Testimony of Oleh Ovsiyko, a non-resident student of theology at UETS.
How did you come to know God?
Story of my relationship with God reminds that of the prodigal son. In my childhood, being an orphan, I attended Sunday School at an evangelical church. When I grew up, street life led me astray from God. I yielded to all street temptations, committed crimes, drank alcohol, smoked, tried drugs. However, since my early years I knew that God was my father. So, when I was really broken, encountering numerous problems, I could feel that God was still holding my hand.
The Scriptures say that God cares about widows and orphans. He did not forsake me. Eventually, in 2009, when I was 26, I found myself in the dead end. Being involved in organized crime, I was in despair … Some guys were already heading for my house to kill me. That was the moment when kneeled and said to God, “I don’t want to die.” As a result, the murderers did not make it to my house. I went to a home Bible study group on the next day and my life underwent drastic changes.
What ministry are you involved in?
In 2012 I finished a Bible college and got actively involved into ministry. Later I became a youth minister. The town we live in is rather small. It means that everyone knows about our church. We have opportunities to preach everywhere, including schools. Therefore, my pastor encouraged me to continue my theological education. It is known that you either develop or degrade. So, I started prayed and God answered that I needed it for my further ministry.
What is the role of theological education in your life and ministry?
Theological education helps to accept other views. Ignorance makes a person suspicious of everything that is even slightly different from what he or she knows. Our God, however, is multi-faceted. When you look at something from different angles, your start to accept others. Also, theological education helps me serve not only ordinary people in the street, but top town officials who ask me different, sometimes provocative questions. The more I study the Scriptures, the more capable of answering such questions I become. That the vision I have so far.