“A Mighty Fortress”
The Seventh-day Adventist Hymnal, no. 506
Superintendent or Sabbath School teacher
“Now Is The Time”
“Go Forth, Go Forth With Christ”
The Seventh-day Adventist Hymnal, no. 377
Participants and Props:
Participants: Fivespeakers—a narrator (man or woman), one woman, three men. [Note: participants should be familiar enough with their material so they can present it with appropriate emphasis.]
Props: A map of the Euro-Asia Division. (Scan the map on the back page of the quarterly or download it from www.AdventistMission.org and project it onto a screen.) A PowerPoint presentation listing each project as it’s presented will help listeners keep track of the projects they’re giving to.
Narrator: Today is Thirteenth Sabbath. Today we will meet leaders from Russia and Ukraine who are directly involved with our mission projects.
One of the Thirteenth Sabbath projects this quarter is to build a church and center of influence in the center of Kazan, the capital of Tatarstan, a republic within the Russian Federation.
Let’s hear what Pastor Igor Krasilnikov, president of the West Russian Union Conference, and Pastor Anwar Gindullin from Kazan have to say about this project.
Pastor Krasilnikov: We would like to build a church in many cities, but it’s very difficult to find a piece of land inside the city. If we build the church further out, then transportation becomes a problem.
Pastor Gindullin: That’s why we really wanted to find available land in the city of Kazan. We looked all around the center, but any available land was too small or too far from the metro. We asked God to help us find some good land, and He answered our prayers! We found a perfect place, just 70 meters from a transportation center. With the help of the West Russian Union, the conference purchased it in 2013.
Pastor Krasilnikov: Kazan is a unique city; it’s a place where Muslims and Christians live side by side in peace. It’s very important for the church to have a good, attractive presence in this area. We don’t know what will happen in the future—perhaps they won’t allow us to build a church later. So, while we have the opportunity, we want to build it now.
Pastor Gindullin: We also want to have a place in front of the church for children to play, and for parents and others to rest. So we’re planning on putting in a park-like children’s playground.
Pastor Krasilnikov: There are many tall buildings in the area, with nowhere for children to play. When the children have the opportunity to play near our church, the parents can also visit. Our church will be a center of influence, offering many services.
Pastor Gindullin: We want to use this opportunity while God has opened the door, because tomorrow everything can change.
Narrator: Thank you, Pastors Krasilnikov and Gindullin. Let’s now turn our attention to the country of Ukraine, where they are planning to build or expand four Adventist schools from the Thirteenth Sabbath Mission offering. Let’s hear from Mrs. Elena Milnenko, the principal at the school in Vinnytsia, and Mr. Alexander Koberniyk, the school director in Lviv. Mr. Koberniyk, please tell us about how the school in Lviv began.
Mr. Koberniyk: I am trained as a teacher, and I used to teach in a government-run school. After becoming a Seventh-day Adventist, it struck me how the school has a great influence on how children see the world—their worldview. Then one day I learned that the Seventh-day Adventist Church has an educational system, but that in Ukraine there were just two Adventist church schools.
I talked with our pastor and with the president of the Western Union Conference, and we decided to establish a school here in Lviv. We started small, with just three students, but from there it grew, and now we have 27 students.
Narrator: So where did the school meet?
Mr. Koberniyk: At first we met in a room at the church, but as we grew, the conference generously offered for us to use their office for the school, and they moved into another building. But we are growing quickly, and there have been many requests for us to offer education beyond the fifth grade. In order to do that, we need to expand the building.
Narrator: Why do you think the school is growing so rapidly?
Mr. Koberniyk: I have noticed that Adventist education, especially when we emphasize the Bible, has a good influence on children. Here, students learn how to pray, to trust, and to believe God.
Narrator: Thank you, Mr. Koberniyk. Mrs. Milnenko, have you had similar results at your school in Vinnytsia?
Mrs. Milnenko: Yes. We see the results in both students and parents. The children are very happy at our school. There are a lot of good, well-qualified teachers in the government schools, but they don’t share the children’s religious values, so they often twist it or force them to believe other things. Even little children must tell their teachers and their classmates that they don’t come to school on Sabbath, and they must be firm in that position. And so children from a very young age are being isolated—they’re not like everybody else, and that puts pressure on them and undermines their confidence.
Narrator: Pleaes tell us a little more about the Adventist school in Vinnytsia.
Mrs. Milnenko: Our school just recently started, and already we have 24 students in four grades, plus 15 more students in kindergarten. We are currently meeting in rooms at the church, and there are many more students who would like to come, but there simply isn’t room where we are at.
Narrator: So that is why you are building a school?
Mrs. Milnenko: Yes. And so that we can also offer more grades—through high school. The parents are very excited about this, and so is our conference. We have some beautiful land in a forested area where the children can play outdoors. We have already started to build, and many parents and conference leaders have come out to the site to help us build.
Narrator: So how will the Thirteenth Sabbath Offering help with this project?
Mrs. Milnenko: It will help us greatly! Without it we wouldn’t be able to offer high school as well as the elementary level. This is very important for our students to be able to continue with an Adventist education. Because here they can be strengthen in their faith. We have worships, and when there are difficulties, the very first thing we do is pray. In every class teachers show how God is the Creator—that He is the one who loves them, who made them.
Narrator: If you could ask the world church to pray for something, what would it be?
Mrs. Milnenko:I’d like the world church to pray for Ukraine and for our education system, so that we can have many Adventist schools, and that this could be a missionary project—to impact our kids and their parents.
Narrator: Thank you very much to each of our guests today for sharing with us a little more about some of the wonderful Thirteenth Sabbath Offering projects. Unfortunately, we’ve only had enough time to hear about some of the projects. Please also remember the other special projects in the Euro-Asia Division this quarter, including two more schools in Ukraine, and a church/center of influence in Minsk, Belarus. Let’s do all we can to help lift up the arms of our brothers and sisters in Russia and Ukraine as they seek to minister to the millions of people in their territories. Please give generously to this quarter’s Thirteenth Sabbath Offering for the Euro-Asia Division. Thank you.
Next quarter the Inter-American Division will be featured. Special projects include: