This week Marlene and I have been at Word of Life Bible Institute in Kiev, Ukraine. We’ve an amazing time studying the Book of James with students and visitors from Ukraine, Russia, Moldova, Lithuania, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Poland, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, Romania, Canada and the US. You get a feeling of being on the front lines of Kingdom work when you come here.
Because the classes are taught in Russian, a man named Tony translated for me. This is a picture of James 4-5 from his Bible:
We had a great time in class because the students were so eager to learn. This picture shows the notes taken by one of students:
Since I don’t read or speak Russian, I’m at a disadvantage compared to the students who all know at least two languages. They laughed when I told them the following:
What do you call a person who speaks 3 languages? Trilingual.
What do you call a person who speaks 2 languages? Bilingual.
What do you call a person who speaks 1 language? American.
I continue to be impressed with the diversity of the students. Yesterday I met someone from Azerbaijan and two students from Lithuania.
One day when I wanted to take a picture with the students, I told them I wanted to do a selfie. Before Tony could translate, they started cheering. Evidently selfie is a universal word.
Matias Radziwiluk, the gifted leader of Word of Life Ukraine, pointed out how the spread of the USSR in the old days produced one good result for the gospel: all the former satellite states speak Russian along with the local language. That’s why students from so many countries can study at the same school because they all know Russian. That’s a providence of God just like the Roman road system and the Greek language that made it possible for the gospel to spread rapidly in the first century.
Tonight we begin the “Revive the Fire” Conference that will draw several hundred young adults to the Word of Life campus. I’m speaking four times on how to live for Christ in a secular world. We’ll be looking at Daniel’s example to encourage us with one big truth: If you know who your are, you can live for Christ anywhere. Please for me and for the students and staff and for those who attend that God will encourage and challenge all of us. Thanks!