UCG Logo
Nordic / Baltic / Eastern European Newsletter
September 22 , 2011                                                                       Issue 22
In this issue  Hit Counter
Swedish Report from Paul Spenser
Norway Terror on July 22
Serving in Ukraine - by Gregory Zajac
Visiting the "Old Believers" - by Johnnie Lambert
Godlessness in Sweden

Dear Victor,


We are happy to be part of the Work that preaches the Gospel of the Kingdom of God into all the world. We have just mailed out our special Russian and Estonian supplements of the Good News -- the front covers are shown below.

Sept/Oct 2011 EstonianGN Sept/Oct 2011 Russian GN

Estonian Russian


We are also reprinting a larger quantity of the popular Sunset to Sunset - God's Sabbath Rest booklet in the Russian language. We are always happy to see the effect that Word of God has on people when they write in with their comments.


One particular one we received from "Dmytro" in Ukraine a few days ago. He thanked us for our literature, and he said that when he finished reading it, he always gave it to other people who also passed it around. He said some of them were religious, but others he gave it to who he thought only might be interested. For example, he asked us to send literature to someone in prison and to an English teacher in little village who was interested. He said he was very happy with our literature. He then asked if it was possible to get the Good News, Vertical Thought and World News in Prophecy regularly. He said he could read it in English, but he was very happy to get it in Russian.Belarus map


Another was from a woman who requested prayers from Belarus because of all the trouble in that country. She actually sent a booklet about the country and a map of Belarus with a note to pray for it as shown on the right.


"Tanya" from the Ukraine wrote to thank us for the Good News. She said she liked it and liked that there were articles and advertisements in Russian. She requested the Bible Study Course and the booklet on Revelation.


And, here's a letter from an Estonian:


"Dear friends at the Good News,


"I want to express my wholehearted thanks for The Gospel of the Kingdom booklet. I regard it as a direct answer to my long time prayers for God's Kingdom to replace Satan as the ruler of this world.


"I have entered into a thorough study of this subject. After completing the study, I will send another letter.


"In case you do not have other texts in Estonian, please send additional information in English. I read material in English and German as well as Estonian."


Our focus at this time of year turns to the fall Holy Days. The Festival of Trumpets is one week away and then we will be keeping the Feast of Tabernacles with thousands of brethren worldwide. In our part of the world, the Festival will be observed in Estonia, on the Island of Saaremaa. Visitors are coming from the United States, Germany, Sweden, Finland, Estonia and Latvia. You can visit the information site for this festival at www.kubik.org/estonia.


May God bless you at this time of year. Please don't hesitate to contact me and Johnnie Lambert in the United States or Paul Spenser in Sweden, if you have any questions. Our contact information is at the end of this newsletter. We would very much like to hear from you

In Christ's service,

Victor Kubik

Senior Pastor for the Nordic / Baltic / Eastern European Region

Swedish Report from Paul Spenser

September 3, 2011

Greetings from Mantorp, Sweden!! This past week we received our stock of the latest UCG booklet Is God a Trinity? Please feel free to order your own free copy by using the Swedish address or you can download it and our other titles at http://www.ucg.org/booklets.


Paul Spenser

Paul Spenser

In August I was able to travel to Zeist, Holland to attend a young adults Church social. There were members there from Australia, Norway, Holland, England, Italy and Germany. We went canoeing and cycling on the Thursday and Friday and then on Saturday after Sabbath services the entire congregation joined us for a barbecue, quiz and sing-a-long.


During services I gave the sermonette and reminded everyone of the wonderful promise we have of the world beyond today. We read from Isaiah 11, about the future peace that will exist between animals and mankind--how events like my daughter being bitten by a snake will no longer be a worry. This future time we anticipate especially during the Feast of Tabernacles. This year we are going to the regional site on the Island of Saaremaa.


Some have asked about the Kingdom of God seminars being held in over 150 locations around the world. At this point we are not able to host one here in Norden, but hope to make a recording of the seminars available online for those interested.


We have also started doing a booklet mail drop. Our printer made a mistake and we got 1000 free copies of "Vägen till Evigt Liv"!!!! We are trying to make good use of the extra copies.


Norway Terror on July 22

All of us were horrified upon hearing of the July 22 car bombing in Oslo that killed eight and the massacre at Utoya Island that left 69 dead. Daniel Hitsman is one of our ABC students who studied at our home office in Cincinnati, Ohio, for the past year. He was visiting back home in Oslo when the attacks occured. He wrote us the following when we asked him about what happened in Norway:


Daniel Hitsman

Daniel Hitsman

"I am doing well, thank you. I was actually on my way home from the city when the bomb went off. I live 25 minutes (driving time) away from Utoya Island, and 20 minutes away from where the bombing took place (Oslo). Then two hours later I hear reports coming in about a madman going crazy shooting people (mostly youths!) at Utoya Island.


"My heart goes out for the victims of this crime against humanity. Their families have a very difficult and hard time ahead of them. Indeed I pray God stays with them and helps them get through it."

Serving in Ukraine - by Gregory Zajac

In July, LifeNets sent me, my sister Stephanie, Oleh Kubik, his daughter Natasha and niece Heather to Vinohradiv, Ukraine. The purpose of the trip was to teach English at a children's summer day camp run by Vasil and Irina Polichko, pastor and wife of a Sabbatarian church there.

Gregory Zajac with children

Gregory Zajac with two campers celebrating at the end of a successful camp.

About 30 kids enrolled in the camp, ages 7 to 18, including children from the community as well as boys that the Polichkos, along with another couple in their congregation, have adopted. Many of the children in the program are poor or come from broken or abusive families, and the Polichkos use the camp to show these children the love of God.



I was especially eager to become involved in this project because of my Ukrainian heritage. My father's parents fled western Ukraine during World War II, at a time when the country changed hands between the Nazis and the Soviets. After the war, they immigrated to the United States in 1949. My father grew up speaking Ukrainian, and he taught the language to me and my siblings. Being able to speak some Ukrainian was a blessing when teaching classes and learning about our hosts.

Our primary responsibility at the camp was to teach English classes at the camp. One day for class, Oleh Kubik and I tried to challenge our group of a dozen or so teenage students by setting out a few flash cards with beginning English words in front of them. We reviewed the words with them, then took away some of the cards and asked them which ones were missing. We started the game with six or eight cards but soon realized that the children were strategically working together to identify the missing cards. The students were splitting up the cards so each of them only had to keep track of a few, rather than all of them. We eventually played the game with the entire deck of 60 cards. This class showed me the children's resourcefulness and ability to think creatively.


Ivan and Yuriy, foster children the Polichkos care for

Ivan and Yuriy, foster children the Polichkos care for

We also tried to incorporate lessons about Christian living in our classes, oftentimes drawing material from Bible studies the Polichkos had done with the children, or from posters about common proverbs and Bible verses.


For example, while on an afternoon excursion to an old castle in Vinohradiv, Mrs. Polichko took us on a detour to a camp of Gypsies, or Roma, near the city. The Roma and the Ukrainians have a difficult relationship, and a lot of mutual mistrust and suspicion exists between the two groups, but a Baptist evangelist recently built a church in that neighborhood. The Christian presence has produced some positive changes in the community, and Vasil and Irina were also able to establish a relationship with the Roma community by visiting their church.


We stopped our vans on a dirt road between crumbling buildings. Dozens of smiling children in tattered but bright clothing, with dark skin and bright eyes, greeted our caravan. Many of our children were confused and nervous about being there, but once some of us exited the vans the Roma children started singing a hymn for us. In return, our children sang a couple of the English praise songs that we had taught to them. That day, I saw the Polichkos loved not only their church, but also all of God's people, and they were teaching the children in the camp to do the same.


Earlier in the program, we introduced a poster in class quoting the famous scripture, "Love your neighbor as yourself," and taught the children to translate and recite it. The day after visiting the Roma camp we brought that poster out again and asked them, "Does God love the Roma?" and, "Are they our neighbors?" To these two questions the children answered, "Yes!" I was glad that we could use our classes to not only teach a few words of English, but also reinforce what the Polichkos were teaching.


I was also amazed by how God had called and blessed the Sabbath-keepers in Ukraine. Vasil Polichko's family learned about the Sabbath from studying God's Word in 1947, when he was only 10 years old. God similarly called others to do His work, and the truth spread through Ukraine despite Soviet persecution that forced Sabbatarians to worship in secret. Today, there are Sabbath keepers all across Ukraine, and the largest congregation has over 200 members.

Shortly after the fall of the Soviet Union, Sabbatarians from America traveled to Ukraine to establish contact with the Sabbath-keeping groups there. Today, the relationship continues, and one of the ways LifeNets assists Sabbath-keepers in the region is by coordinating volunteers to help in the Polichkos' camp.


God did not call the Ukrainians through my church, the United Church of God, or our evangelizing efforts. He called them Himself. I learned that God can miraculously call anyone to learn His truth, share it with others and prepare themselves for service in His Kingdom.


I learned that even though God can do anything Himself, He also chooses to use His people to do His work. On my first Sabbath in Ukraine, a member enthusiastically handed me several copies of literature their church distributes. I looked over the stack he gave me and recognized it as the United Church of God Bible Study Course and two of our booklets translated into Russian. I asked the member if there was anything they learned from UCG's literature. He replied that they learned about the Holy Days and that they now keep them.


His answer made me smile. God called us to the knowledge of His Sabbath independently, and while we might not be directly affiliated, God chose to use us to teach and edify one another from thousands of miles away. God's work truly is amazing, and it was a blessing to witness it.

Visiting the "Old Believers" - by Johnnie Lambert
Following the Elmira, New York, church picnic, I arrived in Tartu, Estonia, on August 8 to prepare the Eastern European mailing for the subsequent three months. In Estonia, it still seemed like "The Lazy Hazy Days of Summer." My friends Imbi and Andrus offered to help with the mailing. One thing led to another.


Imbi took me to the Turg (local farmer's market) to show me the Estonian produce and to encourage me to "Buy Estonian." At the Turg, onions were prolific; Imbi recommended them. Coming from the region of the USA where Vidalia onions are grown, I was skeptical. These onions were the equal of any I had ever eaten anywhere. I knew that such tasty sweet onions require special soil. Imbi said yes, they are grown by "The Old Believers" on the shores of Lake Peipsi. These Old Believers had fled from religious persecution in Russia to the Estonian side of the lake several hundred years before. They had survived there by growing onions and fishing.


Information Center Onions

Information Center Onions at Roadside Stand


Imbi and Andrus volunteered to take me there when we finished the mailing. On August 29, we visited the Old Believers and ate at a famous restaurant there named "The Onion Restaurant." These Old Believers are a sub-group from the Russian Orthodox Church; we in the Sabbath-keeping Churches of God have very little in common with them as far as our beliefs are concerned. It was an enjoyable day spent learning about a different group of people.


While they could not realize who we are, as we left the shores of Peipsi Lake, we could not resist the temptation to feel like they were the ones who had met the true "Old Believers."


Flat Tire Imbi at the Onion Restaurant

Flat Tire Imbi at the Onion Restaurant


Swedish Godlessness
The Christian Science Monitor wrote an insightful article about the deplorable spiritual state of the Swedish people. Nearly three-quarters of Sweden's population of 9.4 million continue to belong to what was long the official state church of this Nordic nation, according to a recent survey. Yet only 15 percent of the members say they believe in Jesus, and an equal percentage do not even believe that God exists.

You can read the entire July 29, 2011 article by following the link below.



There is a lot of work to be done in reaching the people of Sweden with the Gospel of the Kingdom of God!

Join Our Mailing List
Quick Links...

Contact Information

Victor Kubik
3707 Turfway Ct.
Indianapolis, IN 46228
phone: 001 317 216-0802
mobile/sms: 001 317 679-7676
email: victor_kubik@ucg.org

Johnnie Lambert
562 Sing Sing Road
Horseheads, NY 14845
phone: 001 607 796-2660
mobile: 001 607 765-1969
email: jlambert49@gmail.com
Paul Spenser
Stensätter, Dragestad
59017 Mantorp
phone: +46 (142) 10340
email: paulcspenser@yahoo.co.uk
This email was sent to vic@kubik.org by victor_kubik@ucg.org |
Instant removal with SafeUnsubscribe| Privacy Policy.
United Church of God | 555 TechneCenter Drive | Milford | OH | 45150