Theological education getting a huge boost in Ukraine

By December 17, 2004

Ukraine (MNN) — Six months ago Send International received a challenge. A challenge they never received before. A donor said, “If you raise $700,000 by December 31st, we’ll match it dollar for dollar for expansion of the Kiev Theological Seminary.”

Today, Send International is praising the Lord for answered prayer. In record time, Send supporters raised the needed funding to leverage the matching money.

Send’s General Director Warren Janzen says the need for expansion is great. “There (are) a lot of institutions around the world that have great facilities, but are lacking students. Kiev is one place (where) they’re turning away students because they can only graduate one bachelor group every four years and they can’t take new students in each year. They just don’t have the facilities for it.”

The $1.4 million dollars will build the shell of the addition and another $1.4 million is needed to finish the work inside. Janzen says the work will be completed with the help of short term mission teams.

Janzen says once the building is completed it will allow more believers to receive a quality theological education. He explains why that’s important. “A place like Kiev Theological Seminary is critical for the establishment of the church and then the discipleship of those believers so you can take missions full-circle 360 degrees and be sending people out from that place into Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, or any of those ‘stans, or back into the former Soviet Union.”

Christians in Ukraine are uniquely qualified, says Janzen, to be able to reach into the Muslim world. “Because they have faced such hardship, such suppression and they’ve come out of nothing. It is a thing where they’ve been empowered by God to go into those kinds of areas and I think they’ll have a platform, a commonness, with Muslim believing people in that region that we couldn’t get or couldn’t earn.”

Pray that they’ll be able to get the rest of the funding to complete the project. Janzen doesn’t expect the election problems to have any impact on their work.

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