Will God give us to meet on the earth again?

I’ve been living in a small town in the west of Ukraine with his wife and five of our children already for eight months. We rent a house with no amenities on a quiet street of the town. We arrived here in September 2014, when the Russian-Ukrainian war came right up to the town where we lived and where we had started a small Bible Church "Word of Truth". It grew out of the home group into an independent church, and wherein I had the honor to serve as pastor. Our church consisted of seven two-parent families, the women and twenty minors.

We began an independent path as a church in July 2013, but when the Russian troops defeated the border of Novoazovsk and approached the city with tanks and multiple rocket launchers, most of us decided to leave the city. It was a very difficult decision, our children cryed, saying, "What about the church?" We tryed to reassure them by saying that we were going together with the church. We were accepted by the church "Community of the Good Shepherd", Rovno and the church "Spring of Life", Zdolbunov. Members of churches settled us in a country base, and together with the inhabitants of the nearby village provided us with food, visited us, comforted and supported us.

Two weeks later, some of us went home with the hope that the city will remain intact, and some could not go back, because it is very difficult for large families to travel for such a long distance taking basic necessities with them. Our family was among the last. For those who remained, the church helped to find housing, work, communication, physical and spiritual care. Alexander Kalinskiy, Taras Prystupa, and other brothers and sisters actively helped us to go through this difficult period in life.

For me and my wife Victoria this time was particularly difficult, not only because we had to leave our usual way of life, our house, estate, to some extent, our favorite ministry, but also because of a high tension that emerged in our small friendly church. Those who remained in Rivne region, considered those who went back had made a frivolous decision, although the situation had not changed. Those who went back, considered those who decided to stay had made a wrong decision, especially my family and me as acting pastor.

When the outskirts of Mariupol were bombarded - the tension subsided somewhat, it was more understanding, but we still had a hard time of uncertainty and worries about bodies and souls of people, who had come back to close proximity of the front line.

At this time we have found a great relief in service, which is associated with the same immigrants as we are. Brothers invited me to join in the work of the IPO "Hope to people" in the department of assistance internally-displaced persons. The work involves caring about the housing of settlers, who drew attention of the Mission, assistance in obtaining documents, assistance in finding apartments, in the arrangement of housing and living conditions, and most importantly - the preaching of the Gospel and the biblical explanation of the reasons and objectives of what is happening in the country. We are pointing on Christ and new perspectives of celestial scale, as well as just being friends to those people.

This work has become a great blessing for me, it inspires and delights. It allows me to communicate with people, who are going through a lot harder times than me, because they have no Christ, no hope, no church, no eternal home in heaven, from which they will never have to run away.

From time to time we arrange meetings with settlers. Once, we went to the countryside base where invited unbelieving friends and relatives of migrants. On the Holy Trinity, together with the Community of the Good Shepherd, we are planning to do a similar trip again, perhaps with more migrants.

It is also gratifying to help those who drive up from or and other churches. Now it's also a part of my job. A week before the arrival of Zabolotnev family I and Misha Catela could prepare a house for them and another unbelieving family from Mariupol. We negotiated with people to accept them for the first time, until they would be able to enter their homes.

...And it all started in Northern Kazakhstan in fierce winter of 1975. I was born in a family of the Baptist Church deacon in Tselinograd, the ninth child in the family. My parents, God-fearing people, from childhood wanted to devote us to the Lord. My name Stanislav was nursed by my father longer, than I was in the womb of my mother. For him, this name sounded differently. "Rise and praise!" - he heard in the name. As a child I did not attach any importance to this (I was even shy and did not like my name), but later it became dear to me as my parents' blessing.

Formation of my life philosophy occurred on the background of the religious life of our family and entourage, which consisted mainlyof the same big families. My father was a very sociable person and our house was distinguished with hospitality. For me life out of the church community was totally unacceptable and alien, I have never had any friends outside the Christian families, but in the circle of church kids I felt in my element.

However, by the time when, according to the unwritten rules of traditional believers, teenagers were baptized, I for a while lagged behind my peers, because I was plagued by internal contradictions. In my heart I knew that baptism is a confirmation of irrevocable dedication of my life to the Lord. At the same time I have seen a number of baptized, who has remained dedicated to their more earthly interests rather than to God. Disgusted by this state and being almost sure that I would become the same, I did not want to accept baptism.

However, when I was 17 years old I made a decision. I started to spend more time reading the Bible, praying regularly, and in 1993 I was baptized. On the day of my baptism, I took my bicycle and went out of town, where I sincerely asked God to make me a "real" Christian. About half a year, I stayed in a state of spiritual tension, with all my forces trying to flee youthful lusts, and conform to the standards of Christian morality. But soon I run out of strength and, admiting my inability to "keep God's bar," started to live external religious life. My secret sins kept me from being actively involved in the life of the Christian youth, that's why my church life confined only to singing in the choir. Sometimes I made desperate attempts to get out of this miserable state, but after a short period of time everything fell back into place throwing me into despair and doubt of the effectiveness of the Gospel.

In 1995, after college, I left home and moved to my brother in Ukraine, in order to avoid military service. By that time in Ukraine was organised the alternative military service for the believers. However, I wasn't accepted to the service, because I did not have Ukrainian citizenship, and when I got it, my family had already had two children, and I was sent "in reserve".

In 1996, I married a sweet, modest girl, who was from a family that had come to church with a wave of the early 90-ies. We lived "in perfect harmony" increasingly seeing the meaning of life in the family fortune. God gave us the kids, but we did not have the inner experience for their holistic education. I saw my responsibility solely to provide my family financially. I repeatedly said to my wife that before God "everyone is for himself", taking out my responsibility for her soul. On the surface, our family was not much different from the families of our peers. And although we visited churche services not more than once a week, sometimes I preached and, taking into consideration my christian-family origin and the authority of my older brother, who had already been a deacon of the church, in 2000 I was ordained to the ministry of the deacon in a traditional Baptist church.

When I came to Ukraine, I was impressed by the contrast, between the church of my childhood, and the one I got in. The first church had very strict rules, everything was orderly: service, property, accountability, subordination. Only members of the church could participate in the ministry. Being the ordained minister was a very great honor, and the selection of candidates was carried out very carefully and meticulously. Adults and children in the church looked strictly "religious": strict hairstyle, strict clothes, even the strict order of how people seated at the meeting (a separate women's and men's side, boys on the first benches on the right side of the hall, girls - on the left).

But in the new church everything was different. Everywhere there was an element of chaos and disorganization. The church had parishioner character, where people knew each other only a little, and had a little interest to each other. A few small groups lived their own lives, in each of them could be their theology and their own strategy and purpose. On the other hand, it was very easy to integrate into any activity in the church. In order to participate in some service you needed only have a desire, it did not matter whether you were a member of the church and whether you wanted to be. This contrast was so sharp that very quickly I lost the respect for the authority of the church. When I was offered the ministry of the deacon, I made a half-hearted attempt to object, citing my refusal to immaturity of the character, but it was regarded as modesty, worthy of praise, and I was ordained to the ministry. I was unhappy with the state of my heart, but I hoped that the ministry will discipline me and make my Christian life more stable. Along with the ordination, I came upon a book V. Ni "Normal Christian life." Earnestly holding the assigned service in the suburb in the group of new Christians, and plunging into thoughts of the Chinese theologian, I accepted the idea that the secret of Christian success was in a special faith and a special state in Christ. The main thing wasto believe! We need to stop doing something, stop trying to do something, and just to believe. And I began to believe the best I could. I realized that calling myself a sinner - is disbelief, and if you believe enough, you are a new person, the transformation and success will come into your life by themselves. Any attempts to discipline yourself are contrary to the life of faith. I believed so, and I taught those entrusted to me so. Books such as the Epistle of James, or Proverbs had become for me almost "non-canonical". They just did not fit into my theology. I grew in my eyes, as a preacher, who passes the truth in church, but my inner life had become more miserable, and I saw it. I was sick of myself, of my ministry, calls "believe in their newness" sounded less convincing tone from my mouth, I was more confused with texts of practical apostolic instructions.

May 8, 2004, God spoke to me seriously. I worked as a taxidriver on my car and at 22 o'clock on the outskirts of the city I was tried to kill. Two young men had planned the attack in advance for profit. I have received six strokes with a hammer on the head from the seating behind man (against shocks in two places skull bone broke down), and I was stabbed in the chest by sitting next to me. Later, from the case, I learned that he wanted to strike me again, but I kicked the knife out of his hand and he could not find it under the seat in a dark saloon of the car. The guys were very inexperienced in the business, and God, as always, proved to be a master in the implementation of His plans. He scared the attackers, that I was able to take the radio and to signal SOS, which no one took, and there was nothing to be afraid of. However, "my heroes" did not understand that and run away. I drove myself home thinking of the way how not to scare my dear wife Victoria, who was pregnant with the fourth child.

Then the hospital... Emergency room, where a nurse appeared to be my neighbor, she raised on "ears" all the department. X-ray room, instructions not to move... and no more I could remember before waking up in the intensive care unit. While I was fast asleep, it took many operations, I was all cut and bandaged... Doctors sutured a lung and artery, did an audit of the abdominal cavity, all that time I was under anesthesia. In the morning they brought a neurosurgeon, and it was necessary to do the following operation. It was a very dangerous moment, because when surguries are done one after the other anesthetic dosage of medication is almost impossible to calculate, and the patient can no longer wake up. But, by God's decision, I still woke up. Dragged long days in the hospital... It was so much time to think... My surgeon told me that the knife went through a lung, artery, and did not reach the liver just for two millimeters, going through which the hit would be fatal for me. The neurosurgeon told that my skull in the temple resembled slaw. Later, he would tell me that I had a very strong Intercessor. Yes, God has revealed His glory and the power by giving me healing. One nurse in the clinic after she has seen me, it was several months after the injury, called her friend to show the taxi driver who was killed.

About two years God through the church, friends and relatives provided us financially. During this time I had two more surgeries, doctors "patched" breaks in the skull. I hoped that after all was gone, my life would change, but soon I realized that the hammer can not make me spiritually alive. For this you need a hammer blow of God's word. Gradually, everything was back on track, and I was even more mired in my secret sins. However, I still continued to preach to all the same arguments on the subject of faith, rather than to preach the Scriptures. God in my sermons was always loving and never angry, because all His anger was BC, in the times of the Old Testament. So it took another five years of my life.

I became stale and unable to change. Any sermon that somehow rebuke me, was immediately rejected, because the preacher wanted to destroy my strong belief in God's grace, as I thought. Many members of the church liked my sermons, they often made compliments, and it claimed me even more in my state. In 2007, I was given a CD with sermons of Alex Kolomiytsev. It was written on the CD: "The word of grace." As I saw myself as an expert in matters of grace, I just threw it in a drawer, never turning on. I was proud of the fact that sometimes someone recorded my sermons. Discs with my sermons meant for me much more than "some Kolomiytsev." His CD was lain among others, never illuminated with the readout laser beam. I have not read the Bible, I prepared sermons during the service, since I was put rare on the first sermon. We didn't have family prayers, we didn't raise children in the Scripture, because we did not live in it ourselves. My whole life was in in work (I was engaged in entrepreneurial activities), in the Internet and in watching TV. The village where I ministered, I visited once a fortnight, and then back home to television, the Internet, and work.

In November 2009, a brother from Tajikistan came to our church. He talked about what Christianity became nowadays. He said that many churches can not be called the bride of Christ because they did not keep loyalty and love to the Heavenly Bridegroom. After his sermon many of those sitting in the hall came on repentance. I certainly was not going to go anywhere, but it was very hard. My pride was badly hurt. I saw a preacher who preached better than me. I realized that even if I wanted, I could not controll the audience in such a way. Most of all I was hurt, that one of the first who came to repentance, were admirers of my preaching. I was sick until the evening, and I decided to listen to Him again on the youth ministry, where I went only because of him (two meetings for Sunday were "too much" for me). I picked up a non-believer guy with me. In the evening preaching something touched me even more than in the morning. He said the following sentence, which was addressed to me personally, "Maybe God got you out of the grave, and in your life nothing has changed? - Then it is the lost blessing. " This was the point. I had to admit two facts: I was pulled from the tomb, I had no changes.

For the whole week I toiled. A week later, God strengthened His pressure on me through one terrible fact. In the village where I was an "unfortunate servant" one member of the Church hanged, to whom with his life, I never dared to say that drunkards will not inherit the kingdom of God (but the guilt I saw later). I conducted the funeral and thought... God dealt a blow by blow on my pride. Another week passed. That week was a turning point, I knelt in solitude. It didn't have place in my life for many years. I opened the Bible and, lo and behold! It spoke to me. I read with delight from the first epistle of John, that God Himself is calling me from my miserable, worthless life in fellowship with Him - Eternal, the Unoriginate, the Almighty.

On Sunday, I had to preach in church. The night before that I almost did not sleep. I knew that I could not preach as before. My word was a brief confession in front of the church and the renunciation of the past life. I told them about what God makes to me, that I had promised to devote Him every moment of my life, that I begged Him not to let me continue to go to the pulpit for idle chatter. I called the church to witness between me and God. And God began to do wonders. One of the young converted brothers sent me on the phone a couple of sermons of A. Kolomiytsev. One was on the Matthew, 16 (I called it "To save or to lose the soul"), the other was, in my opinion, about humancentrism. He persuaded me to listen to them. Thus, God has provided my soul with "remote pastoral care." God began to reveal to me my condition through this man of God. Sphere after sphere He showed me what I looked like. At times it seemed that this was happening not with me. I remember the moment, I stopped the car and asked the Lord: "God, is it a dream? Have I not lost my mind?" The whole world, and I myself was turning over in my mind! I've never seen all this. Sin has become so terrible, and the grace and power of God have become so necessary that I could not imagine a life outside of communion with God. I saw my wife and my children were sent to death with my negligence and irresponsibility. I saw that the church was for me only an object of ridicule and criticism. I saw with horror what "my teaching" did to believers who listened to me. When I was home alone (my wife was in the hospital, and the children were with her mother) I just screamed, crying to God to have mercy on me. I cried, I begged the Lord to all the "free" angels were my witnesses, that I renounce that life and that "parody" of Christian life, of hypocrisy and self-conceit I'd had. Since then, life has begun. It was sometimes unbearably difficult and sometimes infinitely happy. I through out packs of CDs from my house, cleaned the computer and the phone memory. I asked for forgiveness from his wife and children. I told my business companion, that there is no longer the old Stas. He was surprised. He thought that I was a believer. I told my friends how God had "formated my hard drive." Some of them turned away from me. I asked for forgiveness from the elders of the church for scolding and puting into nothing them constantly "behind their backs". My heart desired to serve. I changed the contract with my partner, having lost in money and winning time. It shocked him. My wife sometimes did not believe that this was serious, sometimes she felt unbearable (especially when I crossed out my former life with the word "sin" with a bold line), but God worked with her heart too. Little by little, she has also become an active listener of Pastor Alexey's sermons, she started to respect the processes which were going on with my personality. Children were watching, experiencing, geting used to the new way of life in which everyone had to discipline theirselves and to submit to God.

My ministry and preaching have become quite different. I was thrown from the permissiveness for tough demands concerning myself and others, but gradually, more and more I realized that none of these extremes does not correspond to God's character, and I need to be afraid both one and the other.

Merciful and Patient Lord continued to work on my formation in 2010. He has given me the grace to become a student at the School of Bible Preaching in Rovno. This study was a huge blessing, thanks to its program and focus on working with each student's heart. Each session has contributed more order in my thinking and life. In 2013 we started the church "Word of Truth", in July 2014 celebrated its anniversary, in September the front line came to our city and we went to the city of Rovoe. Our church has existed for only one year. It was the happiest year of my life. That year our oldest son Mark was baptized, we had a great general church camp on the shores of the sea, we went on a retreat with the brothers, we are constantly meeting for study Bible and fine books... It was a foretaste of heaven... Will God give us to meet on the earth again? He is God. He is to solve it. And our task is to worship Him and praise Him in all circumstances.

Stanislav Kolpakov

Pray for:

Pray about the situation in eastern Ukraine;

Pray for wisdom and fear of God for the new government in Ukraine;

• Pray for God's mercy for the whole Ukrainian people;

Pray for the situation in Ukraine to solve the conflict in a peaceful way;

• Thank God for the blessings of holding Christian camps, excursions, and trips throughout the summer in different cities of Ukraine 

• About missionary work among Muslims in Central Asia and among Crimean Tatars in Ukraine;

• About the orphans ministry and graduates of orphanages in Rivne region;

• About preaching the gospel to the Christian teachers through the pedagogical magazine “Word to the Teacher”;

• About the students of Rivne Bible College and the School of Biblical preaching “Word of Grace” so that they can apply their knowledge in their churches.

Latest update:

Information and Prayer Newsletter №11-12 / 2019

Written By Publisher on Tuesday, 21 January 2020 16:38

Christmas LOST Youth Camp

Written By Publisher on Thursday, 16 January 2020 16:08

Do We Have Time For Prayer?

Written By Publisher on Thursday, 21 November 2019 14:01

Information and Prayer Newsletter №10/2019

Written By Publisher on Monday, 18 November 2019 11:16

Summertime in a Floor Hockey-like Manner

Written By Publisher on Wednesday, 06 November 2019 08:34

Marriage is a relationship that needs to be preserved and developed

Written By Publisher on Thursday, 24 October 2019 16:05

News about Ministry of the Christian Mission Hope to People №8, 2019

Written By Publisher on Wednesday, 02 October 2019 13:30

Information and Prayer Leaflet № 7, 2019

Written By Publisher on Wednesday, 02 October 2019 11:08

Jubilee of Christian Soccer Club Nadia

Written By Publisher on Monday, 23 September 2019 14:40

Visual Street Evangelization

Written By Publisher on Tuesday, 10 September 2019 08:43

News from the regions

In the center of God's miracles

Written By Publisher on Thursday, 29 June 2017 11:59
In the center of God's miracles

Peace to you! Thank you for supporting us prayerfully during our trip.

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God’s Miracles in Armenia

Written By Publisher on Thursday, 02 March 2017 16:27
God’s Miracles in Armenia

Kurds-Yazidis is one of the least reached Bibleless people group in the whole modern world. Practicing the ancient religion of their ancestors, they worship idols, and the chief one is...

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The pastor’s anointment at church “Light of the Gospel”, Kizil

Written By Администратор сайта on Friday, 08 February 2013 12:57

In October 2012, brother Victor Zagvozdkin was anointed to be pastor in the church “Light of the Gospel”, Kizil. Taras and Nadezhda Prystupa (Rivne, Ukraine), as well as Aleksandr Degtarov...

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Social News

Christmas LOST Youth Camp

Written By Publisher on Thursday, 16 January 2020 16:08
Christmas LOST Youth Camp

We thank God that in early January, by His grace, we managed to hold the Christmas LOSTyouth camp at the base in Zalesye, Rivne region.

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Summertime in a Floor Hockey-like Manner

Written By Publisher on Wednesday, 06 November 2019 08:34
Summertime in a Floor Hockey-like Manner

Although summer is a time of vacations and rest not only from school but also from playing floor hockey games. But we, meaning our Christian floor hockey team SKY, tried...

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Jubilee of Christian Soccer Club Nadia

Written By Publisher on Monday, 23 September 2019 14:40
Jubilee of Christian Soccer Club Nadia

Christian Soccer Club Nadia has celebrated its 15th anniversary in September.

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Education News

“A Word to the Teacher”: Edition of Love

Written By Publisher on Monday, 20 May 2019 12:56
“A Word to the Teacher”: Edition of Love

The second issue of our magazine, which is devoted to the topic of love in the context of the family and in the light of the Bible, has finally come...

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Easter holiday in the boarding school

Written By Publisher on Thursday, 02 May 2019 19:56
Easter holiday in the boarding school

Klevan boarding school for children with visual impairments hosted an Easter educational event.

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Young Bible Experts – 2019

Written By Publisher on Friday, 26 April 2019 15:48
Young Bible Experts – 2019

Our employees took part in the XII All-Ukrainian Young Bible Experts Olympiad, which was held at the National University Ostroh Academy.

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phone: ++380 63 79 66

fax: ++380 63 79 76

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