Some of you liked my “story” at the Banquet. So, here it is again:
The story of the FaithSearch Russian Ministry is best told in the form of a conversation that went something like this.
God: Dear Dr. Bierle, being a scientist and a researcher you must have noticed that chunk of land that is usually colored red on your maps and where people speak Russian. For some odd reason I love Russians and I want you to expand the FaithSearch Ministry to that land.
Dr. Bierle: Yes, Lord. But I don’t speak Russian. “O Lord, I have never been eloquent, neither in the past nor since you have spoken to your servant.” (Ex. 4:10)
God: I know. But look how wonderfully the ministry had already worked in India and in Latin America without you having to learn any of those languages.
Dr. Bierle: I got it. I will hire somebody to translate my Surprised by Faith book and to take the “Discovery” presentation to the Russian people.
Oleg: “Here I am. Send me.” (Isaiah 6:8)
God: I will. But in the meantime I want you to make this material so culturally acceptable and academically solid that it can be used in the Russian public schools.
Oleg and Dr. Bierle: Russian public schools?
God: Yes, and state universities.
Dr. Bierle: But last time I checked Russians were sending people to prisons for proclaiming the Gospel.
God: Yes, I know.
Oleg: And the last time I checked it was illegal to openly speak of faith even in the American schools.
God: I know, I know. Just do what I want you to do:
– first, get Oleg on the Ph.D. track with the Russian State Pedagogical University so that he can have a free access to the teachers and student-teachers audiences
– secondly, have him write the “Introduction to Christianity” textbook for the Russian public schools
– and thirdly, make the FaithSearch Discovery materials available to all these audiences for free in all possible media and in all channels – on CDs, on the Internet, in video, audio and text format.
Oleg: But what then will we do if the doors to the public schools and universities are guarded in Russia even harder than their military installations?
God: I will open those doors for you that nobody will ever be able to close. I will put you in front of thousands of school teachers each year with the presentation of the Gospel with Evidence. I will have you teach the course on the “Rational and Historic Foundations of Christian Faith” in state universities and at Teachers’ training conferences.
Joe Komarek: This is nice but aren’t we too small of a ministry for such a large scale of trainings and conferences all over this huge territory!
God: Your trainings do not have to be large if you teach teachers and train trainers – they will carry on the task of multiplication of your efforts. Each time you will be teaching a group of 30 or 40 teachers, I want you imagine hundreds of students they will effect in their classrooms. Each time you will present the Gospel to a class of university students, I want you to multiply it by the thousands each of them will share it with in the course of their teaching career.
Joe Komarek: Wow. As a math teacher, I am really impressed by how You can crank the numbers. But can you also do it for our resources?
God: Oh, please, let me worry about resources, finances and other minor circumstances. First, I will have the Russian Government to pay at least some of Oleg’s transportation and lodging expenses. It won’t be much but I’ll make them do it anyway – just for the kick.
Oleg: I still have a family to feed, air tickets to pay for, materials to print, etc., etc.
God: Yes, I know. But there is something I want you to also always remember: I already paid the highest price for those souls. Do you think I will not raise enough support to see them coming to know Me?
Oleg, Dr. Bierle, Joe Komarek and the FaithSearch Staff choir: Hallelujah! Praise the Lord!
It was delight to see you there and to share the joy of serving the Lord with you! Please continue to pray for the Russian Ministry as I am awaiting for the “Go” or “Not go” from a supporting church for my next teaching trip to Russia in June.