Graduated Students ▼
Pastor Kovyk Ihor Antonovych
When we go to a photographer, he tries to have bright light for the purpose of getting a quality picture. Jesus Christ said: “I am light for the world.” He sees us from inside, the way we really are. The Seminary teaches us to look at people from different angles, so that we would be able to make right decisions in solving their problems. Ternopil Bible Seminary taught me to stand on the firm foundation of the Word of God and unfailing biblical doctrines. Since the year 2001 I have pastor’s ministry in the church of Khmelivka village of Ternopil region. Ternopil Bible Seminary is a guidebook for me in my work.
On October 3, year 2004 at Ternopil Pentecostal church there was conducted solemn event of diploma presentation to the graduates of Ternopil Bible Seminary. This day was preceded by the hard road of studying. Seminary rector Vitaliy Varenytsya compared work of students to the work of warriors who are attacking “hill country that the Lord promised that day… the Anakites were there and their cities were large and fortified” (Jos. 14:12)
Our giants were laziness, unwillingness to write essays, distraction by side things. But we have overcome these giants and gained “hill places”.
I will remember this day till the end of my life.
I was born in 1964 in Ternopil area. In the year 1981 I graduated from secondary school, later completed professional-technical school. For two years I served in the army. Later worked as a gas-electric welder.
What brought me to studying? In October 1994 I came to God. In the Gospel of Mathew 6:6 there are written the words of Jesus Christ: “When you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father.” I knelt down in the locked room of the hostel where I lived at that time with my family, and in repentance was asking Jesus Christ to forgive my sins. Then one Sunday I repented in the Church before the whole congregation and the whole church prayed for me.
In the year 1996 pastor Tereshchenko commissioned me to work with people who were in prison. I was responding to their letters which they sent to our church from different ends of our country. Sent them New Testaments, shared how to come to God, how Jesus taught us to pray. Also sent them things, such as clothing, shoes, things of personal hygiene. My dream was to come the place of their imprisonment and preach the Word of God there. My dream came true in the year 1997 when deacons Petro Androshchuk and Bogdan Skotsen’ took me to Kopychyntsi prison. There I preached for the first time in my life. Next time I preached in the church of Chortkiv town where Oleg Sagan is a pastor. Later I was given opportunity to preach in the church in Ternopil city, on Kvitova str., 19.
In the year 1998 together with my friend Igor Repeta who at that time graduated from the Seminary we started the work in Velykiy Khodachkiv village of Kozivskiy district. Four people from this village came to God and received water baptism.
I felt that I lacked knowledge. Each step in the church was a step of experience but I still did not understand a lot of things. Brother Igor Repeta has always been encouragement and blessing for me. He often told me: “Go study at the Seminary; you would not even notice when the study period is over.”
I began praying for the education and asked God to open doors for that. Ministers and my wife agreed to that and on September 1999 I was accepted to the Seminary.
I was called to study at the Seminary by the following things:
1. Lack of Bible knowledge.
2. Desire to broaden my range of vision.
3. Desire to learn how to carry the Word of God to people.
In the year 2001 I was offered deacon’s ministry in the Church. I prayed and asked God to reveal me His will concerning me, and I received the answer through the Bible. In the book of prophet Jeremiah 13:25 it is written: “This is your lot, the portion I have decreed for, declares the Lord.” Through the sermon of brother Petro Kravchuk God spoke to me, saying: “If you refused, you would not have blessing.” And I gave my consent.
I’ve been having deacon’s ministry for half-a-year when I was offered pastor’s ministry in Khmelivka village of Terebovlyanskiy district. And again I was asking God: “Should I give my consent to pastor’s ministry?” That wa in the year 2001 and at that time at the Seminary we were taking a course “Knowing God”. One of the subjects was “To know how God acts.” The basis for this subject was a place from the Gospel of Luke 19:1-10. Jesus walked through the crowd, looking where His Father works. He came out from the crowd and said: “Zacchaeus, come down immediately. I must stay at your house today.” What happened? Jesus saw His Father working in the heart of Zacchaeus, and He joined to that work. Salvation came to the house of Zacchaeus as a result of God’s work in his heart.
Learning this course, I felt God’s calling to pastor’s ministry. God spoke to me through my study at the Seminary. I started working in the church of Khmelivka village together with my wife and daughters. We founded Sunday school for children and organized praise-and-worship group. We conducted evangelism services in the neighboring villages, dispersed New Testaments.
For two summers we conducted Christian camps for children together with the church of Terebovlya town. This summer we experienced great blessing from God in the camp and I witnessed God working in children.
Testimony of participant of that camp – Rak Olesya (13 years): “From this camp I remember most of all Wednesday, June 30, year 2004. On that evening I repented in my sins. I thank God very much for forgiving my sins and cleansing my heart. Peace and calmness have come into my life.”
We have heard lots of such testimonies and I understood that God the Father is working in children’s hearts and He wants us to join in this work. I have learned at the Seminary how to work with youth. I was encouraged in this by Katrina Humeniuk, vice-president and teacher of the Seminary. At present time I cannot imagine my ministry without studying. Ministry and study are like two sculls in the boat I was floating in for the course of five years.
I would like to give advice to the present and future students of the Seminary. Study while you have such an opportunity, be faithful in your studying and God will sure call you to work where you will be using the knowledge gained. And this knowledge will never be unnecessary for you.
© 2006 Ternopil Biblical Seminary
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