Kindness Foundation representatives recently returned from Ukraine where they co-hosted an international conference on the future of Christian-based education in the Ukraine with the Ukrainian Department of Education and Academy of Education. The conference was held amidst major political and economic turmoil. Despite all this, education representatives from almost all regions of Ukraine attended, and the conference was immensely successful. High-level government officials addressed the subject of Christian-based education and a resolution was reached to continue using Christian morals and ethics as the base for teaching culture and tolerance, and implementing innovative teaching practices.
The conference was also an opportunity for all our CERC directors to participate in planning sessions where they were able to give reports on their activities and express their needs. The directors reported that Christian morals and ethics are in high demand with students and parents. This poses a greater need for more teacher training and the continuing provision of Christian education programs. However, the overwhelming theme of each report given by the CERC directors and the representatives from the Department of Education was the need for more Bibles.
To date, we are praying for 6,000 to 7,000 Bibles for the education system in Russia and Ukraine. We are asking for your prayers and financial suport to help us reach this goal. Every dollar helps buy one more Bible for a student to study from and keep for a lifetime. There is no greater contribution we could make to tomorrow’s society than giving the Bible to students today.
Fond Dobro (Kindness Foundation), a Ukranian based organization established by Ukrainian educators, has been working in Ukraine since 2000. Fond Dobro has provided infrastructure and assistance for Ukraine in bringing Christian morals and ethics into the governmental education system.
The Lord has been gracious to us and has opened the doors in all regions of Ukraine. In spite of all the political, social, and financial instability these countries have been encountering, the need for Christian morals and ethics, provided through governmental education system, continues to grow.
Fond Dobro has written agreements with the Ukrainian Department of education, at federal and regional levels. Fond Dobro has established a system of Christian Education Resource Centers (CERCs) in seven regions in Ukraine. CERCs are established together with the Education System of Ukraine on the Education System’s property. Usually, it is a “Youth Palace” where, from three to seven thousand students engage in extra-curricular activities each week.
The most common question that we are asked during training seminars, where we train teachers to teach children about Christianity, is, “How can we teach the Bible without having one?” It is true that providing Bibles to teachers and students is an ongoing need that we have yet to fully meet.
Once the CERC is established, the training of public School teachers is carried out at the facilities provided by the palace. This is where the Bibles will be shipped to, and received and signed for by officials. Once the Bibles are in place, every school then submits the number of Bibles they require. If the Bibles are available, the school representative will come and receive the Bibles, and sign for them. Distribution takes place at the school where the students and teachers will receive a Bible.
We are sincerely praying that the Lord will grant us His grace to provide much needed Bibles for the Education System in Russia and Ukraine.
For the last 13 years, students from the United States, Canada, and Australia have been visiting Russia and the Ukraine to participate in summer camps attended by Russian and Ukrainian students, aged 10 to 18 years. The camps are sponsored by the governmental Departments of Education. The administration invites Kindness International to come to the camp for a cultural exchange to share how the Bible has impacted their lives.
In 2012, the Kindness Foundation is again inviting American students to participate in this program. This year’s camp will be in Vladimir, Russia, and will take place during the 2nd and 3rd week of July. Our students will have the opportunity to share their faith with the Russian and Ukrainian campers, as well as hand out Bibles to people who have never even touched one before.
A Former Camper Says:
"We will get to reach out to students that has previously had little contact with the gospel. Because we will be going through the educational system, the possibilities are endless. David was a man after God’s own heart. And this is God’s heart: ‘not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.’ We have to have a heart set after God’s own heart. Yahweh, how is my heart?"
Regional children’s art competitions were organized by the Russian Kindness Foundation and the Russian Department and Ministry of Education, and held during the Christmas holidays in January 2011 and Easter holidays in April 2011. The name of the competition was “Wellsprings of Kindness,” with three themes the students could choose from for their artwork: 1) “Celebrate the Christmas;” 2) “Holy Easter (Let’s Walk through the Bible: Proverbs, Commandments, and Bible Stories)”; and 3) “Remember our Veterans.”
Twenty-six Russian states took part in this competition, with children from seven to sixteen years old submitting artwork. In the centers located in Vladimir, Ivanova, Zelenograd, and Somara, the children who won the competitions received Bibles as prizes.
All other CERCs in Russia also held competitions and celebrated Christmas and Easter, but the winners of these competitions did not receive prizes because we were out of Bibles. These students are still waiting for their prize Bibles.
In the Ukraine, CERCs also celebrated Christmas and Easter and held art competitions, organized by the Ukrainian Federal Ministry of Education and the Ukrainian Kindness Foundation. The results of the com-petitions were published in the Ukrainian Eternal Word magazine.
Through these competitions we had enough Bibles to give out only 54 for each region. As in Russia, there are more students who were supposed to receive prizes, but we were out of Bibles. They are still waiting for their prize Bibles.
All the winners of the competitions received special thank you letters from the Russian Department of Education and Kindness Russia, and the Ukrainian Department of Education and Ukrainian Kindness, but many did not re-ceive Bibles.
Forty-six students, winners of the competition, received Bibles as prizes and thank you letters from Kindness Foundation, Dept. of Education of Russia, and Ministry of Education of Russia. Their names were published in Eternal Word magazine issue 1-2, as well as photos of their pictures. A final report of the competition was also published in the Eternal Word magazine in Russia for the Russian competition and the Eternal Word Ukraine for the Ukrainian competition. Information will also be posted on the Russian and Ukrainian websites.
CLICK HERE TO VIEW SOME OF THE BIBLICAL ART SUBMITTED BY STUDENTS FROM RUSSIA AND UKRAINE AS A RESULT OF STUDYING BIBLES SPONSORED BY THE KINDNESS FOUNDATION.
Catalog of Art