Back to School

Yesterday I received my letter of acceptance from London School of Theology, where I will begin my postgraduate studies starting this September to get a Master of Arts in Integrative Theology.

lst-logo-new

I will be studying via distance learning, which means I won’t have to travel at all and will be able to make my own schedule, both of which are important to me since I’m a full-time pastor and have a family at home. I looked into a local school in Colorado, but I prefer the British approach to education. Also, British schools are more affordable than US schools when it comes to studying Christian theology because in the US it is only taught in private universities because of the separation of church and state – whereas in the UK public universities can have theology departments. I would recommend Americans who want to study theology to really consider looking into studying via distance learning in Britain.

I’m excited to go back to school and continue my theological education. It’s been nice taking a year off, but I am ready to get back into it.

I am still in Kyiv; I fly home tomorrow morning. Today I got to visit Ukrainian Evangelical Theological Seminary and speak to the students and staff.

IMG_20170328_104501-1
The faculty and students of Ukrainian Evangelical Theological Seminary

Several months ago I met a couple who live in Berthoud, CO who run an organization called Ukraine Orphan Outreach. It was through them that I got connected to people at the seminary, and as it turns out there are several people from Calvary Chapel in Ukraine who work and study there.

I was impressed with their school and its mission: “To strengthen churches and transform society” – as well as the work they are doing to accomplish that. Having an interdenominational evangelical seminary in Ukraine is a great asset to the church here.

The school has many students from outside of Ukraine, and recently they started a second campus of their school in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan. They also operate several mini-campuses in cities around Ukraine, for people who want to study with them but have difficulty coming to Kyiv.

IMG_20170328_114241-1
A class at UETS

I’m praying that God uses and blesses the work of UETS to raise up and train many ministers of the gospel to work in this country and the former republics of the Soviet Union.

A Day in Kyiv

We arrived yesterday to Kyiv and have been staying with George and Sharron Markey. George's dad pioneered Calvary Chapel church planting in Ukraine, where there are now around 20 churches.
About 9 months ago George and his family moved back to Kyiv from Ternopil, where they had planted a church several years ago, to lead the church in Kyiv after the previous pastor stepped down. When I lived in Eger I had come to Ternopil twice to work with George and visit the church there.
After we arrived yesterday we went with George to the church office where he had a meeting, and then we got to walk around the city center of Kyiv.
In just a little bit we will be heading to the conference center for the Pastors and Leaders Conference which begins this afternoon. Jani and Tünde from Eger are on their way; I'm hoping they'll be blessed, instructed and encouraged by the conference and get connected with the Ukrainian Calvary Chapel leaders.
Here are some pictures from downtown Kyiv:

Dniper River in Kyiv
Mother of the Motherland Statue and Great Patriotic War Memorial

Famine Memorial

 

Pray for Ukraine

Our family walking in downtown Kyiv in November 2010:

DSC_1378

I was in town for a pastors conference with Calvary Chapel and we found Kyiv to be a beautiful, cosmopolitan European capital.

Here’s what Khreshchatyk street looks like today after months of anti-government protests, which recently turned violent:

 1959855_10203073030967423_1411475053_n

Here’s a photo I took of Independence Square, AKA Maidan, in 2010:

DSC_1376

Here’s the scene today:

IndependenceSquareKiev021914_640

You can follow the news of what is going on in Ukraine here: the BBC is running live updates as things unfold.

Please pray for the people of Ukraine. They have suffered greatly from corruption since the end of the Soviet Union. Ultimately, the greatest hope for these people, as for all people, is found in Jesus Christ, and in His Kingdom of righteousness.

“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.” (Matthew 5:6, ESV)