IBCS – The Independent Bible Correspondence School

To serve I must be filled. A church leader in Central Asia so expresses his need to be instructed in God’s Word, otherwise he has nothing to give out. This is no mere sentimental statement but a cry for help. Central Asia is a difficult place for believers to get a good Biblical education, which will help nurture and develop their witness and ministry.

The great need is for good materials which can be taken out to difficult places. Bibel–Mission and SGA have had a close relationship for many years, and a shared passion to see God’s Word placed into people’s hands, and the provision of sound training to bring about change to life and ministry. Bibel–Mission’s ‘Independent Bible Correspondence School’ is one means of providing this.

It is more than just a ‘paper’ programme. It involves personal contact with each student. Some have no other contact with believers and so it also provides encouragement, friendship and prayer. IBCS provides Biblical education ‘online’ (computers & mobile devices) and offline (course work delivered) and covers the five Central Asian republics.

Student numbers last year included more than 800 newly enrolled. Over the last twenty-five years more than 5000 students from seven language groups and from a whole spectrum of lifestyles and backgrounds have undertaken the studies – factory workers, office workers, housewives, pastors, and youth workers. Some have had very broken lives, and have been delivered from crime and addiction.

The courses are at different levels from the basic ‘enquiring mind to Christianity’, through to advanced level studies for leaders and missionaries. This is a huge and valuable programme which needs much prayer and adequate financial support.

All those enrolled share similar desires: ‘To serve I must be filled’ or ‘To change I must be filled’. One older lady testifies that before she became a believer she could not read or write. She has since learned to do both, and with the encouragement of her pastor undertook a course of study. She now cannot seem to get enough of God’s Word.

Others who have been rejected by families because of addiction and crime have recovered hope and have had their lives changed. Even in a dirty prison, Christ has been found and His Word studied. People have encountered IBCS material and been brought out of barren Islam to living faith in Christ. One new believer says that questions that have troubled him all his life have been answered.

A young keen sports enthusiast has experienced the call of God on his life. So far he has completed ten courses and tells of the impact of his studies on his outreach to young people with God’s Word through sport. He organizes sports training, and provides study programmes in Bible study and prayer for both Christians and non-Christians who are athletically minded.

He has seen teenagers come to Christ and three have been baptized. Another young man was suicidal before being introduced to a church and the IBCS study material. Now he has purpose in life, and has become a music teacher whose mission is to share the good news of Christ.

Another works in the oil industry, a very dangerous job. He says the study materials deepen his walk with God, and give him inspiration to share the Gospel with others.

Will you help us to help those who want to serve, and cry out to be filled first with the Word of God?