Wednesday, September 30, 2009

WORD OF THE DAY - Wednesday 30 September 2009

But the one that received seed into the good soil is the man that hears the word, and understands it. He also bears fruit, and brings forth, some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty. (Matthew 13:23)

Посеянное же на доброй земле означает слышащего слово и разумеющего, который и бывает плодоносен, так что иной приносит плод во сто крат, иной в шестьдесят, а иной в тридцать. (От Матфея 13:23 Russian)

Most Wise and Incomparably Rich God, our Heavenly Father ~ Thank you for this fresh day and the awareness that we are have so many possibilities for eternal and abundant living if we will just hear and obey your Son who was sent to this evil world to rescue us from the dead-end life of sin. Give us wisdom and courage to receive the truth with sincerity and allow it to permeate our innermost being so that we will truly become productive people in the blessed Kingdom of Christ. Help us to spread the Good News about Christ to our families, neighbors and acquaintances so that it will bring fruit all over this world even in our own generation. In Jesus name we pray, Amen.

Monday, September 28, 2009

WORD OF THE DAY - Monday 28 September 2009

"But God said to him, 'You fool! This very night your life will be demanded from you. Then who will get what you have prepared for yourself?' "This is how it will be with anyone who stores up things for himself but is not rich toward God." (Luke 12:20-21 NIV)

Но Бог сказал ему: безумный! в сию ночь душу твою возьмут у тебя; кому же достанется то, что ты заготовил? Так [бывает с тем], кто собирает сокровища для себя, а не в Бога богатеет. (От Луки 12:20-21 Russian Synodal Version)

Most Holy and Righteous God, our Dear Heavenly Father ~ Thank you for rousing our souls on this new day and making us aware of your steadfast presence throughout all creation. Give us wisdom as we study your perfect word so that we will be pricked in our hearts and refocus our efforts on matters that will outlive this mortal life. In Jesus name we pray, Amen.
Yesterday we had 8 souls present to honor Christ our Lord in worship. The large hall we meet in on Sundays is not as noisy as our permanent room on the second floor. However, it is not very convenient for our small group, so we will move our worship services and other meetings back up to Room 32. The noise on that floor comes from a dancing school that conducts classes at just about any time we might choose. The children are very enthusiastic and run up and down the halls. We can overcome that by closing our doors when we are meeting. We normally leave the door open so that a visitor will feel welcome. One advantage that we have in our current meeting place is that so many people from all over the city know about us. Several women that work in our building or the building next door have asked for Bibles. One dear lady, who is becoming our friend, works as a type of guard over parts of this large building. We noticed her sitting at her duty desk the other day reading the Bible and some literature we gave her. Last week we got to meet a grandson and presented him with a Children's Bible from EEM. She said he almost read it all the first day. We must just continue to sow the seeds, work the ground and be patient. At 1.00 today, I am scheduled to be with the students at the local pedagogical university. They enjoy having a native English speaker, and they give me liberty to choose my topics. I am presenting lessons on building good character. This allows for the interjection of some pertinent verses of scripture. We spent some time yesterday afternoon looking around the city at the announcements that we have posted on major arteries where there is much pedestrian traffic and where people stand waiting on transportation. At the bottom of our announcement, we mention the possibility for people who are studying English to sign up for the good Internet course that is offered at World English Institute's web site. We hope that WEI will have many people to sign up and that the teachers will treat their students with great care. Thank you for offering us words of encouragement and your prayers.

Friday, September 25, 2009

The LORD will perfect that which concerns me; your love, O LORD, endures for ever; do not forsake the works of your hands. (Psalm 138:8)

Господь совершит за меня! Милость Твоя, Господи, вовек: дело рук Твоих не оставляй. (Псалтирь 138:8 - 137-8 Russian Synodal Version)

Our Dear Heavenly Father ~ Thank you for this new day that dawns with further confirmation that we are not alone because of your unshakable presence in our daily affairs. Provide us with more of your infinite wisdom so that we, who are following Christ, will never lose sight of the fact that we are part of your generous and eternal plan for all people. We pray in Jesus name, Amen.

Our Bible study with Luda and Stepan went very well yesterday and we expect them to make a commitment to Jesus Christ as Lord in the near future. Many of our advertising posters have begun to appear in many more places around our area. We will venture forth today into areas where the agency assured us that they would put our posters. I well recall the old adage, 'inspect what you expect'. This morning we will get in line at the office where some foreigners must register their passport/visa. Since we will likely be in Ukraine more than three months, we need to learn if we should register with this branch of the police. Today we are also preparing for two Bible classes on Saturday. Tomorrow we will have to conduct our Children's Bible Class in two locations. We learned that some children at our old location were not allowed to come to our new location due to the distance. However, they are missing our regular studies and sent word that they will come if we come to them. We love these kids and cannot refuse their request, even though we really need some help in this. We know God will provide faithful helpers at the right time. So, we will be at our old location tomorrow thanks again to our brother Nikolai who permits us to use a room in his office suite. We are always thankful for your wise words of encouragement and the prayers.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

WORD OF THE DAY - Thursday 24 September 2009

"A creditor had two debtors. One owed five hundred denarii, and the other fifty. When they could not pay it back, he kindly forgave them both. So, which of them will love him most?" (Luke 7:41-42)

Almighty God, our Dear Heavenly Father ~ As we face the prospects of this new day, we rejoice over the awareness of the countless blessings that signify your boundless love. Give us wisdom and courage so that we will take full advantage of every opportunity that confronts us to tell about our faith in Christ that brings salvation. Help us not to be negligent in enthusiastically showing our love for Jesus our Savior and King. We bring this prayer in Jesus name, Amen.
Our visit to the University was even better than we anticipated. We had several more teachers than we expected. We normally take a small gift for everyone, and we didn't have enough because last week we didn't have so many of the faculty. We will be prepared next week and maybe we will even have more. My requested topic was on Christian Business Ethics. Since these were college English teachers I played off the phrase 'business ethics', and asked if that was an oxymoron. This got some heads working, and we had a good discussion of how it is possible for a person who is a Christian to conduct a business without wanting to deceive people. Later, we began a study of one of the parables of Jesus, and there was much interest in the Bible. At the end, the assistant to the head of the English department approached me to thank me for the lesson, and especially the Bible lesson. She explained that "most of us were never taught the Bible. Please teach us more next week." I just said a prayer of thanks right then, and Galina and I stopped and thanked God on the street when we left for this amazing opportunity. We just hope that somehow this will be an opportunity for some of these teachers and students to hear believe and obey the blessed Gospel and be saved. As we were leaving our apartment in the morning, we looked back at the statue that graces the little park outside our 4th floor window, and noticed all the beautiful flowers that had been placed there. Galina explained that the person, for whom this little street turned into a park is named, was one of the heroes during World War 2 (Great Patriotic War). He was a local leader of the patriots, a group of brave civilians who fought underground against the Nazis who were then occupying the region. In the evening we had our usual faithful group who assembled for Wednesday night Bible study. It is so heartwarming to hear the sincere questions that come from our searching the scriptures and to watch how the word of God influences these people to grow in their faith. We are humbled when we realize how God is using us at this time and in this particular place. Thank you for the many prayers and kind words that encourage us each day.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. (Matthew 7:26 NIV)

А всякий, кто слушает сии слова Мои и не исполняет их, уподобится человеку безрассудному, который построил дом свой на песке. (От Матфея 7:26 Russian Synodal Version)

Our Dear Heavenly Father ~ Thank you for the awareness of the oomph of life in our mortal bodies on this new day that brings fresh challenges along with blessings from your constant care. Grant us wisdom and strength to be positive and enthusiastic in the way we obey the perfect teachings of our Master, Savior and Lord. Father, as we struggle to gain worldly knowledge on a variety of subjects, give us clear minds so we will not overlook the greatest wisdom that was personally brought to this world that is rampant with evil. We offer this prayer in Jesus name, Amen. It is very fitting that this Monday we were at the Nikolaev Pedagogical University where I spoke to an assembly of more than a hundred 3rd and 4th year English majors. I was given an hour to speak, and followed that up with twenty minutes of questions and answers. Most of the questions were about the Bible. My topic was rights and responsibilities, which I tailored to begin speaking about the US Constitution and the first ten amendments. Then I pivoted from that into practical everyday things, then into spiritual matters. I used a parable of Jesus about the person with a log in their eye attempting to take a speck out of their brothers’ eye. When I asked them what the Lord’s lesson was with this parable, there was silence at first. Then, one young woman whose photo Galina took close up, explained carefully that those who agree to follow Christ should live better than others so that their advice will be accepted by those who are doing wrong. I am so thankful to our dear God for this open door. As we were leaving the building, one of the faculty members whom we had met last week, was outside the building getting ready to walk in the same direction as we were. Galina and I both recognized this Julia (Yulia) from our previous meeting and spoke with her. She strolled along with us, and we got to know her better, and then invited her to our meetings. Julia had very good and sincere questions and I did some teaching while we were walking and stopped in the shade of a tree. She seems very interested, especially the Bible classes on Saturday for her 7 year old daughter. We are still faking it as children’s Bible class teachers and desperately need some youthful and energetic help in that department! Meanwhile, we will continue to do the best we can. Today we have two appointments with people for individual Bible studies, and then tomorrow we are back at the university where I am scheduled to have a meeting with the faculty who wish to attend. Thank you for your fervent prayers and kind words that sustain and strengthen us.

Monday, September 21, 2009

WORD OF THE DAY - Monday 21 September 2009

How can you say to your brother, 'Brother, let me take out the speck that is in your eye,' when you yourself do not see the log that is in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take out the speck that is in your brother’s eye. (Luke 6:42 ESV)

Или, как можешь сказать брату твоему: брат! дай, я выну сучок из глаза твоего, когда сам не видишь бревна в твоем глазе? Лицемер! вынь прежде бревно из твоего глаза, и тогда увидишь, как вынуть сучок из глаза брата твоего. (От Луки 6:42 Russian Synodal Version)

Almighty God, our Dear Father in Heaven ~ We praise you on this new day for the numerous opportunities that challenge us to be more like Christ in the way we think and live. Give us wisdom and courage so that we will not be quick to condemn others for the same sins we are guilty of committing. Help us to see ourselves as you see us and give us wisdom to repent so that we can help others. We offer this prayer in Jesus name, Amen.

One of the routes that we walk to our church services is past one of the different protestant groups that have built church buildings. This building is occupied by a German denomination known as New Apostles Church. They also have a similar size building and grounds in the city of Magadan, Russia. Yesterday we had ten people for worship. Nikolai was present for the first time in a few weeks. His work takes him out of town most of the time, and we always miss his participation and encouragement in our work. When I commented that we only had ten people, Galina said, 'we are in the double digits!' Thank God for her constant spirit of optimism that she says learned from me, so that we help each other when one may be seeing things through dark glasses. Galina’s comments are also very helpful when I’m looking at things through rose colored glasses. Most importantly, we have many activities going on that are certain to bring lasting results for the Kingdom of Christ here in Nikolaev. Today, I have the opportunity to address a group of 3rd and 4th year English students at a local university. God willing, this challenge will be available each week. They want me to talk about American culture along with my religion. What a whale of an opportunity! I am humbled and very thankful to God for these situations that allow for the sharing of the Gospel. Thank you for the many prayers.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

God made the world and all things in it; he is Lord of heaven and earth and dwells not in temples made with hands. (Ac 17:24)

Бог, сотворивший мир и всё, что в нем, Он, будучи Господом неба и земли, не в рукотворенных храмах живет. (Деяния 17:24 Russian Synodal Version)

Almighty God, our Creator and Giver of everything that exists and has life ~ Thank you for pulling us unto yourself by the powerful force of love that is made known to us in your precious Word. Help us not to be deceived by the grandeur of the great temples around the world so that we might think those who worship there are somehow more worthy than those worshipping in a small hut or apartment home. Give us wisdom so that we will truly see your presence among those people who are wholeheartedly following Christ as Lord and have your Holy Spirit dwelling within the temple of their bodies. In Jesus name we pray, Amen.

As we exited the back door of the Post Office where we receive our mail, we noticed how great the grape vine was as it reached up to the third floor apartments and even crawled over wires to the apartment building next door. There are still grapes for anyone to take and eat. Of course it makes us consider the greatness of the Lord's Vineyard. We left in the morning with short sleeves as we have been doing, but quickly went back in for long sleeves due to the wind and a little cooler temperature. (49 F) This is a mild reminder that our stunning summer weather will be turning to autumn soon. We picked up many chestnuts on the sidewalks as we walked around the city putting up our invitations to our meetings. I was also able to meet seven people and give them my Russian language business cards that have some words about salvation on the back. At the bottom of the announcement, we also included in English language a link to World English Institute where those who already know English may sign up and study English using the Bible. We are expecting some visitors today for our worship. At least that is what they told us. Thank you for your prayers.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

WORD OF THE DAY - Saturday 19 September 2009

Jesus said unto him, “‘if you can!’ All things are possible to him who believes.” And straight away the father of the child cried out, and said with tears, “Lord, I believe; help my unbelief!” (Mark 9:23-24)

Иисус сказал ему: если сколько-нибудь можешь веровать, всё возможно верующему. И тотчас отец отрока воскликнул со слезами: верую, Господи! помоги моему неверию. (От Марка 9:23-24 Russian Synodal Version)
Dear God, our Holy and Kind Father in Heaven ~ Thank you for the breath of life on this new day. Open our eyes of faith so that we will respond to Christ without delay. Help those who are lost and drowning in the sorrows of a sinful life to have the courage to say no to sin and come home to your loving arms while there is still time. Help us all to have stronger faith in the supreme power of Christ our Lord. In Jesus name we pray, Amen.

Friday morning, when we started out from our apartment to go to the church meeting place, we were struck by the beauty of the park that is now down below us from our 4th floor apartment. This 'green' project was recently completed and put many people to work transforming what was an unsightly alley into a walkway from the large children's park in the background to Lenin Street, which is perhaps the main thoroughfare in the city. We are enjoying superb weather during these waning days of the summer season. Our mornings are nice and cool, but during the day it sometimes gets in the high 70's. We had a most productive Bible study with Luda that lasted for almost two hours. She is growing each day in her knowledge and understanding of the scriptures. Later, we picked up our cards from the printer. These are colorful cards that show our location and the plan of salvation on the back. They are approximately 3 X 5 size. We also printed up some more announcements on bright paper that we will use today to post around the city of the convenient sign boards. We hope that some people will notice these and come visit us at least out of curiosity. As we are posting these, we normally have the opportunity to meet people and give them a personal invitation.
We have still not heard anything from Truth for Today where we ordered some literature, or from EEM in Donetsk where we ordered Bibles, song books and literature. We keep checking or P.O. Box for a notice of shipment, and so far we have not heard a word. Now, we really need the Bibles. This week we did find a small package from Charles Campbell in Montgomery. He was kind enough to pay extra shipping to send us a copy of Christian Woman magazine. On one of Galina’s trips to Magadan when I could not get a visa, she used this publication for lesson ideas when she was teaching the women in Magadan. Beginning on Monday of this coming week, I begin my two days per week tutoring work at the Pedagogical University. They enjoy having a native English speaker (even from the South) and they ask me to talk about American culture and my religion. We keep praising God for this exciting challenge! One day I address the English faculty, and the other day I will speak to students in the 3rd and 4th year of their university education. Some of these are very well trained already in English since they may have already been studying since they were in kindergarten. Thank you for the prayers of faith and the time you take to send us words of encouragement.

Friday, September 18, 2009

WORD OF THE DAY - Friday 18 September 2009

How can a young man keep his way pure? By living according to your word. (Psalm 119:9 NIV)

Как юноше содержать в чистоте путь свой? --Хранением себя по слову Твоему. (Псалтирь 119:9 - 118-9 Russian Synodal Version)

Almighty God, our Dear Heavenly Father ~ We bring our highest praises into your supernal presence on this new day. Help us to show proper respect and love for all of your holy word before our children and grandchildren, so that they will influence their own age group and others to follow your perfect way in this life and into eternity. Help young people who are struggling with issues pertaining to moral laws to look into the perfect law of liberty for wisdom and guidance. Give us courage to be obedient to your word in all matters. We pray in Christ name, Amen.

We had our usual group present for our Thursday night Bible study. The university students provide much encouragement by their devotion to God's word. We were also pleased to have our 83 year old Stepan with us again. He has been having some problems lately that kept him away. Every day brings more pleasant surprises as we work to spread the Good News. Thank you for your prayers.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

WORD OF THE DAY - Thursday 17 September 2009

The LORD shall establish you as a holy people unto himself, as he has sworn to you, if you keep the commandments of the LORD your God, and walk in his ways. (Deuteronomy 28:9)

Поставит тебя Господь народом святым Своим, как Он клялся тебе, если ты будешь соблюдать заповеди Господа Бога твоего и будешь ходить путями Его. (Второзаконие 28:9 Russian Synodal Version)

All Wise and Merciful LORD God, our Father in Heaven ~ Thank you for the electrifying gift of life on this new day that arrives with even more challenges to share your love with those searching for the truth that sets men free from slavery to sin. Help leaders of nations that have a history of faith, to realize the solemn responsibility they have to allow and encourage the wide spread use of the Scriptures so that the people will turn to Christ for guidance and salvation. Make it possible for the people in other nations to learn about Christ even when their leaders stand opposed to the everlasting Church which is the glorious spiritual Kingdom of Christ and is not of this world. We pray in Jesus name, Amen.

Yesterday in the morning, we walked down the street for only ten minutes to the Nikolaev State Pedagogical University where we were greeted warmly by our friend Tatyana who is the head of the English Department. She took us to the room where I spent an hour and a half talking about American culture, education, and ethics and answering their questions about religion. This was our get acquainted session, and each week I am scheduled to be with this group at 09.40 each Wednesday morning. On Monday at 1.00, I am invited to address students who are studying in their third and fourth year at this university. Some are preparing to teach while others plan to be interpreters. I am allotted an hour and twenty minutes with each group, and there is no restriction to prevent me from teaching the Bible. At the outset of my talk yesterday, I showed the teachers a copy of the US Constitution that I carry around with me. I also showed them a nice medallion from the Montgomery Police Academy. I asked if anyone knew the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, and that whoever got the right answer would receive this medallion. During my talk, I made some references to some of the points in the first amendment to spark their memories. It seemed like no one knew. But, at the end, one young teacher in the back, said "is it Freedom of Religion"? That was a good enough answer to win the prize. They all had fun with that. Bryan Jurkofsky is a member of the Dalraida Church of Christ who also happens to be a captain in the Montgomery Police force. Part of Bryan's responsibilities is recruiting new officers and overseeing their training. He gave me a few of those medallions to present to some people here in Ukraine. We are so very grateful to all of you who regularly offer prayers to God for this work. Last night we had another visitor at our Wednesday night meeting. We are hoping he will return tonight. His name is Peter. He came as a guest of Luda and stated that he wanted to hear the gospel preached. He heard it. On one of our walks up to the place where the church meets, we noticed an old tree that looked like it was trying to say something. Any clues?

Monday, September 14, 2009

WORD OF THE DAY - Monday 14 September 2009

And not only that, but ourselves also, who have the first fruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for our adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body. (Romans 8:23)

Dear God, our Most Kind and Holy Father in Heaven ~ Thank you for every blessing that we receive without merit on this new day that sparkles with evidence of your abiding presence. Give us wisdom and stronger faith as we open our minds to receive even more of what you have in store for us while we live in these mortal bodies. Help us not to lose hope of that supernal day when we receive our new eternal bodies. In Jesus name we pray, Amen.

During our worship service yesterday, we enjoyed having nearly all of the Nigerian students who have visited our services in the past. Today we have a Bible study scheduled for 10.00 this morning with Luda and Stepan. Then, later we will contact the dean at a local university to determine when we will be able to start our work with the students. This may also include some faculty members and master's degree students. We will learn more this afternoon. There is another religious group that uses this same place for their services on Sunday. They use the name 'Church of Jesus Christ'. We made the assumption that this was a Mormon group. We were wrong about that. We met the pastor and his wife yesterday. He introduced himself to me as a Presbyterian. Do any of you know of Presbyterian groups that do not use the word Presbyterian in their name? This was a first for me. I plan to meet with this man again and learn more about their teachings. Thank you for the prayers!

Saturday, September 12, 2009

WORD OF THE DAY - Saturday 12 September 2009

Then Martha said to Jesus, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died. But I know that even now, whatever you will ask of God, God will give it you.” (John 11:21-22)
Тогда Марфа сказала Иисусу: Господи! если бы Ты был здесь, не умер бы брат мой. Но и теперь знаю, что чего Ты попросишь у Бога, даст Тебе Бог. (От Иоанна 11:21-22 Russian Synodal Version)

Exalted and Authoritative God, our Merciful Father in Heaven ~ Thank you for the opportunity to enter into your majestic presence on this new day. Help us to have the same strong faith in Jesus our Lord as did Martha long ago. Give us wisdom and courage so that we will encourage one another in the one true faith and lovingly challenge lost souls to seek your forgiveness and grace. In Jesus name, Amen.

We began Friday with had an early appointment with Yuri at a little sidewalk cafe at the local bus station where people catch busses and route taxis to cities and towns near and far away. He and his wife live in a small farming community on the road going south and west toward Odessa. Yuri along with his wife and daughter attended our services a couple of times, and we had a discussion about the possibility of us coming down on Sunday afternoons after we finish our services so that I can preach for a mixed group of 'believers' that he has been meeting with and trying to steer them toward New Testament Christianity. He will try to get their permission and we will meet again soon. He told about his journey of faith and how he spent 4 - 5 hours with our brother Alexander Prokopchuk who preaches on a TV broadcast each Sunday morning that is broadcast all over Ukraine. He and his wife bring dairy products from their community to sell in the Nikolaev market on Tuesday's and Fridays. Yuri reminded us a lot of our brother Ivan in Magadan who spent much time visiting different religious groups before our team arrived in 1994. We could have spent all day with Yuri, sharing our common beliefs regarding our faith. However, we had scheduled a Bible study with our faithful attendee, Lyudmila at 11.00 in the morning. At 10.30, we realized that we could not walk back over to where the trolleys, trams and busses stop in time to make it back across the city. We called Luda and told her we would be about 30 minutes late. We made it in the nick of time, and had a most productive study with this most studious person who has been mixed up with the SDA religion. That study lasted much longer than we anticipated, since we covered many scriptures about the wonderful New Covenant that she had not considered before. Later in the day we decided to walk across town and go across the long bridge that turns to open the lane for ships when they enter or leave that particular port area. We wanted to experience the long walk that our Nigerian students must take each time when they come to all our meetings. We are now even more impressed at their devotion! It took us well over an hour. Of course we stopped on the bridge over the Bug River to have our photograph made. We finally made it over to the university where they attend. It is housed in one very large building that was built during the years when this was an important strategic center for that now defunct country. We sometimes need to be reminded that nations rise and fall, but the Kingdom of God last forever. Since we had already made it that far, we went a little further to a large establishment called Praktiker. It is very similar to Home Depot or Lowe's. The room where we are meeting only has one light bulb hanging from the ceiling. We found an open box 5-lamp fixture, which we will ask the electrician in the building to install. With that in hand, along with 5 of those ‘green’ economic bulbs (lampichkie), we caught a taxi back to our church's office and brought our sign in for the night, and made our way home. We were so satisfied that we had many opportunities to share God's love during the day. This morning we plan to head out with some of our hand-outs and do some more street evangelism. We constantly thank God that we have no hindrances from our work! Thank you for your many prayers and words of encouragement.

Friday, September 11, 2009

WORD OF THE DAY - Friday 11 September 2009

But as for me, I am like a green olive tree in the house of God; I trust in the faithful love of God forever and ever. (Psalm 52:8)

А я, как зеленеющая маслина, в доме Божием, и уповаю на милость Божию во веки веков. Псалтирь 52:8 (51:10 Russian Synodal Version)

Glorious and Merciful God our Dear Heavenly Father ~ Thank you for awakening us to the sights and sounds of a fresh to enjoy the impressive gift of life that moves within us. Grant us wisdom and stronger faith as we connect with your Word, and discipline ourselves to trust and obey Christ as Lord. We pray in Jesus name, Amen.

Photo: Thursday evening Bible study at the Church of Christ in Nikolaev, Ukraine.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

WORD OF THE DAY - Thursday 10 August 2009

Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, unmovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor is not in vain in the Lord. (1 Corinthians 15:58)

Glorious God, our Kind and Loving Father in Heaven ~ Be with us on this new day as we discover ever increasing blessings from your bounty. Grant us wisdom and strengthen our hearts so that we will be able to conduct ourselves with courage and confidence as we live in the will of Christ our Lord. Help us to retain fresh in our memories the spectacular reward that awaits the faithful. In Jesus name we pray, Amen.

Wednesday was another day with many activities that kept us moving with joy all day. Galina spent the morning catching up on translating some of my lessons. Our Bible study last night was interrupted by the delivery of our new sign. We will put it out in front of the building when we are there during the day and on the nights we have Bible studies. Otherwise, we will keep it stored away in our storage room so that it will not be exposed to those with the fever to show their Mexican influenced deco art/graffiti. We are having some A4 size posters printed up according to the same design as this sign. It is our plan to use these around town to invite people to our meetings. We met a chiropractor yesterday who has an office in the building. He also practices some form of Para-psychology. This led to an interesting conversation with the hope that he will consider God's word as the source of truth rather than his speculation of thoughts. We noticed yesterday that a crowd was gathering downstairs in this meeting hall, and a group of seniors were listening to a person hawking some type of balm that will heal their many ailments and pains. I hope we can reach these same troubled souls with the Balm of Gilead. Thank you for your kind thoughts and many prayers for this particular harvest field.
David Binkley, Sr., evangelist
334-277-4628 USA (voice mail)

Ukraine phone: 380501379199
Mail address in Ukraine:
P.O. Box 196
Nikolaev 17, Ukraine 54017

Sponsoring church:

3740 Atlanta Highway
P.O. Box 3085
Montgomery, AL 36109

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

WORD OF THE DAY - Wednesday

And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us. (Romans 5:5 NIV)

Dear Lord God, our Heavenly Father ~ Thank you for your abundant blessings of mercy that we receive on this new day. We are almost overwhelmed when we consider how you give obedient followers of Jesus Christ part of yourself to actually live within us and help us to also be love. We welcome the presence of your Holy Spirit as we study your word and serve our living Savior. In Jesus name, Amen.

Photo: About three weeks ago, the Magadan church took advantage of some beautiful weather and headed to the hills for a picnic. The pictures Ivan shared with us brought back many pleasant memories with this special group of Christians in the northern Far East of Russia. God willing, we have a trip planned there later this year. Tuesday here in Nikolaev was one of those days where we had much running around the city in order to accomplish certain necessary things connected with our evangelistic work and day to day living. We finished the layout for our stand-alone metal sign that we will place in front of the House of Culture where the church meets. We will put it out during the day, and move it in at night. This is not the large "4 x 8" sign that we have in mind for a little later on. The company that makes the portable sign will deliver it today just before our meeting time tonight at 6.00. We also ordered some printed cards that are approximately the size of an index card. These will be used by everyone to give to friends, neighbors, co-workers, fellow students, etc. to inform them about the location of our meeting place and how to be saved and live for Christ. We were prepared for our Bible study with one man, but he canceled out at the last moment. Galina had been pleading to go shopping for some necessities of keeping house, so scrooge gave in and we walked to several shops and kiosks. We brought our bags home and picked up one of our strong cloth bags and went back to get a watermelon. We know they will be gone soon, so we decided to have a treat for the end of the season. The distance from the shop and the walk up four flights of stairs to our apartment influences your shopping. So we changed our mind on the big melon and settled for a medium size. We received news from our brother Ivan in Magadan that he will be visiting with us on the 11 of October when he has his vacation. Ivan, along with Vasily is one of the leaders in the Magadan church. He deserves this break to see his family here in Ukraine since he has been so busy in his regular job that involves helping with various types of disasters. Lately due to cyclone rains in the Magadan region he has been helping with victims of flooding in remote towns of the north. I really mean north! We are surely looking forward to his visit and the new church here will benefit from his experiences and knowledge of God's word.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Grandchildren are a crown to the aged, and parents are the pride of their children. (Proverbs 17:6)

Венец стариков--сыновья сыновей, и слава детей--родители их. (Притчи 17:6 Russian)

Корона для старших онуки, а пишнота дітей їхні батьки. (Притчи 17:6 Ukrainian)

LORD God Almighty, our Merciful and Gracious Father in Heaven ~ Thank you for the enormous miracle of life that resides in our earthly bodies on this new day. Bless families around the world as they honor one another and learn about your love for all mankind. Help us to provide comfort to those living without parents. In Jesus name, Amen.

All the fresh fruits and vegetables that we enjoy each day here are also sold on the side of the road by growers. On the highway that leads to Odessa, we noticed many people selling the last of their watermelon, cantaloupe, honeydew, eggplant, squash, tomato and pepper crops. We find these in little kiosks all around the city of Nikolaev as well as in the central market where the growers bring their goods at the end of the day to catch some volume buyers. Many of the buyers are resellers who take them to their shops, stands or cafes. As is the case in most countries, the growing and marketing of produce is carried on by many families. That is also a strong tradition here in Ukraine, and like all the rest of the world it is difficult to keep the kids down on the farm once they see the city life. Yesterday, I finally completed our order for Bibles and literature from Eastern European Mission (EEM Europe). Thanks largely to Galina's hard work; we finally cleaned up the storage room that we have rented to keep our Bibles and literature. We will also soon be ordering other Russian language Bible study literature from Truth for Today. Some citizens of the former Soviet Union are often sensitive about Bibles that are translated, printed and published in the USA. It is likely a natural response to the years of propagandizing that went on by both sides during the years of Cold War. Some Americans would also likely feel the same way if Bibles were being distributed in the USA that were translated, published and printed in countries of the Former Soviet Union. We are very pleased that we now have Bibles and song books that have no reference to any publishing house in the West. Fortunately, not every person here is sensitive to this problem and many are thankful that there is an abundance of Scriptures in all languages available from America. Thank you for your prayers.

Monday, September 7, 2009

WORD OF THE DAY - Monday 07 September 2009

And my God shall supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:19)
Бог мой да восполнит всякую нужду вашу, по богатству Своему в славе, Христом Иисусом. (К Филиппийцам 4:19 Russian Synodal Version)
А мій Бог нехай виповнить вашу всяку потребу за Своїм багатством у Славі, у Христі Ісусі. (Филипяни 4:19 Ukrainian Bible)

Most Holy God, our Dear Father in Heaven ~ How wonderful to be invited into your presence on this new day that arrives with even more verification that your promises are faithful and true. Help those who are experiencing moments of defeat and despair as they face what looks like hopeless circumstances. Help us not to be overcome by the tricks of the Devil and lose our hope. Open our eyes to the abundant spiritual blessings that sustain the faithful during good times as well as bad. In Jesus name we pray, Amen.

Sergei was our only child for the Sunday Bible class. This is so commendable of him to come, even when his two friends had to go somewhere with their parents. He wanted to quote his memory verse. For this, he received his first yo-yo and a short lesson from an old Duncan yo-yo aficionado. He also had adult style questions about the reason for worship. During our worship services, we only had the usual faithful few, but that did not deter our worship of God here in Nikolaev, Ukraine. As usual, Afolabi and Akinrinde helped set things up and put everything back in our storage room after the worship services. We have an appointment to meet tomorrow with Yuri the man who has business in Nikolaev two days a week. We will also resume our studies with Lyudmila. Thank you for the many prayers as we joyfully work in this vital Ukrainian harvest field.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

WORD OF THE DAY - Sunday 06 September 2009

And by that will, we have been made holy through the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ once for all. (Hebrews 10:10 NIV)

По сей-то воле освящены мы единократным принесением тела Иисуса Христа. (К Евреям 10:10 Russian Synodal Version)

У цій волі ми освячені жертвоприношенням тіла Ісуса Христа один раз. (Евреи 10:10 Ukrainian Bible)

Great and Glorious God, Our Dear Heavenly Father ~ We offer the praise of our voices and our deepest thoughts as believers gather in common worship on this new Lord’s Day. Bless your Church O God, with a great spiritual revival in all the nations so that people will know that our living Christ is the one hope for all mankind. We do not have proper words to express our thanks that the One and Only Son became a substitute for the penalty our sins deserve. We pray in Jesus name, Amen.

Saturday the 5th was another productive day with the children. Our faithful three were the only ones to show up again. They think that some of the parents do not allow their kids to attend since it is a little too far to walk. It only takes them about 10 minutes from where they live, so they come rejoicing. The youngest one yesterday exclaimed that "if we would advertise all children would come to YOU!" They each took a handful of our flyers with them to pass out on the way home. We are not sure what will happen to those, but these boys are very earnest. They live in the same large apartment building but in different entrances. They are ages 12, 9 and 6 but are good friends. The ones who read take care of the one who is just starting to read. Galina wrote their memory verses on little pieces of paper and they are determined to have it memorized by today's 11.00 class. Our worship today will be at 1.00 since that is the time the large hall is available to us. We are hopeful for visitors. Thank you for your prayers and encouragement!

David Binkley, Sr., evangelist
334-277-4628 USA (voice mail)
Ukraine phone: 380501379199

Mail address in Ukraine:
P.O. Box 196
Nikolaev 17, Ukraine 54017

Sponsoring church:
3740 Atlanta Highway
P.O. Box 3085
Montgomery, AL 36109

Saturday, September 5, 2009

WORD OF THE DAY - Saturday 05 September 2009

The LORD reigns, let the earth rejoice; let the multitude of islands be glad. (Psalm 97:1)

Господь царствует: да радуется земля; да веселятся многочисленные острова. (Псалтирь 97:1 96-1 Russian Synodal Version)

Царює Господь: хай радіє земля, нехай веселяться численні острови! (Псалми 97:1 Ukrainian Bible)

Almighty God, Eternal and Supreme Ruler of all creation ~ Thank you for permitting us to bask in the constant sunshine of love in your vast domain. Help us not to be discomforted whenever we hear stories of how evil forces seem to be in control of the majority of this world. Give us spiritual vision so that we will know for certain that even the most powerful evil is dragging the unbreakable chains of your control. Give us wisdom so that we will have a constant sense of rejoicing as we consider the freedom that we possess under the majestic leadership of King Emmanuel. We pray in Jesus name, Amen.

Photo: There is a remarkable difference in the religious tolerance that we see in Ukraine compared to that of many other countries. Here is a quotation on the side of a bus from John 3:36a in Russian and Ukrainian languages. We constantly pray that we will meet more people who are open to learning about God's loving plan of salvation. Thank you for praying with us.

Friday, September 4, 2009

WORD OF THE DAY - Friday 04 September 2009

Now our Lord Jesus Christ himself, and God our Father who loved us and gave us eternal comfort and good hope through grace, comfort your hearts and establish them in every good work and word. (2 Thessalonians 2:16-17)

Сам же Господь наш Иисус Христос и Бог и Отец наш, возлюбивший нас и давший утешение вечное и надежду благую во благодати, да утешит ваши сердца и да утвердит вас во всяком слове и деле благом. (2-е Фессалоникийцам 2:16-17 Russian Synodal Version)

Holy God our Father in Heaven ~ Thank you for this another wonderful day to live under your watchful care as we walk in the light of Christ our Lord. Strengthen our innermost being so that we will speak, think and act with a sense of positive hope for ourselves and our loved ones and those outside of Christ. In Christ name, Amen.

Last night’s meeting capped off another blessed day in our work here in Nikolaev, Ukraine. The four who attended this study took notes on the entire lesson that dealt with the topic of the sin problem. They wanted to make sure that they wrote down every Bible reference. Galina gave them new notebooks and pens since they had already filled up pages from previous studies. Today we are scheduled to have a meeting with a man that visited our services on Sunday. His family does not live too far from the city. He has business to look after on Tuesdays and Fridays. We spent some time visiting with a few of the TV listing newspapers to see if they would take our advertisements. Two informed us that they do not take religious advertisements. We had already noticed this, but we asked anyway. So far, we are relying upon our printed handouts that we give away as well as post in public places where it is allowed. We have not yet made arrangements for our large sign that we are allowed to place in front of the building where we meet. Last night as we were singing, praying and having Bible study, in another room down the hall, children were attending a dancing class. They and their adult supervisors were interested in what we were doing. We are happy to be in this public venue with the Gospel.