Overseas Council Seminaries
Vickie and I have supported Overseas Counsel (OC) for more than twenty years. OC is a group that supports seminaries in third world countries or countries that overtly do not believe in Christ.
This past week, we were privileged to hear Taurs Dyplkive speak. Taurs is the director of the seminaries in the Ukraine, Russia, Belarus, and Kosovo. He provided an insight into the attitude and conditions of the people who believe in Christ in those nations that was very interesting and deserves repeating.
Seminary Student's Attitude Toward America
First he discussed the attitude of the countries he was overseeing toward Americans. He said in the Ukraine the people were skeptical and very angry. When the US and UK promised to help the Ukraine maintain their independence after the Iron Curtain fell, a military was not maintained to protect the citizenry from invasion because they were told to focus on developing an economy and trade policies. When the Russians invaded Eastern Ukraine last year, there was no help from any western nation. The citizens of the Ukraine have individually taken up weapons as they are able to provide a weak resistance but still no assistance is coming from America or Britain. He feels the situation is futile to avoid a takeover by Russia. He estimates there are now more than 300,000 Ukrainians in the resistance but no support from other countries is expected soon.
He has grave concern for his students,. There has been, in the last months, a strategic jailing of anyone associated with America, who is teaching independence, or communication with anyone from the West. He has two good friends (pastors) who were recently dragged out of their homes, accused of spying, and jailed. They have been tortured until they confess to anything and then face up to 10 years in a Russian prison. The children are told to watch American television to verify the breakdown in a western culture. They are told that to survive in America you must be a member of the LGBT community. The children are told that anything other than communism fails as away of life. The society is constantly barraged with propaganda about western cultures.
The Good News
The good news was that the underground church in Russia is growing. On the surface Christian churches are approved but they are constantly investigated and their pastors questioned by the KGB. Therefore, a lot of the Christians have gone underground to worship and teach.
It is apparent that our news media provides very little coverage of the problems in Russia for Christians . Taurs suggested that we call for all out prayer for the churches in the countries he regularly visits. He also emphasized the need for support of the seminaries in that area.
Take away thought, " We prayed to our God and posted a guard day and night to meet this threat". (Nehamiah 4.9)