Russian Orphans Enjoy Fun Day

October 16 2018

Thanks to Sergey and Zhenya Zaozersky, both graduates of the OMS-founded Moscow Evangelical Christian Seminary (MECS), orphans in Vladimir, Russia, feel valued and loved. The Zaozerskys regularly visit six state orphanages in the Vladimir region where many of the kids would be forgotten if not for the ministry of the orphanages and people like the Zaozerskys ministering to them.

Sergey and Zhenya, with six kids of their own, four of whom are adopted, live what they learned at MECS. They recently treated the orphans to a trip to Vladimir for Orphan Fest, a fun carnival-like event. What a wonderful experience for these kids to enjoy being kids by eating pizza, getting their faces painted, making crafts, watching clown tricks, playing soccer, getting dance lessons, and receiving lots of prizes. Each child also receives a Bible at the end of the day.

In September, two of the sponsored orphans started school for the first time, thanks to generous OMS donors. It’s hard to imagine what would have happened to these orphans had the Lord not intervened through Sergey and Zhenya’s ministry after graduating from MECS.

This ministry shows your donations at work. The return on your investment is literally saving the lives of orphans in Russia! Thank you.

If you would like to donate to MECS today, click here.

Tags: russia, orphans, mecs, moscow seminary, graduates,

Student Minister Plants Churches in Russia

October 10 2018

Slava Pleskach (pictured far right), a scholarship recipient at the Moscow Evangelical Christian Seminary, accepted Jesus in 1990. By 1995 he had become a missionary church planter to Siberia. In 2004, Slava planted Victory of Christ Church in Yaroslavl, Russia, and most recently, he planted a church in a neighboring country, predominantly with a Muslim population.

But Slava felt he lacked training. So, in 2016, he entered the master of divinity program at the Moscow Seminary. Slava believes family is the nucleus of and vehicle for church growth. He is married to Maria, and together, they have four children. Therefore, his classes on pre-marital counseling, marriage & family, and conflict resolution have been extremely useful for him.

“Sometimes, hard things happen in ministry.” says Slava, “One year, I took a group of churched and unchurched families to a summer camp. The police came, scattered us all around, and shut the camp down. I later took a class at the seminary on church and state. I learned a lot and we have been able to have the camp every year since, with no problems whatsoever! Studying at the seminary truly helps ministry,” concludes Slava.

Slava praises the Lord and thanks you for making studies at the seminary possible for him. He, along with the other 364 students at the seminary, only pays 10 percent of the actual cost, all they can afford. The rest of the tuition is covered by generous donations.

Would you like to help student-ministers like Slava study for ministry effectiveness? You can donate here.

Tags: russia, moscow seminary, student ministers, theological education,

Russian Seminary Students Bring Big Return on Investment

October 2 2018

Meet Andrey Zhelezoglo, a scholarship recipient at the Moscow Seminary.

Andrey was born in Moldova, USSR, to a family of an underground church pastor. Andrey’s first mission was to hide the shoes under his bed of those who worshiped in the basement in case the KGB would come to inspect the house.

Andrey then became a missionary himself. As a husband, father of 5, and student at the Moscow Seminary, Andrey has planted two churches.

He believes the church must take care of the unprivileged, particularly the abandoned, addicted, and abused. Russia wins the gold in the Olympics for drinking. Vodka costs less than soda and is readily available to minors. There are over 600,000 orphans in 2,000 government-run orphanages and an estimated 1 to 5 million homeless youth. To face the challenge, Andrey has built three houses by his church: a foster family home for 16 orphans, an alcohol rehabilitation center for 12 men, and a safe house for 12 women.

It costs the seminary $1,200 a year to train student-ministers like Pastor Andrey. Your donation to students like Andrey gets you a large return on investment. Statistically, 9 out of 10 students sent to the United States to study will not return to Russia. Because you give, pastors like Andrey have a chance to study at the Moscow Seminary on a scholarship. Will you help a student like Andrey today?

I praise God and thank you for participating in proclaiming the Gospel and advancing the kingdom in Russia.

By Sasha Tsutserov, Director of Moscow Evangelical Christian Seminary

Tags: mecs, moscow seminary, russian students,

Seminary Graduate Plants Churches in Russia

August 16 2017

Ivan Beshlyaga graduated from MECS (Moscow Evangelical Christina Seminary) with a bachelor of divinity degree in 2005. He then moved to Nizhny Novgorod to plant a church. A year later, he baptized Natasha, his first convert. Natasha grew quickly in the Lord and was soon leading the worship at the new church plant. A year later, Ivan sent Sasha, the rector of MECS, a wedding invitation. He was marrying Natasha! Since then, Ivan and Natasha have had three kids and planted three churches in the area. This past year, both Ivan and Natasha graduated from the seminary: Ivan with a master of theology degree and Natasha with a bachelor of counselling degree. Ivan and Natasha have now returned to church planting in Nizhny Novgorod.

Thank God with us for the ministry of MECS, and how he is using it to prepare students to reach the people of Russia.

Tags: seminary, moscow seminary, mecs, russia, church planting,

From KGB Agent to God's Ambassador

March 30 2016

Testimony of Sasha Tsutserov

My parents were members of the Communist Party. They never spoke of God or the Bible. However, when I was five years old, my grandmother insisted that I be baptized in the Orthodox Church. This was all done in secret — miles outside of Moscow, inside a dimly lit sanctuary. Although I was young, the Holy Spirit touched a hidden yearning in my heart for spiritual reality.

Russia had lost virtually all traces of Christianity during 70 years of Communist captivity. Her legacy to me was one of atheism. I became a member of the Communist Party and secured a position in the KGB. I had a beautiful wife Natasha, a precious daughter Julia, good friends, a bright future, and all that I dreamed of as a young man.

Julia befriended an American girl whose father was a missionary in Moscow. Soon after, Natasha was engaged as their private Russian language tutor. As the head of my home and a KGB agent, I felt obligated to investigate these foreigners who had made such an impact on my family. I was awestruck by the humanitarian aid distributed by their church. And I was irresistibly drawn to their joy for life, for each other, and for the Lord. Step by step, I began to realize their generosity and joy stemmed from their love for God. At first, I gave God a 50/50 chance: since no one could prove God’s existence, then no one could deny Him either. I stepped away from my aggressively atheistic realm. Then, while praying at one of the church retreats, I had a vision. I saw God standing on the top of a mountain. I felt I was a jar of clay. God was pouring down pure gold of the Holy Spirit right inside of the jar – me. From that moment on, I needed no evidence for God’s existence, for I knew God in Jesus Christ. I came back home that day. My wife Natasha met me in the door and said, “What’s wrong with you?” I said, “What’s wrong with me, honey?” She said, “You are smiling!” You see, I had never smiled before. But that day Jesus made me smile. Now, my smile gave me away. I did not know any better than to admit that I became a Christian. She, in turn, confessed to me that she had become a Christian even earlier than I did only she was scared to death to talk about it with her husband, a KGB agent! In July 1993, I was baptized and openly proclaimed my faith in Jesus Christ.

I soon realized I could not keep both my faith and my job, so I quit working for the KGB. We – as a part of a team of ten converts – planted a church in Moscow. And I also knew God had called me to ministry in education. But there was no school in Russia offering a degree in Biblical Studies because the Communists had prohibited theological training. Therefore, I had to study abroad. In 1997, I graduated from Asbury Theological Seminary in Wilmore, Kentucky, with a Master of Divinity degree (mentored by Dr. Ben Witherington, III). In 2004, I earned a Ph.D. in New Testament at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland (mentored by Dr. Richard Bauckham). While studying, I also worked at the Moscow Evangelical Christian Seminary by consecutively taking each and every position the school had – from a secretary to the provost.

Today, I am a full-time minister - director and professor of the Moscow Seminary. We are raising a whole new generation of Christian leaders from scratch. Under Communism, more than 200,000 Christian leaders were martyred and nearly 40,000 church-owned buildings were destroyed. I now have realized a new dream. Not the dream I sought as a young man; that dream did not include God. But the dream of you and me, together, training men and women to evangelize the lost and plant churches across Russia and the former Soviet Union is becoming a reality!

~Sasha Tsutserov

To support Sasha, director and professor of Biblical Studies at the Moscow Seminary, please donate online here.

To support the ministry of MECS, you can donate online here.

Tags: mecs, moscow seminary, russia, kgb,

Russian Student Says Thanks

March 9 2016

“Thank you so very much for participating in advancing the Gospel in Russia!”

Ivan Beshlyaga is a student at Moscow Evangelical Christian Seminary (MECS) in Russia. Here’s his testimony:

“The church the Lord helped me plant in Nizhny Novgorod (a city of 1.5 million people, 250 miles East of Moscow) is doing great! Each Sunday, about 50 come to worship. We have three Sunday school classes after each service: one for kids, one for new converts, and one for those preparing for church membership and baptism. On Mondays, we have our leadership team meeting. On Tuesdays, our cell groups meet in homes. On Wednesdays through Fridays, we are devoted to our Bible school studies (to prepare church members for mission work in other towns and villages). And on Saturdays, we do our Youth Club and evangelism, (we actually do evangelism every single day of the week.)

“The seminary teaches me a lot for ministry. I am currently working on my thesis.

Natasha, my wife in purple, is now also a student at MECS, studying counseling, as well as being six months pregnant with our third daughter. I covet your prayers with her doing it all simultaneously, studying at the seminary and taking care of our family and the church. But I am excited that we will soon be able to minister together as a team.

“Our studies at the Moscow Seminary are only possible through your help, my dear coworkers in Christ. I am thankful. And I want you to know that your investment in me pays back in the form of souls of Russians being saved by Jesus Christ the Lord.”

To support Ivan and other students like him at the Moscow Seminary, click here.

Tags: moscow seminary, mecs, russia, theological training,