Although the recent trip to Belarus did not go quite as planned, I rejoice in the Lord’s goodness and the opportunities He provided for Nikos and I. One of the teachers had to cancel, but we were able to secure a wonderful replacement. Also, we had originally planned to travel to Siberia on this same trip but were unable to. As a result, our trip was fairly short. We were in Belarus for just one a week but made good use of the time by visiting churches and coordinating a training conference.
The training conference was for pastors, and there were about 20 men in attendance. Given the location of the conference, most of the men attending were from Belarus. There were a few that came from Russia; and one pastor came all the way from Kazakhstan - by train! This dear brother was on the train for 3 days and 2 nights (one way) just to attend the 3 day conference. He left immediately after the conference had ended for another 3 full days on the train before making it home. Though I am unable to give specific details, I ask that you pray for this pastor and the church he leads. Because of the area in which they live, they are quite isolated and have little-to-no contact with any other believers. This pastor was very excited to have fellowship with other ministers and to receive training. It was a blessing to spend time with him and to see his enthusiasm.
The speakers, Jeff Stivason of Pennsylvania and Hector Morrison of Scotland, shared the time evenly and did a nice job of teaching the men and answering their questions. Pastor Stivason taught on the doctrine of the Trinity, and Mr. Morrison (president of Highland Theological College) taught an exposition of Genesis 1 & 2. These topics went well together as the Trinity is revealed to us at the very beginning in creation!
Overall, the trip was fruitful. All of the men seemed to be blessed by the teaching and fellowship. Several of the men I met with were not in need of financial support, but we will continue to work with Slava to help these men receive further training and resources as needed. I was greatly impressed by some of the men and the work they are currently doing in Belarus and Russia. I am hopeful that we can begin to work more directly with them in the future.