News & articles

New EMF Missionaries

14/2/2024

EMF have crossed a threshold - 100 missionaries in 20 countries! With the latest new missionaries taken on with the blessing of the EMF trustees, the total number of current EMF missionaries has now passed the 100 landmark. One of the new missionaries, Viktorio Antonovski, is from North Macedonia, a Balkan nation – in line with our 'Lighting up the Darkness' initiative – and a country where we've not had missionaries before, taking the total number of 'EMF countries' to 20. All of this is exciting, and fills us with a sense of gratitude to the Lord for leading us to the right people at the right time, and for making it possible, through the commitment and generosity of his people, for us to support more gospel workers making disciples in more and more needy places across Europe. Andrew Birch tells us more ...

Over 100 Missionaries in 20 Countries!

 The Lord of the Church told his first followers to"pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out labourers into his harvest" (Matthew 9:38). That's one of not many specific things that we're commanded to pray for:the sending out of more gospel labourers. Why is that so important? Well, because no sending, no preaching; no preaching, no hearing; no hearing, no believing; no believing, no calling on the Lord's name; and no calling on the Lord's name, no salvation (Romans 10:13-15). In other words, no sending, no salvation!

 That's why news of new gospel workers should fill us with gratitude and expectation – gratitude, because it's a wonderful answer to our prayers; and expectation, because new gospel workers mean that more people are going to hear the gospel, and that gives us a reason to hope that the Lord is planning to save at least some of those new gospel hearers!

So, here's the news: at a meeting at the end of January the EMF trustees decided to take on two new missionary couples and a new single missionary! Let me tell you a bit about them ...

 

Kostiantyn and Kateryna Chybizov

Kostiantyn and Kateryna Chybizov

 

Kostiantyn is the lead pastor at Kyiv Bible Church (KBC) near the centre of Ukraine's capital city. KBC is a young independent reformed Baptist church with a real vision for reaching out with the gospel in Kyiv and beyond, even at a time of war and suffering.

Quite a few of their members had to move away as a result of the war, but others are already taking their place. They currently have sixty-something members, with around 100 attending on Sundays, and an encouraging number of people coming to faith and asking for baptism and church membership.

They're also training several of their members to become military chaplains, so that they can take the hope of the gospel to some of Ukraine's many thousands of frontline soldiers.

 

Samuel and Tuuli Gandi

Samuel Gandi

Samuel is originally from India and Tuuli is Finnish. They met in the Netherlands, where Samuel was studying theology and Tuuli was working. They have a nearly-one-year-old son called Joosia.

 Samuel and Tuuli are part of UCC, United Community Church, a mainly English-speaking international church in Espoo, the second most populous city in Finland (with around 300,000 inhabitants), not far to the west of Helsinki.

 UCC is a gospel-centred community of believers with a real desire to plant new churches in some of the neediest places in Finland. Samuel and Tuuli hope to be part of one of those new church-planting teams. In the meantime, they're actively involved in many areas of church life.

 

Viktorio Antonovski

Viktorio Antonovski

Viktorio, North Macedonian born and bred, went to study in the USA at the age of seventeen, and that was the Lord's plan for his salvation! Later, feeling a burden for his native country, he returned to North Macedonia, where he's been working as an engineer.

But he would rather spend his time – and his life – sharing the gospel with people, which is why, with the support of his pastor and church, he applied to EMF.

 Having a missionary in North Macedonia is a first for EMF.This Balkan country of just over two million people is incredibly needy – as in so much of Europe, lots of religion, but not much gospel! Viktorio will be continuing with his theological studies, serving alongside his pastor (Mite Goshev), and heading up the church's outreach.

 Join us in thanking the Lord for these new EMF missionaries and in praying for them, their families, and their churches, as they continue to make disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ in Ukraine, Finland, and North Macedonia!

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Prayer Points

Please pray:
  • that the Lord will provide resources for us to carry on supporting these new workers
  • for the special challenges faced by Kostiantyn and Kateryna Chybizov in the centre of Kyiv, Ukraine
  • for Samuel and Tuuli Gandi to be guided as to their future in church planting in Finland
  • that Viktorio Antonovski will receive much encouragement as he evangelises in needy Nort Macedonia.