24 October 2012
Dear Christian Brothers and Sisters,
Dr Carillet tells me that you support the Bible faculty of Commonwealth International University. As one of the faculty, I am one of the recipients of your generous and faithful support. I want to personally thank you, and tell you something about me and the ministry we have through our college.
I came to Crimean-American College in 1993 as a freshman and graduated in 1997. For the last 11 years I have been working here as a teacher and President’s assistant. Over these years I have spent more than a 1000 class-room hours teaching Bible-related classes: Introduction to the New Testament, Old Testament Survey, Apologetics, Life of Christ, Systematic Theology, Acts of the Apostles, Romans, Comparative Religions, etc. My colleagues and I constantly seek to present the Christian worldview to our students in a friendly, non-threatening environment. We welcome honest questions about the Christian faith – from seekers, skeptics, and believers. We do our best trying to give intelligent, Bible-based, culturally relevant answers. Over these years, hundreds of Ukrainian students have had an opportunity to examine Christianity’s claims for truth in an environment where such claims make sense.
It is always encouraging to see students who decide to follow Christ. Also, many Christian students say that their faith was strengthened during their years at the College. Part of it has to do with our emphasis on the apologetics and critical thinking skills; but the main factor is the Christian community that CAC’s faculty was able to create on campus – a meaningful testimony to the skeptical generation that would “rather see a sermon than to hear one.” When I was a student here, my life was radically changed under the influence of Christian teachers and class-mates. Dozens of other students may tell similar stories, and that is a great source of inspiration for me.
Unlike preacher-training schools, we prepare our students for productive lives in a secular context. Some of our graduates (translators, school-teachers, Ph.D. students, etc.) are remarkable examples of Christian witness in the market-place. It is people like that that our society needs the most.
Also, for almost ten years I was involved in “Man and the Christian Worldview” conferences organized by TMI and Crimean-American College (now Commonwealth International University). As a translator and presenter, I participated in over 20 such conferences. In preparation for these conferences, my colleagues and I organized and translated hundreds of lectures in local universities. Our guest lecturers were Western professors who combine their Christian faith with academic pursuits and show the Ukrainian students and professors that it is possible – a rather unusual concept for the post-Soviet universities.
Sometimes I preach in a local church, and I am glad to see in the pews some of my former students. Last month I was able to spend some time with two of our graduates who work with orphans in a boarding-school. They said that it was the Christian influence experienced in CAC that made them choose that incredibly difficult, but much-needed work. So it is not just the students: the lives of many orphans have also been impacted through CAC graduates. And that is just one of the many examples. Only God knows how much has been done through this school, “For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part…” but even the little tip of the iceberg that we see reflects God’s glory.
Being a part of this school is an enormous privilege for me. Yet none of that would be possible without the generosity of those churches and individual Christians who faithfully supported us – both with finances and prayer – all this time. Thank you very much for your help and sacrifice.
Professor of Bible and Linguistics
Commonwealth International University