Remember your leaders, who preached the word of God to you (Hebrews 13:7)
Not many people know that the New testament in a modern Belarusian language was translated by Lukas Dziekuć-Malej (1888-1955) in 1920-ies.
In December 1921 a young missionary Luke came to the city of Brest that just was added to Poland, after the First World War Born in Grodno province of Poland, as a Belarusian, he was educated teacher who met the Evangelical Baptists during the military service just before the war – as he was drafted in Russian army. While serving in the army, he sincerely believed in the Lord, and was baptized in the city of Bialystok.
Luka studied theology for two years and later worked as an evangelist in St. Petersburg and also some places in today’s Poland. He became known as a Belarusian patriot, teacher and organizer of youth. However, the Polish authorities, given the war with the Bolsheviks in 1920 ruled that Luke leaves Grodno, so he moved further from the border. Luke decided to continue the spiritual work and moved to the city of Brest.
“The slanting rays of the morning sun greeted me in December (1921), when I got off the train and looked with great interest the unfamiliar city of Brest. It was destroyed, burned, dirty, cold and hungry. Ragged crowd with sunken eyes, emaciated faces … What a better place to move in from the place of dying in sin and evil? Praying, I went on address where a sister was, who recently came back from Russia. In her small house I began to preach the Gospel” (a quote from the “Sewer of Truth “, 1928, March).
By the end of 1922 sister’s house no longer could accommodate all who wanted to attend the meetings. The Lord helped them find a new place in a dark and gloomy basement of a hotel. Here they founded a cultural association with the interesting name of “Belarusian lodge.” And it gave them an opportunity to establish first contacts with the inhabitants of the city. Soviet persecution just started…
By the 1925, a church had about 200 members. Along with the evangelization work, Luke translated the Gospels. The British and Foreign Bible society in 1931 published 25,000 copies of the New Testament and Psalms in Belarusian, and the new era begun.
In 2005 there were more than 900 local protestant churches registered in the Belarus Republic, and one of the largest today is the local Brest church of Evangelical Christians – Baptists in Brest, the same one Luke started 90 years ago.
TWR broadcasts in Russian and Belarus languages. More information at www.twrbelarus.org