The SGA-sponsored Antioch Initiative Bible training ministry across the former Soviet Union began this year with eight of the 10 locations able to meet. The two locations in Tajikistan were unable to meet. Of the six locations that did meet in Russia, three of them are newer locations.
Due to the invasion of Ukraine, we were unable to send American instructors to Russia. However, the SGA-sponsored seminaries in Novosibirsk, Russia; Almaty, Kazakhstan; and Minsk, Belarus, provided national teachers and continued to assist in this strategic ministry. The eight sessions that were held were attended by 273 students. This is strong attendance given that all the locations were still dealing with COVID restrictions. We anticipate all 10 locations meeting this fall, and if realized will put us on a path to have 600 – 650 students for the year 2022.
The Antioch Initiative is becoming more strategic with the possibility always looming of further government inspections and restrictions on evangelical schools in Russia. If this occurs, it will make Antioch training even more important for the churches we serve. The Baptist Unions desire to have more locations at which church-based training can occur. Please pray for God’s wisdom and guidance in this, as SGA wants to engage to the fullest extent possible to train men for ministry while opportunities exist.