Prayer Requests

BIEMs of Light November 2019

Praises Rejoice with us!

  • We praise the Lord that so many friends gave to construct a church in Siberia. That building is now open and proclaiming God’s Word. Our next Challenger newsletter will have photos!

  • Last month we requested prayer for our missionary in Belarus, Nikolai Ryzhuk, who needed to replace his failing vehicle. The search was not short, but we praise and thank the Lord for guiding Nikolai to an affordable replacement vehicle.

  • In September we requested prayer for the Skripniks, our church planters in Borschiv, Ukraine. They needed somewhere bigger than their home for services. A generous believer who loves God’s work volunteered to assist with buying a building, and negotiations are done. Praise God for providing both a suitable building and the finances to buy it!

  • The new CD, Sound the Trumpet at Christmas! is now ready. We hope and pray this CD helps bring peace and joy as you and loved ones celebrate the birth of our Savior. To order, please visit our site, BaptistInternational.org.

Prayer - Pray with us!

  • In Ternopil, Ukraine, missionary pastor Vitaly Bilyak writes, “Please pray for resources for the ministry in the Rehabilitation Center. Winter is coming, but we have a whole list of material needs. Right now, we have 6 men undergoing rehabilitation.” The needs mentioned are a chainsaw for logging (theirs broke), an uninterruptible power supply for the boiler, which stops when they lose power ($140), and various items to prepare for winter ($400).

  • In November, a BIEM missionary who oversees evangelistic outreaches to restricted-access lands will be making a trip into a difficult area. We can’t elaborate, but please pray for safety and for God to bless projects to make Christ known in local languages of these places.

  • A church in York, Pennsylvania, recently blessed us by sending a truck full of donated supplies for shipment to Eastern Europe. Yet, there’s a need for more. Pray the Lord will prompt others to provide new or gently used clothing, shoes, musical instruments, and other items that will aid needy believers and will open doors for sharing the Gospel.

  • Friends of BIEM have traveled to Desna, Ukraine, where they installed new walls and a ceiling in the church’s large foyer. We rejoice that yet another portion of this building is now modernized and beautified for God’s glory. (Although the project focused on construction, one soul came to Christ after these workers shared their testimonies!) Please pray for this church, which longs to lead more Ukrainians to faith in the Lord.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

 

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.

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.

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 www.COTAforMightyNoah.com/

     

Prayer Request

BIEM church planter Vitaly Bilyak and a team of dedicated children’s workers have launched a new orphanage ministry in Ternopil, Ukraine. They have made several trips to a nearby orphanage and established good rapport with the director. Now that a ministry team is in place, please pray for this monthly outreach to the nearly 150 needy orphans.

BIEMs of Light February 2019

Praises Rejoice with us!

  • Our dear brother in Christ, Peter Rumachik, has gone to be with the Lord. We praise God for the life of this dedicated servant of God who was a blessing and example to all of us. He spent 18.5 years in Soviet prisons and labor camps because of his uncompromising faith in the Lord. The funeral was Feb. 2. Our next Challenger will share more about brother Peter.

  • The winter session of Kyiv Theological Seminary is now completed. Subjects included “Bibliology,” “Holiness,” “Exegesis,” “Hermeneutics,” and “Methods of Teaching.” We praise the Lord, both for God-fearing instructors and for eager students, who immediately begin applying in their personal ministries the things they learn in the Seminary.

  • As one of our missionaries in Central Asia recently wrote, “This past year has been one with smattered bouts of intense persecution for some of our national church-planting families, but as always followed by waves of blessings.” We praise God for those blessings, and for strengthening those whom this world has tried to intimidate into silence.

  • In Belarus, BIEM missionary Nikolai Ryzhuk expresses thanks for you, BIEM friends. After describing a special evangelistic service held in Brest for orphans (with 250 present, 85% unbelievers), Nikolai writes, “Praise the Lord that in the West there are sweet, kind, sacrificing, and loving people—YOU—who helped us to do this!” We echo his sentiment!

Praises Rejoice with us!

  • In Sepahua, Peru, missionary Wilber Huillca says, “I request prayer, that God will help and give us wisdom in reaching more young people with the Gospel of Christ.” He expresses thanks to the Lord for souls saved through their ministry in 2018 but yearns to see more!

  • BIEM church planter Vitaly Bilyak and a team of dedicated children’s workers have launched a new orphanage ministry in Ternopil, Ukraine. They have made several trips to a nearby orphanage and established good rapport with the director. Now that a ministry team is in place, please pray for this monthly outreach to the nearly 150 needy orphans.

  • For this May, a special missions conference focusing on Central Asia has been planned to coincide with the Spring session of Kyiv Theological Seminary. Please pray that God will bless this effort and call Ukrainians to ministry in Muslim lands.

  • Although it’s still winter, it’s not too early for BIEM’s missionaries to begin planning for summer camps. It’s also not too early to donate to the camp fund. The camping ministry always requires many thousands of dollars, but the camps always make a valuable spiritual impact on young lives. Please pray for finances, for the leaders, and for God to prepare the hearts of children and teens!

BIEMs of Light January 2019

Praises Rejoice with us!

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

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

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

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

Praises Rejoice with us!

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

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

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

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

Challenger Update

Here is an excerpt from our most recent Challenger publication.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

BIEMs of Light December 2018

Praises Rejoice with us!

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

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

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

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

Prayer Pray with us!

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

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

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

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

BIEMs of Light November 2018

Praises Rejoice with us!

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

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

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

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

Prayer Pray with us!

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

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

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

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

Challenger Update

Here is an excerpt from our most recent Challenger publication.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

BIEMs of Light October 2018

Praises Rejoice with us!

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

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

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

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

Prayer Pray with us!

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

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

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

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