Video Update

August Video Update

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Dear Pastors and Friends,

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

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

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

In Christ,

Sam & Amy Slobodian

July Video Update

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Dear Pastors and Friends,

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

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

In Christ,

Sam & Amy Slobodian

June Video Update

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Dear Pastors and Friends, 

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

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

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

In Christ, 

Sam & Amy Slobodian

May Video Update

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Dear Pastors and Friends,

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

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


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

In Christ,
Sam & Amy Slobodian



April Video Update

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Dear Pastors and Friends,

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

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

In Christ, 

Sam & Amy Slobodian



March Video Update

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Dear Pastors and Friends, 

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

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

In Christ, 

Sam & Amy Slobodian



February Video Update

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Dear Pastors and Friends, 

Our dear brother in Christ, Peter Rumachik, went to be with the Lord on January 30th. This same day we were already heading for Moscow from Ukraine so we had the wonderful opportunity and privilege of attending the funeral on Saturday February 2nd. This month's video features this funeral. Brother Peter was 87 years old and spent the very last days of his life ministering in Shahovskaya with the new church planted there. He preached there that Sunday and spent a lot of time calling on folks with brother Andrei, the church planter he recruited for this church. After returning home, he passed away during the night. 

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. 

Pastor Peter Rumachik played a huge role in our ministry in Russia. Many churches were planted and church buildings built through the fruitful partnership we had together for many years. Our next Challenger will share more about brother Peter. 

In Christ, 

Sam & Amy Slobodian



January Video Update

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Dear Pastors and Friends, 

Greetings to you all!   This month's video update comes from Russia and features church planter Pavel Rumachik.  Brother Pavel planted one of our first churches in Russia in Nahabino which is in the Moscow region.   


This effort has had some amazing results.  The first person saved was the area's biggest drug dealer. Deeply burdened by all those he got addicted, he began to bring all kinds of drug addicts, drug dealers, and mafia type people to church to hear the Gospel.  Many were saved and within 2 years the church was more than half made up of recovering drug addicts. This led to the church establishing a drug and alcohol rehab center which over the years has developed into 10 centers.  

The many who have been saved come from all different levels of Russian society.  The scourge of drugs affects both the poor and the rich, the educated and non-educated, women as well as men. One of those saved was a famous athlete so this ministry has become well known and has been covered by local media and led to opportunities to speak to teens in public schools.  Today there are over 50 families who are faithfully serving in Moscow area churches where one or both parents have been saved through this Drug and Alcohol rehabilitation ministry.  Praise God for His wonderful saving grace!

In Christ, 

Sam & Amy Slobodian


December Video Update

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Dear Pastors and Friends,

Warm Christmas greetings from the Slobodians! 

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

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

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

Sam & Amy Slobodian

November Video Update

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Dear Pastors and Friends, 

Happy Thanksgiving from the Slobodians! 

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

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

May God bless you with a wonderful Thanksgiving! 

In Christ, 

Sam & Amy Slobodian

October Video Update

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Dear Pastors and Friends, 

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

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

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

In Christ, 

Sam & Amy Slobodian

September Video Update

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Dear Pastors and Friends,

Warm greetings in Christ!

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

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

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

In Christ, 

Sam & Amy Slobodian

 

August Video Update

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Dear Pastors and Friends, 

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

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

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

In Christ, 

Sam & Amy Slobodian

 

July Video Update

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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

 

June Video Update

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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  

 

May Video Update

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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

 

April Video Update

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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

 

March Video Update

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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  

 

February Video Update

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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  

 

January Video Update

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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