Sunday, September 26, 2010

WORD OF THE DAY - Sunday 26 September 2010 from Mykolayiv, Ukraine

My walk carried me up to the top of the hill where the local administration has its offices. A prominent square is frequently visited by couples, individuals and families on weekends and holidays. A statue of Lenin, one of the early leaders of Soviet Communism, towers over the city. These days, the area has been taken over by skate boarders and successful people who now drive by in their new foreign made cars or stroll around showing off the latest European clothing fashions. Today we are expecting some visitors for worship. I hope it works out this way. Nick has agreed to help me as interpreter and this will be his first visit to our assembly. Thank you for remembering us in your prayers.

We continue to receive calls from our advertisements for English classes using the Bible along with the World English Institute lessons.

Mormon missionaries are very active in Ukraine. We frequently meet nice looking young Americans doing their mission work. Even though they are far from home, they survive here with the constant support of one another and a team of supervisors. When we meet, we exchange good natured greetings as fellow Americans do whenever we meet on foreign soil. These dynamic young folks regularly put their version of the plan of salvation on Sovietskaya Street. When rain washes it off, they are soon busy putting it back for all to see. Chalk art is very popular these days. You could say it is a good alternative to the spray painted art, but who am I to say. We have our sign on a board very close to their diagram.

Yesterday around dusk, I decided to take another long walk around the center of town. Even though it has been months since President Viktor Yanukovych won a hard fought election, the loyal opposition continues to purchase billboards promoting their candidates and their agendas. They don't just go quietly into the night when an election is over. Apparently they are laying ground work for the next election. I suppose politics is pretty much the same all over the world.

And they sang a new song: "You are worthy to take the scroll and to open its seals, because you were slain, and with your blood you purchased men for God from every tribe and language and people and nation. (Revelation 5:9 NIV)

И поют новую песнь, говоря: достоин Ты взять книгу и снять с нее печати, ибо Ты был заклан, и Кровию Своею искупил нас Богу из всякого колена и языка, и народа и племени, (Откровение 5:9 Russian)

І нову пісню співають вони, промовляючи: Ти достойний узяти цю книгу, і розкрити печатки її, бо Ти був заколений, і кров'ю Своєю Ти викупив людей Богові з усякого племени, і язика, і народу, і люду. (Откровение 5:9 Ukrainian)

Y entonaban este nuevo cántico: «Digno eres de recibir el rollo escrito y de romper sus sellos, porque fuiste sacrificado, y con tu sangre compraste para Dios gente de toda raza, lengua, pueblo y nación. (Apocalipsis 5:9 NVI Spanish)

Merciful God, our Dear Heavenly Father ~ Thank you for the joy we experience as we are greeted with spectacular blessings on this new Lord’s Day. Bless all believers around the world as we assemble in worship that honors our Savior who suffered with no one coming to His aid; shed his blood and died in order to make it possible for all people to inherit the ultimate dream of eternal life. In Jesus name we pray, Amen.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

WORD OF THE DAY - Saturday 25 September 2010 from Nikolaev, Ukraine

The four and twenty elders fall down before him that sat on the throne, and worship him that liveth forever and ever, and cast their crowns before the throne, saying, Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honor and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created. (Revelation 4:10-11)

O LORD God Almighty, our Dear Father in Heaven ~ Thank you for this new day and the unexpected and remarkable blessings that greet us from your endless bounty. We do not even feel worthy to approach your dazzling presence with our requests. However, the Only Begotten Son invited us and we come to you hiding behind his perfectness. Give us wisdom so that leaders in all the churches will abandon the current trend to entertain an audience in place of simple, majestic heartfelt and scriptural worship in spirit and truth. In the blessed name of Jesus we pray, Amen.

тогда двадцать четыре старца падают пред Сидящим на престоле, и поклоняются Живущему во веки веков, и полагают венцы свои перед престолом, говоря: достоин Ты, Господи, приять славу и честь и силу: ибо Ты сотворил все, и [все] по Твоей воле существует и сотворено. (Откровение 4:10-11 Russian)
Тоді падають двадцять чотири старці перед Тим, Хто сидить на престолі, і вклоняються Тому, Хто живе віки вічні, і складають вінці свої перед престолом та кажуть: Достойний Ти, Господи й Боже наш, прийняти славу, і честь, і силу, бо все Ти створив, і з волі Твоєї існує та створене все! (Откровение 4:10-11 Ukrainian)
Los veinticuatro ancianos se postraban delante del que estaba sentado en el trono, y adoraban al que vive para siempre jamás, y echaban sus coronas delante del trono, diciendo: Señor, digno eres de recibir gloria y honra y virtud: porque tú criaste todas las cosas, y por tu voluntad tienen ser y fueron criadas. (Apocalipsis 4:10-11 Spanish)

Yesterday was another wonderful day full of blessings and challenges in this particular portion of the Vineyard of the Lord. Somehow, at 09.00 - with no fuss and God's help, I was able to make my appointment with our advertising agency that prints up our advertisements we have placed strategically all over the city; then went over to McDonalds for a quick muffin and coffee and look around for any visiting Americans; then I walked across the street to where the taxi drivers hang out looking for a customer and was able to tell him in Russian so that he understood me without me having to draw a map, grunt inaudibly or point in some incoherent direction, that I first needed for him to take me to the Post Office where I would pick up 8 boxes, and then take me to the address where the church is located. (I'm definitely sympathetic with folks visiting or new to a foreign country.) He understood me correctly the first time and I silently said, Yes! When we got to our meeting place, he even got out of the car and helped me take the boxes up the stairs. You're probably thinking, "what's the big deal?" You're right, it's just the usual stuff, but it still makes a person feel good. It may have been because it was Friday, but I spent most of the day on the phone with students changing their appointments, doing sermon preparation and preparing my lessons for the University and working on better organization forms for our WEI students. The last appointments of the day came together. Anna's husband came with Anna's friend Snezhanna. She was very well prepared to discuss her answers to her homework. This was my first meeting with Vadim and he knows English academically since he attended a special school until he graduated from High School. He is an engineer by education, but now is in the slow real estate business. My studies with them ended at 8 PM and since it was already dark, I caught the micro bus back to the center of town and called Galina. She was very excited that she had almost accomplished everything she needed to do with various officials in order for the house and land to be put in her mother Elena's hands. She has to remain there for a few more days since one office will not be prepared for her until Tuesday of next week. I called Nick who has the private English school to ask him if he would help me on Sunday as an interpreter. He agreed and when I asked him if he agreed on a certain amount of money as pay, he indignantly responded I wouldn't think of taking money from you! He said he was very happy that I had contacted him. We are studying the Bible together when he or I have time. God continues to open doors and for that and other reasons, we are most thankful and joyful to be involved in this great work for our Lord Jesus Christ. Along with every other reason, I miss Galina's photography. I did take a couple of pictures yesterday but left the camera on the desk when I headed home last night. It will be needed again for the Boys Home this afternoon. By the way, the 8 boxes contained more of the Russian language books we ordered from EEM. These had to come from St. Petersburg, Russia and that is why they didn't come with the other material we already received. Thanks to all who help support this good work that provides Bibles and literature to countries in Eastern Europe. The photo today shows the local Roman Catholic Church building here in Nikolaev. We usually walk past here several times a week, and have not yet been to their museum.

Friday, September 24, 2010

WORD OF THE DAY - Friday 24 September 2010 from Nikolaev, Ukraine

Galina had to stop by the bank and pay some fees for her mother and I remembered how our bank tellers used to work behind cages in the USA. Most banks here in Ukraine now have some type shield between customer and teller. Normally these days there is a glass screen with an opening for the customer to make a deposit, a payment, or receive cash. It is now Friday and the week is fast slipping by and I must find a way to meet our advertising agency and pick up some information, make a payment and then get by the Post Office and work out a way to pick up a shipment of 10 boxes of literature that is in their way. That is urgent. So is my appointment at 10.30 with the first student of the day and then back to back appointments until the last one at 6.30 this evening. Life is never dull in the life of a missionary in case someone is thinking about giving your live to this calling. The call for workers never ceases. Jesus is the Lord of Harvest and He calls for more workers in the harvest fields of all the nations on earth. Souls are dying around the world without knowledge of Jesus Christ and the salvation that is available to all who will hear the Word, confess their faith in Jesus Christ as the Son of God; repent of their sins and be baptized into Christ for the forgiveness of sins and enjoy a bountiful life as a citizen in the church which is Christ's Kingdom. Thank you for the faithful prayers.

This grape arbor provides a place of shade during the hot days, and is now brimming over with sweet tasting grapes.

The garden is about played out with mostly lots of cabbages and several runners with several varieties of squash remaining. There are also the plentiful strawberry plants that have given their plentiful yield this year. Elena's garden is typical of gardens up and down the streets in Ukraine.

Galina's mama ordered seeds for this plant that is used here to feed cattle and some other livestock. She just liked it for the unusual flowers. Maybe the rabbits in the cages will get some later.

saying, "Blessed is the King who comes in the name of the Lord! Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!" (Luke 19:38 ESV)

говоря: благословен Царь, грядущий во имя Господне! мир на небесах и слава в вышних! (От Луки 19:38 Russian)

кажучи: Благословенний Цар, що йде у Господнє Ім'я! Мир на небесах, і слава на висоті! (Лука 19:38 Ukrainian)

Decían: --¡Bendito el Rey que viene en el nombre del Señor! ¡Paz en el cielo y gloria en las alturas! (Lucas 19:38 R-V 1995)

Great and Mighty God, our Dear Father in Heaven ~ Thank you for the unspeakable joy and peace that flows like a river into our hearts today because of our faith in Jesus Christ our glorious King. Give us wisdom so that we will more accurately reflect the glory of our King in our daily lives. In Jesus name we pray, Amen.

Monday, September 20, 2010

WORD OF THE DAY - Monday 20 September 2010 from Mykolayiv, Ukraine

Valya is struggling as a new Christian with opposition from her family members. We pray that God will give her the strength of faith that she needs to overcome this difficulty. We had intended to catch a bus to Slavyansk late yesterday afternoon, but due to various circumstances, the bus company we normally use now only goes every other day. So, we bought tickets for today. That means I will ride up there with Galina with the plan to be back here on Wednesday - God willing. Thank you for the prayers for this work of the Lord here in Nikolaev, Ukraine.

Following the worship, we enjoyed a period of fellowship and Bible study. Valya who had been absent for many weeks, appeared just as we were ending our worship service. At her request, we served her the Lord's Supper. We hope that she will grow in her faith and love of the Lord.
We had our usual small 'crowd' of five worshippers yesterday. Nikolai lead us in the first prayer, and Stepan led the closing prayer. Everyone sang praises to God with the fervor of our faith.

We love because he first loved us. (1 John 4:19)
Будем любить Его, потому что Он прежде возлюбил нас. (1-e Иоанна 4:19 Russian)
Ми любимо Його, бо Він перше нас полюбив. (1 Йоаново 4:19 Ukrainian)
Nosotros le amamos á él, porque él nos amó primero. (1 Juan 4:19 Spanish)

O LORD Most High, our Heavenly Father ~ Thank you for the extravagant gifts of your love that greet us on this new day. Give us wisdom so that we will carry out our duties as your children with the same love that we learn from Christ our Lord. In Jesus name we pray, Amen.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

WORD OF THE DAY - Sunday 19 September 2010 from Nikolaev, Ukraine

Our climb up the hill takes us past some productive walnut trees and this home is always decorated with beautiful flowers. This is a short-cut that Nikolai Tkhor, our dear departed brother in Christ, who is now sleeping in Jesus showed us on his last trip with us to the Boys Home where he was a founder and the first director. Thank you for your kind words of encouragement and most of all your prayers of faith.
After we left the Boys Home, that is far back in the distance of the photo, we negotiated past a pack of roaming dogs with Galina again saying, "I'll never walk by here again", we crossed the pontoon bridge as a car forced us to the side, and started up the long hill. The peninsula that once belonged to the Italian merchant back in the days when Russia's royalty ruled this area is very beautiful with the expansive river surrounding it. We were not able to attend the regatta yesterday that we were invited to, since our number one priority on Saturdays is the boys. Nevertheless, our hearts were filled with rejoicing as we made our way back up to the central area of the city.

As we were leaving the boys, we had a little private chat with Margarita to learn what the boys need for this upcoming season. She let us know that they need some pajamas because it is already cool at night and because of economic issues in Kiev, the government is going to be slow in firing off boilers that provide heat. We will take care of this matter right away with money that has been collected by friends at the Dalraida church in Montgomery.

All the boys participated in the scripture reading portion of our studies together. We were looking at Ephesians 5:8-20

We had an excellent time of studying the topic of personally responsibility with the boys yesterday. Igor commented that he knows he has a problem with self-control and wants to do better. Others said they also needed to improve in this area of life.

Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when he appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is. (1 John 3:2 NIV)

Возлюбленные! мы теперь дети Божии; но еще не открылось, что будем. Знаем только, что, когда откроется, будем подобны Ему, потому что увидим Его, как Он есть. (1-e Иоанна 3:2 Russian)

Улюблені, ми тепер Божі діти, але ще не виявилось, що ми будемо. Та знаємо, що, коли з'явиться, то будем подібні до Нього, бо будемо бачити Його, як Він є. (1 Йоаново 3:2 Ukrainian)

Queridos hermanos, ahora somos hijos de Dios, pero todavía no se ha manifestado lo que habremos de ser. Sabemos, sin embargo, que cuando Cristo venga seremos semejantes a él, porque lo veremos tal como él es. (1 Juan 3:2 NVI)

Most Holy and Righteous God, our Merciful Father in Heaven ~ Thank you for the blessing of life as we now know it on this new Lord’s Day that is reserved for us to assemble with others who have this same precious faith. Give us wisdom as we study the word and diligently try to imitate the radiant purity of our Savior. Help us to more fully appreciate the magnificent future life that is ours as we remain faithful to Christ the Lord. In the name of Jesus we pray, Amen.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

WORD OF THE DAY - Saturday 18 September 2010 from Nikolaev, Ukraine

He who loves his brother abides in the light, and there is no cause for stumbling in him. (1 John 2:10 NKJV)
Кто любит брата своего, тот пребывает во свете, и нет в нем соблазна. (1-e Иоанна 2:10 Russian)
А хто любить брата свого, той пробуває у світлі, і в ньому спотикання немає. (1 Йоаново 2:10 Ukrainian)
El que ama a su hermano, permanece en la luz y en él no hay tropiezo. (1 Juan 2:10 R-V 1995)

Almighty God, our Eternally Existing Dear Heavenly Father ~ Thank you for the brightness of your love that greets us on this new day as we consider the numerous provisions that come each day from your endless source of supply. Give us wisdom so that we will absolutely comprehend the superiority of a loving attitude in our relations with all brethren in Christ. Help us to do and say things that will build up the Body of Christ and not tear it down since Satan is already busy doing that antagonistic work. In the blessed name of Jesus we pray, Amen.

Two of our students did not show up yesterday so that gave us some time during the middle of the day to take a walk up the street to the shop where we refill our printer cartridges. We have been hampered somewhat simply because we had no time to take care of this chore. It was another beautiful day in the park near where the church meets. Masha showed up for her appointment around 5.30 and we also had another productive study with this young artist who has a unique specialty as a restorer of various works of art. Galina had an appointment with an attorney yesterday to help her prepare documents for her mother to inherit the house where she is living. The house had been in her fathers' name since it is not possible in Ukraine for couples to have joint ownership of property. It requires a lot of paperwork to get this transfer completed, and Galina will spend a few days next week helping Elena in this matter. So that she will not have to make that overnight bus ride alone to Donetsk and then on to Slavyansk, I'll go with her and then turn around and come back to Nikolaev and resume studies that we have going on. We sincerely appreciate your prayers and your thoughtful and kind words of encouragement.

After our WEI lessons, we gave Anton the opportunity to ask questions if he had any about the Bible. He began slowly and then warmed up with many stimulating questions that revealed that he is seeking the truth. It has been a long time since we had such a sincere seeker. This young man has great potential in this life especially as God's servant. We are praying that he will meet with us as much as possible while he is here. He states that he is not fully prepared to make a commitment at this time. We spent over two hours with him yesterday in getting to know him better and teach him more about the Way, the Truth and the Life.

Anton was eager to discuss the material he had completed in the Introductory lesson as well as Lesson one in grammar and Lesson one in the Bible. We are hoping that he will follow through on the suggestion we made for him to register for the on-line WEI courses so that he can continue to study after he leaves on 04 October for his 6 month contract with a major cruise line. The crew does not always have Internet access, so he can only use Internet when they are in port.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

WORD OF THE DAY - Tuesday 14 September 2010 from Nikolaev, Ukraine

“For the Lamb in the midst of the throne will be their shepherd, and he will guide them to springs of living water, and God will wipe away every tear from their eyes." (Revelation 7:17 ESV)
ибо Агнец, Который среди престола, будет пасти их и водить их на живые источники вод; и отрет Бог всякую слезу с очей их. (Откровение 7:17 Russian)
Бо Агнець, що серед престолу, буде їх пасти, і водитиме їх до джерел вод життя. І Бог кожну сльозу з очей їхніх зітре! (Откровение 7:17 Ukrainian)
Porque el Cordero que está en el trono los pastoreará y los guiará a fuentes de agua viva; y Dios les enjugará toda lágrima de sus ojos. (Apocalipsis 7:17 NVI)

Great and Mighty God, our Dear Heavenly Father ~ Thank you for showering us with your boundless grace and mercy on this new day as we consider ways to honor Jesus the Shepherd of our souls. We are in awe of our wonderful Shepherd who even knows us by our names. Give us wisdom, joy and patience so that we will endure the sorrows and pains of this life while waiting for Jesus to take us home. In Jesus name we pray, Amen.

Our third appointment of the day was with our newest student Masha. She uses her education as an artist in her work at a local children's theater. Her degree is as a specialist in art restoration. Masha is the designer of the puppets and various costumes and also stage settings in the Nikolaev Regional Puppet Theater. She was very interested in our children's Bible that we have from Eastern European Missions. We got acquainted and went over the introductory lesson which we plan to study with her today. Even though we had some cancellations of appointments, we stayed busy yesterday and still didn't have time to take care of some other duties. In a little less than three weeks we are anticipating our two friends Brian and Liz Wakefield who will be here to help us for about on week. They will be busy helping us with these students and doing some other things with us as they become familiar with our mission work here in Nikolaev, Ukraine. Thank you for your prayers.

Our lone male student Igor was very well prepared for his study that consisted of reviewing the introductory lesson that we had sent home with him from our previous meeting. Now he is working on lesson number one. Igor sales hotel and restaurant equipment and furnishings.
We had two no-shows yesterday and that gave us a little unexpected free time to hurriedly go downtown to pay our advertising bill. Irina and her husband Pavel have their own successful company. Pavel is the graphics artist and Irina manages the office, as well as sales and distribution of their weekly advertising publication. They are becoming our friends as well as partners in our efforts to get our message out to people in the community.
Our first appointment yesterday was with our diligent student Katya. As expected, she was very well prepared to review Lesson number 2 as we discussed Adam and Eve the first human beings.

Monday, September 13, 2010

WORD OF THE DAY - Monday 13 September 2010 from Mykolayiv, Ukraine

Nikolai is very active in the local society and in the country of Ukraine. He invited us to a regatta that will be held this coming Saturday. He will be busy taking people on tours in his yacht at the large bay. There will be many dignitaries and he will call on me to say a prayer at some point in the festivities. Since the time he first invited us to Nikolaev, he has never shied away from using his influence to advance the cause of Jesus Christ. We have a long day ahead of us with five appointments with various individuals to study English using the Bible and the WEI lessons. Thank you for joining us in prayer for the salvation of souls here in this part of the Former Soviet Union.

Following our worship service, we had a time devoted to becoming better acquainted with one another. As usually happens, we began to discuss the scriptures. Our brother Nikolai is a student by long distance (Internet) at the Institute of Theology and Christian Ministry - ITCM in St. Petersburg, Russia. Ivan and Olga from Magadan are also studying with this institute. Igor Egirev, the current President of ITCM is a friend of ours who helped us as a translator when we conducted the first gospel campaign to launch the Church of Christ in Magadan, Russia. Nikolai raised some points from his studies and we had a robust discussion of God's word. It was edifying for everyone.

Yesterday we had our usual small group of five in attendance for worship. A few people poked their heads in the door out of curiosity but didn't come in to stay. We pray that they will return.

When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, "I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life." (John 8:12 NIV)
Опять говорил Иисус [к народу] и сказал им: Я свет миру; кто последует за Мною, тот не будет ходить во тьме, но будет иметь свет жизни. (От Иоанна 8:12 Russian)
І знову Ісус промовляв до них, кажучи: Я Світло для світу. Хто йде вслід за Мною, не буде ходити у темряві той, але матиме світло життя. (Йоан 8:12 Ukrainian)
Una vez más Jesús se dirigió a la gente, y les dijo: —Yo soy la luz del mundo. El que me sigue no andará en tinieblas, sino que tendrá la luz de la vida. (Juan 8:12 NVI)

Eternal and Blessed God, our Dear Heavenly Father ~ Thank you for the bright sunshine of your love that greets us on this new day. As we consider the powerful teachings of our Lord and Savior, give us wisdom so that we will know how to navigate through the darkness of spiritual ignorance, and be better equipped to convince doubters to wholeheartedly accept the teaching of Christ as the absolute truth. Help us to hold up the dazzling light of Jesus before this dark world. In Jesus name we pray, Amen.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

WORD OF THE DAY - Sunday 12 September 2010 from Nikolaev, Ukraine

We walked back up to our part of the city where we live as the sun was going down. We are preparing for another joyful Lord's Day here with the church in Nikolaev. We are hoping that at least one of the new people we have been meeting will be our guest. Thank you for the prayers and encouragement.

After looking at the sights downtown, we kept walking several blocks to the City Center. This is a modern mall that includes theaters, many shops, escalator, and a supermarket. We normally do not shop there due to the higher prices, but as Galina said it was like a date for us.

Mykolayiv is very much a city connected to the sea. Since the Black Sea is close by and large ships can navigate up the river to the city, it has been a haven for several centuries. Nikolaev is well known in the ship building world.

At the St. Nicholas park in the center of the city, several groups of talented children from around the city performed with much skill and enthusiasm. These two groups combined to give an American style hoe-down.

The banner above Galina's head proclaims it is the Day of Nikolaev. We were here last year for the 220th celebration.

One local restaurant specializes in Ukrainian style cooking and they set up on the street to give folks a glimpse of their homey style. Their workers dress in period folk costumes.

This is a view of Sovietskaya Street that has been turned into a strolling park in the center of the city. Yesterday was a celebration of the 221st anniversary of the founding of the city of Mykolayiv. There were lots of activities. We learned that we could not see the boys at the Boys Home, so we decided to take care of some much overdue shopping for things we need at home and for our work.
This is the building where we live on the 4th floor. It is an older building with high ceilings, spacious stairway, good size rooms, but no elevator. On the bottom floor there are several companies that have their offices in the building, and a couple of retail shops.

This is looking east on Lenin Avenue that has a plaza down the center. We live in a building to the right that faces Lenin.

Then Jesus declared, "I am the bread of life. He who comes to me will never go hungry, and he who believes in me will never be thirsty. (John 6:35 NIV)
Иисус же сказал им: Я есмь хлеб жизни; приходящий ко Мне не будет алкать, и верующий в Меня не будет жаждать никогда. (От Иоанна 6:35 Russian)
Ісус же сказав їм: Я хліб життя. Хто до Мене приходить, не голодуватиме він, а хто вірує в Мене, ніколи не прагнутиме. (Йоан 6:35 Ukrainian)
—Yo soy el pan de vida —declaró Jesús—. El que a mí viene nunca pasará hambre, y el que en mí cree nunca más volverá a tener sed. (Juan 6:35 NIV)
Our Dear Heavenly Father ~ Thank you for the magnificent gift of life that makes it possible for us to be aware of ourselves and of your presence in our affairs. Bless Christians around the world as we assemble on this Lord’s Day to honor our blessed Savior. Give us wisdom so that we will use the inspired word to lead other people to have saving faith in Christ our Bread and Water who alone can satisfy our deepest needs. In the name of Jesus we pray, Amen.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

WORD OF THE DAY - Saturday 11 September 2010 from Mykolayiv, Ukraine

Svetlana was our second appointment of the day for English studies. She prefers to be known as Lana, so that is what we will call her. The first appointment showed up a little late and apologized. The young businessman who has an office in the same building where we meet, said he would return later. That was a no-show. Lana finished her first degree in English at the Mykolayiv State Pedagogical University where we will be soon conducting our class(es). I spoke with Tatyana yesterday and she said they are still working on a schedule.

We had a wonderful time with Lana who thanked us when she left for "your personalities." Of course she knows English from the standpoint of good grammar and has a large vocabulary, but she wants to be able to hear and speak with confidence. Lana also studied Economics at another local university and has worked for 5 years in that specialty. We had a good study of the introductory lesson that deals with the father and the two sons. She was particularly touched by the story and commented when I used the word "repentance" that in all her years of studying English no one had used that word.

Igor called on Wednesday and appointed time with us yesterday afternoon. He received education as a civil engineer, but these days works as a salesman. Engineers are taught the English language in their studies, and he has an extensive vocabulary. Now he wants to improve his hearing and speaking abilities. We had a great time with him and were impressed with his good personality and his interest in the Bible. After we finished our study and thought he was wanting to leave, he wanted to learn more about Christ and His church.

We are looking forward to our next appointment with Igor on Monday. We invite all students to attend our Bible studies and worship service. He didn't promise anything, but certainly is showing interest already. Before we were finished with Igor, Violet showed up early. She was supposed to come with her 15 year old granddaughter to assess the program. However, she was by herself and took some material home. We're not sure if we will hear from Marina the 15 year old. Throughout the day, we had many calls from our advertisements and were able to make appointments with those we screened as having serious interest and the necessary ability to read and comprehend our lessons. Galina does a great job of screening these callers so that those who come already know that we are focusing our English studies on the Bible as our primary text. Thank you for your prayers as we prepare for our time with the boys at the Boys Home this afternoon. We are also hoping that we will have a visitor for our worship tomorrow.

Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life. He does not come into judgment, but has passed from death to life. (John 5:24 ESV)
Истинно, истинно говорю вам: слушающий слово Мое и верующий в Пославшего Меня имеет жизнь вечную, и на суд не приходит, но перешел от смерти в жизнь. (От Иоанна 5:24 Russian RSV)
Поправді, поправді кажу вам: Хто слухає слова Мого, і вірує в Того, Хто послав Мене, життя вічне той має, і на суд не приходить, але перейшов він від смерти в життя. (Йоан 5:24 Ukrainian)
»De cierto, de cierto os digo: El que oye mi palabra y cree al que me envió tiene vida eterna, y no vendrá a condenación, sino que ha pasado de muerte a vida. (Juan 5:24 Reina-Valera 1995)

Most Kind and Merciful God, our Dear Heavenly Father ~ Thank you for the dawning of a new day that is brimming over with blessings for all people and special advantages for the faithful followers of Jesus Christ. Give us wisdom as we encounter those who have doubts in their hearts about the true identity of Jesus of Nazareth. Give us peace as we obey Christ as Lord and look forward to our eternal home. In Jesus name we pray, Amen.

Friday, September 10, 2010

WORD OF THE DAY - Friday 10 September 2010 from Nikolaev, Ukraine

Yesterday our first appointment was with Nick, who turns our to be a fine gentleman who speaks English with hardly a trace of Russian/Ukrainian accent. He has his own English school and after we became better acquainted, he mentioned the possibility of bringing a few of his students with him next week and me teaching an English class using the Bible. In 1992 he studied the Bible and English with an American by the name of Ralph Thomas. In any event, we will stay in touch with Nick and continue to build a friendship.

As we expected, Katya arrived fully prepared for her study. We went overtime with her as we helped her grasp the meaning of our English lesson from the Bible account of the Creation. Our next appointment with her is on Monday.

Throughout the day we had many phonecalls from people seeking information about our English classes. We made several appointments for today. In the evening we had our Bible study with Stepan and Lyuda. This is always such a pleasure as they love the Word.
Lyuda finalized her plans to attend the seminar in Feodosia by purchasing her bus tickets. Feodosia is located in the Crimea region of Ukraine and the bus will take about 12 hours each way. We are so blessed to be here at this time among many different types of people who are seeking to know the will of God for their own lives. This morning we plan to visit the Children's Home and deliver some "pampers". Thank you for your fervent prayers.
Guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my Savior, and my hope is in you all day long. (Psalm 25:5 NIV)

Направь меня на истину Твою и научи меня, ибо Ты Бог спасения моего; на Тебя надеюсь всякий день. (Псалтирь 25:5 Russian 24-5)

провадь мене в правді Своїй і навчи Ти мене, бо Ти Бог спасіння мого, кожен день я на Тебе надіюсь! (Псалми 25:5 Ukrainian)

Encamíname en tu verdad y enséñame, porque tú eres el Dios de mi salvación; en ti he esperado todo el día. (Salmos 25:5 Spanish RV 1995)

O God my Savior, our Dear Father in Heaven ~ Thank you for the scintillating gift of life that occupies our bodies on this new day that arrives with fresh hopes. Guide us home to that everlasting place of peace and joy, as we follow the inspired teaching of Jesus, the only Way that is revealed in the Bible. Elucidate our minds with your infinite wisdom so that we will be better able to teach those who are lost in the darkness of ignorance and unbelief. In Jesus name we pray, Amen.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

WORD OF THE DAY - Thursday 09 September 2010 from Mykolayiv, Ukraine

We had our second session yesterday with our new WEI student. Katerina completed her Introductory lesson and we had a great discussion from the text about the two sons in Luke 15. Earlier in the day, we made arrangements with the shipping company that had received our shipment from Eastern European Missions - EEM, to deliver the boxes to us at the church's meeting place. We have a storage room where we store our Bibles, books and other literature. This was very convenient since we didn't have to take a trip to their warehouse to receive this shipment. It is always exciting to restock our library with material that will help souls find the Way of salvation. Later in the evening, we spent time going through everything to determine what we have not received. We are very grateful to those who make donations to EEM since these valuable Bibles and literature are supplied to missionaries and churches free of charge. We also received several new calls yesterday as a result of our advertisements. One was most encouraging. The man started out by saying, "I want to study the Bible and also English." I wanted to say, "Come right in!" - but we were on the phone. One of our afternoon appointments postponed her appointment until Friday due to the heavy rains most of the day yesterday. Of course we are very thankful for the rains and all God's blessings. Thank you for the fervent prayers.

Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. (Philippians 2:3 NIV)
Не делайте ничего из эгоистичных или же из тщеславных побуждений. Будьте скромны и считайте других выше себя. (К Филиппийцам 2:3 SZ Russian)
Не робіть нічого підступом або з чванливости, але в покорі майте один одного за більшого від себе. (Филипяни 2:3 Ukrainian)
No hagan nada por egoísmo o vanidad; más bien, con humildad consideren a los demás como superiores a ustedes mismos. (Filipenses 2:3 NVI)

Most Great and Powerful God, our Dear Father in Heaven ~ Thank you for the splendid blessings that grace our lives on this new day and the gift of such a magnificent Savior. Give us wisdom as we work to improve relations among faithful followers of Christ by considering other Christians as more important than even our own lives. In Jesus name we pray, Amen.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

WORD OF THE DAY - Wednesday 08 September 2010 from Nikolaev, Ukraine

We took a long walk yesterday to inspect what we expect from our advertising agency. We found that they are working hard to get our message out in the city. We stumbled upon a beautiful Orthodox chapel. There are many such chapels around this area. Perhaps that is what prompted the man from Latvia to state that Ukraine must be the most religious country in Europe. Of course when we consider things deeper, we understand that many temples and chapels do not necessarily equate to faith. Yes, people of faith do often have a burning desire to erect structures that will honor God before the unbelieving world. Sometimes, people of faith will donate large sums of their money to such projects. Today, we will make arrangements to pick up the latest shipment of Bibles, books and literature that was shipped from Eastern European Missions (EEM) in Donetsk. We received a notice from Natasha that it should be here today. One year ago we received our first shipment from EEM and we are now in the middle of more diligent work to spread the gospel here in Nikolaev and God willing, have success in planting a Church of Christ in this city. Many people have chosen to donate millions of dollars to this great work of printing Bibles and other literature so that people can learn more about Jesus Christ and His glorious church for which He died. Since the very early 1990's, many of us missionary workers have been utilizing EEM's resources to help spread the gospel of Christ. Thank you for partnering with us in this huge task, and for your sincere and fervent prayers.

Katherine teaches music students who need to know more about solfeggio. It is not exactly fasola, but something akin to that on a more formal level. We have a second appointment with her today.

Yesterday we had our first student as the result of our current advertising campaign about our free English classes using the Bible and lessons produced by World English Institute - WEI. We spent some time getting acquainted with Katya who is a music teacher. The person who was scheduled for the first appointment did not appear. That happens as we all know.

And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth. (John 1:14 ESV)
И Слово стало плотию, и обитало с нами, полное благодати и истины; и мы видели славу Его, славу, как Единородного от Отца. (От Иоанна 1:14 Russian)
І Слово сталося тілом, і перебувало між нами, повне благодаті та правди, і ми бачили славу Його, славу як Однородженого від Отця. (Йоан 1:14 Ukrainian)
Y el Verbo se hizo hombre y habitó entre nosotros. Y hemos contemplado su gloria, la gloria que corresponde al Hijo unigénito del Padre, lleno de gracia y de verdad. (Juan 1:14 NVI Spanish)

Most Holy and Gracious God, our Dear Heavenly Father ~ Thank you for the valuable gift of life that has residence in our mortal bodies. Give us wisdom as we consider how much divine love was involved with God the Son becoming human so that he could experience death as we mere men. Give us courage so that we will boldly tell others about your grace and truth that is embodied in the doctrine of Christ our Lord. In Jesus name we pray, Amen.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

WORD OF THE DAY - Tuesday 07 September 2010 from Mykolayiv, Ukraine

This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all. (1 John 1:5 NIV)
И вот благовестие, которое мы слышали от Него и возвещаем вам: Бог есть свет, и нет в Нем никакой тьмы. (1-e Иоанна 1:5 Russian)
А це звістка, що ми її чули від Нього і звіщаємо вам: Бог є світло, і немає в Нім жадної темряви! (1 Йоаново 1:5 Ukrainian)
Éste es el mensaje que hemos oído de él y que les anunciamos: Dios es luz y en él no hay ninguna oscuridad. (1 Juan 1:5 NVI)

We praise you LORD, our Dear Father in Heaven ~ Thank you for this new day that radiates with the light of your presence in our daily affairs as we submit ourselves to the authority of Christ – the Light of the world. Give us more of your infinite wisdom so that we will learn how to walk in your light that is shining even in the midst of all the darkness of hatred, violence, perversions, swindling, lying, stealing, false teaching and other forms of treacherous depravity. We rejoice in the certain belief that our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ will conquer all evil. We bow down before Jesus who allows us to be conquerors with him as we walk in the light of his perfect doctrine revealed in the Holy Spirit inspired written word. In the blessed name of Jesus we pray, Amen.

Yesterday we met with our sister Lyuda and made a phone call for Alexander Prokopchuk in Donetsk. We spoke with Daria who is works in the office and she explained that he was involved with preparations and recording of an upcoming TV broadcast. However, she was able to assist us and we made reservations for Lyuda to attend the "Steps of Faith" seminar that will be held in Feodosia on October 1-3. Later we walked around the town checking on the placement of our new advertising flyers. The first one we saw just jumped out at us at it was surrounded by more blah posters. That is a personal opinion not the conclusion of an expert. Now we anticipate that we will have many phone calls and we can start to make appointments for studies. After we were satisfied that the advertising agency is once again doing their good job, we dropped by to see the co-owner Irina. We paid her the balance due for our printing and the first week’s run. We will have this going for one month and pay for it each week. This is the same arrangement we had last year and it brought us good results. The only thing different this time is that we are also running the same ad in their newspaper that is distributed free to most companies and organizations in the Nikolaev area. Please continue to pray for the success of our efforts to reach at least one soul who will hear, believe and obey the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Monday, September 6, 2010

WORD OF THE DAY - Monday 06 September 2010 from Nikolaev, Ukraine

Nikolai led the church in meditation as we celebrated the Lord's Supper in memory of our blessed Lord Jesus Christ who died for our sins, was buried, but rose from the dead on the third day. Nick is taking some courses on-line through the Institute of Theology and Christian Ministry in St. Petersburg, Russia. He is now preparing for a new session that is currently getting underway. Our dear friends in Christ Ivan and Olga in Magadan, also take advantage of these in-depth studies. We are happy that these people who are native to this culture have a desire to know God's word more deeply so that they can more effectively convey the word to others. Thank you for your fervent prayers and encouragement.

Yuri lead the congregation in our first prayer. Our son Evgeny is with us for a while and we are always happy to have him in the worship. Now that the universities and colleges in the area are back on their regular schedule of classes, we hope to see more young people.

We rejoiced that we had eight people yesterday in our Lord's Day worship service. That may not sound impressive to you, but we have been going for several weeks with "where two or three are gathered together in my name". Not that there is anything wrong with that, but we do receive mutual encouragement when others join us. Yuri and his wife Sveta who live in a small farming community on the way to Kherson occasionally come to the city to visit us. They are the couple who have milk cows. They make and sell dairy products here in Nikolaev each Friday at one of our busy markets. Also they have a daughter who studies at a technical college here in the city. Yuri wants to attend the seminar in Feodosia that is coming up in October. Today we will make a phone call to Alexander Prokupchuk who preaches on the TV broadcast that goes all over Ukraine. Lyuda would also like to attend this seminar that will draw members of churches of Christ from many cities mostly in Eastern Ukraine.

But in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom he made the universe. (Hebrews 1:2 NIV)
в последние дни сии говорил нам в Сыне, Которого поставил наследником всего, чрез Которого и веки сотворил. (К Евреям 1:2 Russian)
а в останні ці дні промовляв Він до нас через Сина, що Його настановив за Наслідника всього, що Ним і віки Він створив. (Евреи 1:2 Ukrainian)
en estos días finales nos ha hablado por medio de su Hijo. A éste lo designó heredero de todo, y por medio de él hizo el universo. (Hebreos 1:2 NVI Spanish)

Oh LORD God, the One and Only God, our Dear Heavenly Father ~ Thank you for the overflow of blessings that shower upon us on this new day. Give us wisdom as we seek to know more perfectly the will of Christ and to reject the weak sophistry of mere men who speak about religion without consulting the authority of your glorious and perfect Son in whom we solely trust for eternal salvation. Help us as we study the revelations in scripture about Jesus so that we will know you more closely. In Jesus name we pray, Amen.