By Keenan Beere
SGA Training Administrator
My time in Georgia has been wonderful beyond words. The brothers who are participating in Bible training classes are humble, they love the Scripture, they love others, and they are sacrificially serving the King of Kings.
One young man particularly caught my attention. His name is Tsiskara. He has been serving as a pastor for only a short time. He grew up in the main Baptist church in Kvareli. A number of years ago he began leading the youth ministry. Within the last year, the health of one of the pastors of a local church began to fail. With this, Tsiskara was asked to take on the responsibility of being the senior pastor of this church and another small church.
We visited him for a brief time at his home. I can say that he lives in absolute poverty. He is married with two young children. His father in law and sister in law also live with him. The six of them live in a small one room home (the bed and kitchen are in the same room), though one of them sleeps in a separate building on their land. This separate building was formerly a church, but it is abandoned and pretty dilapidated.
Despite Tsiskara’s poverty, he gave us fresh strawberries from his field and a branch off one of his trees filled with fresh, ripe cherries. I felt like I should have been blessing him, but he and his family were blessing us. Words cannot describe.
We spent all of yesterday afternoon and all of this morning on the subject of the Trinity. The students asked great questions. One of the highlights was this mornings class. I had given the pastors a homework assignment – to imagine a conversation with someone from a different belief group or even a cultist. In the conversation, the person would be open to the Gospel, but had problems understanding and accepting the fact that God is Triune. Their assignment was to tell us what they would say to this person.
One by one, the students stood up and described how they would respond. It was such a blessing to hear how they were articulating a biblical doctrine that is beyond our full understanding. I really sense that the class has been profitable.
Some of the students had travelled a few hundred to attend this week long training, leaving their ministries and families. It is deeply humbling to me to see such commitment to their biblical education in order to teach and disciple their congregations. My heart is full today!
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Pastor Mark Zhuk writes of how the biblical foundation he received at Novosibirsk Biblical-Theological Seminary helped him during the COVID-19 pandemic.
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