As well as inviting people to faith, it is also important to strengthen existing faith. The more so as faith needs deep roots. In our range of programmes we invite people to believe and help their faith to grow and strengthen. This is equally valid for those who take their first steps in faith and for those who have been Christians for some time.
Our partners regularly hold large and small-scale missions, talking to the people in their village, their town or their region about Jesus Christ and inviting them to find a living faith. Through the missions, not only do people find the way to faith and to a Christian church where believers find a spiritual home, but the mission-workers are themselves encouraged and strengthened in their faith.
The Christian Tent Ministry (evangelistic outreach with meetings in a large tent) in the Ukraine is a tried and tested, but also challenging opportunity to take the Gospel to people in villages or towns. The teams, however, are not welcome everywhere. A team stays at one place for a week before moving on to the next venue.
In the meetings for children in the afternoon, for adults in the evening, and following this for young people, the Gospel is explained in a programme which has been prepared with great care. The mission-workers can also be spoken to personally.
Apart from the meetings in the large tent, during the day the mission-workers can be seen at central locations with an exhibition of paintings. They display paintings by famous artists which depict the life of Jesus, explaining the Gospel to passers-by and inviting them to the tent meetings.
Moreover, during the day workers go from door to door in groups of two, sharing the Gospel with the people they meet and giving them Christian literature and our magazines. Those who are willing to hear are explained the Good News of our Saviour Jesus Christ and invited to one of the tent meetings.
These events take place every summer in Ukraine. So far we have four teams comprising a large number of volunteers and missionaries from LIGHT IN THE EAST.
I would like to pray for the Tent Gospel Mission and be sent information about the meetings. This can be ordered using our contact form.
This term embraces the diverse courses of LIGHT IN THE EAST's children's ministries. Children who are interested can enroll for the individual programmes. Children are full of talents and have valuable potential which needs to be discovered and developed. Each course runs over a specific period. Our partners offer a range of courses.
Some examples: Taking on a role as a glove-puppeteer at a mission puppet-theatre, rehearsing and going on tour with a play. Children who would like to learn to paint can sign up for the course "Children paint the Bible". Those who have always wanted to hear themselves talking on the radio can enlist as a speaker for recordings broadcast on children's radio, or if they want to have a go at acting on stage they can try this at the TROPINKA Festival.
In the courses children are on the one hand helped to discover their talents, to test their abilities and to get to know themselves better while doing so. On the other hand, the contents are always evangelistic in nature and bring the children in contact with the Gospel. By being part of it and through the performances the children also have a hand in letting others hear the Good News of Jesus Christ.
Well over a decade ago, Bible correspondence courses became available first in Russian, and later also in Ukrainian. These courses help those working through them get to know God better, and give a deeper introduction into the basics of the Christian faith. The courses can be worked through either by post or online on the internet sites of our respective partners.
The two courses for adults and children have been attractively designed, and each lesson conveys in an age-appropriate way basic topic-related Bible knowledge, ending with a short test. Well over 10,000 children have already completed the children's course. The students of the course for adults, more than 1000 in number, include people from all classes of society, ranging from prison inmates to senior citizens in homes. The course enables the students to make their own well-informed decision of faith. They are encouraged to become involved in a church or a TROPINKA Children's Club.
"Dear friends, Thank you for the lessons that you sent me. I like this course very much, the texts, lessons and homework are very interesting. I have learnt a lot of the "Golden Verses" by heart, they mean a lot to me. I enjoy reading the Bible as I learn through it how to act properly, who I should be today and how I can inherit eternal life."
Angelina S., Ukraine, on the "Follow Me" course
"I was sentenced to 17 years. It is a miracle that Jesus found me. When I became a Christian, I read the Bible and prayed a lot. Now I am studying the course "Christianity in Practice". The course strengthens me. I feel the love of my Lord and that makes my heart glad. The Lord has answered my prayers, as now I can leave prison and go home four years earlier. Isn't that a miracle?"
Viacheslav R., Russia, on the "Christianity in Practice" course
Young people in Eastern Europe who wish to escape their lack of perspective often get up to no good and are quickly led astray. The path to alcohol, drugs and crime is a short one. At the same time young people are obviously great sports fans. They can put all their passion into sporting activities, doing something together with others.
This means there is a great opportunity in linking sports with spreading the Gospel, and very many parallels can be found to the life they live. In sports it is a question of victory and defeat, opponents and teammates, individuals and teams, fairness and deceit, justice and injustice ... These are all concepts that can be found in the word of God. Their practical application in sports opens the door to talking these topics over with young people. The behaviour of the leaders in sports and everyday life is an example for the young people, an authentic witness to faith being lived.
In Moldova the work began 10 years ago with a Christian volleyball team. Today there are also teams for football, basketball, cycling and other disciplines, and country-wide tournaments are sometimes held. Many young people regularly take part in training who have no knowledge of faith, and here success in sports goes hand in hand with studying the Bible together and working through the Bible correspondence course "Christianity in Practice" as a fixed part of the programme. Then many young people not only find new friends and a meaningful leisure activity, but also new life in Jesus Christ.
Through the sports programme young people who were once losers in society, gain life.
Through the ministry of LIGHT IN THE EAST churches are strengthened. Church members need support and instruction for their church activities. For this reason, our missionaries and other team-members hold workshops for men and women and also on topics such as counselling, marriage and family as well as seminars for evangelisation, children's and youth work.
Some of our missionaries work in towns in which there are hardly any Christians or churches. Through personal contact to individuals, friendships can develop, resulting in small groups of people meeting who are interested in reading the word of God together and talking it over. Should these people become Christians, a church develops, giving first themselves and then others a spiritual home. In a church, Christians experience fellowship, they share their joys and sorrows und support each other in faith. And then a church becomes "light" to its surroundings.