24 March 2008

Our Daughter, Leah

It seems like so little to say thank you for those who prayed for Leah when we were in the states, but we are very grateful for your prayers. For a time, while we were in the states, it was a question as to whether she would return with us or not. We were willing to trust God in how he led for her future, but we are pleased that she returned where she can continue with her education and has the support that will continue to direct her along a Godly path.

21 March 2008

Back in Bucha

We have returned to the north of Ukraine. It is always good to be back in your own bed, though part of us didn't want to leave the Crimea where we long ago started a work. It was good to be in churches there and see the work they are doing.

Our director Jerry Kidd is now here so we will have a nice time of fellowship with him and the opportunity to discuss current mission work and future possibilities. Today he met a new missionary couple who will be BMA missionaries to an area in western Ukraine where there are no churches. A couple of Sunday school classes at First Baptist Church of Carthage, Texas have made this possible with support that will allow this couple to move and start a work in that region. We are so grateful to see God's moving in providing for this need. It was only a couple months ago the opportunity/need was presented to us and then almost immediately the Lord raised up a sponsor to send this young couple.

10 March 2008

International Women's Day, March 8th

This is a holiday recognized all over Europe. Women are honored by husbands, children and friends. It is similar to our Mother's Day, but includes all women.

Simferopol Baptist Church was having a Women's Day banquet so I invited Tanya along with her 9 year old daughter, Anastasia. There was a good message of God's grace that I was happy for Tanya to hear. Even little Anastasia was very attentive.

The next day we went to the little church in Nikolaevka that meets in the old Soviet cultural center. Jeff and the pastor preached. I took some kid's prizes to give to the children's workers. Thank you to those who send beads and old jewelry. The woman was very pleased to receive the bracelets, key rings, frig magnets and doodads I made.

Sunday afternoon I invited Tanya, Anastasia and now, Tanya's son Maxim, to come to church at 2 p.m. in Simferopol, which all agreed. We even got to sing the song we sang for Women's Day in front of the whole church. What fun. We have witnessed to this family for a long time and ask your prayers for them. Our hope is that they will continue to attend this church after we are gone.

07 March 2008

Alina Being Creative

Top: Alina and her handy work, Bottom: L-R Tanya (Alina's little sister), Coleen, that's me in the background in blue, Alina laying down, with her mom, Luda in the foreground. On the right side is Judy in back, cousin Luda and Pastor Bob.


Yesterday the Lord blessed Jeff and I so much with a trip to Simferopol to be with a young woman named Alina. She has been bed bound for 5 years with a bone condition that has her bones slowly disintegrating. It is a very sad situation, but at age 15, if you saw her countenance, you would have no idea there was any problem. That is the power of the Lord in one's life and the joy he can bring. I brought my beads and we made necklaces and bracelets with all the family members. Well, Jeff and Pastor Bob didn't want to make any, poor sports. There was a joyful spirit and lots of Russian conversation. We finished our time with tea and cookies before we said our good-byes along with promises to come again. Please pray for this lovely young lady.

Afterwords we had a nice dinner out with Bob and Judy. We discussed ideas of doing a seminar to train church workers in using crafts for evangelism, plus doing a Faith Scrapbook for the ladies when we return in late April.

02 March 2008

The Little Church in Nikolaevka

Sunday morning awoke with drizzle on the windows, like mini-magnifying glasses distorting the view out our window. With the rain, and being Sunday, there was considerably fewer walking out front. By the time we left for services the rain had abated. Nikolaevka is not very big so we walked the five minutes to church.

Service was held in the run down Soviet community center, second floor, third door on the right. The members rent this room that is about 16' x 24'. It's pretty shabby, but no one seems to notice. Today we were able to share communion with this little church as is the tradition here on the first Sunday of each month. Bread is broken right there and all sip from one glass goblet.

It was a time of hugs and renewing friendships with many we've known since our arrival in '94, but hadn't seen since last year. We all sang, in Russian, then Jeff was the first to preach. He talked about Nicodemus asking how to be saved. The pastor gave his message followed by more singing and communion.

We were excited that Yevgenie (Eugene), whom we invited to attend, agreed to meet us at the church. Jeff has been sharing Christian literature and talking to him when we were here last year and this time as well. Please pray for him.

Grace to you. "At the name of Jesus, every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, and every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father." (Phil 2:10-11)

01 March 2008

The Joy of God's Love

Today at Simferopol Baptist Church in the city of Simferopol, Crimea, Ukraine we had 9 young ladies ages 14 to 30 along with Anastasia, a 4 year old who also participated (with a bit of help) in making bracelets and necklaces in celebration of God's love for us. I say in celebration of His love because, as I explained to them, the materials with which we worked came to us from people who love the Lord and understand about His love. Thus they pass on that love to us by sending those materials. Plus it was his love for them that even had them in the church in the first place. As they worked we talked about helping one another, about older helping younger and younger respecting and honoring those older. Lastly, I told them to remember God's love when they wore those things and I spoke to them about why as women God put the love of beauty into our hearts and how they were to use that to put beauty and love into the lives of those around them. Judy VanSant, the pastor's wife brought goodies to eat and made tea. Thank you for your prayers. The Lord blessed and it was a time of shared joy.

"For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son, that whosoever should believe in him, should not perish, but have everlasting life.." John 3"16