Chris Hindal, director of GARBC International Ministries, participated in the annual meeting of area directors of Church Ministries Institute held at the institute’s offices in Odessa, Ukraine. At the invitation of CMI Director John Taylor, ABWE missionary, Hindal joined 18 directors Oct. 5–7 to develop camaraderie, hear reports, and receive further instruction in educational processes. The purpose behind the invitation was to acquaint Chris with Church Ministries Institute and for him to consider recruiting a team of pastors from the states to come to Ukraine in fall 2012.
From its beginning in 1994, CMI, a ministry of the Association of Baptists for World Evangelism, has represented a purposeful strategic initiative to raise the Biblical literacy of Baptist churches in Ukraine and to develop lay leadership for those churches. The country is divided by region and each director is responsible to oversee the institutes in that area. Curriculum is standardized and the teachers are recruited by each area director. Chris states, “In my travels I have not seen in any other country as mature of a group of national leaders as gathered at this meeting.” He intends to pursue a trip with pastors to expose them to this dynamic endeavor and challenge them with the possibility of assisting with support.
John shared with Chris the impact of Gospel Literature Services on the ministry of CMI. GLS, part of the GARBC International Ministries, funded the printing of 10,000 copies of several titles in Russian. The institute used these books extensively, but also made them available in local bookstores on consignment. The profits from those sales were used to buy other books in the Russian language for the institute’s library. CMI has about 4,000 books in Russian, perhaps the best evangelical Russian library in the country. The entire library was made possible by Gospel Literature Services’ initial investment.
While Chris was given the opportunity to lead two studies in 1 Peter, he also was given a third session to challenge the brothers with the work of God around the world through the International Partnership of Fundamental Baptist Ministries. Several expressed their appreciation, as it opened their understanding of the breadth of the Lord’s work even in unlikely places.
The International Partnership of Fundamental Baptist Ministries, established in 1999, provides a platform where associations of independent Baptist churches can cooperate together based on doctrinal agreement, separation from apostasy, and a commitment to the Great Commission. Currently 57 partnering associations representing 18 countries and 10,000 churches are in various stages of the collaborative effort. Associations express encouragement when they discover partnering ministries with a similar focus and facing common challenges. The partnership highlights the diversity of the body of Christ connected by the worldwide missionary challenge issued by its Head, Jesus Christ.