Archive for the ‘School Without Walls’ Category
Monday, September 10th, 2012
With September comes the start of a new school year for children and students across the former Soviet Union. This year, thousands of these young people will begin the new school term with something new and unexpected: a knowledge of Jesus Christ they discovered at one of our summer Bible camps.
The camp for those with disabilities was especially poignant. Campers came from Zaporozhye, Poltava, Summy, Donetsk, and Khmelnitsky. Like all the other camps Russian Ministries sponsored, when they arrived they found local School Without Walls students and other Christians to love and care for them. The photos in this e-news update show some of the campers and staff from the camp.
Praise God with us that, with help from people like you, Russian Ministries helped sponsor more than 6,000 campers this past summer. Your prayers and financial support helped make it possible for us to reach out to these children and students.
The camp included people with mental or physical disabilities.
Large group sessions focused on Jesus and the truths of the Bible geared especially for the camps.
Fun songs and motions brought smiles too everyone.
Times for songs and personal testimonies stimulated questions.
Special guests made the Bible seem real.
One-on-one interaction demonstrated care to the camper and gave them the opportunity to share from the heart.
Children had the chance to share Bible verses or personal truths to others during group meeting times.
On their way to a gathering.
School Without Walls workers helped lead the fun and the Bible learning.
Skit times gave people a chance to have fun and encourage one another.
To pray regularly for Russian Ministries, click here.
To give to support the training of local workers in followup, click here.
Monday, April 4th, 2011
Peter Wooding, Europe Bureau Chief for ASSIST News Service, caught up with Russian Ministries’ president, Sergey Rakhuba, after his ministry trip to TransCaucausia. Read Peter’s article.
Wednesday, March 23rd, 2011
Note: This update was adapted from a post on the website of our national affiliate, the Association for Spiritual Renewal.
On March 11-12, 2011, both a strategic planning meeting for Russian Ministries’ School Without Walls coordinators and a Purpose Driven Journey seminar took place at the Association for Spiritual Renewal Center (Russian Ministries’ national affiliate) in Irpen, Ukraine.
As the 85 School Without Walls coordinators and teachers from Russia, Ukraine, Moldova and Belarus gathered, they talked through plans and strategies for this training ministry as well as the very real difficulties and abundant blessings they experience in their leadership of School Without Walls.
During this meeting, Next Generation Christian leaders Vitaly Shabunin and Andrei Murzin made two key presentations. Shabunin shared how the church can influence society, and pointed out the passivity of Protestant churches in Ukraine when it comes to lobbying and making their voices heard.
Andrei Murzin’s presentation was on Orthodoxy in post-Soviet society. Murzin touched on the delicate topic of dialogue between Protestants and the government-sanctioned Orthodox Church.
Over 50 pastors, youth leaders, School Without Walls students and others joined the School Without Walls coordinators for the Purpose Driven Journey seminar, led by Dr. Mark Carver, Andrew Lossau and Andrei Bondarenko of Saddleback Church.
The three men taught about the church’s and individual Christians’ five-fold purpose: worship, service, evangelism, fellowship, and teaching. National church leader Anatoly Kaluzhny, pastor of the New Life Church in Kiev, has integrated the Saddleback Church paradigm in his church, and he taught on communicating to change lives.
A lively panel discussion of the role and influence of the evangelical church in the swiftly-changing modern world featured the president of the Ukrainian Baptist Union, Vyacheslav Nesteruk, pastors Leonid Kartavenko (Moscow, Russia), Gennady Brutsky (Minsk, Belarus) and Sergei Guts (Ulyanovsk, Russia), evangelist Andrei Bondarenko and Dr. Mark Carver of Saddleback.
The informal conversation among panelists covered serious and important topics-the decrease in influence of the church in society, church growth, and the low number of men in the church.
Michael Cherenkov, vice-president of the Association of Spiritual Renewal, noted that evangelical Christianity doesn’t shy away from using a variety of approaches and methods to overcome some of these difficulties.
This two-day seminar motivated young Christian leaders to expand their horizons, and go beyond the walls of their churches to reach out to the world.
Wednesday, September 8th, 2010
Children all across the former Soviet Union returned to school this fall, but in some villages in Moldova, young children didn’t begin kindergarten, because local authorities couldn’t afford to keep the schools maintained.
In Ukraine and Russia, poverty leaves behind its young, vulnerable victims in broken homes, on the streets or in orphanages. Many people in these two great nations barely eke out a living and struggle to survive.
And too many children often don’t have enough to meet even their daily needs.
This summer in Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, Kyrgyzstan and the Northern Caucasus, Russian Ministries’ School Without Walls students and young Christian leaders befriended over 7,000 orphans, street kids, refugees and needy children at our evangelistic summer camps. But these summer camps are just the starting point in building relationships with these needy children and their families throughout the year.
With the fall harvest time approaching in the former Soviet Union, these bright, creative School Without Walls students, on behalf of their local churches, will invite campers to Bread of Life follow-up projects that will take place during October and through Thanksgiving.
School Without Walls students and other young Next Generation Christian leaders are set to mobilize their churches to fill breadbaskets with a week’s supply of, yes, daily bread, the daily needs for one child. These baskets will overflow with bread, food and even multi-vitamins to help provide physical nourishment.
This was Jesus’ model for practical ministry. He fed the crowds, and then told them about their greater need for Him. That’s why these special breadbaskets will also overflow with Christian literature and Bibles.
These School Without Walls students know that the breadbaskets will open doors to needy families and at-risk children. And as doors open, hearts open to receive Jesus, the Bread of Life. Each basket that is filled and delivered not only reaches an individual child but also his or her family and friends as they all share in the Bread of Life.
You can have a part in our Bread of Life project this fall, and help provide needy children with daily bread and the opportunity to hear about the Bread of Life.
Consider this: the average grocery bill for a family of four in the U.S. is $900 a month-that’s $225 a week or approximately $32 a day this average family spends on groceries.
Imagine how many needy children in Russia and Ukraine could be helped if Christians simply gave the equivalent of their grocery bills for a week or two weeks or even a month to our Bread of Life project.
Even the daily average cost of $32 would more than fill a basket with a week’s supply of daily needs and Christian literature for one child; $64 would fill two baskets for two children; $96 would give three children life-changing baskets; and $128 would help four children.
Through the Bread of Life project at harvest time and Project Hope that soon will follow as we near the Christmas season, School Without Walls students are reaching out to needy children in their own communities, sharing with them the hope and joy of Jesus, and transforming nations one child at a time.
Give the equivalent of your grocery bill today to the Bread of Life Project.
Thursday, August 26th, 2010
Excessive heat in both Russia and Ukraine along with Russia’s wildfires didn’t stop veteran Moody Radio broadcaster Greg Wheatley from discovering the hope in these countries’ young Next Generation Christian leaders.
Read an interview by U.K. journalist Peter Wooding with Greg as he traveled this summer.
Saturday, August 7th, 2010
When you support School Without Walls, it’s more than an academic exercise. It’s support of a generation of godly, young national Christian leaders, who are ready to pick up the baton of faithfulness from the previous generation, and confront the realities of a changing society.
Even in the high-risk regions of the former Soviet Union, School Without Walls students are reaching out to the needy as the helping hands of Jesus.
School Without Walls students from Kabardino-Balkaria are no strangers to the violence that rocks their Northern Caucasus region.
In early spring, police killed a rebel leader in a shoot out on the streets of the capital city of Nalchik.
In July, School Without Walls students went to Makhachkala, Dagestan to hold an evangelistic summer camp for children in the community. A week after the students returned home, a pastor of one of Makhachkala’s largest evangelical churches was gunned down.
But, according to a recent report from Sergey, the School Without Walls coordinator in Kabardino-Balkaria, none of this has slowed down the students’ outreach and ministries in this region.
We have School Without Walls programs in Prokhladny and Nalchik. The School Without Walls students from Prokhladny regularly visit an orphanage, where they sing, tell the children about Christ and play soccer, volleyball, checkers, chess and other games with them. The students have also connected with the youth of the orphanage. Some of the children regularly read the Bible and pray. The students are accepted and liked by the children. Vadim, one of our School Without Walls students, has become friends with one boy. Vadim watches out for him, and recently bought him a new soccer uniform. The two of them now play soccer together, both wearing their new uniforms.
When the students drive up to the orphanage, one can often hear the joyful cry, “The Baptists have arrived!” and everyone runs out to meet the students.
School Without Walls students from Nalchik decided to take on missions work in the city of Tyrnyauz. For two years now, a small group of 12 believers has had no church leadership or support. These young leaders travel there to help out with Sunday morning services, encourage the believers and help them share the good news of Jesus in the community. This ministry is just beginning, but we have plans to develop it and reach many Balkars, who need Jesus.
Interested in supporting a School Without Walls student? Find out more here.
Friday, June 25th, 2010
This ministry post is based on a report from the national Ukrainian staff of Russian Ministries’ in-country affiliate, the Association for Spiritual Renewal, just outside of Kiev in Irpen, Ukraine.
The Association for Spiritual Renewal (ASR) is thanking God for His work at the first international School Without Walls festival, which ran from June 17-20 along the Azov Sea in Ukraine.
The festival attracted 520 young Next Generation Christian leaders from Ukraine, Russia, Belarus, Moldova, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan, the U.S. and India. The festival’s theme-”Time to Live, Time to Serve”-was designed to motivate a younger generation of Christians to pursue ministry and wholeheartedly serve God.
At the four-day festival, people from a variety of evangelical churches as well as different cultures learned and worshiped together as Christ’s body.
“It was wonderful to hear how God, through His church, is doing great things in different countries! I hope that a new day will dawn in each of our countries,” observed Andrei, a musician from Zaporozhye, Ukraine.
The packed festival schedule featured general sessions with expert speakers such as Russian Ministries’ Senior Vice-President Sergey Rakhuba, Michael Cherenkov and Yuri Sipko, and testimonies, project and ministry presentations and workshops. The worship team for Irpen Bible Church led worship each morning and evening, and two Christian music groups, Near Heaven and New Day, performed late night concerts.
Workshops covered relevant topics such as the use of media in the church, sports evangelism, short-term missions and extreme youth camps.
“I gained many ideas for ministry and spreading the gospel. The festival encouraged me, and now I want to serve God with new energy and inspiration. This was a time of encouragement, and I hope there are more festivals like this,” shared Svetlana from Belarus.
Evening sessions focused on different themes each night. The first night focused on an Evening of Praise, the second night was an Evening of Discovery and the closing program was an Evening of Commitment.
During the Evening of Praise, these young leaders were encouraged to worship God in simplicity and freedom, without boundaries. During the Evening of Discovery, speakers from different countries and regions talked about their ministries, and shared some of the problems and difficulties as well as the blessings they encounter as they follow Christ.
Special speakers from Central Asia shared how difficult it is today to follow Christ in their countries. They told about the persecution they face not only from authorities, but also from their families. “Thank you School Without Walls. Thank you, that you love our churches, pray for us and support us. I believe that Ukraine is a blessed country, that the Lord is using in our time to serve others,” shared a participant from Central Asia.
During the Evening of Commitment, speakers declared that the Next Generation of young Christians is a powerful tool for spreading God’s Word throughout the world.
National evangelist Andrey Bondarenko challenged participants to renew their commitment to ministry to God and to a dying world. More than 70 young people renewed their commitments to follow Jesus, and leaders laid hands on them and blessed them in their choice to follow Jesus wholeheartedly.
Wednesday, February 24th, 2010
Khristos voskres! Voistinu voskres!
Christ is risen! He is risen indeed!
This ancient Russian Orthodox Easter greeting takes on its true meaning as Next Generation Christians across the former Soviet Union bring Resurrection hope and new life to at-risk children through a variety of Easter outreach events in places like a nearly forgotten orphanage in Pology, Ukraine.
All 40 children at the small orphanage are either from the streets or troubled families. But this orphanage is only a temporary stop for these children, who will soon move to a permanent orphanage or return to their families.
These lost and drifting children—and thousands of others like them all across the former Soviet Union—are trapped in a system that can’t offer them the security they need now or the hope they need for the future.
Tatyana, a young Next Generation Christian, recalls her visit to the orphanage last spring. “After our play about the Resurrection, we distributed the gifts, and the children’s joy was never-ending. They showed us their gifts and asked us to come more often and stay longer. We would like to participate in events like this more often, and bigger and better.”
This spring, God has given Russian Ministries an opportunity for “bigger and better” Easter evangelistic events that will reach even more children and young people in more countries of the former Soviet Union.
Local School Without Walls ministry teams of Next Generation Christians plan to distribute 10,000 Gift of Life boxes. Each Gift of Life box has Easter candy, toys, clothing and a copy of My First Bible, or other age-appropriate Bible or Scripture books geared for children. In addition, ministry teams plan to distribute 5,000 Gospels of Mark to students at higher educational institutions along with a specially designed insert that will explain the resurrection of Christ. Local outreach teams estimate that the impact will double to 30,000 as each child/student who receives the gift/Christian literature is expected to share it with one other person.
The gift boxes are distributed to children who live in
•orphanages or even on the streets,
•and families with great material need.
This year’s Gift of Life outreach will be coordinated through the Christian Youth Center in Ukraine through which young potential leaders will work to mobilize their churches, participate in the outreach program as well as in follow-up programs and events.
Russian Ministries is grateful to God to see that, as a result of its efforts to train the Next Generation through School Without Walls, these young Christians are now creating innovative ways to bring hope to these hurting children.
Support the gift of Life outreach this Easter, and help young Next Generation Christians in the former Soviet Union give the gift of eternal life and Resurrection hope to needy children and young people for whom Jesus came.
Khristos voskres! Voistinu voskres!
Christ is risen! He is risen indeed!
Tuesday, October 20th, 2009
download the itinerary now
From August 3-15, 2010, journey through history on the magnificent Dnieper River in Ukraine.
Join Anita Deyneka, president of Russian Ministries, and Sergey Rakhuba, senior vice-president, for an unforgettable journey on the Black Sea and along the beautiful, peaceful Dnieper River.
During this 12-day educational and inspirational river trip, you will enjoy a full sight-seeing tour of the historic cities of Odessa (on the Black Sea), Yalta and Sevastopol (in the Crimea), as well as Kherson, Zaporozhye—Sergey Rakhuba’s hometown and the ancient cradle of the Cossacks and later the Mennonites), Kremenchug and Kiev.
You’ll not only explore these unique historic and cultural sites, but also see the work of Russian Ministries in action through a variety of ministry outreaches, visiting churches and meeting with evangelical workers and leaders.
As a native of Ukraine, Rakhuba will provide you with unique, personal insights about the places you’ll visit and introduce you to the strategic ministries that are done with the support of Russian Ministries. A special highlight of the trip will be a visit to Russian Ministries’ new training center and headquarters in Kiev, where you’ll meet with our national team and see firsthand what God is doing to expand His kingdom in Ukraine.
Accommodations are aboard an elegant ship built specifically for river travel. Staterooms are spacious and comfortable, each with an outside river view.
Anita Deyneka and Sergey Rakhuba would be delighted to have you and your family members join us for this first-ever Russian Ministries’ river journey in Ukraine that is sure to be an enjoyable and unforgettable experience. Please let us know of your interest at your earliest convenience, and we hope to see you next summer in Ukraine.
For more information, please call Sarah at Russian Ministries, 630-462-1739, or email her at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Wednesday, August 12th, 2009
The best way to evaluate Russian Ministries’ School Without Walls program is not with tests or grades, but by the practical ministry results that take place in the regions and communities where School Without Walls programs exist—and where students and graduates live and work and worship.
Highlights from the School Without Walls Annual Report include:
•For the 2008-09 academic year, 1,813 students were enrolled in 62 School Without Walls (SWW) locations in 49 regions throughout Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, Moldova, Uzbekistan and Karakalpakstan.
•Of the 812 SWW students who graduated in the spring of 2009, an estimated 77%-80% are planning to continue active ministry outreach in their communities.
•There were 248 local churches directly involved in the educational process of SWW students.
•During the academic year, 372 national teachers, committed to non-formal education, passed on their knowledge, ministry skills and experience to the students.
Another exciting development in the SWW program has been its expansion into Central Asia, where human rights abuses are commonplace—especially in Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan.
In Uzbekistan, the SWW program must be conducted underground because of the widespread persecution of Christians. The flexibility and informality of SWW make it an ideal vehicle for equipping young Uzbek believers for ministry in a hostile environment.
The annual report gives a more detailed report of SWW in Central Asia.
Dorin, a School Without Walls graduate, sums up the effectiveness of this program: “In all the churches in our region, everyone is talking about School Without Walls. At first I didn’t understand what they were talking about. But after going through the SWW program, I had a desire to teach at SWW. It is my dream to start a SWW in my home village and to teach the youth to get involved in actual ministry that will help our church to expand its influence in our community. I have already talked to my pastor about it, and I believe that my dream will soon come true.”
Download the complete School Without Walls 2008-2009 Annual Report.
To make a secure online gift to School Without Walls, click here.