I want to connect with you again and provide a few glimpses of my ministry at Bibelseminar Bonn:
Publication of my Dissertation
After a long journey, I was able to complete my dissertation at the University of Amsterdam in December 2015. I was encouraged by friends to publish my dissertation about the Russian-German church service with a renowned publisher in Germany. Surprisingly, several of these publishers actually showed interest. Therefore I was able to publish the work just a few weeks ago and offer the book to the preachers at our bi-annual preacher´s conference in Lemgo, Germany. It is my prayer that this work will be beneficial for the development of our Russian-German movement in Germany.
Preacher´s Conference 2016
The preacher´s conference was once again an amazing gathering of over 1000 pastors & preachers from more than 200 churches in Germany and Europe.
This conference proves to be an amazing opportunity for young preachers to learn from experienced preachers from various backgrounds who are committed to God´s inerrant Word and to the Great Commission that our Lord Jesus Christ entrusted to us. We are thankful to Dr. Frank Page, President of the Executive Committee of the SBC, and to Dr. Paige Patterson from our partner school SWBTS for their vision and passion to create and support this unique gathering in Germany.
It was very special for me and our Dean of Students Andy Wiebe to lead a discussion panel with extraordinary leaders about their ministry as Bible-believing preachers, professors, and passionate evangelists for Christ. Dr. Paige Patterson of Southwestern, Dr. Robert Jeffress of FBC Dallas, Dr. Helge Stadelmann of Gießen, and Olaf Latzel of Bremen participated. Olaf Latzel´s story became a symbol of the spiritual condition in Germany! As a Lutheran pastor in Germany, he experienced massive persecution by his own church because he decided to stay true to the gospel. We thank our Lord for these examples that encourage us not to drift away from God´s Word and His mission for our ministry as preachers and pastors. Sermons and workshops can be accessed here.
Ministry in the US
My wife Rita and I were invited by the SBC to participate in the SBC-Convention in St. Louis immediately following the preacher´s conference. It was an amazing honor for me to speak to the delegates of the SBC churches about what our Heavenly Father is doing in Germany through the partnership between Russian-German Baptist churches and SBC churches and institutions like Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. It is a heart issue for me to continue to strengthen these partnerships in ministry because I believe in the strategic value for the kingdom work of Jesus Christ in Europe as well as in the US!
Following the convention, I was invited by Pastor Dr. Rob Peters to preach at Calvary Baptist Church in North Carolina. It was a tremendous joy for me to serve these wonderful people. (If you want to view my sermon in English, you can watch it here.
Back in Germany, I had the privilege of being part of a group of pastors who baptized over 80 Iranian refugees in my home church in Cologne. It's amazing how God is working among these people. Please pray that we will be able to disciple these young believers and integrate them into our church family. (Here is a short video about our plans to start a Bible school in the Farsi language in the fall.)
Here is a short video message on our plan to start a Farsi speaking Bible school.
Protection during my travels
As some of you may already know, I had a bad accident on the autobahn. My wife and I were driving home in the late evening on the Monday after Pentecost when a car suddenly crossed into my lane right in front of me, and I was unable to avoid hitting it. The autobahn was blocked for more than 2 hours, and my car, which had already accompanied me for more than 250,000 miles, was totaled. Right now we are using a borrowed car, and though our car is gone, we are thankful to have survived without any injuries. Only after reflecting on it for a while did we realize how greatly God has protected us. Thank you, Jesus!
I am so thankful for the many ways in which God is working in and through us. I also realize again and again just how your support makes this ministry possible for me. I am so grateful for your prayers for me and for this ministry. We know that everything is dependent upon God's blessing. Now we as a family wish you all a nice summer!