Graduates Sasha and Eugene Serve RITE as Student Deans
Sasha and Eugene are two former RITE graduates who are still with us as student deans, and we are so thankful that they are. Both were outstanding students and are even more outstanding Christian men. We spoke with them in April during one of the lunch hours and asked them about their jobs and personal lives.
Sasha began working as student dean in 2011 following his graduation from RITE, while Eugene started in 2015. Sasha, a bachelor, lives in Dnipro, a large city on the Dnipro River some miles south of the seminary, while Eugene lives just east of Kiev with his wife and daughter, 15, and son 12. Eugene began, “Our duties as deans include being with the students on a full time basis while they are at the seminary, attending classes, having fellowship with them, and helping them with their studies. Sasha added, “If we are not here with them we can’t experience what is happening with them. We also grade the students’ exams.”
“We also teach,” Eugene added, “usually in January, but this spring we will also be teaching in May, due to the last minute inability of two professors to come to Kiev.” In January, Eugene began teaching the Gospel of Luke, and also a small course in Romans 9. Sasha has taught courses on homiletics and taught James in May. Both men concluded in saying that they have only experienced joy in their roles at RITE and are pleased to be a part in helping our students learn.
Under the leadership of Holy Trinity Presbyterian Church in Kiev, Eugene is planting a Reformed church in the west bank of the Dnipro River, in the east of Kiev. They had their first meeting in early April. He said, “We have a good core group of families and we are asking God to bless our work.” As RITE continues to thrive in Kiev, we thank God that He has sent us Eugene and Sasha to serve as our student deans.
Pastor and Dean Eugene
Sasha (center) with Students
Fedor Minakov Named Director of Christian Education at ERSU
Fedor, on left, at Christian Education Conference in Lviv, Ukraine
We are excited to inform that the Minakovs are back in Ukraine. The Lord has blessed all of our travels and we are slowly settling in the new place in Kiev, the capital of Ukraine. For these few weeks we were able to visit my family in Nikolaev, rest for a week on the shore of the Black Sea in Odessa, visit my mother in law in Novogrodovka, Donetsk region, and find a place to live in Kiev. I had an interview and was accepted on the position of Director of Christian Education in the Reformed Seminary. For this I am thankful to the Lord. I have a long list of responsibilities. My main task is to develop the network among Presbyterian and Reformed churches in Ukraine so that these churches would be able to share their experience and resources with each other in the field of various areas of Christian education.
For that reason I am planning to travel a lot to get to know churches and their ministers and to find out their needs and strengths. I would also need to provide the resources that are available for the support of such ministries as Sunday school, women’s ministry, church planting, training of elders and deacons, youth and family ministry and worship, home schooling etc. In addition to this I will develop a course to educate leaders in one of these field.
The abbreviation ERSU stands for the Evangelical Reformed Seminary in Ukraine. (Ed: The MTW/Dutch Reformed Seminary) In order to get to know this seminary, its staff and its students I have an opportunity to attend classes and find out the Seminary’s inner life. I enjoy my fellowship with bright students of the seminary. I am happy to receive wisdom from the teachers that lead courses in systematic theology and biblical languages. Please pray the Lord that I could be used by him for the edification of his body in the seminary and all over Ukraine. Pray that the fire of reformation spread in my home country. Fedor Minakov
RITE Graduate Valerii Akimov and Wife, Tanya, in India
Peace to you, our beloved brothers and sisters in Jesus Christ! (July 2018)
We are in a hurry to share with you the latest news from India. Thanks to everyone who supported our brother Yurii in prayer for his back way home to Ukraine, God is great, he got home safely, though there were some difficulties in his way. Special thanks to church from Lutugino city (Lugansk region), they collected money to buy a sweet candy mashine, they made Yurii’s idea comes true.We believe that this machine will be so helpful in outreaching people in close future in Dehradun and all Uttarakhand as well.
An the end of July the team from Kazakhstan went home – Sergey and Tonya Reshetnyak and Sergey Ryl’skiy. Three of them were inspired by ministering in another culture and another country. They ministered in a hostel, in the home groups in Ladpur and Canal road. Tonya taught English and dancing classes, two Sergeys spent a lot of time with children in the hostel, taught Russian language for Kiran and shared the word of God in the church and home groups. They left joyful and grateful to God for such an honor to be used in His church in India.
A flannelegraph with Bible stories, which was presented by one church from Asheville(USA) through their pastor Vladimir Gundorin, is in use actively in churches. The visualization for the peoples of India is more effective way to explain something and then to keep it in memory, so this thing helps us to tell the truth with the help of colorful pictures. Furthermore there are a lot of illiterate people in our churches, now they can listen Bible stories and see them (on photo Nastya is telling a Bible story).
Thanks to all of you who keep praying for Ahsan and his family, please keep doing it. In the beginning of July he had a strong spiritual attack, at night his relatives called Rajkumari, thinking that he is being possessed by the demon. She prayed for him and next day Harmeet met him and they prayed together and talked. Ahsan some time ago had a strong desire to play some musical instruments, so God blessed him, one professor from college, where he works, presented him a keyboard. Nowadays Nastya is teaching him piano, after that they take time for English class, Liza and Tonya(when she was in Dehradun) are teaching English.
In July one bad news happened in India, in Jharkhand state, 25 christians were arrested due to them being seen when they preach about Jesus Christ, that news was published in Dehradun local newspaper. We realize that the situation in India is getting more dangerous day by day, that’s why there is a great desire in our hearts investing to key leaders, so that it will be a strong leader team in future, and then we can continue our missionary work in India through it.
Please pray for Jaypal(preaching on photo) and his ministry. He is our leader in Pauri Garwal, he is running some groups in mountain area in Himalayas. He needs a lot of God’s grace and His protection.
During this month we visited the group in Selaqui several times, hold there guitar classes for children and visited Suresh and Bina’s family(from left to right – Suresh, Srishti and Bina). On the first our trip we punctured the motorbike wheel on the way to Selaqui and we managed to fix it. Nastya: “We were being late, but children were waiting for us and we hold class that day, thanks God”. Please pray for this family, they are doing great work, giving poor kids tutoring in their rent house, at the same time they tell them bible stories and also Suresh leads a home group there.
Three times we went to Rishikesh, world known as a yoga center, it is one hour distance from Dehradun and there is also the settlement of Sapera Basti people. Rajkumari has had a strong desire to start a home group there for a long time. In 2016 she and Tanya visited her relatives there several times, suggesting them to start a home group, but that time they didn’t receive this idea. And now Rajkumari’s cousin brother, his name is Betab, is calling her to help him to start a group. He made a place for meeting on the top of his house. It looks like a tent(on the left photo). So, the first time Rajkumari, Jyoti and Liza went there. They held a mini group that time. During the worship Jyoti felt a great compassion for Betab and unquenchable desire to give him something. Jyoti:“I told Rajkumari what was in my heart and she urged me to pray for Betab and his family. I felt that they need God’s peace most of all and prayed about it. After praying Betab told that after a long time he got peace in his heart, he was in great despair for a long time and nothing helped”. Please pray for Betab, his growing in Christ and strengthening this group.
We celebrated the birthdays of four teenagers from hostel – Kishan, Moses, Ankush and Milan. There was a lot of joy, fun and cakes. Children have an intensive studying at school nowadays. Pray for all our children that God give them birth from above, because He only can give it.
This month Nastya has had an allergy for some product, her face itched and turned red. She was so disappointed. Harmeet was out of Dehradun that time and we asked Jyoti to go with Nastya to hospital. They found a good doctor, who prescribed a good treatment to Nastya. While they were waiting the doctor they visited Jyoti’s cousin sister, who lives beside the hospital, both of them prayed for that woman. Nastya was encouraged by God through this visit and recovered fast.
On the farm we did a little break (two weeks) with the purchase of chickens, we were waiting for rainy season. In the second half of July the first batch of chickens was purchased for the one coop, the second one will be in 14 days, so that chicken can grow and be sold at regular intervals. Thanks for your prayers about this business. Keep praying for it and also for fish farming so that we could have possibility and a proper time to start it.
In the beginning of August Harmeet with one of senior boys from hostel is going to Nepal. It is a planned trip, our vision is to start a home group there and one of Indian leaders can lead it. Please pray for this trip.
In October the first missionary school will take place in Dehradun and at the end of two-weeks school will be a seminar for leaders. Pray about all these events that God bless them with a lot of His grace.
Our heartily thanks for your prayers, God is doing a lot of miracles in Dehradun and giving His sufficient grace.
Valerii and Tanya, and leaders from Dehradun
NOTE: The Akimov’s daughters, Nastya and Elizaveta are current students at RITE in Kiev. Also, Tanya Akimova may be reached by email at .
Tanya and Valerii on Left
The Akimov’s Lead Mission to India
Greetings to you, our beloved brothers and sisters in Jesus Christ our Lord and our Saviour!
Thank you very much for your prayers for a team from Ukraine, the Lord blessed their trip and helped them to get to Dehradun safely. When they arrived to New Delhi it was +107F there and, in addition, there were shouts everywhere and a lot of dust. But despite everything, Yurii and Nastya were so happy to meet our Indian brothers and sisters in Christ. God miraculously gave the finance for this trip and most importantly gave a desire in their hearts to do what He wants to do in the country of contrasts, India. In the evening when they arrived in Dehradun Harmeet met them and helped to reach a place. But before having a rest at home after a long trip they went to the hostel and had dinner there with our Indian leaders Harmeet, Davendr and Sanju.
Going on a missionary trip, Yurii decided to buy a very good thing for an outreach –a cotton candy machine. Now it is in a demand, they held out the distribution of a cotton candy in two groups after Sunday worship – on Canal road and Sapera basti. The people and especially kids were so delighted to have such a sweets. Our desire to use this machine for
God’s glory in Dehradun. Now we’re searching for someone who can use it and take care of it.
Almost all children were back to hostel, except of three of them who are still in process of doing a birth certificates. Thanks for your prayers for this matter, by the grace of God it is almost done. Daily Yurii teaches boys mechanics skills, Nastya helps him in translation. Thanks for your prayers, the Lord keeps them in His hands, though dangers await them at every turn. In the house where they live there was an
invasion of huge spiders, Nastya hardly fell asleep at once, because the spider’s nest was right in her bedroom. Then we prayed and they managed to find the spider’s lair and destroy it. Nastya has to cover her head whenever she goes out to visit group or the hostel. Recently Yurii and Nastya were caught in the rain accompanied by a storm, a lot of trees fell on the roadway. Nastya: “ We were going home from Sapera basti in the evening by scooter, God helped us to get home safely, we’ve never seen such a rain and then everything was well with us although we were dripping wet, praise the Lord!”
There is a very happy news, God’miracle and the answer to our joint prayers – Ahsan and Pramjeeta are waiting for baby(on photo left side couple). Ahsan: “I’m so grateful to God and to those brothers and sisters in Ukraine, USA and England who are keeping my family in their prayers. One year ago doctors told us that a pregnancy is not possible till we have a proper treatment, then we had it and nothing happened. Now I can declare that with our almighty God everything is possible, because He is great!” Support this family in prayer so that God gives to Pramjeeta strength and health to bear and give birth to a healthy child, and also about their relationships. One man, whose behavior does not inspire anyone, started visiting Sapera basti group(on photo) and Rajkumari sister. She is so trustful and needs in our prayer, so Ahsan and Harmeet instructed her concerning that man and prayed for her. Please support the group in Sapera basti with your prayers, so that deceitful people be far off from this group.
The Bible group in Haldwani is also growing due to our prayers and God’s grace. Around month ago a harvest time started there in their district and several farmers with their families joined the home group. Delbar asks to support his group with prayers, so that all new believers can grow in Christ and keep steadfastness in faith. The group in Canal road is growing too(on photo), one new family started attending church and listening the Word of Life. Our Ukrainians are helping them nowadays in teaching guitar, sharing the Word of God and praying for people. Jyoti is helping them with translation gladly.
The storm with terrible strong wind happened again in the district where our chicken farm is situated. All the slate was carried off the roof of farmer’s house by gusts of wind; again around 350 chicken died due to extreme heat. We understand that God teaches us to pass these difficult situations and loss in business with joy and gratefulness in our hearts .
In the second part of June Akimova Liza(Kiev) and her team from Kazakhstan –Sergey and Tonya Reshtnyak, and Sergey Rylskiy - arrived to Dehradun. They joined ministry at once. Keep all the team in your prayers so that they can be in unity and God can use them in His church building in Dehradun. In the beginning of July Yurii is going back to Ukraine so pray for him and his safety trip.
Thank you very much for your support and praying for us. May God bless you abundantly,
Akimova Valerii and Tanya, and Indian Leader’s Team
REFORMED CHURCH PLANTED IN EASTERN UKRAINE
Dear Friends, I want to share with you some news from the Donetsk region, in eastern Ukraine. As you all know there is still a war in Ukraine. Every day the Russian army and pro-Russian terrorists bomb Ukrainians positions. According to official data there are about 30 shellings every day. The shelling was on the whole front line but the worst situations were in Avdeevka city, Gorlovka city, Shirokino village, and Luganskoe village. Every day we hear how people die in Donetsk region because of war. There are lots of refugees and people who struggle because of the war. But despite of this fact God's plan is being fulfilled.
Right now we live in Pokrovsk city, Donetsk region. It is a small city which is located very close to Donetsk city. Population is about 60,000 people. There are a lot of refugees, some people have run from Donetsk to find a peaceful place to live. And also there are a lot of people who are struggling because of the war, (families with many children, single mothers and elderly people).
Once a month we have a Christian club for children. There are around 10 children. Some of them are from dysfunctional families. They have never heard about Christ. We are so happy that they come to our club.
We would greatly appreciate your prayers for our new Reformed church in Poktrovsk City. I may be reached at Grinishin91@gmail.com. Thank you so much! Eugene and Yana Grinishin
The Church Gathered
Yana and Children
GRADUATES EUGENE AND YANA GRINISHIN PLANTING REFORMED CHURCH
NEAR EASTERN WAR ZONE
Yana and Eugene with Their Son, Nazar
Children in a Recent Outreach Effort in the East
RITE recently received word that graduates Eugene and Yana Grinishin have moved from their home in the west to a city near the war zone and Donets’k in eastern Ukraine in order to establish a Reformed church there. The couple has been traveling several times a year to the region to take food, clothing, and the Gospel to the same people.. As you can imagine, the area is very poor with little or no presence of true worship. Our prayers go out to the Grinishins as they follow the Lord’s leadership in this new direction. Here’s a recent letter from Eugene.
I want to share some news with you from my family life. Yana and I are doing well/ Our son, Nazar, is now 10 months old, and he is very funny. We have made the decision to go to the Donets’k region to organize a new church there. In February 2018, we moved from Dneipro to Krasnoarminsk City near the war zone. It is a city of about 50,000 citizens and is very poor. There are no Reformed churches there, and we believed God is calling us there to preach the Gospel and to organize a good Reformed Church.
My prayer requests are these:
1) Please pray for me and my family.
2). Pray that God will be with me and help me to preach the Gospel to the many unbelieving people there.
3). Please pray that God will use us in His plan.
4). That God would fill our material needs.
If anyone would like to support our ministry, I can be reached at Grinishin91@gmail.com. Thanks so much for your prayers and support. May God bless you. Eugene