January 6th, 2014 began a new chapter in so many young lives that arrived to Jacksonville, Florida from all over the United States, Germany and even Latvia. We had students driving, flying and even taking the train from Massachusetts, Washington, California, Missouri, Colorado, Alaska, New York and so much more, a total of 3 different counties, 23 states, 49 cities and 50 different churches. They all come with many hopes and desires, to grow closer in their relationship with Christ, to study His word and to make a difference in this world.
With a lengthy orientation the previous night, we were pleased to see our students early in the classroom, ready and committed and excited to begin this new day. Our day began with breakfast at 8am, followed by prayer in the main sanctuary. After all the announcements have been made, our first lecture began at 10 am.
The first teacher of the year was Dr. Roman Sheremeta, a professor at Case Western Reserve University. He has a passion for Apologetics, teaching young people how to defend their faith using knowledge and reason. This is a timely topic for our students first week of school as we read in 1 Peter 3:15 to always be ready to give a defense to anyone who asks for a reason for the hope that is in us.
From 12:50pm to 1:40pm the students have their lunch break, where they have time to eat, fellowship, play some volleyball and some even manage to squeeze-in a short nap. The students enjoyed their first day, had a chance to increase their knowledge and get to know their fellow students a bit more.
The class was divided into two groups for their first homework assignment. One half was assigned to research the old earth theory and the other, young earth. The next morning they will present their research as they debate their classmates and attempt to convince the audience of their findings. So ended a day in the life of an SMBS student.
The Slavic Missionary Bible School is a non-profit, Christian education center designed for the American Slavic community.
Many people wonder how a ministry such as SMBS can sustain itself.