10th Year Anniversary
Slavic Missionary Bible School began with a word from God that was firmly planted in the heart and spirit of our director Bogdan Bondarenko. It stemmed from a passion to prepare young people for ministry and missionary work through education and practical experiences. Today, by God’s provision and grace, SMBS has grown into an international ministry. Throughout the decade, we have been privileged to witness over 600 students graduate from SMBS; some of which became full-time missionaries, pastors and active church leaders. In addition, in 2011 SMBS branched out to serve teenagers through Teens Bible School (TBS). Looking back at these years, we can firmly declare that it was God’s hand that led us and allowed us to be a tremendous blessing to so many around the world.
On June 7, 2014 we celebrated our 10-year anniversary. These ten years were filled with great moments. We faced adversity and struggles but at the same time, we witnessed miracles and God’s helping hand. Most importantly, it was our immense joy to see the lives of young people change as they discovered their calling and deepened their relationship with God.
This anniversary event was underlined by one important theme, which was “Be the Change.” Year after year we watched as many lives were transformed both in school and on the mission field and in turn, challenged everyone present at the event to also be a change that others can feel. 2 Corinthians 5:15 declares that Christ died for us and now as we receive this new life in Him, it is our goal to no longer live for ourselves but for Christ who died and rose again for us. It is our call to no longer live for our selves but to spread the Gospel and be a change to those around us.
Over one thousand people gathered in Jacksonville to support the ministry of SMBS, including pastors, parents, friends, sponsors, and alumni from every corner of the United States and numerous countries. We were also privileged to have among us our full-time missionaries including those from Cuba.
In addition, this anniversary celebration included an alumni reunion. Hundreds of former students united as they remembered the days of Bible school. We truly enjoyed the amazing evening filled with fellowship and memories. The message delivered by Bogdan that evening was anointed and called on every student to truly be the change. SMBS has changed their lives and now it’s their turn to be the change and impact others with the message of the Gospel.
Overall, the evenings were celebrations marked not only the student’s achievements but they also evoked a deep sense of humility before a great God who entrusts us to prepare vessels who have great impact for the Kingdom of God.
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.