We are exited to share another portion of great news from Ukraine from UBTS. Our seminary continues to see God at work. We strongly believe that our mission is to develop and train leaders for local churches. In order to do so, we need to develop leadership practices among ourselves. In the month of April, our staff had leadership training where we discussed our organizational leadership practices and completed our work on Organizational Leadership Manual (OLM). OLM will serve as a reference point to our school and will be a starting point for our churches to redesign their leadership practices. We will publish this resource in September of 2018. In regard to our own development, we are currently implementing action plans into our day-to-day operations.
We all clearly understand that our student will be much more successful if we show a model of what we would like to see in local churches. Therefore, we are convinced that God will continue to provide us with various opportunities, but it is our responsibility to grow together with the complexity of our challenge and with the expansion of our vision.
We just had a team from Winston-Salem that is actively involved in our women’s training and had a wonderful conference for ladies. They taught about leadership among women and how to effectively serve the local community through the church. At the end of their stay, they all have visited our new location to witness all of the changes that took place in the last few months. They will go back to their churches as ambassadors for UBTS.
As a closing note, I would like to address each of you who read this newsletter; we need you as our partner and to serve as an ambassador wherever you are because we can not succeed without your help with the challenges of raise money and training our students.
Thank you for being part of UBTS family.
President of UBTS, Dr. Yaroslav Pyzh
The Ukrainian Baptist Theological Seminary team participated in a pastoral conference and youth dialogue in the churches of Lugansk and Donetsk oblasts.
In the middle of the spring, through joint efforts of UBTS and the Luhansk Association of Baptist Churches, a conference for pastors and ministers took place in Severodonetsk. The speakers at the conference were: UBTS president, Yaroslav Pyzh, the head of the Pastoral Ministry department, Alexander Savych, and the head of the Church Planting department, Yelisey Pronin. The topic of the conference was “Biblical – Missional - Accountable.”
UBTS has a desire to support Eastern Ukraine and start regular training there for pastors and church ministers, in addition to helping in the process of planting new churches. There are also plans for youth training. We desire to serve these servants in hopes of equipping, motivating and inspiring them.
Genadiy Shulzhenko, the pastor of the central Severodonetsk Baptist church, shared his impressions: “Rarely do speakers come to us who can share such high-quality and motivating material. The feedback from the pastors who attended the conference was very positive because the topics were relevant for the present-day church. Especially, we were reminded of the constant need for discipleship and mentoring. After the conference, several brothers immediately expressed their desire to study at UBTS.”
That day, the UBTS team also took part in a youth talk entitled “Called for Something Greater”. Together with the youth, they reflected on calling by examining biblical examples.
Yaroslav Pyzh, UBTS president, said: “We traveled to Luhansk and Donetsk oblasts to hold conferences for pastors and youth where we had the opportunity to talk to about a five hundred people who live in various conditions. It was very touching and sad to see the destruction that the war brings to the lives of Ukrainians. I do not think I need to describe the destroyed buildings, roads and factories, streets and bridges that still bear the imprint of the war. However, I can assure you that this region has a lot of potential for church planting, reaching out to the youth, and simply giving hope to those in despair.”
Also, an enrollment campaign has been launched at UBTS. This year we are expecting about 150 new students and we ask you to support us in your prayers! The first entrance exams will be held on June 15, 2018!
The camp took place at the Shepilska resort center April 20-22 and was attended by fifty devoted people serving children and adolescents.
Kicking off the camp, UBTS president Yaroslav Pyzh said, “Our ministry can be our greatest obstacle in our relationships with God. Often, we limit those whom we lead and teach.”
The special guests of the camp were: Oksana Magdych, the program coordinator of the Association of Christian Camps in Ukraine, who is a psychologist and coach at the “Mentorship for Orphans” project of the Hope Mission and Mila Strichek, the coordinator of EC Karabin international projects, English Camp, coach at Kids Ministries children’s and teen ministers and City Team.
The topics of the lecturers answered the challenges most all workers in practical ministry to children and teenagers face: delegation of responsibilities, “The Z Generation”, conflict of generations, emotional burnout of a leader, and training.
In addition to practical training, the camp participants had the opportunity to talk and pray for one another, debate in discussion groups, spend time in worship, and enjoy special evenings for rest and inspiration.
Marina from New Life church, L’viv, said, “At this camp, I heard a lot of practical, interesting and new information about different generations. Now I better understand why communication failure sometimes occurs. We must understand that we should find the key to the heart of the “Z generation” as a response to our love and knowledge of God. And for this, we do not need to do crazy things for them. I especially liked “Learning at the moment”. I believe every situation can teach us something. We have to live and not to distinguish between ministry and life. Jesus did not divide these areas, He was holistic. It was a wonderful time at the camp, thank you!”
Warm greeting to you from Irpin Bible Church!
I hope you remember that our group spends more time studying in Irpin than in L’viv, that is why we are missing the surroundings of UBTS very much. But despite this, we know that UBTS is not just walls. It is our team of support, help, and encouragement in serving people.
We would like to share a little bit about the life of our dear women’s department. Recently, we had a course on small groups taught by the pastor of our local church, Sergiy Sologub. The studies had the genuine atmosphere of a home group. We had a great opportunity to practice many forms and methods of communication, prayer, and worship of the Lord. A good follow-up of this session was a three-day training with Natalia Dudka who led us to think about the women of the Bible. In fact, each time we marveled at how deep and rich God’s Word is.
We learned biblical life principles from the examples of women in the Bible and discovered a lot of new things. Each student had to prepare a message about a Biblical woman and make a presentation at the end of the course – it was like “dessert” to end our session!
We learn and pass on the knowledge that God teaches us. In our ministries, just as a virtuous woman “opens her mouth with wisdom and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue” - Proverbs 31:26. First of all, we apply what we learn in our own lives and then pass it on. We share it in women’s small groups, organized meetings for girls, mentoring courses, and more. We want for all that we study to be applied in real life and we thank God that progress is evident!
I wish everyone inspiration and diligence in preparation for the new session and we hope to see you all at UBTS soon!