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

 

BIEMs of Light May 2018

Praises Rejoice with us!

  • BIEM missionaries, the Hoblitzes, share that, “Every Friday, we go out to the public square, and do colportage work. We have had thousands of Gospel tracts printed and passed out, and many New Testaments. Last week, a young college girl received Christ into her heart, and a young Georgian man wants to meet again.” Praise God for responsive souls!

  • In February, we requested prayer for Grisha Fomichov, the father of BIEM missionary Igor Fomichov. He’d had a stroke that left physical and mental effects. Although Grisha hasn’t had a full recovery, he’s much better. More exciting, in April he placed his faith in Christ!

  • The military conflict in eastern Ukraine had prevented students from attending the Seminary in Kyiv until about a year ago. At first two came, then five.  This spring session, that number increased to ten! We praise God for each of them!

  • In Goncharovsk, Ukraine, Sasha Petrenko organized a floor hockey team for youth. This would serve the community and enable him to evangelize. In a surprise to everyone, Sasha’s team of newcomers took 2nd place in a tournament! This military community’s respect for our missionary shot up. May God continue to use this outreach for His glory!

Prayer Pray with us!

  • In May, Sam Slobodian and Sergei Debelinsky will be visiting churches in the US. Brother Debelinsky is president of the Brotherhood of Independent Baptist Churches in Ukraine. He’ll be sharing God’s Word but also bring updates on ministry in his country. Please pray for safe travels and blessed services. I

  • In Central Asia, secret police found and raided the church of Pastor River. They then went to the local school, where they detained and threatened his two children. River reports that pressure has eased up again, but local authorities clearly have their eyes on him. Please uphold in prayer this pastor and his family

  • In Eastern Europe, even unsaved children are starting to ask BIEM’s church planters, “When will summer camp be?” What a wonderful situation when we don’t have to drum up interest, because the children themselves are eager for camp! Please pray for the upcoming camps:  for no serious injuries, for spiritual decisions, and of course for needed finances. Of the $40,000 goal, we have received about $10,000, so $30,000 is still needed. 

  • In the past, we have requested prayer for a youth pastor for the young church in Ternopil, Ukraine. Praise God, they now have one! A dedicated young leader whom the youth respect has moved to Ternopil and agreed to minister in this role for at least a year. However, one of the ministers from the Rehabilitation Center has decided to return to his home in Eastern Ukraine, so now prayer is needed for a Christian man who can assist that ministry.

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/266134581

 

Dear Pastors and Friends,
 

Warm greetings from the Slobodians!  I do mean "warm" since I am writing from a restricted country where the weather is much warmer than what we have been experiencing back home.

This month's video comes from brother Sasha who is one of our Ukrainian brethren serving God in a foreign land. Brother Sasha was saved in our military base ministry in Ukraine where he was selected to be part of an elite special forces unit during his time in the military.  He has mentioned on occasion that his special forces experience in some ways helped prepare him for ministry in this land.  Because they are Ukrainian and not American, Sasha and his wife Julia have many more opportunities than would an American where he serves.  Praise God that souls are being saved, baptized and added to the church through this ministry.

In the video, brother Sasha mentions two needs.  Funds are needed to remodel the facility they meet in.  They do have official registration as a cultural entity which make their presence and meetings legal.  Maintaining a legal presence is expensive but of great importance.  Funds are needed for remodeling our facility here, and additional support is needed since their daughter Azaliya is enrolled in a private school which does not teach Islam as do the public schools.  If you would like more information about this outstanding couple and their ministry, please contact us at BIEM.

In Christ,

Sam & Amy Slobodian

 

BIEMs of Light April 2018

Praises Rejoice with us!

  • In Bila Tserkva, Ukraine, Bruce Tuttle is excited to report that recent graduates of the Pastors’ Training Institute are following God’s leading in various directions, both geographically and in ministry. Please pray for these graduates to be used of God in His fields of harvest! Meanwhile, six new students have enrolled—another praise!

  • BIEM missionary Mikhail Titarenko reports that—at last—his mother has come to Christ! She is 90.5 years old and had read much of the Bible and had visited church services, but she had never put her faith in Christ. Mikhail’s daughter and her friends began to pray and fast for her grandmother’s salvation. The next time Mikhail approached her, she agreed to pray the sinner’s prayer (with his help) and asked Christ to save her. Hallelujah!

  • Last month we requested prayer for the father of BIEM church-planter Igor Fomichov. Igor’s father suffered a stroke that affected his body and thinking. Igor thanks everyone for praying and reports that, although his father isn’t back to normal and still says odd things, at least he is somewhat better and is now home from the hospital.

  • In the Curahuasi district of Peru, Cristobal Churbata thanks God for a special day of Bible training in Totoray Baptist Church. Although the congregation is not large, the people seem sincere in their desires to grow in the knowledge of God and His Word, and to be used by Him.

Prayer Pray with us!

  • Please pray that the Drug and Alcohol rehab center operated by the church in Ternopil can legalize the building they rebuilt after a fire. Although it seems strange to Americans, in Ukraine the work is done first, and then the construction is checked and legalized.

  • In a predominantly Muslim area, BIEM missionary Sasha reports that 5 new believers are preparing for baptism. He requests prayer for them, since being baptized in that land is a significant public statement that causes some new believers to fear. Sasha and his small church are also considering holding their first-ever Christian camp for both children and adults and request prayers concerning that. They’re seeking a location to hold it.

  • In Belarus, a new believer named Svetlana is facing multiple challenges raising a disabled daughter alone while her husband is in prison. The church in Drogichin has helped with repairs to her dwelling place. They request prayer for wisdom and blessing in this.

  • Because the United States has expelled Russian diplomats and closed the Russian Consulate in Seattle, deteriorating relations between the U.S. and Russia could hinder travel visas. Please pray that the current travel possibilities for BIEM’s American and Russian personnel will continue, since it’s vital for us to have direct contact with our partners in Russia.

March 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/261481176

 

Dear Pastors and Friends,

Greetings once again from the Slobodians.

This month's video update also comes from  Bilogorodka, Ukraine which is on the outskirts of the capital city of Kyiv.  In last month's video you saw church planter Anatoly Kosyanchuk expressing his thankfulness for the pews which came on our most recent container which ended up in Brother Anatoly's church. This month's video is also from Bilogorodka, but it features Eugene Buyko who is pastor of the church planted on the other side of Bilogorodka, which is why we refer to it as Bilogorodka 2.  

The recently completed in Bilogorodka 2 church building has doors and kitchen cabinets made of some very beautiful oak wood.  In this video Brother Eugene shares how this came about.

In Christ,

Sam & Amy Slobodian  

 

BIEMs of Light March 2018

Praises Rejoice with us!

  • In Bilogorodka, Ukraine, a man named Valera who had once been a concert violinist but sank into alcohol dependency for many years has been attending services. When someone in the U.S. donated a violin to BIEM, Pastor Eugene Buyko presented the instrument to Valera as a gift – “for ministry.” Moved to tears, a week later Valera played a hymn for the church. Pray for his salvation!

  • Praise God for Muslims coming to Christ! Pastor Philip recently led 3 Muslims to faith in Jesus. A former imam who accepted Christ last summer has led an uncle to the Savior, and that man now attends a BIEM church plant. Also, Pastor Almond led a female Muslim to faith in Christ in a hospital. However, Mark and Fern, the only believers in their region of Central Asia, feel spiritually dry. Please pray for them to lead someone to Christ and for encouragement in a very tough place. 

  • Vitaly Yurchenko reports that the Gospel puppet ministry in Chervona Sloboda had ten performances in just one month, which included prisons, orphanages, disabled children’s homes, and other churches. Even the city administration requested and received a performance. Praise God for so many opportunities to share Christ!

  • In November’s BIEM’s of Light we requested prayer that Turkey would resume granting visas to Americans, which was halted due to a diplomatic dispute. Praise God this dispute has been resolved, and now BIEM personnel can travel through Istanbul once again, which is important for our outreach areas to certain countries

Prayer Pray with us!

  • In Desna, Ukraine, the unsaved father of BIEM’s church planter Igor Fomichov suffered a stroke that affects his left side. It also affects his thinking: he says nonsensical things. Concerned, Igor talks and explains the Gospel, but isn’t sure his father understands at all. Please pray for his father, whose name is Grisha.

  • Peruvian church-planter Ruben Villar Terrel is pleased with God’s blessing on their 40-member church. Yet, he foresees a coming need for deacons to help shoulder responsibilities. Please pray for God to prepare leaders who will be able to serve as deacons.

  • In March, BIEM plans to bring Ukrainian church planters Vitaly and Katya Bilyak to the U.S. to visit supporting churches. Please pray that all goes well with their travels and for blessings for both them and the churches that receive them.

  • In Facatativá, Colombia, William Suarez continues with the small church plant. The church has recently started a new women’s ministry. William’s main prayer request is the salvation of more souls as they do their part in the Great Commission.

February 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/255080485

 

Dear Pastors and Friends,
 
Greetings! Thank you for taking the time to view our video updates. It is exciting to share blessings with you from the mission fields.

This month's video update comes from  Bilogorodka, Ukraine which is on the outskirts of the capital city of Kyiv. This video features church planter Anatoly Kosyanchuk expressing his thankfulness for the pews shipped on our most recent container which ended up in brother Anatoly's church. This church is the mother church of the new church recently built on the other end of Bilogorodka.  So they are referred to as Bilogorodka I and Bilogorodka II.

Bilogorodka I was one of our early projects soon after the Iron Curtain came down, and Ukraine obtained its independence.  It actually involved restarting a church that had been closed for over 50 years as brother Anatoly explains. Praise God that Stalin's efforts to wipe out the church in Bilogorodka ultimately failed and that today there is not one but two churches proclaiming the Gospel in Bilogorodka, Ukraine.

In Christ,

Sam & Amy Slobodian  

 

BIEMs of Light February 2018

Praises Rejoice with us!

  • In Belarus, BIEM was able to support financially Christmas outreaches from Dec. 24 – January 8. Hundreds attended these holiday services, including unsaved adults and orphans. Some had never attended any church service before. As a result, God was glorified, and some souls repented of sin and accepted the Savior!
  • Praise God for open doors! In December, Micah and Alisha Tuttle helped oversee an evangelistic outreach in 20+ locations. Over 500 boxes containing small gifts (Bibles, children’s salvation tracts, stuffed animals, toothbrushes, bouncy balls, candy, etc.) were prepared by a church in Tbilisi and then sent to various church plants or refugee settlements around the country. Through preaching, Christian films, direct evangelism, or house-to-house visitation, the gospel was given to over 500 children and young people across Georgia, as well as to many of their parents.
  • In Ukraine, three dedicated men were recently ordained to ministry. Two of them are BIEM missionaries. We praise God for men who sincerely love the Lord and desire to be used by Him!
  • The Kiev seminary is expanding!  This winter session plans were laid to add a Missions Department to the existing Theology, Christian Education and Music Departments.  Please pray for this effort which will begin with the Fall 2018 semester.

Prayer Pray with us!

  • In February, BIEM’s national missionaries Vitaly and Olena Yurchenko will be visiting supporting churches with Sam Slobodian. Please pray for safe traveling over many miles, plus blessed fellowship in the churches they visit.
  • In Peru, Wilber Huillca again requests prayer for the indigenous Yine people group, among whom he is actively evangelizing. May God open eyes and give salvation.
  • In Ternopil, Ukraine, Vitaly Bilyak reports that many new people have been attending services at the church’s new location. However, quite a few of them abstain from communion, which indicates they either aren’t saved or have unresolved sin. Please pray that they will be reconciled with God.
  • The rehabilitation center near Ternopil also needs a couple more dedicated men to lead that ministry. Please pray for God to provide.

January 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/251320855

 

Dear Pastors and Friends,
 
Warm greetings in Christ!  We trust that you had a wonderful Christmas and New Year Season.

This month's video update is from Chernihiv, Ukraine which is the capital of the Chernihiv Oblast (state) which is north of Kiev and stretches all  way to the border of Belarus. It is a city of 300,000 with a rich history going back hundreds of years. It is a cultural and education center with a large number of college and university students since there are many colleges and universities in the city. This video features Lyosha Savchuk  who is the BIEM church planter in this strategic area.

We introduced you to this ministry back in November of 2016.  Since then the church there has grown and needs a new facility.  We hope to take this project on in 2018.

In Christ,

Sam & Amy Slobodian  

 

BIEMs of Light January 2018

Praises Rejoice with us!

  • Praise God our container has arrived in Ukraine! Please pray for the distribution which has begun. 

  • Andrei Eliseev, who oversees the rehabilitation center of New Life Baptist near Ternopil, Ukraine, was fervently praying for another man to assist in leading the ministry. And God provided! Brother Gennady, who himself was once addicted to substances and freed through rehab stepped forward to assist. Both Andrei and Gennady rejoice in God’s provision of a Christian man who has a sincere desire to help others in the same way he himself has been helped. 

  • BIEM’s missionary Bruce Tuttle announced that, on December 16, the Pastors Training Institute in Bila Tserkva, Ukraine, graduated 10 students. Their training constitutes about 2000 hours of classroom training and 60 classes. Some of those graduating already have a clear direction for their ministries, but we know all of them have hearts willing to be used in God’s harvest fields!

  • Many of our church planters minister to needy places such as hospitals, senior care centers, orphanages and juvenile centers.  One of the women at a psychiatric hospital which has opened their doors to brother Sergei’s ministry recently told him, "Before your arrival, it was so noisy (there are many mentally ill people and some quite violent), but now it's quiet, probably because you came with Jesus and everything calmed down. Jesus can soothe any storm. Praise  God.”

 

Prayer Pray with us!

  • In Central Asia, Pastor Righteous requests prayer. He has seen a number of Muslims come to Christ in recent days. The local mosque responded by stirring up a group of angry men to come and pelt the house with stones four days in a row. He and his 7-year-old son were nearly hit. He’s concerned for the safety of his family. 

  • In Belarus, BIEM missionary Nikolai Ryzhuk continues to experience debilitating back pain. Please pray for grace for him to minister despite the serious discomfort, but also for a permanent remedy to be found.

  • In Western Ukraine, our missionaries Sergei & Vika Skripnik request prayer for their sons’ health. Timothy has difficulty breathing through his nose. The feeling is as if he has nasal congestion, but a doctor says the passages are clear. David has a skin irritation on his hands. They think it may be a reaction to the cold, although it’s never happened before.

  • The church in Desna, Ukraine, has renewed their prayer request for a talented believer who can take charge of the music in services. As believers have gotten saved and moved away to minister elsewhere, this has left a vacuum in the church’s musical ministry.

Urgent Prayer Request

In Central Asia, Pastor Righteous requests prayer. He has led a number of Muslims to Christ in recent days. The local mosque responded by stirring up a group of angry men to come and pelt the house with stones four days in a row. He and his seven-year-old son were nearly hit. He's concerned for the safety of his family.
 

Challenger Update

Here is an excerpt from our most recent Challenger publication.

BIEM’s shipments of 40-ft. containers of humanitarian aid and church equipment are especially effective evangelistic tools. They open hearts to the Gospel, help new churches, and they lift up churches’ testimonies in their communities. Learn the encouraging details, in the words of Ukrainians themselves...

It’s such a blessing to see BIEM meeting not only spiritual needs in Ukraine, but also material needs. Because the economic crisis in Ukraine has dragged on for decades, people have seen humanitarian aid more than once. They distinguish good aid from a pile of rags. People who receive assistance from us are always grateful, because BIEM sends quality items.

When I consider the whole humanitarian-aid process — from receiving donated garments in Indiana all the way to distribution in churches, orphanages, and rehabilitation centers in Ukraine — I see the church of Jesus Christ united in fulfilling the Great Commission. Every carton of clothing, every chair, each blanket, is a token of God’s love, sent to Ukraine by brothers and sisters in America. This isn’t just a mountain of stuff. It’s carefully packed boxes of love in the form of folded blouses, sweaters, and pants.

When Eugene Buyko and I visited BIEM in America last spring, we helped to load a container. The process of shipping and receiving such aid is laborious. First, most of the clothing received at BIEM’s warehouse gets hand-sorted by volunteers. Sorting and packing requires much more than a few days. When the warehouse is full, it’s time to order a sea container. Once again, loading requires volunteers.

When loading, volunteers fill the container compactly. No empty space is left. The top is reserved for bulky or fragile things: bicycles, wheelchairs, cribs, strollers, etc. During loading, someone counts and logs each item. When full, the container undergoes fumigation. At last, a truck hauls the container to a port, where it’s loaded onto a ship. Transit takes two months.

Our Ternopil church enjoys good collaboration with Social Services in our city. They know people who truly need help and accompany them to our church on Tuesdays and Thursdays. We offer everyone Christian literature, plus a children’s Bible if they have kids.

Employees of Social Services feel at home in the church. I was talking to one, and he referred to it as “our church.” I smiled. I like this trend. We pray that people, “seeing your good deeds, glorify God” (1 Peter 2:12).

Friends, once more I want to express to you great thanks for your ministry to Ukraine through humanitarian aid.

— Vitaly Bilyak, Ternopil

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Thank you for your prayers and for the material aid, which is so vital. In the economic collapse in our land, there’s much poverty. The brothers and sisters of various churches are grateful for the clothing you provide. This clothing is vital for us, since not many people can buy new things. Our churches receive small offerings, so we’re unable to buy church furniture. So chairs, tables, and other things from the container are really useful.

Here, not many can buy a car, especially in villages. When one brother received a bicycle as a gift, he was ecstatic. Now he gets around much more quickly.

Surrounding our church is a chain-link fence. Where did we get the fencing? From a container, of course! You can’t imagine how much you help us. Without your aid, our missionaries couldn’t have established a single church. Not one church building has been built without your help, because we are “labourers together with God” (1 Cor. 3:9).

Over and over, I want to express appreciation to you for your invaluable support. May the Lord bless you!

— Vitaly Yurchenko

Please consider giving towards the costs of shipping containers so that we can continue to further the Gospel through humanitarian aid. For more stories of how humanitarian aid has blessed people in Ukraine and surrounding areas, click here. 

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/247346680

 

Dear Pastor's and Friends,

Warm Christmas greetings from the Slobodians and all at BIEM! This month’s video update is a special treat as you will hear the choir from the Rock of Salvation Baptist Church in Kyiv, Ukraine while you view ministry pictures from this past year. This church is Ukraine's largest independent Baptist church and houses our seminary, which is a partnership between BIEM and the Brotherhood of Independent Baptist Churches of Ukraine.

This particular choir has been a special blessing to all of us at BIEM over the years. They have often traveled with us all over Ukraine to provide music for evangelistic meetings, dedication services, ordinations and other special events. One time they traveled with us all the way to Belarus.  Please take the time to listen to this choir directed by Vitaly Grigor as they sing the Hallelujah Chorus.

May God bless each of you with a joyous Christmas and wonderful New Year!

In Christ, 

Sam & Amy Slobodian