Dear Family and Friends, June, 2014
From Prague to Amsterdam
This week, with a delay of 25 years, the Scottsman Stuart Blythe, was at the IBTS graduation celebration. As a student at Ruschlikon, Switzerland in 1989, he missed the graduation ceremony, and now 25 years later he made it to the 65th anniversary gra-duation, where 10 Students graduated. He addressed the audience as the incoming Rector of the Seminary, which is moving this summer from Prague, Czech Republic to Amsterdam, Holland/ The Netherlands. We had many International Ministries’ volunteers helping at IBTS through the years. God is faithful.
Please pray for the future of this institution, as a significant contribution to European Baptist life.
We were happy to be part of the celebrations, and glad to meet with several representatives, from other countries, including the General Secretary of the Baptist Churches in Armenia. He let us know that the I.M. volunteer couple, working with him since a few months, is integrating well in the culture, and working well with the students at the Baptist seminary in Ashtarak, and at the church-growth plant where they will be working for some years. We had other volunteers helping in Armenia through the years, and are happy with the retired pastors couple devoting some of their retirement years to building God’s church there.
Please pray for this volunteer couple, and for leadership in the revival-like rapid growth, that Baptist churches in Armenia are experiencing (it is the land of Noah, and the oldest “Christian nation” in the world).
Among the graduates and students were also Russians and Ukrainians. They reminded us of the ANSWERS TO PRAYER in this recent difficult situation. THANK YOU for all your prayers!
In comparable situations in former Soviet states and regions these tension have led to massive bloodshed, violent wars, (unobviously or clearly directed by Moscow, to keep their neighbors submissive with paralyzing pockets of tensions). But until now in the Ukraine it has not come to full-blown war, thanks to the unusual restraint of its interim government, in which Alexander Turchinov was interim president, a Baptist Church leader from one of our partnering churches.
Still prayers are very much needed as it has become publicly known in the past week that the rebel guerrilla forces (leading and stirring up pro-Russian citizens), are battle hardened well equipped heavily armed special Chechen military units (Vostok Battalion), under Moscow’s command. With this artificially created civil war like tensions, and Russian waves of mesmerizing and misinforming propaganda, peace seems far off, and clearly impossible when Russia does not (factually) want it. Both Russian and Ukrainian Baptist Union leaders committed together to promote peace, while we keep praying for that, and for their witness. We have an inquiry in process from an ABC pastor wanting to do a sabbatical in the Ukraine.
Please continue to pray for peace, the leadership and new president in Kiev, and for the churches in Ukraine
Lebanon and Syria
This past week I (Pieter) participated in a Dr.of Ministry class with a pastor friend from Lebanon. Lebanese Baptists are very involved in helping Syrian refugees. In this immense tragedy Baptist churches are reaching out in powerful ways to the often Muslim refugees, making a clear statement of God’s love for them through Jesus, while helping in different humanitarian ways. This Syrian crisis is in various ways much worse than anything else we know of.
Please pray for the situation in Syria, and witness of the Baptists in Syria and in the surrounding countries.
Even though we can not send volunteers there now, for various reasons, we are happy that through our ‘specifics’ funds, we were able to support a Syrian pastor to participate at the most recent EBF-Council. God provides through His children.
Speaking of Support,
Thanks to many individuals and churches throughout the US we can serve in Europe! However, we need to move closer to our 100% required support level, and we pray that God touches the hearts of much needed new donor- partners to move to 100% by next month. This is possible with God’s help.
Thank you for your interest in missions in Europe.
“May the Glory of God fill the whole earth”
With only 2.5 % Evangelical Christians, Europe is a priority mission field. Through volunteers our ministry multiplies into the remote corners of Europe.
The Lord Bless You,
Pieter & Nora Kalkman.