What’s Going On? (Continued)
For our December prayer letter, under the question, “What’s Going On?”, I shared this paragraph: “As I write this (Cyber Monday), Haiti, Cuba, India, the Middle East, Washington D.C., and many other places on earth are in turmoil, and terrorist attacks are happening in new locations where they hadn’t happened before. I could list a stream of bad news reports I’ve heard over this “long holiday weekend” – but if you are tuned into the most important source, you realize what’s going on! The Word of Truth clues us in! The Lord Jesus Christ came into the world the first time in humility as the servant and sacrifice for our sins; He is coming back again as Conqueror, King and Judge of this rebellious world order. This wicked world is writhing in agony before the dreaded reappearing of the Lord of lords and King of kings, Who will hold every person accountable when he or she stands before the Judgement Bar of Christ!”
Since then, all during the Christmas and New Year season, the turmoil has continued to escalate. Iran militants have become even more aggressive, terrorist attacks against Americans and others even more blatant, shootings in shopping malls, a church building, etc. even more frequent, and this morning’s news brought me the report of a local road rage murder not far from our home. Last weekend our U.S. military drones destroyed the bloodiest of Iran’s terrorist generals, Soleimani, and now both Iran’s and Iraq’s Islamic leaders are foaming at the mouth with “Death to America” horrible threats of revenge. What’s going on? Should we be shivering in our boots? Slinking in the shadows in terror? Jumping back in fear of our own shadows? No! Definitely not! Our Commander-in-Chief told us repeatedly, “Fear not! I am with you!” Even to the ends of the earth – He is with us. If the Creator of the universe, the Author of life, the One Who holds death and life in His hands is with me – what do I have to fear? The apostle Paul reminds us, “we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.” Romans 8:37
Conquerors Confident in our Commander
What does our Commander want us to recognize and realize in the midst of turmoil, trouble and terrifying threats? He wants us to recognize that He is still in control – and He already told us this would be happening! He warned us in advance! Praise His Holy Name! His Holy Word! It’s true! Clearly, absolutely true! By His Spirit, He had Paul write: “But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away!” 2 Timothy 3:1-5 (NKJV)
Now, with this solid reassurance before your eyes that Almighty God knows what He is talking about and with His promise, “Lo, I am with always” plus His command, ”Fear not” – are you ready to confidently march with Him into this New Year as a bold witness for Jesus? “Rescue the perishing, care for the dying – tell them of Jesus, the Mighty to Save!”
Are You Lonesome Tonight?
I’m aware of the fact that Elvis popularized a song by this title but don’t worry – I’m not going to sing it for you. I have something better in mind. On a recent broadcast, Chuck Swindoll told us that he came home earlier than his wife, Cynthia, because she had stayed at the Insight for Living office late to finish some paperwork. He turned on some lights and rambled around the house for a few moments, then called her saying, “Honey, come home – I’m lonely.” He probably thought of many lonely people during Christmas time, but then turned his heart toward Home and thought of our Father:
“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” John 3:16 (NKJV)
Then Chuck said that our Father gave His Son – and for 33 years He did not have Him Home, and we
spit on Him!
Now if that doesn’t touch your heart, it must have already turned to stone. Please pray for the Father to give you a new heart!
Another touching story I heard recently was from Greg Laurie, who has a new book about the life of Johnny Cash. Johnny was preceded in death by his wife, June, and when Johnny himself was on his deathbed at age 71, his younger sister was by his side. She asked him, “Johnny, are you afraid of death?” He told her, “No, Baby.” Then she asked him, “What do you want to hear Jesus say to you when you see Him?” Johnny replied, “Come unto Me, you who are weary and heavy laden, and I will give you rest!” Wow!
The Power of the Cross
On a positive note, when God brings the much prayed for spiritual awakening to America, we can see this country transformed in 2020 by the Spirit and the Word! Just think, if only a fraction of the Americans who claim to be “born again” believers in Jesus will believe and act on these Biblical truths, the transformation will take place in weeks or months, rather than years:
“Likewise you also, reckon yourselves to be dead indeed to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 6:11. “I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now life in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.”Galatians 2:20
From Our Mailbox (and Phone)
Dick Halaas calls us nearly every month with encouraging words and usually some good laughs after receiving our prayer letter. In December he said, “If you have an attitude of gratitude, you will likely remain on the right latitude!” Please pray for both Dick and Dee because they have serious health issues – but their attitude of gratitude keeps them on the right latitude encouraging others. They have been a powerful, positive influence for thousands through their work with “Christ in Youth” and his subsequent work as a chaplain in rest homes.
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“Dear Rick, I am glad to tell you that your book* on effective discipline is available online now alongside with the other ones at the Equalibra online library – https://equalibra.org/author/rick-deighton/
May the Lord be praised!
Yours by His grace, Sergei (Golovin)”
*As a clarification, the “book” Sergei referred to in this email is actually the Russian translation of my booklet on the Biblical principles of child training. Yes, may the Lord be praised, and may His Word be restored in child training!
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Greetings & Report from the Schalbetsky Family
“We send to you, your children and grandchildren our most sincere Christmas greetings on this great and wonderful holiday! May God bless you in everything. The most important thing is that He found us, made us His children, and gave us hope for the eternity in His presence. We haven’t written to you for a long time but you’re always in our hearts. Isn’t it amazing that living on the other side of the planet you left an eternal imprint in our hearts! Each time when we recall your visits and our fellowship we smile, and a feeling of kind affection warms up our hearts. You’re a wonderful example of a good Christian who imparts the love of the Father to other people and sows the right seeds!
These three years since we learned about our mom were not easy for our family, but we continue to fight. As of today, the brain examination shows shrinking of the growth; this is a good result of the radiation treatment. The doctor released her home, and we will repeat the treatment in 2-3 months. But we have a different problem – recently mom was hospitalized with the acute thrombosis on her leg. She is home now, at first everything was good, and the blood clot stopped growing, but a couple days ago we learned that it started to grow again. Please pray about this situation. We always feel your prayer support as we have been in despair so many times. We appreciate your prayers so much!
Praise God, all children continue to grow and look forward to the New Year and Christmas. Lyosha is in the army, Fedya moved into his own apartment, works and learns to live on his own. And so does Vika. Our children have grown quite a lot! The time flies. But they often come and visit with us and we talk a lot on phone. They are very thankful to parents that they have changed their destinies – they often say how thankful they are for who they became because of mom and dad. Praise God!
My own kids are well and keep growing too, praise the Lord. How are you? Please tell us about your lives and family. We will be looking forward to hearing from you. Thank you for everything!
With love and respect, the Shalbetskys”
My reply to the Shalbetskys – in care of their older daughter, Lena.
Thank you so much for your wonderful letter with up-to-date information. Merry 3rd day of Christmas. Your letter was a good reminder for us to renew fervent prayers for Larisa with her multiple health issues. Is her leg improving?
Please keep praying for Della – she often has severe pains in her feet, as well as in her only kidney. Sometimes eye, headache and stomach problems. Most of the time she is able to function, but sometimes has intense fatigue.
I am enjoying good health – and I thank our God that I can be here to help Della. I keep busy with ministry projects by helping with the new church for Eagle Christian Church, correspondence with our ministry partners in America, Ukraine, Germany, Latvia, etc. Also jail ministry – and both Della and I serve on the prayer team for the new congregation. We are thankful to have both our son, Randy, and his family and our daughter, Sandy, and her family living right here in Nampa – close to us. We enjoyed special time with them for Christmas.
Yes, your kids have grown. Please greet all of them for me when you can – and give hugs for me, especially to your parents. Thank you for so many special, warm memories! Tell everyone that we have you in our hearts – and tell Anatoly to save up lots of good jokes for me. However, he may need to wait until we have our resurrection bodies. I don’t know if I will even be making overseas trips anymore. A lot depends on Della’s health.
May the resurrected Lord Jesus be always your joy, your hope, your comfort, your strength and victory! May you come to know Him deeper, love Him dearer and follow Him nearer!
“Now may the God of hope fill you with all peace and joy as you trust in Him so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” Romans 15:13
Respectfully yours & His, Rick
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What God Is Doing in Ukraine and Beyond
“Beloved brothers and sisters,
Thank you very much for your care, support and prayers! With great joy, I present you the Christian Center for Science and Apologetics November and December 2019 newsletter.
The year 2019 was a blessed time of experiencing the mercy and faithfulness of the Lord! Despite all the troubles and challenges we face, we were able to keep our strategic focus on training and equipping the faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also (2 Timothy 2:2). We traveled miles teaching and speaking at numerous conferences, seminars and meetings on biblical strategy of evangelism, basics of cross-cultural ministry, biblical foundation for civil society, biblical anthropology, practical Christian ethics, logics, family, apologetics, education, leadership, and other topics impacting and equipping the Christian leaders in post-communist part of the world.
Additionally, to the various locations in Ukraine we had a wonderful opportunity to minister directly in the countries of Belarus, Israel and Portugal. Our website was visited from 78 countries of the world during the year. We have published 16 books (6 of them by national authors) which makes the total amount of 245 books since 2004. Our partner ministries translate our resources from Russian into Ukrainian and Turkish.
Focusing on shaping the biblical worldview of the next generation, we develop resources for elementary schoolers and teenagers, speak at the conferences and seminars for school teachers and even department of education officials, take part in children camps and provide care and aid to children from the war zone and the occupied territories.
Keeping in mind that Internet is the equivalent of the Athens’ agora, where most of ideas and news are exchanged today, our ministry trains the media producers, runs three virtual schools, creates content and shares it on numerous channels and pages in all popular social media networks, messengers and online platforms, converts seminars and courses into media format and spreads them online for the worldwide access including the restricted regions.
Eurasian Apologetics Society, a network movement ran by our volunteer coordinators, equips the believers for effective evangelism across eight time zones. Some of our former interns started full time ministries in the cities of Moscow, Kursk (Central Russia) and at Blagoveschensk, the Christian Apologetics Club at Russian Far East frontier.
The months of November and December became a glorious conclusion of the glorious year! It was the continuation of the fall non-stop missions and trainings trip in addition to all of our ongoing office, studio and online projects. It started with the seminars on the Logical Fallacies in Evangelism and Preaching and Laying the Worldview Foundation for Children at the conference timed to coincide with Kremenchug Evangelical Seminary half-jubilee, 25 years. It is a special privilege for us to partner with the school that trains hundreds of workers for the Lord on sound fundamental biblical ground, as well as pioneers in mentoring the young leaders on using the modern media for effective spread of the message. All the participants of the conference received the books as gifts, many of which were published by our ministry (see the picture from the seminary newsletter attached). May the Lord bless the school abundantly for many years ahead!
From Kremenchug we went back to Kiev for Eastern European Leadership Forum where we were responsible for the Apologetics Track. It was intensive four days of seminars, workshops, round tables and panel discussions of sharing experience, vision, strategies and methods by the leaders of the ministries from Eastern European countries. As it always happens at an event like this, everyone has invested a share into the general pool of teaching, training, prayers and encouragement, but was able to get entire pool as a result! Please pray for the fruit of the seeds planted there as well as for the EELF 2020 preparation that has started already.
From there we went to the Ukrainian Evangelical Seminary at Berezivka for a filming session of the Biblical Anthropology video course. Neglecting the doctrine on human origin, nature and purpose leads to the superficial understanding of many other biblical concepts starting from God’s purpose for creation in general and up to the proper Christology. How could the relationships of the divine and human natures in Christ be understood without solid biblical understanding of human nature itself? Lack of the human nature biblical understanding leads to many funny ideas on other issues (like marriage, ethics, history, etc.) preached from time to time in our churches. Please pray with us that this video will help many in their spiritual growth, as it’s being posted online like the rest of our media resources.
Straight from Berezivka, we headed to the city of Ternopil for teaching seminars on Science and the Bible at the Youth With A Mission campus there. We hope this will turn into a regular basis partnership like it is with YWAM Kiev campus as the Worldview School. Please join our prayers on this.
In between the trips, we continue our media projects, like taking part in the Argument online program of the Saint Petersburg Center of Apologetics Research via Skype, answering the questions on RadioM (see the picture attached), holding meetings of the Reliable Foundations online apologetics club, posting daily updates at the various social networks platforms. «What ye hear in the ear, that preach ye upon the housetops» – says the Lord (Matthew 10:27). May His name be praised for and through technologies that make “proclaiming from the roof” million times more effective!
The most distant and sometimes off-road experience of December was a trip to Pershotravensk, a coal-mines settlement at the edge with the Eastern Ukraine war zone to teach Creation Science at the New Generation School to a class of young adults who desperately want to explore the truth of the Bible despite the troubles they face with the bombs shelling at the close distance, lack of heating at the class, poor public school educational background, etc. Their desire to be rooted in the Word of God was a great encouragement for us! Please pray with us for these boys and girls, the future of our church!
The final bonus of the year was a master-level course on Biblical Strategy of Evangelism and Practical Apologetics at the Evangel Seminary back in Kiev. It was a great pleasure to explore together with mature experienced servants of the Lord from Russia and Ukraine the issues and challenges of the missions in the post-communist countries. For the course practical assignment all the students will have to provide similar trainings at the places they serve, increasing the course ripple effect. Please keep them in your prayers as well.
We give special thanks and praises to the Lord for our coworkers and dozens of volunteers who never appear in the pictures, but make the ministry possible doing the research, developing the content and design, producing the media, sustaining the ministry infrastructure, managing the online resources.
We praise the Lord for every one of you, our faithful friends who support us through all these years with care, prayers, finances, mentorship, advice, wisdom and guidance for the sake of the Kingdom greater glory! On behalf of our team I am sending you the warm greetings and wishes for a very Merry Christmas and a blessed year ahead! Be blessed in the name of our Lord!
Please keep praying for our ministry, for our team, for our families, for the finances, for God’s guidance and protection in everything we do. You are in our prayers as well.
Yours in the love and grace of Christ Jesus, Sergei” (Golovin)
- The arguments are raging between Democrats and Republicans about the wisdom of Donald Trump’s order to take out the terrorist, Qasem Soleimani. Elizabeth Warren is demanding that our president prove that Soleimani needed to be destroyed. My question – who gave her the authority to issue commands to the Commander-in-Chief of the American military? Please pray that America doesn’t sink into another bloody “civil war.”
- Early this morning I heard one astute commentator say that for the first time since Ronald Reagan was in office, the leaders of Iran fear America’s military power.
- I also heard (reported), that at Soleimani’s funeral 56 people were trampled to death and over 200 injured in a stampede. Can order come from chaos? Let’s pray that in the grief of their family and friends the Holy Spirit will convict more and more Iranians of sin, righteousness and judgement and lead them Home to Jesus, Who alone can save, heal and bring true comfort and peace. Pray they realize that a culture of hatred and revenge will only bring more death, destruction, heartache and grief.
- Voice of the Martyrs reports that Iran has the fastest growing Christian movement in the world! In spite of the extreme danger of persecution, house churches in Iran are spreading like wildfire. Amazing! Praise God! Let’s remember and never forget that above all the turmoil on this cursed earth, our Commander-in-Chief of the Universe remains in power! Let’s walk with Him and “fear not”! We live, and move, and have our being in Him Who makes us “more than conquerors”!
- Where is the outrage toward Obama and John Kelly for giving the Islamic leaders of Iran billions of U.S. dollars to use against us? Let’s pray for wisdom! Foreign aid needs to be monitored!
- America is in desperate need of spiritual awakening, repentance, and return to the Biblical principles that made America great in the first place. Please pray earnestly!
- Let’s pray for God to raise up an army of bold witnesses for Jesus here in USA, and around the world!
- Praise God for the many doors God is opening for Sergei Golovin and other ministry partners in Ukraine and beyond!
- Please pray for our Father to heal both Larisa Schalbetsky and Della from head to toe, and for us to remain confident that “Father knows best”! Whatever He causes or allows works out for our own good and His glory!
- Craig Hutton’s sentencing date is January 24th, so please pray for God to heal him, forgive him, lift him from depression, and inspire him with Romans 8:28 faith for using as a prison ministry. Also pray for his mother, Caren (who is a recent widow with a farm to run) and for his brothers, Chris and Charlie, who also have health issues. Charlie had hip replacement surgery, and Chris suffered a broken neck from an accident in December 2018. He has limited use of hands and feet, plus some mobility with an electric wheelchair.
How about the following lines from the hymn, “Cleanse Me” for a New Year’s Prayer?
“Search me, O God, and know my heart today; Try me, O Savior, know my thoughts I pray; See if there be some wicked way in me. Cleanse me from every sin and set me free.Lord, take my life and make it wholly Thine. Fill my poor heart with Thy great love divine; Take all my will, my passion, self and pride; I now surrender, Lord, in me abide.O Holy Ghost, revival comes from Thee. Send a revival – start the work in me!”
What God is Doing in the Former Soviet Union Nations
Where Ukraine is the Bridge Between East and West
Following is a portion of my recent letter to Don Batton, editor of “Creation” Magazine – Rick D.
I love “Creation” magazine – and I read every issue cover to cover. Not only do I love “Creation” magazine for the excellent input, but also because I learned of Sergei Golovin’s ministry in the Fall 2000 issue. The article was entitled “Creation Crusader of the Crimea.” At that time, I was using creation evangelism for outreach in Estonia and Latvia. Since getting acquainted with Sergei, I’ve been to Ukraine 25 or 26 times, and Sergei has opened many more doors of opportunity for me. We have become good friends and co-workers in the gospel. Thank you!