Newsletter – February 2005

Newsletter – February 2005

Daniel Trusiewicz - February 22, 2005

The Baptist Union of Ukraine is currently the largest among European Baptist Family. How has it happened?

The first evangelical revival in Ukraine started in the 1830s. The pioneers of the Baptist faith suffered a great deal from the government and the dominant Orthodox Church. In spite of this the movement grew steadily. In 1884 there were 2006 members, in 1893 – 4610. In 1926 there were over 1000 churches. After 1927 Ukrainian Baptists suffered harsh persecution from the Soviet regime.

New opportunities came with the “Perestroyka” in 1985. It resulted in impressive and steady growth. The most recent Ukrainian Baptist Union statistics registered:

  • 1990 - 89 113 members in 1100 churches
  • 1995 - 110 552 members in 1437 churches
  • 2002 - 141 338 members in 2600 churches
  • 2004 - 156 000 members in 2715 churches

Church plant in the centre of Kiev (Pechersk)

Presently there are 25 Baptist churches in Kiev. Several Baptist pastors are implementing vision “Kiev 25” – the goal of planting 25 new Baptist congregations. Meet one of them, successful church planter - Anton. His vision is to plant Baptist congregation in the central part of Kiev – Pechersk. The first beginnings were difficult. Anton and his team quickly discovered that people were ignoring their tracts and invitations. Missionary didn’t give up in spite of these obstacles. He prayed for successful method. Eventually the English language school was started. Part of his story is being uncovered to us in reports below:

July – December 2003

First lesson was conducted in December, 2003. There were 21 persons there. Most of participants are students of Kiev colleges. The most important in the beginning was establishing friendly atmosphere in classes. It was achieved during two months. Now we are going to share the Gospel with those students. We regularly pray for them. At the end of 2003 we had special Christmas lesson where we learned the classical Christmas songs. There was also Santa Claus and presents. In the near future I am planning to start youth meetings.

Our church planting team carried regular prayer meetings. We prayed for leaders who were involved in planting new church. We repeatedly witnessed God’s answers to our prayers. About twelve people were involved in this group.

In December our group prepared special Christmas programme for children. There was a puppet-show and children received nice presents. There were about 120 children with their parents present. At the end of the presentation children were invited to attend our regular Sunday school and their parents received invitation to visit a “Bible reading” course. In addition a Gospel tract was sent by post to about 100 addresses.

On Dec. 28-th we had our first Sunday service with 14 people present. Most of them decided to devote themselves to new church planting in Pechersk district. Praise God!

September – December 2004

During this period of time we were engaged in the listed below activities:

  1. Intensive English course. The course was organized for the unchurched people of Pechersk district in Kiev. There were two English teaching groups during a week. Each group consisted of 35 persons. In the evenings we visited those who studied in our classes. Over twenty persons opened their hearts to listen about Christ and eight men repented.
  2. Ministry for businessmen. This is a new type of ministry which began developing in Pechersk district. That is a pre-evangelism program. We organize seminars for businessmen (business planning, staff management, strategic planning). During seminar we discuss such questions as business and ethics.
  3. Musical ministry. We organized two music groups in our church. During preparation we devote much time for the worship principles arising from the Bible.
  4. Youth ministry. We began holding regular meetings for youth. About 10 young people regularly attend these meetings. They can take part in games, quizzes and listen to brief sermons.
  5. Eyeglasses action. About two hundred people of Pechersk district were examined by Christian eye doctor. Presently we are delivering eyeglasses to homes and at the same time we have an opportunity to tell people about Christ. About thirty people repented as a result of that ministry.
  6. “Logos” newspaper. We prepared first issue of the “Logos Church” newspaper for publication. In future we are going to publish the newspaper every month and then send it to all those people who contacted us and left their addresses (we have about 350 addresses now).

It’s very encouraging to hear and see what God is doing in the centre of Kiev. Let’s pray for further success of this exciting church planting project under Anton’s leadership and numerous ministries started by his well organized team.