24 December 2009

Christmas Greetings

Merry Christmas to you all. My wish for you is that it would be filled with love and joy and that you would have great hope for the future. Let us remember this year the "reason for the season" that such a momentous event was marked for all of history when baby Jesus was born. Blessings to you all, Jeff, Coleen and Leah Franks

21 December 2009

New Gadget

Would you sign up as a "follower" on our blog? It's a great way for me to be in direct contact with you right from the blog. You'll find it on the right panel just below the calendar. Hit the white button and the rest is easy. That would be a real vote of support for us. Thanks.

The Christmas Holidays Begin

These are crafts we did with the kids on Sunday. On each one we send them home with a Bible verse for witness beyond the church. Right now the kids are using their crafts to decorate the tree that we will put up today. Though you might think that is late, we are just starting our Christmas holidays since Ukraine celebrates on the old calendar. They now recognize the 25th and New Years as part of their recognition of the west, but they celebrate also on the 6th of January for Christmas and the 14th for New Years. So now you see why I say we are just getting started. We have many evangelism events planned for the upcoming holidays and it is a busy time for us here. Our first children's event will be on Saturday the 26th. Please pray that God would touch hearts.


When every young family starts out they usually take some of their childhood traditions into their families, but they also have the option of developing their own unique family traditions. One we made was that of doing a puzzle at Christmas time over the holidays when kids were off from school. As you can see above, this is serious business....one thousand pieces.

Great father/daughter project. I'm just not a puzzle person.

Though I didn't participate in any of this I was given the honor of putting in the last piece. Of course, I was around, making the trail mix and cheering them on with each new victory.

Completed. What a beaut.

20 December 2009

Brrr! Bethany Baptist Church Without Heat

In the last few days we've hit a low of -16 Celsius, which is very close to zero Fahrenheit. Am I ever glad we have a new heating system as our home would be cold inside otherwise. Naturally all of this brings to mind the situation of our church being without a heating system. They are burning wood now, but that does little more than keep the pipes from freezing and busting. We want to help with this need, but we are only one family can only do so much. Therefore I write to ask you to pray for our church. Nine thousand dollars is a large sum for a population that makes an average of $400 a month, but it is a small thing for a mighty God who can move mountains. Please pray for God's provision in this.

The Missionary At Christmas

Saturday Prayer Breakfast

There was a good group in attendance at the Saturday Prayer Breakfast led by Aleksey Pivovar. The young couple Pasha and Tanya were there to tell about their 3-month mission to Turkey with their three young children. They just returned last Wednesday. They talked about how God helped them in making friends, one of whom was their apartment manager. After a serious operation involving his abdomen he had to haul heavy bags of coal to heat their apartment building. The strain caused his incision to open. When Pasha learned of their desperation, he began hauling the bags of coal for him. That led to a fast friendship which opened the door for many opportunities to share the good news of Jesus Christ. They shared many such stories of how God led them in exciting and unique ways.

18 December 2009

Western Ukraine's Influence

Catholicism is dominate in western Ukraine. These little monuments dot the roadsides and are even in people's yards. As one pastor said, talking about his efforts to evangelize, they answer him: "We go to church on holidays, we confess sins, we ask the priest to pray for us, what more do you want?" Western Ukraine was at one time dominated by Poland out of which came strong Catholic influence. Though that was many decades in the past, that strong influence still prevails today.

13 December 2009

Below Freezing

We have finally gotten our first snow and with it very cold temperatures, -8c.(in the teens F.). This morning the car stalled not far down the road due to diesel gelling in the lines. With Jeff out of town, this was an interesting predicament, but we prayed and God helped us. Through an hour of stalling, waiting and short drives we made it the two blocks back home. Now we will try to clear the garage and get it inside.

I'm writing this so you might understand the the church is still without heat and now it is more difficult than ever. The lighthouse is cold and attendance is down. Please pray that God would raise up those who would help supply this need. If you feel led to help in any small way please send donations to our missions office with the notation "Bucha furnace." May the Lord bless.
P.O.Box 30910
Little Rock, AR. 72260

Jeff's Group

"Another good day. They were blessed and I was blessed" Jeff said. The presence of the Lord brings such things. Praise to Him. There are four of the seventeen that could qualify as seekers in this group. Pray for them. One particularly is very close.

Basic theme Jeff has been covering is "Can we trust the Bible?" First topic was how God reveals himself (revelation, inspiration and authentication). They went onto reliability of the Old and New Testaments, 5 facts for creation and 5 facts for resurrection. Wish I could have been there.

They're final day had a good finish according to Jeff. He led everyone in a prayer of repentance and believes there was salvation in all the unbelievers and strengthening in the others. It was a time of blessing all around. We are thankful for those in America who make it possible for Jeff to meet with these folks. Please continue to pray for these people and their safe return home. God knows their names.

12 December 2009

New Gadget

I placed a new gadget on here that I thought would be fun. Would you sign up as a "Follower" of our blog? You can find it on the right panel.

Cold Church

Winter has finally hit in Ukraine. We've had such mild weather for so long we were beginning to wonder. Tonight it is minus 5 celcius (23F.) That means the church will really get cold overnight and and thus be very cold tomorrow. I'm sure our attendance will be down as a result. Please pray for God's provision in a new furnace for our church. We are heating temporarily with wood, but that does little more than keep the pipes from freezing in the basement. It does not add heat to our sanctuary. This is a small project for a loving God who can move mountains and we are counting on Him to help us through this trial. May He be lifted up and glorified through it all.

11 December 2009

Turkey, continued

There are 17 people attending Jeff's class in Istanbul. They had a very good first day. Jeff mentioned that two need prayer for health as they are both dealing with flu and two are seeking and asking a lot of questions. He said he has felt more challenged by this group than any he's had previously with their questions and desire to know God. Praise Him for such hunger. Pray for Jeff that the Lord would supply all he needs to minister to their needs. And remember these people who will be with Jeff through Sunday. May the Lord keep them all safe, may the Lord give them eyes to see and ears to hear.

09 December 2009


Please pray for Jeff as he minister is Turkey this week. He flew out yesterday and will be there for one week. He is teaching on the life of Christ to people from an undisclosed place that cannot freely study or worship in their own country so they travel elsewhere. Please pray for his health and for his teaching. I say health, as we were told one was coming who had the flu. Can you even imagine being so hungry to learn about God that you would travel a long distance while sick, stay in an uncertain place, and listen to someone you've never even met? We serve a mighty God and he has a plan for even these desperate people who want to know him so much they would make great sacrifices of time and money to discover who He is. May the Lord bless these meetings.

04 December 2009

Crimea, Ukraine

Please pray for Jeff and I this weekend. On Saturday I will do a scrapbooking class on "Developing Godly Values" in the Simferopol Bible Church. Then on Sunday we will worship with and later meet with the pastor of the Nikolaevka House of Prayer (church). We hope to be an encouragement to him. Nikolaevka is where we first came to minister over 15 years ago so it is a place that is near and dear to our hearts. The church that was started back then is still meeting and they are struggling through the process of funding the building of their church home. I wrote about this last March. We will get pictures to show you it's progress.