29 April 2010

Belichi Baptist Church

Victor Kulbich, pastor of Bethany BC, parent church to Belichi BC
Jeff Franks
Youth Sang
Last Sunday we had the privilege of participating in the 10th anniversary of Belichi Baptist Church in Kiev, Ukraine. This is a daughter church to our church Bethany and the pastor of this church, Nikolai Dikterenko calls Jeff is God-father, meaning the person under whom he was saved. It was a great joy to participate with them in this celebration.

Belichi Baptist Church (cont.)

Pastors: Jeff Franks, Nikolai Diketenko (pastor of Belichi BC), Victor Kulbich and deacon Gregory also from BBC.

The entire church after their celebration.

24 April 2010

Spring In Ukraine

I'll bet you wonder what this is. Spring in all it's wonder is unfurling literally before our eyes. Some things you can see the changes even hourly. This interesting critter is rhubarb. When I was a little girl my grandmother grew rhubarb in her suburban yard outside of Chicago. She would make a sweet/sour sauce with it that my dad just loved. Now here I am, probably close to the age I remember her and I'm growing rhubarb in my Kiev suburban yard. It is so interesting when I think back at the influence she was in many areas of my life. I pray as a mother and grandmother that I too can have a good influence on those around me. Do you ever think about that? She's been gone for decades and yet she still influences my life. What a responsibility we have for the generations that follow. I think I'll make rhubarb pie this summer.

The Next Stage In Life

Many of you have prayed for Leah and her future. She is here enjoying her graduation celebration and her new net-book computer. In the fall she leaves for further education. Our little chick will fly the nest. Please continue to pray for her as she makes this next transition in life. Not only will she be moving out from home, but she will be moving far from Ukraine to Minneapolis, Minnesota. The good part of this is she will live her first year with family there. Thank you all for your loving prayers.

23 April 2010

Land of Mount Ararat, Armenia

In June Jeff and I will visit here. Jeff has been asked to speak to the graduating class of the Armenian seminary in the capital city of Yerevan. While Jeff has been here many times in our 16 years here, it will be my first visit. Got camera and sketch pad ready to go. I'll blog it there if I get access to internet.

22 April 2010

Crawling Out From Under A Rock

Spring is finally in full swing here in Ukraine. I laughed when I saw these daffodils struggling to emerge from around this rock. I laid the rock walk last summer long after the daffodils were gone and obviously forgot they'd been there. Still, I marvel at the tenacity of things God creates. How much more should we be tenacious and enduring when obstacles confront us. I would say these flowers were certainly moving along in faith that they would find the sunlight....and they did. I'm so glad.

21 April 2010

Dynamic Church Planting International in Ukraine

Chris Centeio from DCPI was in church with us on Sunday to tell about their mission. They have a vision for opening 5 million dynamic churches, able to reproduce themselves world wide. Jeff has been working with these men for the last week and a half and is excited about the possibilities. Ukraine has already been a "sending nation"...sending missionaries to many parts of the world.

18 April 2010

Church of Ukraine

One of the more beautiful churches of Ukraine. This is a Baptist church located in the Vinnitsa oblast (county) in central Ukraine take on one of my husband Jeff's recent trips.

15 April 2010

Kyiv, Ukraine

I just wanted to share this picture of a truly awesome new mall that has opened up in the capital city of Kiev. It would easily surpass many malls in America and is a far cry from our experience of burning coal to keep warm in our village home here 16 years ago. There are still some things here we cannot get, but they become fewer and fewer every year. I am thankful for that.

14 April 2010

Dynamic Church Planters International

This week Jeff has been involved with Dynamic Church Planting International. He is participating each day and next week he will teach the same class to more Ukrainian pastors. Training pastors in starting churches is something Jeff has done for many years, so this is an opportunity for him to strengthen and hone his skills.

13 April 2010

Kyrgzstan Events of this Past Week

Stunned Bewilderment over Kyrgyzstan Events
By Kristina Gray
Yesterday at 5:56am

What’s bewildering is one might know much in Kazakhstan concerning the Kyrgyzstan events of last week from American friends who are currently “on the ground” in Bishkek and who are “netizens” while the rest of the world just yawns and goes on with life as usual. But NOTHING is ordinary with 80 people dead, 100s wounded and a deposed president in the south of Kyrgyzstan refusing to resign after he drained all the country’s money from banks. That leaves a new, unsteady leadership with impoverished funds to try to clean up the mess they presumably created in order to have the power to have the same thing done to them again in five years. These revolutions in Kyrgyzstan seem to be following a Soviet style Five Year plan…

Read the following account from an American we know who has been in Bishkek for the last five years, he is a father of four children. I fully expect that he and many others did NOT know the demonstration would turn into a bloodbath.

April 7th Demonstration in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan

On the way home from school (to get the camera) we noticed that everyone was wearing black. We passed the police headquarters close to the Chinese restaurant in the basement. Heavily armed guards with big guns were at the scene, with at least 8-10 large dogs, mostly German Shepherds. Upon arriving at home, I quickly found a dark navy blue rain jacket and a camera with an extra battery. As soon as my brother and I reached Jibek Jolu, we noticed 100 armed police and soldiers with helmets, vests, guns, shields, and batons. We walked up a different route toward Panfilova, but then turned and saw all of them marching up behind us. We walked a little bit faster, unsure if they were after two handsome boys like us, but fortunately they stopped at a police station. We continued on ahead, saw the smoke rising up. Next to Panfilova, behind the museum, there was a lot of scattered trash everywhere. We could hear more gunfire and the shouts of people.

We walked up towards the city square where the statue and the big flag is. We saw more and more people and large rocks on the ground along with broken slabs of concrete. I saw that to my right, they had burned a little kiosk, and it was smoking gray, meaning it was a while ago. I saw that they had crashed army trucks into the gate of the “White House” and set it ablaze. The “White House” was surrounded by about a few hundred police officers and soldiers with guns, shields, helmets, and beating batons. I heard gun shots, and I saw about a few hundred protesters running back. They were carrying a man on their shoulders and took them to the square. There, a Damas ambulance was waiting as they loaded him into the trunk. From my view point, I couldn’t tell if he was dead or wounded. Then the whole crowd, there must have been ten thousand or more people, started cheering for him. But I could tell that they were furious, and they then rushed towards the White house, yelling.

I finally came to the place where the two guards stood, and men were throwing rocks at the glass. A few others were yelling at them, telling them not to. Some guys smashed the strobe lights with their feet. There were large pieces of glass and rocks everywhere. There were also a lot of cigarette boxes, Coke bottles, and miscellaneous trash. I saw some guys giving speeches on top of a platform with a megaphone. Others next to them were waving theKyrgyz flag.

The people there were mostly wearing black. Mainly men, about 90% but there were young women, young boys, old women, and old men. Some men wore the whiteKyrgyzhats like mine. I did not see anyone carrying arms besides sticks or stones. I noticed that some had beaten police up and had taken their shields, helmets, or batons.

I walked through the crowd, taking pictures. One guy asked me if I wasKorean, and I said yes. Then he told me to put the pictures on the Internet, so that the whole world would see what is going on. There were some T.V. stations there, and people wanted them to get closer to the action, but they didn’t want to. I eventually fought my way to the columns and got closer and closer to the “White House”. There was an occasional burst of gunshots. Then I saw one guy get shot. He was running toward the “White House” and someone shot him in the stomach. It was probably a sniper from the corner of the rooftop. There was a spotter and a sniper. The spotter was wearing a helmet and a mask. Blood spurted out. Two men rushed, waving their arms and carried him by his arms and feet to safety. I saw another man grasping his leg, and someone was with him with a red first aid kit.

I came to the columns and saw a HUGE puddle of blood, with a bloody jacket on top. It scared me and at first I didn’t think it was real. But when I returned later, someone had wiped it off, proving it wasn’t paint. I continued to the corner and saw that they had torn down signs and were standing on large pieces of concrete. More demonstrations were going on further up on Kievskaya. I saw puddles of blood on the ground. It was if someone had beaten a head with a baseball bat. I walked along parallel to the “White House”, getting dangerously close. Other people were also taking pictures with their cameras or phones. Then an ambulance came and quickly, people loaded the two men who were shot and the ambulance quickly carried them away. They had set about 5/6 trucks on fire and smashed them into the wall, denting the fences or breaking them. One sky blue truck had even gone through the gate.

I kept walking down, and I saw more people rallying. Some were carrying the red flag of Kyrgyzstan. Some were yelling at the people, encouraging them to fight. I went to the grass and found more splotches of blood. A nurse walked around the gate, and men started crowding around her, I don’t know why. I think she told them to go away, judging by the gestures of their hands. There was a bloody black shoe next to a large splotch of blood. The people started getting worked up and one kid was furious, he was about 6 years old, wielding a large stick and was screaming.


You might want to read this article to see the attitude of the Iranian president. Click on the title to go to it. This is the country that is holding Christians captive and torturing them. Please continue to pray for the couple who have been imprisoned for their Christian beliefs. The wife has gone on a hunger strike and we are concerned for her well-being. These are people, amongst others, whom my husband Jeff has worked with for years, training in Christian doctrine outside their country so they can go back and edify others. Please pray.

10 April 2010

Easter Service

The adult choir that Jeff and I participate in sang for Easter services. Easter continues to be celebrated long past the date of Easter. Recently the choir traveled to another church to sing and bring the service. Jeff and Pastor Kulbich both preached for that service.

06 April 2010

Blessing of the Babies

This is something we do for all the newborn babies in the church. Here we have Inna and Dima praying with Pastor Victor Kulbich, along with all the rest of the church. What a blessing for a child to get these kinds of prayers from so many.


For those of you who have been praying for our imprisoned friends from a no-access country, I am writing to ask you to please continue lifting them up. To this day nothing has been heard from them and even their two children ages (appox.) 9 and 13 have not been able to talk to them. Please pray for the children as well. This is a country where torture is common so please do not forget them.
Our hostess on the left, Vicki. Next to Vicki is our daughter, Leah. And friends from South Africa who are leaving soon. Such is missionary life, friends come and go.
Getting ready to thank the Lord for his provision and our fellowship.

Leah made mini-cupcakes for a lot of people.

Though being with family would be priority with all missionaries, we still gather with others and have a delightful time. This was as good as any Baptist potluck. We were grateful to be included in this celebration of the Lord's raising.