EEM Vice President of European Operations Bart Rybinski (2000) and his wife Tamika were recently honored with the Missions Service Award by Oklahoma Christian University (OC) for their tireless work in planting seeds of faith in Eastern Europe.
Bart leads the effort in Eastern Europe to provide Bibles and biblical literature for a large portion of Ukraine’s public schools as part of a Christian ethics program.
“God has really opened doors in a tremendous way. It blows my mind to see teachers thankful and say, ‘This helps us when we teach math and teach literature because kids are more disciplined. They try to help one another more.’ There is a certain spirit, and not just everyone for themselves,” said Rybinski.
Rybinski was born in a Catholic family in Poland, but wasn’t introduced to the gospel until he came to the U.S. as an exchange student at age 17. Bart was deeply moved by his host family in Oxford, Ohio.
“It was not just something they talked about on Sunday, but I could see they tried to live it,” Bart said. “I was pretty convicted that there was something I needed to do in terms of my relationship with God, yet I had this baggage of tradition in Poland that I was not ready yet to get rid of and abandon.”
After returning to Poland, Bart was later engaged with a group of OC students visiting Poland. As a result of their friendship and mentoring, Bart decided become a student at OC. He earned a double degree in Bible and Marketing, and received his master’s in ministry at OC’s Graduate School of Theology.
Bart worked seven years in ministry at Memorial Road before coming to work with EEM.
“It has been a blessing to see how what we do is making it easier for people to have access to God’s word and grow in their faith,” Bart said. “It’s humbling, but a great blessing, to see God’s word is powerful and active still, and if people are open to it, it will produce great fruit in their life.”
As well as Ukraine public schools, Rybinski helps with the distribution of hundreds of thousands of Bibles and biblical literature across many countries in Eastern Europe.
Bart and his wife Tamika at the OC ceremony