For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.
2 Corinthians 4:17
Perestroika and glasnost were sweeping through the Soviet Union. Restructuring communism and openness in communication were changing the country in more profound ways than the leaders had anticipated.
In 1988 the 1000 year anniversary of Christianity in Russia and Ukraine was celebrated openly, something that only a few years earlier people would have thought was impossible. Baptists held public baptisms for the first time in decades.
A year later, the presbyters in Ukraine, supported by the Slavic Gospel Association, decided to start a seminary near Kiev and asked Alexei Brynza to organize it and be the first rector. Alexei, suffering from diabetes, didn’t think his health would allow him to take on this new challenge. His wife also opposed the idea, not wishing to move all the way to Kiev. Life had finally become good in Zaporozhe after all the years of struggle. There was freedom to preach and to worship, and Alexei felt that he was reaping the reward for the suffering that had gone on before. And at the age of fifty-six, and having spent his entire life in Zaporozhe, he didn’t want to move either.
Disappointed, the brothers called him nearly every week for a year with pleas to reconsider. Then Alexei attended a meeting with a speaker from America. This man told how he, his wife, and three children had moved twenty-five times, to Alaska, Africa, Indonesia, and many other places, to do the work of the Lord. Most people would be full of worry about such a life, but this man was never concerned because he trusted God.
Alexei went home and said, “Valya, my dear, let’s go to Kiev. God has convicted me. When I heard this brother I was ashamed, thinking how we are so upset about moving one time in our lives. It’s wrong to be so worried about little things. God will accompany us.”
They moved to Kiev and started the Irpin Biblical Seminary. Now in its 20th year, over 1500 men and women have been prepared for ministry and are serving in Ukraine, Russia, and many countries of the former Soviet Union.
Alexei learned that when God calls us to a task, He will go before us, preparing the way. Sometimes my reaction to God’s call is like Alexei’s: lots of reasons why it’s impossible, why I shouldn’t even try. But all of that is just a lack of faith. If God could create the universe and raise from the dead, then He surely can help me through whatever job He calls me to.
Lord, help me to trust You to smooth the path before me and accompany on whatever journey you choose to send me.