29 December 2010

You Are Appreciated

Happy New Year to all our reader friends. We appreciate you very much and thank you for stopping by and taking an interest in what we do. We love our work and know we are here because God had reasons and purpose, but we couldn't do it without all of you. Think of Jeff and I as the "point man" for the team. We're here because of your prayers and support. May 2011 be a blessed year for you. Above is a collage I did earlier this year.

24 December 2010

Merry Christmas Everyone!

23 December 2010


07 December 2010

Summer Activities

Here's a letter written by one of our Baptist Missionary Association supported missionaries. I'm sure you will praise God with us in what this young couple are doing for the Lord in Ukraine.

Hello Dear Friends,

The summer has passed and I would like to share with you the blessings God has granted us.

We did many different projects this summer. The camp for the disabled during 5 days in June, there were approximately 50 disabled young people with their parents. It was a very interesting and important time in their lives.

July– the camp for teenage non-believers in the Carpathian Mountains (Ukraine).

July – football championship for teenagers in which 8 teams participated (approximately 50 boys non-believers). This championship was timed with the World Cup and then we organized an evangelical concert where the winners were awarded. We have taken the contacts of all those kids and now we want to invite them to our teen club and to keep in touch so that we could bring them to Jesus.

And also we had the bicycle project from 2nd to 12th of August throughout Kherson region (Ukraine). This was a very interesting time. Our team consisted of 37 people from Ukraine,4 from the USA, 2 from Canada, and 1 Nigerian. We rode 500 km on our bicycles, visited 9 cities and evangelized on central squares in each of those cities. Hundreds of people got Christian literature and the Gospel message. We explained the Gospel individually to more than 500 people. 50 of them repented and invited Jesus into their hearts.

We are planning a family conference in our church for the couples of non-believers and the couples from our church.

Our church is doing ok now. It is growing gradually. We have stepped into not such an easy period where we have started the construction of our church. We have started the excavation and we want to make a basement before winter comes.

Thank you for your participation and support of our ministry.

Volodya Ponomorov
Matthew 1:22-23

All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: “The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel” (which means “God with us”).

God with us. Divinity coexisting with humanity. Unfathomable.

God. The perfect, omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent Creator of all things deigned to walk with and in His own creation. For what purpose? Ebenezer Scrooge asked that very question of the Ghost of Christmas Past. The answer Scrooge received is God’s answer to us: “Your welfare...Your reclamation, then. Take heed!”

Take heed, then. If God came to His creation as part of that creation, our need for reclamation must be great. No human can dwell in the presence of His holiness because in our own stubborn willfulness we choose our own way. Even when we recognize our need for redemption (as Scrooge finally did) we are incapable of our own salvation. Only Jesus, the perfect and pure Lamb of God, Immanuel, can redeem us. Only by trusting in His salvation can we rest in the hope of one day being ourselves with God.

God with us. And one day, we with God.

Our prayer for you.

18 November 2010


Our first craft was the ladies making angel banners. Ukrainians are so creative and they turned out beautiful.
I led the ladies in creating prayer journals that would also function as a witness tool
Individual counseling went on all weekend
1950's fashion, the girls had such fun
Saturday night fashion show with Tanya Sokolovska, our teacher/speaker in the center
Potato dance, we laughed to the point of tears.
Hat contest winners. They all made them.
Praise and worship
Prayer Stations

All gathered together on our last day for a last group shot. Bittersweet parting.

30 October 2010

Ukrainian Culture

This lovely gate was taken at sunset. I don't know who owns it and I was hoping they wouldn't see me photographing in front of their home. It brings up an interesting aspect of Ukrainian culture. In American we have fences around the back to keep the dog in or the neighbor dogs out. Here 99% of all homes are fenced around the front as well. And usually behind that fence is a big mean dog. At the gate is usually a door bell since you wouldn't want to go meet the dog. It is how people keep their homes secure. And, since you were wondering, yes, we have a fence around the front of our home too. It was there when we bought it and we have the big mean dog as well. Just fitting into the culture.

19 October 2010

Harvest Day, Bethany Church, Bucha Ukraine

Harvest Day took place at the end of September. It is a time of giving thanks for the harvest and for all that God has done for us. This holiday doesn't fall on a specific day, but is simply done at some time in the fall as each church chooses. Church members bring items from their harvest to make a beautiful display.
The highlight of any thanksgiving service is the preaching. This is our Pastor Victor Constantinovich.
The adult choir added a rich quality to the service with a wonderful performance of several hymns.

A full house.

18 October 2010

Visa Application

Today we are in Cracow, Poland. This picture is a lovely door we stumbled upon after our arrival last night. Please pray for Jeff this week as he starts the visa process at the Ukrainian Embassy. Ukraine requires missionaries to leave the country to redo their visas so that is why we are here. Please also pray for divine appointments. Cracow is the nearest spot we can redo visas. As ever, we are grateful for your prayers.

Women's Conference 2010

Last year we had 50 women who attended this conference. Please pray for that and more. We have 56 spaces open for the weekend retreat this year. Please pray for the attendees and for Vicki, Tanya and myself, Coleen, as leaders of the retreat...that we may have wisdom as we minister.

10 October 2010

Great Last Day of Training

Jeff is grateful for your prayers. The Lord has answered and blessed the training with the men's interest and enthusiasm. Jeff also visited with one of the missionaries today out in the provinces and and was blessed to see God's work being done there. Thank you for the support that you are to us. The battle is strong and we could not do it without you.

08 October 2010

Yerevan, Armenia

Doors of Armenia

In Yerevan

Echmiadzin Door

Jeff expressed gratefulness for those who have prayed. His throat was better yesterday and he drank more water. He called it a great training day as the men are really starting to get a vision for how they can use these tools to grow their ministries. The whole seminar is about planning and yesterday they talked about a planned approach to leadership development and how to plan the discipleship process while avoiding potential dangers and set backs. Of course, that is all very abbreviated, but it gives you a small sense of what they are doing. Jeff is pleased with the men's enthusiasm. Please continue to pray for them.

Hope you like these beautiful Armenian doors taken in June 2010.

06 October 2010

Armenian Architecture and Training

Jeff and I were in Armenia this past June because the Armenian Theological Seminary awarded him an honorary doctorate for his years of work. It was my first time in Jeff's 10+ years of working there so he wanted to show me around. This is a bit of architecture in the central square of the capital city, Yerevan. I thought I'd show a few of these things we saw as I relay some of Jeff's reports from this weeks training.

I just spoke to him. He's tired and his voice is sore from talking all day, but he was pleased by the reception from the men. He said it was a good session and the brothers were "right with me." They discussed the essential principles of church planting and prayer planning. This included how to plan for a prayer retreat so that they might start to understand what "God's" vision is and what "He" wants for their ministry. Please pray for these men this week that the Lord would give them ears to hear. Pray for Jeff's focus, strength and health. We are ever grateful for your prayer support. It is always a battle (Jeff is being moved for the third time in the hotel).

04 October 2010

Training in Yerevan, Armenia

Armenian pastors and missionaries attending training this week. Pray for them and for Jeff in his role as trainer/teacher.

03 October 2010

Training in Yerevan, Armenia

As I write this, Jeff is spending his first night in Yerevan, the capital of Armenia. Planes only fly in and out of there twice a week, on Sundays and Wednesdays, so Jeff has a couple study days before he starts his training on Wednesday morning. He will be working with pastors and missionaries who will come in from all over Armenia. Please be in prayer for Jeff in his preparation and for the men who will be attending this week. Jeff was trained by Dynamic Church Planters International in their new program and is excited to be passing it along. Check back this week as I update on the training.

18 September 2010

A Prayer for your Encouragement

It is from Powerful Prayers For Your Family(previously released as Praying the Bible With Your Family)
I personalized the prayer for me, now put your name in where mine is....

Lord, Thank You that You are "the living bread that came down from heaven"(John
You came down to me , Coleen from heaven to give me life. You said," If
anyone eats of this bread,he will
live forever"(John 6:51) Today I want to fill my heart and quench my
thirsty spirit with your living water(7:38). I want the food You offer
because it never spoils(6:27).Today may every
snack and drink and meal and dessert remind me of how much I also need to
feed my spirit.Make me hungrier for You, God! Help me to never forget that I
can't live on bread alone,
but that I also need to live on every word You tell us(Matthew 4:4) Amen

"Teach me Thy way ,O Lord , I will walk in Your truth ; Unite my heart to
fear Your name ,I will praise You ,O Lord my God , with all my heart , and I
will glorify Your name forevermore ."Psalm 86:11-12

Above photo by Jeff Franks in our back yard.

30 August 2010

On a Lighter Note

This is Jeff's buddy, Kiwi, who has found his favorite spot to roost while Jeff is on his computer. In July some friends left on furlough and asked us to care for their bird while they were gone for 6 months. Jeff read up on how to care for a parakeet and took on the challenge. He's been a lot of fun.

The Eastern Country of Georgia, part 3

This is the view of from Jeff's room of the town where they met to have the Dynamic Church Planters training recently in the country of Georgia. It is the town of Bakuriani.
These are church members that Jeff and Vissarion went to visit.
This is the home where the church sometimes meets for services in the town of Tsinarekhi, Georgia.

26 August 2010

Widows Camp

I had the privilege this week of leading crafts in the widows camp. I am always so blessed by doing anything like this for the joy I see it brings both kids and adults. This week the ladies got to be like kids again and have a time of creativity.
Framing the group photo I believe was their favorite project. Everyone went home also with a jar decoupaged with pretty napkins and two candles each which will come in handy when the electricity goes out in the winter, as it does often enough here.

I wanted a picture of the ladies from the kitchen, but they made me get in the photo. L-R, Olga, me, Veronica, Lilia and Vera. Vera was the leader of the camp, but as you can see wore many hats.

24 August 2010

Shining Faces

These sweet ladies here have just finished making fans at the three-day widows camp at the Village of Hope Orphan Camp. They glued pretty pictures and bible verses onto their fans. Plus they all made door hangers with verses to give to a neighbor. It is a great privilege for me to do this work and I truly believe I am blessed far more than any of them in what we do together. Afterward we had a nice time of fellowship and refreshments. You can see more pictures at: http://vintageterrace2.blogspot.com/

Camp for Widows of the Church

This is a group of ladies from our church and a few from surrounding churches who are having a time of refreshment and fellowship at our orphan camp the Village of Hope. We did this great group shot the first evening (Monday). The young ladies on the left are the kitchen workers, also from our church. The two men in the back on the left are pastors and the one on the right is a deacon. The dark shirted one is my husband Jeff who set up the picture for us. I am front row first on the right. Jeff got the pix printed and tomorrow (Wednesday) I will do a frame craft with the ladies to preserve their picture with a verse on it and magnets on the back. A nice memory of the time. For more pictures on this event visit my crafts blog: http://vintageterrace2.blogspot.com/

12 August 2010

The Eastern Country of Georgia, part 2

Classes are going well. Jeff and the men are excited. These pastors are seeing possibilities and getting a new sense of vision. God is at work. Below is a short note Jeff sent this evening. Please continue to pray for Jeff and the men.

On the way back from Bakuriani we stopped in the village of Kvemochala, which is a stone's throw from the S. Ossetian border. Driving in, two border guards checked our papers. We had a good service and then they fed us a big village meal. Now it is 11 pm and we went to Anatoly's sister's place for Internet. It is very hot here and I am feeling like I got some food poisoning in the village. Headache and queezy right now. I tried calling you on Skype but you were not on line. I will try one more time, but I have to quit very soon. Miss you, and maybe I can find Internet tomorrow, but don't expect that. Thanks for your prayers. Pray I will feel better soon.

08 August 2010

The Eastern Country of Georgia

Today Jeff leaves for a week in Georgia where we will do a Dynamic Church Planters International seminar with pastors and missionaries. Please take this to your churches and ask for prayer. Pray for the safety of all involved, for the equipment to work and for the men to have "ears to hear." He will fly to Tbilisi, the capital, and drive from there to their meeting place. If you recall, Georgia was in the news for conflict between them and Russia. The Russian troops that invaded Georgia never left and thus many Georgians who were forced out of their homes in the invasion region have never been able to return. Some of these Georgian pastors are ministering to these people. Pray that the Lord will use this seminar to inspire and motivate the men to new desires in serving their people. As always, we are thankful for your loving petitions and grateful that you hold us up before the throne of grace. As Jeff sends this week, I hope to post some pictures.

07 August 2010

Sculpture in Yerevan, Armenia

In June, Jeff and I traveled to Armenia where he was awarded an honorary doctorate. He's been traveling and working there since 1997, but it was my first trip. It has been a busy summer and thus I am behind in getting things blogged. A couple of these you may have seen from an earlier post, but I wanted to post them altogether. I was so impressed that throughout the downtown area of Yerevan, the capital, there were art sculptures displayed in courtyards and on sidewalks. This is just a random sampling. The last picture includes Jeff. I don't get many with him in it because he doesn't like to be and because he is often the one handling the camera. Notice any resemblance? I'll post more pictures of this beautiful country later too.

06 August 2010

Camp in Ukraine

The first morning was indoors due to weather.
Those who played volleyball.
Those who watched the volleyball.

In late June we had a group of youth from Antioch Baptist Church, Conway, Arkansas who came to be a part of our first ever overnight camp. We had 40 children plus 20 workers. That was a lot of mouths to feed, but great cooks took care of everyone. For our children it was a great experience of learning about another culture as we did some of the American holidays and related their Christian theme.

01 August 2010

Jaime Jorge Around Ukraine

This is the dear sweet Bakanov family, that took care of Jeff and Jaime when they were in Simferopol, which is the capital of the autonomous republic of Crimea. The evening in Simferopol was memorable for all, but especially for Jeff since that was our home church 13 years ago when we lived in that area. He got to see many old friends. That church is one of the biggest in the Crimea region and it was packed for Jaime's concert. Praise and glory to Him. Jeff in glasses and Jaime in hat.

27 July 2010

Jaime Jorge in Ukraine

This is the third year virtuoso violinist Jaime Jorge has toured in parts of Ukraine. Jaime was born and raised in Cuba, but now is an American citizen. In his ministry he travels all over the world playing concerts and sharing about his love of God.

The tour this year is in the Crimea region of Ukraine. He has already played two concerts in which he was very well received in Kherson and Simferopol. He is always such an encouragement to anyone who plays an instrument. Many students come up to him after each concert and share their stories.

My husband, Jeff Franks is taking Jaime around on this tour and translating into the Russian language for him. They will be in a different city in concert each night this week through Sunday evening. Please be in prayer for both these men that God would use them in a mighty way to further his kingdom.