Seminaries, Bible Institutes, and Lay Leader Programs Prepare Thousands of Leaders to Keep Doctrine Pure and Powerful

Looking back to the end of 2020, remember how often remarks were heard or read about what a challenging year that was? It was the year the COVID-19 pandemic kicked in, and for the next two years, that dominated the news. Now the year 2022 is coming to a close, and it has had enough of its own monumental challenges surface, beginning with the outbreak of war between Russia and Ukraine. Yet amid the heartbreak and loss, there is a story that deserves telling along with much praise and thanksgiving to God. And that is how the Lord sustained SGA-supported Bible training not just in heavily damaged Ukraine, but in the other former Soviet countries where training is being held. 

Irpen Biblical Seminary has reopened and students are attending classes.
Irpen Biblical Seminary has reopened and students are attending classes.

God’s power was fully on display as the SGA-supported Irpen Biblical Seminary—which had sustained heavy damage from bombardment—not only opened classes in the fall but also graduated 169 students. Eric Mock, our vice president for ministry operations, said it truly was a celebration for all . . . 

The graduating students were from across eight different disciplines. The ceremonies had been delayed from the spring given the level of destruction with the building. Yet academic dean Benjamin Brinza and many local volunteers never stopped securing the building and moving forward. So it was with extra joy that they were able to hold the graduation in the seminary’s worship center, which was undamaged. Ruslan Muratayev, director of SGA’s Regional Ministry Center in Irpen, was able to represent us there and lead in prayer for the graduates. 

In addition to the worship center, the kitchen and library sustained relatively minor damage compared to the upper floors of the school, and the students are meeting for classes on the first level, with 50 students attending each session. We praise and thank our God for His protection and provision, and you—our faithful partners—for your prayers and support. 

Training also continued at the SGA-sponsored Novosibirsk Biblical-Theological Seminary in Russia, Minsk Theological Seminary in Belarus, Almaty Bible Institute in Kazakhstan, and in Israel via Israel College of the Bible. A key development was the opening of a strategic extension center in Khabarovsk, which is located in Russia’s Far East. And beyond that, Bible and theological training through the Antioch Initiative also overcame many obstacles with eight of the ten locations holding classes with 546 students. Two locations in Central Asia were unable to hold classes in the spring, but are beginning once again this fall. In the Russian region of Yakutsk, the final classes were held with 21 students graduating. In all, a total of 2,227 students received training with your support! Think of the lives God will transform through them! Please join us in praising God for this wonderful fruit, and in prayer for the students as they carry on with their ministries across the former Soviet Union.

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