By Editorial Staff
Published December 1, 1992
- Christian Youth International (CYI) is a leadership training and church planting organization established by Bob Weiner based in Moscow, Russia.
- CYI is training a new generation of leaders to build a revived and glorious church in the former communist bloc.
- CYI’s training conferences are a resource for the entire church in the former USSR. Youth leaders from many different cities attend.
- CYI provides a network for Americans to sponsor churches in the former Soviet Union. Missionary teams plant churches with the cooperation of CYI’s leaders.
- CYI trains students to begin Bible studies on campuses, to begin campus groups, to hold evangelistic outreaches, and to be church planters.
How are churches planted by Christian Youth International?
Ministry team members have used the two phase approach:
- Phase one: Training seminars were begun by Bob Weiner at the Izmaijilovo hotel in Moscow in 1991. During the first year, youth leaders traveled from all parts of the Soviet Union to be trained at bimonthly five-day seminars. These leaders were equipped with hundreds of thousands of Bible study books, Bibles, New Testaments, and a Christian youth newspaper to distribute. Leaders began Bible studies, cells groups and established churches among the youth of their city.
- Phase two: Three day training conferences are now being held four times a year in Moscow. After each conference apostolic teams will be sent out to new cities to plant churches with CYI’s leaders; other teams will be sent to established churches to strengthen young believers, build ongoing relationships, and to serve the leadership. CYI will provide a link between American and Russian “sister-churches” by matching compatible ministries and spiritual gifts between Americans and Russians. American churches help with church planting, equipping, evangelism training, and servant leadership.
Why is Christian Youth International needed?
- Religion in the former Soviet Union is dominated by the Russian Orthodox Church, and smaller Protestant and Pentecostal churches. There are many true believers among these groups, however, there are few churches acting as “new wine skins” to hold the new wine that God is presently pouring out. There is also the threat of the Muslims and many cults who are threatening to spoil the harvest. There is a serious need to establish new churches to reap the harvest among the new generation of believers of the current spiritual awakening.
- The Protestant Reformation did not occur in this region of the world (with the exception of the Baltic States). Therefore, a biblical worldview which was restored to the church in Europe and America during this time is unknown by Christians in the former Soviet Union. There is no vision for the reformation of society and the restoration of the New Testament Church; many believers in the former Soviet Union are hearing this aspect of the Good News for the first time in CYI’s leadership training conferences and through their relationships with sister churches.
- Christian Youth International is providing an important support link between Russian churches and western ministries. Powerful ongoing missionary activity in the former USSR is being facilitated by CYI.
- Revival in the former Soviet Union has come in the wake of political and economic disintegration. The Soviet Union is now comprised of separate republics tied together only by sobering economic realities: food shortages, inflation, distribution problems, lack of adequate medical supplies, transportation, etc. Political and economic turmoil provide a unique opportunity for the Church to rise up and be a mighty deliverance force in this region of the world.
- An opportunity to establish an international youth movement is possible through reaching many “people’s groups” in the former Soviet Union. There are over 150 ethic nations that need to be reached with the gospel in the former USSR.
Why not sponsor the training of youth leaders?
A recent InterVarsity poll indicated that 60% of the people living in the vast former USSR are completely open to the gospel. A great window of opportunity lies open before us today in the former Soviet Union!
At the end of the Second World War, General Douglas MacArthur pled with the American church to rush thousands of missionaries to a humbled, defeated Japan. Shintoism had failed them. Their “god,” Hirohito, had just been “dedeified.” It was a classic opportunity for Christianity to walk into a colossal spiritual vacuum. Instead we hesitated. In the minds of many American Chrisitans, the Japanese were still “the enemy.” And while we stalled, Japan groped toward a new religion – shameless, often vicious materialism. Is there a consequence, other than spiritual, when missions opportunities are lost? Every American pays every day for our spiritual failure in Japan.
We must not let this become another missed opportunity. God has already given America the resources. At an exchange rate of 400-500 rubles to the dollar, a gift of only $100 can give three students the opportunity to come and be trained at a CYI conference.
Reaching the Youth of Asia
In addition to ministering extensively throughout the former Soviet Union, Bob Weiner spends about one-third of his time in Asia. Sixty percent of the world’s population lives within a 2000 mile radius of Hong Kong. It has been estimated that at least fifty percent of these people are under the age of 25 years old. The objective is to reach the multitudes who have never heard the gospel in this area, especially the youth.
Preaching Jesus the Messiah to Jews Throughout the World
The messianic Jewish vision is an integral part of Bob and Rose Weiner Ministries. One-third of our time is spent working among believers of Jewish heritage who have a vision to reach Jews throughout the world. We believe that, in accordance with Romans chapters 9-11, a great number of ethnic Jews will be ingrafted into the vine: Jesus Christ.
In the former Soviet Union there are 3-1/2 million ethnic Jews. These young people have not been indoctrinated against Jesus Christ by their rabbis and are the most open Jews in the world to the gospel. Among Christian Youth International’s leaders there are a number of Jewish believers who have a vision to reach their people. Our plan is to equip them to plant hundreds of congregations within the former Soviet Union. Some have been sent out to the nation of Israel; others hope to travel to other parts of the world as a witness of Jesus Christ to God’s scattered people – Israel.
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