31 December 2008

Children's Christmas Program

Click to play Snow Angels
Create your own slideshow - Powered by Smilebox
Make a Smilebox slideshow

29 December 2008

Youth Fun At Christmas

Click to play
Create your own slideshow - Powered by Smilebox
Make a Smilebox slideshow

27 December 2008

Click to play December Children's Fair
Create your own scrapbook - Powered by Smilebox
Make a Smilebox scrapbook

22 December 2008

The Owens Family

While Jeff was in Georgia, I was blessed to host Justin and Crystal Owens along with their two little ones, Kayla and Bradon over the weekend. They flew for America today to have Christmas with family and await the arrival of their new baby. This is a sweet young couple and I encourage you to ask them to your churches to talk about the new ministry they will be starting in Estonia. Crystal and Justin did a year and a half of Russian language study here in Ukraine which will be useful in Estonia as many there still speak Russian.

Report from Gori and Tblisi, Georgia

I just ducked into a little internet room by one of the metro stations here in Tbilisi, Georgia. I am here to discuss training and church planting issues with a small association of 22 Georgian churches, only recently formed.

Yesterday I preached in the town of Gori, where at the end of the service 7 people came forward to receive Christ as Savior! Before the services we drove through several villages where homes were bombed and others burned out by the Russian and Ossetian soldiers who came through. Many people are mourning and deeply disturbed about why the soldiers wanted to destroy their homes, since this was already outside of Ossetia in Georgia proper. The churches are reaching out in compassion, meeting their needs, and Bro. Vissarion, the Pastor in Gori, tells me that new people are coming to Christ every Sunday.

In the afternoon, we drove to Tbilisi where I met with several brothers from the association. We discussed many issues together and shared fellowship till about 11 pm. God was very present, and the brothers were very open about their troubles and shared many touching stories about reaching out to meet the physical and spiritual needs of the refugees from Abkhazia (250,000) and Ossetia (140,000).

Today, Bros. Anatoly and Ghia from the BMA (Baptist Missionary Association)of Georgia took me to a military hospital where three hospital buildings are filled with Georgian refugees, about 700 people in each building. Until only a week ago most of them were living without heat, one family to a room. I visited an 82 year old lady who wept over her home, passed down from generation to generation. "The Ossetians burned it to the ground, she said, so that we would leave and never return."

Another family of 6 told me that they were living on macaroni, and had no fruits, vegetables, or other groceries whatsoever, like most of the families in the building. "We left with the shirt on our backs on August 10th," one man said. "Most people fled during heavy bombing and automatic weapons fire, and like us, they did not even have time to pack a suitcase."

Please pray and ask your church to pray for the Georgian churches, that they will endeavor to please the Lord in meeting the physical and spiritual needs of the overwhelming number of needy refugees. I hope that our churches in USA will find a way to help them as well. May the Lord lead!

21 December 2008

October 19th, Accident Update

On October 19th three children on a church excursion to Kiev were hit by a car and hospitalized. Today I saw Vika, the least hurt of the three and asked her how she was doing. She said she was fine. Vika was one of my best English students when she was little. In addition, though I didn't see him, Sasha's sister told me he was in church for the first time today and doing well. Andre, who has been of most concern is doing much better, but still having memory issues for which we would ask that you continue to pray. We serve a mighty God and we know this has all been in his hands. He has the power and the right timing to heal.

Georgia Update on Meetings

Jeff just sent this update on sms: "A most critical meeting in more ways than 1. God blessed visibly. Thanks for your prayers. Still with 3 bros. getting ready for zveroboi tea."

Zveroboi tea is St. John's Wort herb, a very popular tea in Georgia. Naturally I am most interested to hear how God blessed. Jeff returns home Tuesday evening.


Where Jeff is he has no internet connection so our communication is limited. I did receive an sms this afternoon as follows: "7 people gotsaved in morning services. Still in Gori. Going to Tblisi for evening discussions. Pray." There have been some problems which Jeff was hoping might sort themselves out with a little intervention. We can best pray "the Lord's will be done."

19 December 2008


Today Jeff travels to the country of Georgia. Last time he was there they were bombing in Gori and he was trying to get a medical mission out of danger. This trip will be to visit with missionaries and consult with association leaders to plan for future missionary training and church planting. Please pray that God's hand would be in the negotiations and interactions.

Today also, the Justin Owens family will arrive from Tallinn, Estonia to spend a few days with us before departing for America to be home for the holidays and to await the birth of their baby. Pray that the Owens would have calm and rest while with us as they have just gone through a major move from Kyiv to Tallinn.

Please pray for travel safety in both cases.

18 December 2008

Evangelism of Youth Girls

Last Saturday night, December 13, 2008 we had a great group of girls attend "The Meaning of Christmas." There were speakers, music, songs to sing, a time to express artistically and of course, food. Laura Kanaykina asked me to do a craft with the girls and we all had a great time. It was evident they loved the whole evening because when we were all finished no one wanted to leave. For more pictures on this event you can view my art blog at http://teaontheterrace.blogspot.com/

Laura Kanaykina

Laura spoke to the girls and encouraged them. She works a lot with this age group.

The Creative Process

The girls loved doing a craft as part of the whole experience. They made picture frames from foam hearts that Laura had left over from a camp. They turned out so beautiful using glitter and sequins. They will be a good memory of the night and of course we gave each girl a verse to put on their frame.

Girls Evangelism

A lovely girl proud of her beautiful piece of art.

12 December 2008

Day-to-Day Humdrum

Check email, answer letters, make calls, meet with missionaries, meet with church members in need of counseling, meet with small groups, go to choir, fix the car, work on the house, shovel the snow, do more email, answer more calls, meet with more people, etc., etc. etc. There is so much to our daily life that we don't write about because it just isn't interesting, yet like everyone, the daily humdrum makes up a very large part of our lives and is important.

Today Jeff is in the big city of Kyiv(yes, that is how Ukraine is now writing the city name). Jeff is doing the grocery shopping, stopping at the drug store and other errands all on his way to the travel agency. We've come to see that is often how it is on the mission field as the man is the one out running around so this is not uncommon among missionaries.

To get downtown he parks at Petrivka which is the outskirts of Kyiv and takes the subway. It is much faster than trying to fight the traffic. The main goal today is to get his plane ticket to the country of Georgia where he will meet with our missionaries and do some counseling and future planning. Then he will get home after dinner time and do .... you guessed it, check email and answer letters, etc. Life is always exciting, even in the ho-hum events.

Youth Girls Evangelism

On Saturday we are expecting 75 girls for evangelism about "The Meaning of Christmas." Girls from the Irpen Bible Church are inviting their friends to come for this fun Christmas time event. After the presentation there will be a craft event. Laura Kanaykina asked me to come and help with this part of it. The girls will be making and decorating picture frames. And as always, they will have a verse on them. That is my "trademark" you might say. No craft goes home without a verse on it. I'm always thinking about that sphere of influence surrounding the child or person who's done the craft. Please pray for these girls that the Lord would touch their hearts with his love and kindness through all they come in contact with that night. That they might see the light of Jesus in all of us and know he is something they want..

10 December 2008

Winter in Ukraine

The view of winter from the warmth of our kitchen door in our part of the woods.

03 December 2008

Sample Scrapbook Page from Sunday School

Sunday School Scrapbooks

This year the four oldest grades of Sunday School are making year-long albums of their Sunday school experience. These albums will include verse, their lessons each Sunday, pictures from magazines and cards, photographs which we will do and whatever else they find to put in there. We think this will be a great memory for the kids, not just of their lessons, but of their friends (class pictures)and their varied projects. And because it will have photographs, it will never be thrown away. The not so hidden agenda here is that we are making books that will be a witness to others. Please pray for these kids. They are the future of the church. Thank you to all who have sent materials for us to use with the kids in crafts and scrapbooking. May you be ever blessed.

02 December 2008

Jeff's Letter About Meetings

Things are going well this morning. Much enthusiasm for the Word and God has blessed our interaction. Bro. Jerry led both yesterday and today with inspiring devotionals, as only he can bring, so full of love for God and people. So keep praying for all our friends and for us that God's will, his plans and desires for this conference will be fully realized.

01 December 2008

Crafts With the Six Year Olds

This is too much fun to call it work. Sunday school teacher Vitya and Crafts volunteer Leda helping the children.

Many Have Come, May Their Hearts Be Touched

I spoke with Jeff tonight and there are 19 participants that have come in for training. This is one of the largest groups yet. One woman said this was just the kind of training they needed where they can have discussion. She said in their country they only get lecture and there is no opportunity for interaction. Discussion and interaction is typical of how Jeff teaches. He is teaching "inductive" method of Bible study so these people can self-feed. All have shared belief in Jesus Christ and assurance of salvation.

Yesterday on the news I heard of violet protests in the city where they are and today a bomb injured two, so please continue to pray for the participants growth and the protection of all.

"For we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord; and ourselves your servants for Jesus' sake." 2 Corinthians 4:5 KJV