5 minutes with… Pastor Slava Kovalenko

Slava Kovalenko and his wife, Olga, are a Russian-speaking ministry team from Kiev, Ukraine. Slava served the Church in Kiev for many years until hearing God’s call to the United States. The Kovalenkos relocated to New York City in 2000 for Slava to attend Alliance Theological Seminary. Upon earning his Master of Divinity in 2003, Slava was called as an associate pastor to Grace Baptist Church in Brooklyn. Olga is a professional violinist and holds a master's degree in Christian counseling.

The couple lives in Nyack, NY, but love serving and working with the Russian-speaking population spread throughout metro NYC. In Manhattan, the couple has established an Upper West Side hub to reach Russian-speaking people throughout the boroughs of the Big Apple. Additionally, they are working toward launching the Russian Baptist Church, also on the Upper West Side.  

Recently Slave shared five minutes of his time with us:

When will the Russian Baptist Church launch?

We are planning official launch on September 27, 2015. We are already having regular Sunday services, fellowships, and Bible studies. You and your friends in the area you are welcome to visit. We met every Sunday at 5:30 p.m. at the Metropolitan New York Baptist Association building, in the first floor chapel. Our worship conducted in English and Russian. (www.russianchristiansny.com)

Any special events coming up for the Russian Church that we can be praying for?

1. Weekly worship gathering.

2. Memorial Day picnic (May 25, 2015)

3. This summer we are planning several outreaches with short-term mission teams in Brighton Beach, Brooklyn.

Briefly describe your call to ministry.

I was born in the Soviet Union. My parents were committed Christians and active members of the Baptist Church during Communist régime. I graduated from Medical University in Kiev, Ukraine.

Within approximately one year after receiving Jesus as my personal Savior and water baptism at Central Baptist Church in Kiev, I was invited to lead small Bible study group. Then I became a Youth Pastor in the same church. In 1993, I was called to be in the ministry full time – I became the Regional Director for Medical Ambassadors International (MAI) mission in Ukraine.

In 2011, I was called by NAMB to begin church planting among Russian-speaking people in NYC. At this point, our Russian Core Group is having consistent weekly fellowship gatherings on the Upper West Side of Manhattan.

How can we specifically pray for you, your family, and your church family?

1. Stability of the core group members

2. For partners who could help our Russian Church Plant

3. Resolution of the crisis in Ukraine, where much of our family still lives 

Date Created: 3/20/2015 2:23:02 PM

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SEND New York City March Update

Spring is headed to New York City, and we are so thankful! Metro NYC has experienced the coldest February in since 1934. Snow and bitter cold temperatures have proved challenging for our city but, praise God, our church planters and ministry teams have been able to bundle-up, brave the weather, and further the cause of Christ.
 
There is much to pray for in the coming weeks. Our Send NYC team will host a Catch the Vision tour and our church planters will welcome Spring Break mission teams and prepare for Resurrection Sunday. As always, we remain thankful for your prayers and continued support.
 
If we can be of service, please email Send City Missionary, Steve Canter at scanter@namb.net.

Praying for NYC

God has continued to bless our 451 Initiative (451prayer.org), providing hundreds of prayer warriors willing to pray 4 times a week for 5 minutes a day for 1 metro NYC community each week. But, there are still NYC neighborhoods that need a prayer partner.Jersey City sits just across the Hudson River from Manhattan in New Jersey. There are over 250,000 people living in Jersey City and it is one of the most diverse cities in the word with no ethnic group making up a majority of the population. It is an influential city with a great need of the gospel. Consider praying for Jersey City, or another neighborhood, by joining the 4-5-1 Initiative and signing up here.

Proclaiming the Gospel

In early February, downtown Brooklyn church plant The Bridge Church hosted a student ministry event at Long Island University – Brooklyn Campus. The event, titled “Everything You Need to Know About Love, Sex, & Dating,” gave LIU Brooklyn students the opportunity to ask questions about how the Bible is relevant to relationships and, more importantly, hear the Gospel message.

“This program is continued evidence of God’s favor upon this campus,” said the Bridge team. “The administration is completely in our corner and now we are meeting students who need and want guidance.” Read more about the event here.

Under the leadership of church planter James Roberson, The Bridge Church gathers in Downtown Brooklyn every Sunday at 4 p.m. The fellowship is currently walking through a sermon series, also titled, “Everything You Need to Know About Love, Sex, & Dating.” Follow The Bridge on Twitter and Facebook.

Planter Highlights

Pastor Daniel Bondad has served the church for many years, working as an executive pastor in Pasig City, Philippines, and planting several Filipino churches in Makati and Manila, and also in Cambodia. In 2014, the Bondad family followed the Lord’s call to relocate to the United States and reach the diverse population living on Staten Island. Together with his wife, Lot, Pastor Bondad is working to launch The Vine’s Church in early 2016. Bondad is planting in a highly populated, vibrant, and diverse Staten Island neighborhood near Clove Lakes Park.

Pray for Pastor Bondad and The Vine’s Church team as they seek a location for the fellowship to meet. Pastor Bondad recently shared five minutes of his time to tell us more about the Gospel movement he is praying for on Staten Island, read more here.

Date Created: 3/12/2015 3:14:06 PM

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The Bridge Church talks relationships with LIU Brooklyn students

 

In early February, downtown Brooklyn church plant The Bridge Church hosted a student ministry event at Long Island University – Brooklyn Campus. The event, titled “Everything You Need to Know About Love, Sex, & Dating,” gave LIU Brooklyn students the opportunity to ask questions about how the Bible is relevant to relationships and, more importantly, hear the gospel message.

As preparation for the event, throughout the winter months The Bridge ministry team began work to reach the students of LIU Brooklyn. The Bridge began cultivating relationships with the LIU Resident Advisors (RA’s) through the delivery of care packages. They followed up by hosting a workshop where three RA’s committed to help plan and promote the February event.

“We have heard so many students talking about relationships since we arrived on campus. So we structured a program to speak truth into their lives and offer a chance for them to do some Q&A with us,” said Josh Edney, Bridge Church Discipleship and Collegiate Director.

Edney and The Bridge team were told by the LIU Brooklyn administration that the program was valuable for the student body, but LIU Brooklyn events typically attract less than 10 students.

“We felt like with the relevancy of this program, our presence on campus, and the RA’s taking ownership in helping us plan, that more than 10 students would attend,” said Edney.

The team moved forward with planning, promoting, and praying that students would attend and the Biblical stance on love, sex, and dating would be well received. The night of the event arrived and The Bridge was thrilled to welcome 52 students. Students enjoyed food and music, and then James Roberson, Lead Pastor of The Bridge, led the discussion. The Bridge team was pleased to see four LIU Brooklyn administrators in attendance as well. 

“This program is continued evidence of God’s favor upon this campus,” said Edney. “The administration is completely in our corner and now we are meeting students who need and want guidance. Because of this program’s response, we are scheduling a second event in March that we are going to promote campus wide to increase our exposure and so that students can hear biblical truth about relationships.” 

The Bridge Church gathers in Downtown Brooklyn every Sundays at 4 p.m. The fellowship is currently walking through a sermon series, also titled, “Everything You Need to Know About Love, Sex, & Dating.” Follow The Bridge on Twitter and Facebook.

 

 

Date Created: 3/1/2015 11:59:44 PM

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5 minutes with… Pastor Daniel Bondad 

 Boland 

Together with his wife, Lot, Pastor Daniel Bondad is church planting on New York’s vibrant Staten Island. Pastor Bondad is working to launch The Vine’s Church in early 2016 near Clove Lakes Park; he is still prayerfully seeking a location for the church to meet. Pastor Bondad has served the church for many years, ministering as an executive pastor in Pasig City, Philippines, and planting several Filipino churches in Makati and Manila, and also in Cambodia. 

In 2014, the Bondads followed the Lord’s call to relocate to the United States and reach the diverse population living on Staten Island. Pastor Bondad recently shared five minutes of his time to tell us more about the Gospel movement he is praying for on Staten Island.

How is your family enjoying the community of Staten Island? 

My wife and I moved here in December 2014. We feel at home because of the presence of many Filipinos. Pretty much everything is here — restaurants, malls, etc., just like our community in Manila. We have learned that this is a very diverse place in terms of ethnicity; we are looking forward to meeting the people and sharing the gospel. 

How can we specifically pray for you, your family, and church family? 

Pray for wisdom as I lead this church. Please pray for my R1 visa to be approved on time so I can bring my family here from Philippines. Please pray for growth of the church spiritually and numerically.

Are their any special events coming soon to The Vines Church? 

Please pray for our upcoming Bible Evangelistic Basket and our evangelistic mix martial arts training for kids, both are free. Tentative date is March 2015.

Briefly describe your call to ministry? 

I surrendered to the call and preached my first sermon when I was 17, maybe because I was greatly impacted by the life and ministry of my father, since then there has been no turning back. After attending Bible college I was able to work with an American missionary and I was able to lead a church planting ministry in the Philippines. And the Lord opened an opportunity for me to plant here; I heeded the call and I’m here! Praise God!

You can contact Pastor Bondad by email him at citylightdan@yahoo.com

Date Created: 2/16/2015 9:22:58 PM

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SEND New York City | January Update

The Lord greatly blessed New York City church planting efforts in 2014. There was over 20 new church planters that saw people from all around NYC accept Jesus Christ as their personal savior! Bible studies and discipleship groups sprouted throughout every borough! Great plans were laid and, thankfully, we saw much fruit. 
 
As we eagerly anticipate how the Lord will move in our city during 2015, we are reminded of the words in Psalm 78 – “set their hope in God and not forget the works of God, but keep his commandments." So as we fully set our hope in God, we move forward throughout this city to reach the people for Him. 

Thank you for continual support of church plants in metro New York City. If we can be of service, please email Send City Missionary, Steve Canter at scanter@namb.net.
 

Praying for NYC

Send NYC began the development of the 451 Initiative in Spring 2014 with several goals in mind: first, to bring attention and prayer support to the vast number of communities in metro NYC; second, to deepen people’s understanding of the cultural and ethnic differences existing in each of NYC’s neighborhoods; and third, to saturate this region of our county in deep, continual prayer. 

Since the formal launch of the 451 Initiative, we continue to be encouraged by the response. Hundreds of people from all over the country are helping shape a Gospel movement in NYC through their prayer commitments. Still looking for a New Year’s Resolution -  join the 451 Initiative today! 

Catch the Vision


With the start of the New Year, NAMB heads into its fourth year of the Send North America church planting strategy. The mobilization of local churches to grow a church planting movement has been one of NAMB’s primary aims, and to date some 3,500 churches are engaged to some degree in the process all across North America! Churches coming alongside our NYC church planters – through prayer, participating in mission teams, and providing different types of support – is key to the advancement of the Gospel in NYC. We invite you and your circle of influence to partner with Send NYC in the New Year as we seek for further the Gospel in NYC.

 
March 9-10 Send NYC will be hosting a Catch the Vision Tour. A Catch the Vision Tours is a brief but impactful event that enables pastors and church leaders to see firsthand the work God is doing through Send NYC’s church planting network. Join us in March – we’ll tour parts of the city and meet church planters reaching the people of New York. You’ll hear how our church planters are working to prepare themselves and their families for life and ministry in the ‘city that never sleeps.’ For more information and to register ' here. Or, contact Steve Canter at scanter@namb.net.

Planter Highlights


Brad and his family moved to NYC to reach South Asians with the gospel after spending a number of years serving with the International Mission Board. Brad and his team are engaging Muslims, Hindus, and Buddhists. The team’s ministry strategy is to win people to Christ then immediately disciple them to reach their own family, friends, and community with the hope of Jesus.

“God is blessing, as we have raised up many witnesses here in the city and are beginning to see salvations and baptisms on a regular basis,” writes Brad. “We love the diversity of the city and the opportunities God gives us to interact with people from all over the world!’”


Join us in praying for Pastor Brad and his church as they serve their people. Pastor Brad and many of the church’s believers face persecution, pray that they will withstand the persecution and become a Gospel light within their communities. Learn more of Brad's church by clicking here.
SEND New York City | November Update
SEND New York City | November Update
SEND New York City | November Update
SEND New York City | November Update

Date Created: 1/23/2015 11:52:40 AM

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5 minutes with… Florence Chen Co

A faithful ministry servant in metro New York City and global ministries, this past year Florence Chen Co began training to become a NAMB Evangelism Catalyst for metro New York City.

Co’s heritage is Taiwanese, but she was born in the Philippines. She has since settled in West Orange, New Jersey.

Recently, Co shared five minutes of her day with us. 

how did the Lord call you into ministry? 

As early as 12 years of age, I heard the call and committed my life to fulltime service in a youth camp. From there on, different milestones in my life would bring me back to the original calling. After high school, I enrolled in a Bible College and got my AB in Church Music. From then on, the Lord continued on His calling into the different areas of His Kingdom work.

how did the Lord place NYC on your heart:   

When I was visiting my college buddies; I drove through the streets of NYC on a Sunday morning and I saw the church doors closed – tears rolled down my cheeks and I prayed, “Lord, if You want me to join you in your work here in Metro NYC – I am willing.”

In 1998, Rev. Manansala invited me to give three months to ministry with The City Chapel, in Jersey City, NJ. It was a fruitful ministry, and that led to my joining MNYBA as a consultant in the ministry of Church Music and Worship in 1999, which led to my ministering to different church in organizing and reviving their music and worship ministry.

what has been your largest ministry struggle: 

I’ve struggled in ministry, because I am a woman as well as a minority. But I’ve learned to wait and be faithful in serving with whatever/wherever I can.

When He called me to join Him here in NYC, I struggled in working with people who do not know my training and ministry experiences – leading them to doubt me, so I would always have to prove myself first.

give an example, or a few examples, of how the Lord has blessed your ministry work: 

I am so blessed to see that the youth that I got to work with from 1999 are now actively involved in the ministries. The worship members that I train in Chinese churches are now training others, and the music ministries of the Haitian and Spanish churches are growing. The Filipino churches are already seeing the results in their second generation of worshippers.

The women that I have shared Christ and spend time in discipleship are now reaching out and building their own discipleship groups

what is your favorite place to pray in NYC:  

In my car while driving through Chinatown, and while driving though Jersey City, NJ.

what is the biggest difference between your hometown and where you’re currently living: 

Loneliness, I see more lonely people here in the USA than where I grew up.

you can follow Florence’s ministry in New York here: 

Twitter: @florenceco

Date Created: 1/5/2015 1:19:18 PM

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SEND New York City | November Update

As tens of thousands of tourists begin to flood the city streets and New Yorkers try to balance life during the rush of the holidays, remember to pray for the church planters that are working to engage their city with the Gospel message of hope, redemption, and grace. With only 6% of New Yorkers identifying themselves as evangelical Christians, our neighbors often let Thanksgiving and Christmas go by without knowing feelings of gratitude and thanksgiving that comes with true grace and the joy of reflecting on the Christ child’s birth.

Send NYC will be hosting a Catch the Vision Tour. Join us March 9-10, 2015, for a special time that will include visiting church planters, seeing the needs of the community, and hearing the passion of those pushing back the darkness in our city. Register here

Thank you for continual support of church plants in metro New York City. If we can be of service, please email Send City Missionary, Steve Canter at scanter@namb.net. 

Praying for NYC 

A few weeks after the launch of our 4·5·1 prayer initiative, we are seeing God’s people respond to a call to pray for metro NYC. The initiative, which invites people to pray for one the hundreds of communities that make up NYC, received a powerful boost as 80 prayer warriors from First Baptist Concord committed to praying 4 times a week for 5 minutes for 1 individually assigned community. If you, your church, or your small group would like to join the initiative, please sign up here.

He is Faithful

Danielle Gonzales is just one of NAMB’s Student Missionaries serving in our region. The Georgia native’s call to serve church planting efforts came after a dream of attending physical therapy school was abruptly halted. Read about how the Lord has encouraged Danielle to share her talents with a Queens church plant here.

Jamie Rogers, a NAMB and Send NYC Church Planting Intern, is working near the campus of Long Island’s Stony Brook University to launch Transformation Church. Jamie and his ministry team started a new bible studies with Stony Brook students just a few weeks ago, read about their passion for student ministry here.

Planter Highlights

During the late Summer and Fall, Send NYC has been greatly encouraged by the work of our church plants that are reaching our city’s Muslim and Hindu populations. Our church planters are seeing firsthand how God is creating opportunities to change lives and regenerate hearts among the Muslim and Hindu people of our region. Please pray for these pastors and their ministry impact.

During this fall season, several of our church plants have engaged their community through seasonal family events. New City Church in Long Island City, Queens, and Journey Church on Staten Island each hosted community carnivals with great success, welcoming hundreds of people. Cross Church NYC in Yorkville, Manhattan, partnered with a local park conservancy to host a pumpkin patch event for 1,500 children. Pray for the churches across our region as they work to plan, host, and fund community events such as these.  

Date Created: 12/29/2014 9:06:24 PM

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