german

60 Year-Old Skeptic Turned Student

At sixty, Eduard was one of the oldest graduates of the European Bible Training Center’s “Profitable Bible Study” program this year. But at the beginning of the school year, he’d had no such aspiration. In fact, he hadn’t intended to participate at all. He’d only meant to observe some classes with his daughter and figure out what this school was doing to the students in the local congregation he pastored.

“When more and more of our young people at church returned from the EBTC training center brimming with knowledge,” he explained in his graduation testimony, “I made up my mind to see for myself what the college and the teaching were all about.”

Eduard was skeptical, initially. But sitting in on the classes, his doubts gave way to the thrill of deeper study—and deeper understanding—of God’s Word. He was such an enthusiastic and dedicated “observer” that he completed all the classwork and reading, commuting hundreds of miles each month to attend the lectures. “It wasn’t an easy undertaking, considering my age,” he said, “but I was humbled by the question the Lord Jesus posed to Nicodemus, ‘Are you the teacher of Israel and yet you do not understand these things?’ (John 3:10).

Awed by the faithfulness and mercy God has shown him through his time at EBTC, Eduard has a new outlook on the importance of rigorous biblical study. “I want to encourage the young people at church to study the Scriptures, now, while they’re young. Good teaching is vital, because ‘faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ’ (Romans 10:17).

In many respects, it’s been a challenging season of growth for Eduard. “I sometimes had to question myself and the way we ‘do things’ at church simply because, being from Kazakhstan, we’ve been brought up a certain way.”

“Even so,” he affirmed, “it was good at a time like that to have someone teach me … like Priscilla and Aquila, who took aside Apollos for further instruction even after he had already been preaching for a while (Acts 18).” Eduard has formed a deep appreciation for the teachers at EBTC—not only for what they’ve taught him, but also for how they overflow with love for the Lord.

“That is, after all,” he said, “one of the most important things—not to merely accumulate head knowledge, but to grow in our love for the Lord.”

Awed by the faithfulness and mercy God has shown him through his time at EBTC, Eduard has a new outlook on the importance of rigorous biblical study. “I want to encourage the young people at church to study the Scriptures, now, while they’re young. Good teaching is vital, because ‘faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ’ (Romans 10:17). It’s nourishment for the church, so we can’t expect any growth without it!”

Eduard is exactly right. If you’re wondering what you can do to help build up the Body of Christ in Europe, supporting the European Bible Training Center is an excellent way to start. Like all TMAI training centers, EBTC equips students to be careful expositors of God’s Word and faithful servants of God’s flock. And by God’s grace, that mission is transforming the lives and ministries of men like Eduard—influencing the church in Europe for generations to come.