With us were our brothers and sisters from Kyrgyzstan, Tatarstan, Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan. This year God blessed us with a remarkable group. Each one in the group had a gift which they used for service, one a gift of wisdom, one of knowledge, one of faith (1Cor 12:7-10). Together we went through a range of experiences. It was necessary to resolve conflicts, over the weak and strong in faith, over arguments and so on, we learned to live in difficult circumstances, with little, we learned to be grateful, we adapted to the climatic conditions of a cold winter, and at the same time we received comfort and joy, when we endured situations in the way that God proposed we should. A year of endurance in God’s family – this is a good school for character-formation.
God has given us a licence as an educational institution. It has eased the problems with registration, making it simpler and cheaper. Praise God for that!
The students covered 28 topics. There were courses such as Church History, Kairos, Hermeneutics and Homiletics, overviews of the Old and New Testaments, spiritual development, bridge building with Muslims, folk Islam, evangelism in an Islamic context, Christian doctrines, Marriage and the family, Church government and other subjects which are important for ministry. There were class sessions, additional tasks on the care of souls, attendance at seminars.
We went to the nearest villages. For the first time we tried going to the villages on bicycles. There were various meetings, and difficulties were endured. We went and shared the good news. We blessed the homes and prayed for the town. We held various meetings and supported local churches. We had a trip to a remote area where we overcame difficulties with the weather.
Our second year students
We spent a remarkable time with our second year students. This year we had a new direction, we invited a few people who were alumni from past courses, so that they could be encouraged, share their experience and defend a research project. This made it possible to renew strength and to receive a licensed diploma. The time when the older students meet the younger ones is very blessed. The second year students had already spent time on the mission field, come up against various difficulties and already had experiences to share.