A centre for theological education that was "obliterated" by a Russian tack in the early days of its war on Ukraine is bouncing back, determined more than ever to train up preachers and teachers of the Gospel.
The Slavic Gospel Association's seminary in Irpin, Ukraine, was hit by mortar fire during heavy fighting in late March of 2022.
Eric Mock says the Russian advance came within one kilometre of the seminary. “The upper part of the seminary had become an inferno so hot that it liquefied all the metal on that upper floor. Yet one floor down, the worship center, the library, and the dining room escaped with no damage, not even smoke damage.”
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Symbol of hope
Last week, 164 students started classes at the seminary once again. Mock says the community sees it as a symbol of perseverance. “They are aware that the seminary was used to provide protection, food, and aid for people that were forcibly driven out of their houses because of the fighting.”
The Russian army only targeted the building after learning about the civilians hiding there.
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“We were able to visit the seminary, to encourage them, and to see what was going on. We saw the destruction in Irpin, Bucha, and Kyiv.”
Recently, joint classes began at the Polish Baptist Seminary in Warsaw, helping train pastors among the Ukrainian refugees.
Ask God to strengthen Ukrainian Christians throughout Europe.
In the embattled Kherson region of Ukraine, mortar fire hit the house of a local pastor. A wall collapsed, injuring the daughter as well as the mother.
Mock was recently able to visit them. “It was overwhelming to meet up with grandfather, a pastor, and to hear him continue to praise God, even in the hardship. He said he had an opportunity to share the Gospel at the hospital wherever the Lord placed him.”