Despite living over 7,000 miles apart, Langham Scholars Oleksandr Geychenko and Yuzo Adhinarta have much in common. They are both now presidents of Bible colleges in their home countries.
Two Scottish churches ‘adopted’ Oleksandr while he studied at St Andrews as his wife and two daughters stayed in Ukraine. Oleksandr was installed as President of Odessa Theological Seminary in December.
Indonesian Langham Scholar Yuzo Adhinarta, who finished his PhD in 2010, became president of Reformed Theological Seminary in Jakarta in 2016. Yuzo and his wife, Yuliwaty, have a son Jason (15) and a daughter Janice (10).
Helped by Langham
These two men have the opportunity to shape future leaders in the Majority World, helped enormously by their Langham-funded studies.
They are working in very different contexts. Oleksandr explained that the situation in Ukraine has changed “tremendously”:
“We find ourselves in the midst of war in the east of the country with thousands of internally displaced persons, daily casualties and many people suffering from post-traumatic syndrome. Association with the European Union opens a new wave of labour migration and brain drain in Ukraine.”
But churches there have “unprecedented opportunities” to share the Gospel and “Christian values in the public space”.
So Oleksandr’s vision is to build his seminary around “mission mindedness, openness to partnerships, academic excellence, transparency and trust”.
“My PhD studies helped me to understand how mission, partnership and trust relate to each other and substantiate theological grounds for working together.”
PhD provided valuable knowledge
Yuzo Adhinarta also said his PhD prepared him for being president of a seminary, both theologically and socially:
“Having gathered a lot of information and network connections during my studies in the US, I have a very valuable preliminary knowledge of good standards and practices to run and develop this seminary.”
Yuzo has already developed a curriculum in order to train leaders to be “disciple-makers”.
He was burdened to join with Indonesian churches to “wrestle with the Great Commission”. Yuzo plans to “make more strategic efforts to empower churches” in this.
Many church leaders across Indonesia are impacted by Yuzo’s work in developing discipleship:
“I hold national training sessions for small group leaders and trainers, I hold national seminars or theological consultations with church leaders, I also do some research and develop small group curriculum materials.”
“The church leaders will inspire many to seek for God, to live for Him, and to do His will only when they’re nurtured and well versed in the sound biblical doctrine. With the presence of such leaders, the future of Bible teaching in Indonesia and the world will become a lot brighter.”
Extremely grateful to Langham
Yuzo was also recently ordained as a teaching pastor at his home church, Gloria Abdiel Christian Church, in Surabaya. He has asked us to pray for him as he takes on this role, while remaining as seminary president.
Both Oleksandr and Yuzo are extremely grateful to Langham for their support.
Oleksandr made the difficult decision in 2014 to study in Scotland without his wife Tanya and two teenage daughters Olesia and Taia.
‘Langham constantly encouraged me’
“I was away from my family for significant periods of time which was rather difficult. Langham provided spiritual directors who helped me to cope emotionally with this and constantly encouraged me.”
Yuzo also thanked Langham, because without their financial support, his PhD would not have been possible:
“Langham Partnership also initiated annually regular meetings with a mentor to supervise, encourage, and edify me throughout the doctoral study.”
By supporting the Langham Scholars programme, you are equipping leaders like Oleksandr and Yuzo who in turn shape future generations of Bible teachers across the Majority World.