It has never been a time like this the whole history or Russia!

20 years ago The International Church of God has come to Russia (when it has been opened) as a “rushing mighty wind…” (Act. 2:2) planting churches and training leaders! Nowadays, the COG rips a plentiful harvest in Russia, Ukraine, Belarus and other countries of former U.S.S.R.

Education for ministry has been a main theme. International Church of God has a unique training center inside Moscow city.  Eurasian Theological Seminary www.facebook.com/etsmoscow No other Pentecostal denomination has such highly recognized and accreditted (by EAAA) traning seminary, like COG does. The vision of discipling and training up young men and women for ministry is the key strategy for success in today and tomorrow of Russian Church of God! “Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.” (Pr.22:6)

Russia faces a new challenge. It has never been a time like this the whole history or Russia! Many years the country has been a closed country.  Christians were under persecution (since 1920s till 1990s).  Christians learned how to pass faith from generation to generation in the persecution context. It was hard, but at the same time easy to identify, easy to draw a border between that which of Christ and that which of this world. On one side there were born again believers, hiding their Bibles, meeting in secret, if been caught – serving a term in prison. On the other side was the world and every thing of this world.  Easy to differentiate and easy to spot. 3 generations.  70+ years. Faith has been passed on.

As of 1990 Russia has opened up its borders. Many missionaries have come.  Evangelism has been enormous! Many people (including myself, my wife and many of my friends) have been found by the Lord and have been saved!  Now, we have our own children: they have come into our Christian homes and families.  But we grew up in atheistic homes!  Our parents didn’t know the Lord, nor did they read Bible with us when we were kids, children, teens, young adults…  We have never had an example of living with Christian parents, while we find ourselves being them right now! Russian is not a closed country, it has freedom of religion.  It has “THE” state recognized Church (Russian Orthodox Church), and Russia has pentecostal\evangelical\charismatic believers (about 2% of the population) who have their children living in the house and Russia is still an opened society.

Russian Pentecostal Christians have come to a historic time living in the country! This has never been before! SECOND GENERATION CHRISTIANS living in the FREE SOCIETY.  How to pass faith from generation to generation?  How to identify what is from the Lord and what is not? More importantly: how to “train up a child in the way he should go” when this has not been in the history of Russia? In the experience of parents and pastors and church members?

While the child is under 18 he\she lives within the family. What happens after 18?  Where does this person go? Russia doesn’t have a wide range of pentecostal\evangelical churches, like the US.  Russia has freedom for just 20 years, while the US has had it during the last 4 or 6 or more generations! Every church member\pastor\leader recognizes a need for a state recognized university degree for their children.  At the same time “training up a child in the way he should go”, i.e. establishing a person in Christ-centered life, in the life after 18, to walk with God, but with out his\her mom and daddy near by IS A STRUGGLE AND A MYSTERY FOR RUSSIAN CHRISTIANS.  The border between what is of the world and what is of Christ is not that evident like in the years under persecution. Internet, iPhone, AnDroid; social networks, over all access and speedy exchange of information IS NOT LIKE THAT OF THE PERSECUTION TIME and is not like that during the revival time of 1990s-2000s!

Russia enters into a new stage of Christian maturity growth. How well we will pass our faith from our generation to our children, so that they could pass on theiк faith to their kids? That is a key to success in the Mission of God: “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.” (Mt.28:19,20)

Therefore, as of Sep. 2013 Eurasian Theological Seminary in Moscow offers a new program for young men and women who have been saved: come and study with us, and in parallel study at a state University for 4-5 years. At the end, a person will have a state recognized degree, a theological internationally accredited degree (Bachelor of Theology) and what is most important: every student will have an opportunity to live away from their parents, in the city of Moscow, in a Christian environment, been in this world (not in a monastery 😀 ), yet not being of this world.  Every student receives opportunity to study the Word, to live out the same Word and to practice the Word in church and out of church walls. Priesthood of all believers in action!

Russian Church of God celebrate 20 years of the International Church of God (Cleveland) ministry in Russia this year! October 1 – 3, 2013, in the city of Orel (3.5 hrs away from Moscow airport) the 80+ churches’ pastors & leaders will gather to celebrate Christ, to celebrate unity, to look 20/20: see 20/20! 20 years of experience & 20 years of future growth! Russia has never been in the state like this: we have never had freedom of religion during the two generations! How to pass faith from generation to generation not in persecution, but in freedom? Come and join us!

20 years ago the International Church of God has come to Russia as a “rushing mighty wind…” planting churches and training leaders! Nowadays, the COG rips a plentiful harvest in Russia, Ukraine, Belarus and other countries of former U.S.S.R. Education for ministry has been a main theme. International Church of God has a unique training center inside Moscow city. Eurasian Theological Seminary  www.facebook.com/etsmoscow

No other Pentecostal denomination has such highly recognized and accredited (by EAAA) training seminary in Moscow, like COG does (only Baptists have). The vision of discipling and training up young men and women for ministry is the key strategy for success in today and tomorrow of Russian Church of God!

Please, pray for Russian Christians so that they could teach “children to choose the right path, and when they are older, they will remain upon it.”

IlyaOkhotnikov@gmail.com

 

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