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issue #1 – march 2002
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Digital News from LCF

It’s been a while since we started thinking about the best way of reaching all of you, who are interested in the activities of LCF – our programs, their benefit to the local ministry and service. <…> However, we have to admit that we struggled in finding an efficient way of communicating with all of you. Read more…

Why Would a Specialist in Finances Need a Theological Education?

“Without a doubt, studying at EBI (LCF Evangelical Bible Institute: theological education program) takes up a lot of my time. I no longer have those free evenings, which, truthfully speaking, I mostly wasted on watching TV. I miss my classes, my student friends, and the fellowship in between the sessions…” Read more…


In This Issue…


Digital News from LCF

It’s been a while since we started thinking about the best way of reaching all of you, who are interested in the activities of LCF – our programs as well as their benefit to the local ministry and service. Truly, over the last twelve years of operation, LCF acquired many friends and sponsors in Lithuania, North America, Germany, and elsewhere.

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Otonas Balčiūnas
LCF President

However, we have to admit that we struggled in finding an efficient way of communicating with all of you. In the hopes that a regular update is important to us as well as to those, who are not indifferent to our labor, we gladly present this first issue of our newsletter to you.

We hope to publish a newsletter of similar format about once in three months. We hope to present personal stories, opinions, and some statistics as well – everything that helps us to reflect the efforts to fulfill the mission of LCF. We hope that this effective way (digital communication is fastest and most cost efficient) will provide a means of presenting the “hottest” information to you, our dear supporters and friends of the Fund.

More detailed information should soon be available on our webpage at www.lkf.lt. There you should also be able to find links to other Evangelical congregations, associations, and educational institutions.

Finally, all interested will be able to receive printed information as well. In that case you will need to contact the leaders of each program (see contact information here) or just e-mail us at info@lkf.lt.

Our goal is that the information about our activities would be available to all who are interested. Therefore, if you think that this newsletter would also interest somebody in your circle of friends or acquaintances, feel free to give our website address to them, where they should be able to subscribe to this LCF bulletin.

The fact that we have your e-mail address allows us to think that we are connected by some visible or invisible bond. Therefore, we hope that our e-visit will not bother you. However, if you would like to stop receiving this LCF newsletter or your e-mail has changed, please inform us at info@lkf.lt.

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Why Would a Specialist in Finances Need a Theological Education?

“Without a doubt, studying at EBI (LCF Evangelical Bible Institute: theological education program) takes up a lot of my time. I no longer have those free evenings, which, truthfully speaking, I mostly wasted on watching TV. I miss my classes, my student friends, and the fellowship in between sessions…” These are recent words of one of the first year students of EBI.

EBI students come from various jobs and backgrounds. More than half of the 13 first year students already carry degrees in higher education. Martha, a member of the United Methodist Church, even has two… Another student is Edmundas. Being the financial director of one famous company in automobile sales in Lithuania, he has a successful career.

Why would they need theological education?

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Student preacher
Romas Baliutavicius

Perhaps the answer is in the students themselves. They are not just people “having a spot under the sun”, a career, a profession, or a job. They are also active members of local Evangelical churches. They are deep thinkers, seekers striving for knowledge. In other words, these are the people that create the core of our congregations. On their theological education depends what kind of churches we will have in the future.

EBI theological education program is designed specifically for them – the leaders of contemporary Evangelical churches. EBI is a well organized – an institution that is geared towards high academic level and well educated Lithuanian instructors. These got their degrees in various North American universities and seminaries.

With a beginning in 1994, this program of LCF has already delivered a number of seminars as well as full time and part time programs. The latter program in general theological education is a response to the need of leadership development in Evangelical congregations, serving in the context of challenges presented by the contemporary society.

Evangelical in essence, non-denominational in orientation, this program in theological education is making progress in capturing the hears of local congregations. Having 13 people in the first year, we hope for a similar number in the second. This way in five years (this is the extent of the full program) we will have a nice round of people, who study for their love of God and the love of the people of their land.

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Mission: Give the Child a Chance

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Tastes good? Yeah…

Every day, 5 times a week the building of the fund is filled with the smell of hot food. These are the times when about 20 children from the surrounding area in Ginkunai – the place where the fund with all its programs and the Siauliai Free Christian Church are located – come for lunch. Sometimes alone, but mostly in groups, the children go to eat. It’s a very homy atmosphere.

True, these 20 children are only a third of those, who belong to the Good News Club. This is the name of the LCF program for children and teenagers from difficult and poor families.

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Who knows, maybe Martynas will become a good computer specialist?

Thanks to MBMSI (Mennonite Brethren Missions and Services International) – a charity and missions organization in North America) and Ekklesia Association of Churches in Germany, four program workers in Ginkunai and two workers in Panevezys labor on behalf of these children.

The main goal of the program is “to give the child a chance”, i.e. to help him or her to get established in the surrounding society.

Many of these children have real family problems – drinking, jobless or single parents. For example, Andrius’ (some of the names have been changed) father was just committed to prison for murder. His mother is in the hospital. Electricity is disconnected because of debts… It’s not surprising why the world does not look like a happy place to live in for some of them.

Valdas (the pastor of the Siauliai Free Christian Church), Christoph (an MBMSI missionary in Lithuania), Edita, Solveiga, Egidijus and Daiva – these are the names of those workers in the program, who not only teach the kids Christian truths and ethics, but also house keeping and hygiene; they feed and comfort them.

Who knows, maybe in several years these efforts will yield fruitful results?

More information about this program you will soon be able to find on our website at www.lkf.lt.

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Valdas, What’s Up In Free Christian Congregations?

Valdas, as it is said around here, wears many hats. That means that he worries not only about the affairs of the Siauliai Free Christian Church. Valdas, the pastor of the congregation, has an engineer’s diploma and is presently studying theology in Moscow (distance education). Valdas is also the head of the Evangelism and Church Planting program here at LCF.

Because of this program, many missionary groups came to aid the local initiatives. The funds of this program were used to build and renovate Free Christian Church facilities in Panevezys and Silute.

For the last while, James and Donna Dombach have been laboring at Vilnius Free Christian Church. Barbara Nysley is volunteering at the EFL program in Siauliai. Egidijus’ aid to disable people is sponsored from the same funds as well. The list can go on.

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Without a hat :-) , but with a great responsibility for Evangelical churches

However, probably the most important work has been done in initiating fellowship and common effort between Free Christian congregations in Kaunas, Klaipeda, Siauliai, Silute, and Vilnius (LEBKOB is the Lithuanian acronym – Association of Free Evangelical Churches and Christian Organizations). Valdas even was the head of the association for several years.

Otonas Balciunas, the first leader of the association can only be happy as he sees the new, young, enthusiastic, creative, and perspective leaders of congregations.

At the present, the executive comity consists precisely of this kind of people. Simonas Kiela, the chair of the association, is the pastor of Klaipeda Free Christian Church and a graduate of both Lithuania Christian College and Providence Theological Seminary in Canada. Arturas Rulinskas is another member of the executive comity. He is the pastor of Vilnius Free Christian Church and a graduate of the Canadian Southern Baptist Seminary. Christoph Haegele, the MBMSI missionary completes the package.

We hope that with the help of the Evangelism and Church Planting program as well as the help from other Christian organizations and the congregations themselves, this fellowship will bear much fruit for the Gospel in Lithuania.

A side note: Valdas hates wearing hats :-) , but is a tireless worker for the benefit of the churches in Lithuania.

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In The Next Issue:

  • Are Winters Cold In Lithuania or Who Said “YES”?
  • English Language Club And Much More
  • The Castle and Its Inhabitants: What’s New with the Christian Center Vision?