000. As of this writing, the need is down to $16,600. Thanks to all who are giving!
  • Our missionary Nikolai Ryzhuk had been hospitalized with severe back pain. Although he is still unable to do physical labor, we rejoice that he is able to walk and attend evangelistic tent meetings held in Drogichin, Belarus, in May. But continue praying.
  • BIEM has been hosting 2 of our Ukrainian church planters who are in the U.S. for the first time and visiting churches to share their ministries in person. Also, Vitaly Keller of Russia is visiting U.S. churches too. These meetings with supporters are mutual encouragements!
  • A second soul has come to Christ in Bilogorodka! Although Pastor Eugene Buyko’s father-in-law helped in the church’s construction, he had been skeptical of non-Orthodox believers for years. Working alongside our believers convinced him the Gospel is true. Praise God!

PrayerPray with us!

  • BIEM’s most recent shipping container of supplies was due to reach the Ukrainian port on June 1. Because this container includes items for the new church plant in Bilogorodka (hundreds of chairs, tables, pulpit, several hundred Bibles), please pray the Lord will speed its way through customs to reach the church before dedication Sunday on June 18.
  • The church in Ternopil, Ukraine, requests we pray for God to supply a youth pastor for their church. A university city, Ternopil has about 40,000 students. Opportunities for outreach abound, but missionary pastor Vitaly Bilyak is limited as he serves as pastor and oversees the youth, too. He hopes God will send a youth minister in the near future.
  • In the military city of Desna, Ukraine, literally thousands of soldiers must march past the church building on their way to showers.  Pastor Igor hopes to mount an electronic sign on the building to highlight Bible verses and give church information. Please pray that God would enable and direct in this exciting evangelistic project.
  • BIEM praises God for the $7,000+ that donors have sent to provide relief for the churches and Christian families hurt by this spring’s flooding in Peru. Please pray for these brothers and sisters as they repair their homes and church buildings. More gifts are welcome since it will take some time to recover.