MIWC's Georgia Ministry Expands to New City
New MIWC Associate establishes close friendships in Gori, Georgia
Gori was site of 2008 Russia-Georgia War
In the aftermath of the 2008 war between Russia and Georgia, stands a Georgian city of about 50,000 people called Gori. Located in central Georgia, Gori was at the epicenter of not only that 2008 armed conflict, but was targeted by several invading foreign armies over its centuries-long history.
Today it lies just 12 miles from areas currently occupied by the Russians.
“It has been six years since God first allowed us to begin our ministry in the country of Georgia,” said MIWC Associate Vitaliy Bolgar.
“During this time, I’ve been a witness to how God has restored this country after the 2008 war with Russia and how He has transformed the church through the process of MIWC-led musical training.”
Bolgar and new MIWC Associate Valentin Dunduchenko traveled to Georgia last month, continuing education with musicians they have trained in the past and working with a brand new group of music ministers in Gori.
Bolgar said the music training process there has improved systematically as God has shown the Georgian people why it is necessary to connect the teachers from the Georgian churches with each other.
“It has been a great joy for us to see how the leaders have grown up,” said Bolgar, “and who can, under our careful direction and care, now train others in leadership seminars.”
The seminars, which take place twice a month, have been an incredible blessing, he said.
With this self-sustaining momentum underway, Bolgar and Dunduchenko were able to focus on starting the new training group in Gori. This group allows churches located near the city to send children, teenagers and adults who are already serving in the church for additional education. This new group includes two pastors who are also going through musical training.
The first training session in Gori attracted a dozen people of various ages, who studied Music Theory, Vocal Pedagogy and Guitar with Dunduchenko. He said he really “enjoyed how much the students wanted to learn in order to improve their ability to worship God.”
Dunduchenko said he quickly befriended the students there and has trouble finding the words to express how close of a bond they developed. During the training sessions, he was able to share his testimony about coming to faith in God and the story of the beginning of his music ministry.
“I was grateful that I was able to share with them a little bit of my experience," said Dunduchenko, "and also share with them from my own knowledge, with which the Lord has blessed me.”
“There is so much that needs to be done to develop the music direction in this country, like we have done in Ukraine,” said Dunduchenko, “We need to pray that God would open the doors for revival in the churches.”
Echoing his sentiment was Bolgar, who also hopes to see progress in Georgia's music ministry like has been realized in Ukraine.
“My heart is filled with joy from that which I’ve seen God do, and how He has expanded, helped grow and strengthened the Georgian church through our musical mission,” said Bolgar.
Bolgar and Dunduchenko shared these prayer requests for the Georgian people:
- Pray that our loving God would bless those students and local teachers who are in the educational process and also give them the opportunity in the future to develop their music ministry.
- Please pray for the development of a Georgian-language songbook that could be used for both congregational singing and youth group ministry.
- Finally, please pray for the resources and opportunity to hold a youth music camp this summer!