Russia (MNN) – While conflict in the former Soviet Union has left many people in need of basic resources, it also leaves theological gaps. The Slavic Gospel Association is working to fill these gaps by providing in-depth theology training to cities spanning the former Soviet Union.
Eric Mock from SGA says, “What we found is that when the fall of the Soviet Union occurred, that they were hungry to know more but with the inrush of those wanting to come into the former Soviet Counties came all the different teaching.”
Some of the unbiblical teaching SGA seeks to combat in the region includes ideas that good works are not essential and that God’s Word is not authoritative, Mock explains.
Providing Theological Foundations
SGA currently supports several seminaries throughout the former Soviet Union. These schools offer graduate-level training for those looking to become pastors, worship leaders, and Sunday School teachers.
Mock says, “We want these schools to be nationally led and nationally multiplying, so these schools are set apart with now incredible national teachers.”
Teachers graduating from these schools may then teach at SGA’s training centers to help other students learn. “There are extension centers now all across Russia, as well as in Ukraine and in Belarus,” Mock adds.
For SGA solid theological training is the key to supporting local church ministries and other ministries across the former Soviet Union. In places like Yakutia in Russia, Biblical training is transforming communities.
Mock adds that for three years now, SGA has been teaching local Christians in their own language in how to study and understand the Bible. Now students who have received this training are teaching others in their church about the Bible.
“Before these villages were steeped in paganism, and from these villages have come men who are now being saved by God, being transformed by His Word, and led by the Spirit.”
Supporting Biblical Training
Despite radical change happening from communities receiving Biblical training, it is often difficult for SGA to gather resources for it.
Mock says, “We really need help because the training institutions are the most difficult to support.”
“It’s a lot easier for people to be excited about ministry to orphans… but we have to undergird all the ministry with the right training.”
Mock explains that on one visit to an orphanage he met a young girl with 13 teddy bears. Each bear represented a gift for her from a foreign visitor on mission work in the area. Yet, when Mock asked her about Jesus, she had never heard of Him.
“I was astounded as I realized that so many of the ministries, even though well-intentioned, have not taken the time to really develop a great foundation in theological training,” Mock adds.
Pray that more students in the former Soviet Union would have access to Biblical training. Ask the Lord to use that training to support ministry in the area and spread clear teaching about the Bible.
Header photo courtesy of Debby Hudson via Unsplash.