Saturday, October 23, 2010

WORD OF THE DAY - Saturday 23 October 2010 from Mykolayiv, Ukraine

The study with Ludmila went very well. Whenever she answers a question, she does so with the greatest degree of care for retelling the truth. She can only come after she gets off work at the bank. She is planning to bring her mother with her to our early worship service on Sunday. It is wonderful to witness the way God's word is working in the hearts of these people who previously had little or no knowledge of God's wonderful plan for mankind. Last evening we received a call from our brother Nikolai Gagarkin who is now back in Nikolaev. Since his job keeps him out of town on business most of the time, he is rarely able to worship with the church here in Nikolaev. We have no other male leader, and we always hope and pray that God will send us one more man who will have a desire on his heart to help lead the church here into whatever future God has in mind for this church. Since we have no male to conduct the worship services, the only option open to us is to lock up the meeting room until we return. Luda and Stepan, the two who attend the most faithfully live close to one another and can have a worship service in their home. This is far from ideal, but we must trust God in these matters. It is our task to sow the gospel seeds and God is giving the increase as others will come along and provide the water and other forms of care. We continue to almost shout for joy each time we consider how God is blessing our efforts here in Ukraine. Galina's overnight bus arrived about an hour ago and she is already warming up something in the kitchen. She just gave me some walnuts from the trees on her mothers property in Slavyansk. Fresh and delicious! We just had a nice Skype conversation with our brother Ivan in Magadan. This is a wonderful technology that is most useful for staying in touch with people around the world without spending lots of money on phone calls. I hope to have time to send out a message tomorrow morning, but may not be able to do that until we are waiting at the airport in Kiev. Thank you very much for your loving concern and prayers as we prepare to travel.

Our young married couple, Alex and Natasha are now WEI students together. Yesterday, they both practiced their conversational skills with me as we spoke about what they are learning about God. When they left they assured me that they would be at our church service at 08.00 in the morning. This was before I even asked. We are having the early service since we have catch a bus to Kiev and then get a ride from the city to the town of Borispol where the international airport is located. Our flight to Frankfurt is actually at 05.30 Monday morning. Then, we wait for the flight to Atlanta that leaves at 12.15 and arrives in Atlanta at 4.25 PM - all according to God's will.

Eryna is a student at the shipbuilding university and she is most diligent with her English studies with the belief that it will help open doors for her. She had very sincere comments about the Bible lesson yesterday.

The beautiful newly completed red brick buildings in the background are expensive condominiums that are situated on the high bluff that overlooks the beautiful river. From a distance, I could see that the top floor has skylights. This is not a common feature in Soviet era apartment buildings like the place where we live. Our student Vadim is one of the people here in the real estate business attempting to sell properties. He said most of his calls come from the sellers wanting to know why no one is buying. Does it sound familiar?

This is one of the streetcars that serve various parts of the spread out city of Mykolayiv.

You hear us frequently telling about the various kiosks around the city. There are several situated near the large building where the church meets. This one is near a tram stop (streetcar) where Luda and Stepan usually catch the first leg of their journey home to the part of the metropolitan area where they live across the river. One of these little places sells freshly baked and fried pies stuffed with jam, potatoes or meat. Very tasty!

Ooops. Be careful where you step as you walk along the sidewalks. This entrance into the underworld of the Cheropakie almost caught me off guard as I was looking for a place to cross the street.

The falling leaves provide some employment for many people who are out early each day sweeping the streets. The sounds and smells of Fall activity are very pleasing. Everyone knows it is a precursor to the winter that always come to places like Nikolaev that are situated near the 47th degree north latitude.

Yesterday after stopping by an ATM and taking enough Hryvnia (Ukraine currency) to pay the rent for the church meeting place during the time we will be in America (6,290), I walked along our familiar route and had to take some photos on such a beautiful day. Our apartment actually costs about the same thing each month and we also have that paid ahead. The church rent includes our separate storage room on the 1st floor.

Therefore, dear friends, since you already know this, be on your guard so that you may not be carried away by the error of lawless men and fall from your secure position. (2 Peter 3:17 NIV)
Итак вы, возлюбленные, будучи предварены о сем, берегитесь, чтобы вам не увлечься заблуждением беззаконников и не отпасть от своего утверждения. (2-e Петра 3:17 Russian)
Тож ви, улюблені, знаючи це наперед, стережіться, щоб не були ви зведені блудом безбожних і не відпали від свого вґрунтування. (2 Петрово 3:17 Ukrainian)
Así que ustedes, queridos hermanos, puesto que ya saben esto de antemano, manténganse alerta, no sea que, arrastrados por el error de esos libertinos, pierdan la estabilidad y caigan. (2 Pedro 3:17 NVI)

Most Holy and Righteous God, our Dear Heavenly Father ~ Thank you for the arrival of another fresh day that bursts forth with power and glory that signifies your very real and active presence in our lives as we wait for the glorious appearing of our Savior. Give us wisdom so that we will not allow any false teachers to influence our trust in your holy scriptures that have been given to us by your Holy Spirit. Give us stronger faith as we study and obey the doctrine of Christ. In Jesus name we pray, Amen.

Friday, October 22, 2010

WORD OF THE DAY - Friday 22 October 2010 from Nikolaev, Ukraine

Anna's husband Vadim has now completed all seven lessons in the first WEI book and hopefully will continue his studies on-line while we are away. We have encouraged all students to register on-line with WEI and requested that they assign us to be the teachers for these Nikolaev students since we already have established a rapport with each of them.
Last night we only had our faithful Luda and Stepan in attendance. We sang for a while, prayed and read scriptures together from the Psalms. They are always such a strong encouragement to the work here. Thank you for being faithful in prayer regarding this work of sowing the gospel seeds here in Ukraine. God has given me back the strength that seemed to be missing for a few days when that virus got hold of me. Now, I feel all perky again! Thanks to the Lord.

Anna came with her husband yesterday and brought a gift for us that one of her art students had done. It is very beautiful, especially considering the fact it was done by one of her age 9 - 12 orphan children where she works. This gifted teacher works at a home for orphan children similar to our Boys Home. There they have both boys and girls. We plan to visit there when we return in January and hopefully begin to work with them. Snezhana was not able to come yesterday since she had to take her son to the hospital due to a respiratory sickness.
Pavel has a great sense of humor and we always have a good time of fellowship during our study together yesterday. He is very knowledgeable about world geography and wants to understand what he is reading and hearing in English. He ask good questions about our Bible lessons to make sure he is getting it correct.

The first English using the Bible and WEI lessons study appointment yesterday was with Mikhail, the young man who is working as a sales consultant at a local big box type store. He has his degree in a scientific field and has hopes to improve his English enough to get a job abroad. He is very personable along with being bright and studious. He takes our studies very seriously and has good comprehension of the Bible lessons.

Surely God shall deliver you from the snare of the fowler, and from the deadly pestilence. He shall cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you shall trust; his faithfulness shall be your shield and buckler. (Psalm 91:3-4)
Он избавит тебя от сети ловца, от гибельной язвы, (90-4) перьями Своими осенит тебя, и под крыльями Его будешь безопасен; щит и ограждение--истина Его. (Псалтирь 91:3-4 Russian 90-3,4)
Бо Він тебе вирве з тенет птахолова, з моровиці згубної, Він пером Своїм вкриє тебе, і під крильми Його заховаєшся ти! Щит та лук Його правда. (Псалми 91:3-4 Ukrainian)
Y él te librará del lazo del cazador: De la peste destruidora. Con sus plumas te cubrirá, Y debajo de sus alas estarás seguro: Escudo y adarga es su verdad. (Salmos 91:3-4 Spanish)

O LORD God, our Dear Father in Heaven ~ Thank you for the unanticipated and generous blessings that we receive from your limitless bounty on this new day. Give us a portion of your perfect wisdom so that as our knowledge of facts increases, we will be able to make better choices regarding the use of our time and resources in order to advance the Kingdom of Christ. Help us to be more trusting as we hide ourselves under your protective shelter. Increase our faith in the fabulous invisible reward that is waiting the faithful. In Jesus name we pray, Amen.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

WORD OF THE DAY - Thursday 21 October 2010 from Nikolaev, Ukraine

Ukraine and its people, continue to fascinate me as I notice some of the unusual methods of handling everyday situations. This old board was placed in an open man hole on the busy street that we use when walking to and from our church meetings. This is a slight improvement over the tree limbs and branches that are actually more common. Apparently, there are no problems for public workers being sued for maleficent behavior that could cause a serious accident like I saw almost happen in the brief minutes that I walked by this spot. Evidently, you are just not supposed to be so stupid that you don't recognize the board or tree branch as a warning sign. As I walked away from the apartment this morning on my way to McDonald's for breakfast and to send the daily WORD, I noticed a teenage girl feeding our stray cats that surround our apartment building. This is something that we also do as we did in Cedar Key when a cat would show up around our door step. This is offensive behavior to many people who have no use for those roaming felines. It does strike me as strange that people will be more concerned about stray dogs and cats than stray and abandoned children. Our work with young orphaned and neglected children here in Nikolaev and in Magadan is right at the top of our priorities next to teaching people how to have eternal life through obedient faith in Jesus Christ. We always notice that the more we are involved with children, the more energy we have to do all the other things necessary for this important work for our Lord. Today I finally feel free from a virus that had me on the side lines most of the day for a couple of days. Galina and I both picked up the same bug as she has also been suffering there at her mama's house. We are trying our best to be healthy as we prepare ourselves for our trip to the USA. Thank you for the many prayers and kind thoughts. God is truly answering all our prayers as we meet more and more people who are willing to learn about God and his plan of salvation for all people.

Now it was in the heart of David my father to build a house for the name of the LORD, the God of Israel. (2 Chronicles 6:7)
И было на сердце у Давида, отца моего, построить дом имени Господа, Бога Израилева. (2-я Паралипоменон 6:7 Russian)
І було на серці мого батька Давида збудувати храм для Ймення Господа, Бога Ізраїлевого. (2 Летописи 6:7 Ukrainian)
Pues bien, mi padre David tuvo mucho interés en construir un templo en honor del SEÑOR, Dios de Israel. (2 Crónicas 6:7 NVI)

Mighty God, our Dear Heavenly Father ~ Thank you for the fantastic and precious gift of life that excites our mortal bodies upon the arrival of this fresh day. Renew our highest hopes and purposes as we consider the deepest desires of our heart. Give us wisdom so that we will train our mind and energy upon those efforts that will truly bring honor and glory to Christ our Lord whom you have appointed heir of all things. Give us success in those endeavors that will influence souls to obey Jesus as Lord and King over His Kingdom. In the blessed name of Jesus we pray, Amen.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

WORD OF THE DAY - Wednesday 20 October from Nikolaev, Ukraine

Galina left by bus to travel overnight to Slavyansk which is in the Donetsk region of Ukraine. She will have one more visit with her mama before we leave for America. They just need to sit and talk for a while which is understandable given all that has happened over the past few months with her papa's death and Elena's lengthy sickness and surgery. We are very thankful for her strength and recovery. Galina plans to catch the bus back and be here on Friday or Saturday. I just talked with her by mobile phone and she arrived safely in Donetsk and was sitting on the bus waiting to leave for Slavyansk. Thank you for the many prayers. I only have four appointments today plus our Wednesday evening Bible study.

“But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” (Acts 1:8 NIV)
но вы примете силу, когда сойдет на вас Дух Святый; и будете Мне свидетелями в Иерусалиме и во всей Иудее и Самарии и даже до края земли. (Деяния 1:8 Russian)
Та ви приймете силу, як Дух Святий злине на вас, і Моїми ви свідками будете в Єрусалимі, і в усій Юдеї та в Самарії, та аж до останнього краю землі. (Деяния 1:8 Ukrainian)
Mas recibiréis la virtud del Espíritu Sano que vendrá sobre vosotros; y me sereís testigos en Jerusalem, en toda Judea, y Samaria, y hasta lo últim de la tierra. (Hechos 1:8 Spanish)

Almighty God, Creator of everything we know about and things that exists that we are not aware of ~ Thank you for the sparkling gift of life on this new day that greets us with brand new opportunities and blessings. Give us wisdom as we read and meditate upon your word so that we will engage ourselves in activities that will bring more souls into the blessed Kingdom of Christ where there is peace, joy, love and hope of eternal life. In Jesus name we pray, Amen.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

WORD OF THE DAY - Tuesday 05 October 2010

Ludmila comes to our studies after she gets off work at the bank. The bank she works for is one of the largest banking organizations in Europe. She has a very responsible position and takes her studies very seriously. We finished the third lesson last night and now she works on Lesson four. There are seven lessons in each book, and there are three books in the first course. She expresses very sincere thanks that she now has an opportunity to learn the Bible and English at the same time. We discussed a little about God's plan to bring mankind back to Himself after the Fall. When I mentioned something about Jesus, she had a big smile and said "this is so interesting." Being the banker that she is, she asked a question that many others ask, "how can such good lessons be FREE?" I carefully explained that it is a way for us to meet people who want to learn English, and learn the Bible and some may even want to become Christians. She smiled her big smile and responded that "it is possible." We love all our students that God challenges us with. Galina and I are beginning to put Ludmila in the category of our dear Olga from Magadan for the way she studies so carefully. Thank you for the sincere and fervent prayers for this work in God's harvest field of Ukraine. We heard from Brian and Liz Wakefield that they are in the hotel in Kiev. We expect them here in Nikolaev by train at 05.30 tomorrow morning.

Galina regularly speaks to people who answer our advertisements. We have two numbers in our ads that ring on my phone and her phone. That way we try not to miss any calls. Even though we will be traveling to the US later this month, we continue to make appointments so that we can get people enrolled and started out prior to our return in January. We also encourage them to sign up for the on-line courses at

Vadim and Anna are our only married couple engaged in our English studies using the Bible and the World English Institute lessons. They do their homework and read the extra Bible verses so that they have a better comprehension. They are now working on lesson 3 in Book One. It is an important lesson about Sin.

Our study with Alex who works as an accountant at night and who worked in the USA for 7 months last year, continue with great success. He is very diligent about his studies and is helping his wife study at home. She hasn't gotten up the nerve to come to one of the classes, but he thinks she will come soon. Alex is eager to know more about the Bible, not only English.

Seek the LORD while he may be found; call upon him while he is near. (Isaiah 55:6)
Ищите Господа, когда можно найти Его; призывайте Его, когда Он близко. (Исаия 55:6 Russian)
Шукайте Господа, доки можна знайти Його, кличте Його, як Він близько! (Исая 55:6 Ukrainian)
Busquen al SEÑOR mientras se deje encontrar, llámenlo mientras esté cercano. (Isaías 55:6 Spanish)

O LORD, the Creator of everything that exists whether visible or invisible ~ Thank you for sending your Son to be our Savior, and to be a Door that makes it possible for us to come with our requests and praise. Give us wisdom and help us to use that wisdom to think more clearly and positively about what we can do in our own lifetimes to influence more people to turn their hearts to Christ in obedient faith. Give us courage and a renewed boldness so that we will take action to carry out the Great Commission of carrying the saving gospel message to all people in the world. In Jesus name we fervently pray, Amen.

Monday, October 4, 2010

WORD OF THE DAY - Monday 04 October 2010 from Mykolayiv, Ukraine

We had six people for worship yesterday. Lyuda was out of town at the seminar in Feodosia, and Nikolai was also working out of town. We had three visitors during our worship yesterday. One young man and two women named Oksana. Both Oksana's stayed around while we had some tea and conversation about the word of God. One works as a PE teacher at the special school for children studying English K-11 that is situated very close to the building where we meet. She came to one of our nightly meetings recently just as we were about to leave and promised to come back. The other Oksana is the one who was a WEI student back in the Summer, but due to her work at two restaurants she was not able to keep her appointments. Now, she is working as a cashier and wants to resume her studies. She came about the time we were to begin our worship only to make an appointment for her English study. Liz and Brian Wakefield are on their way from Colorado to help us in our evangelistic work. They are scheduled to arrive on Wednesday morning by train from Kiev. We spoke with Olga from Magadan yesterday in Moscow. Unless doctors encourage her to have a surgery, she will come to Nikolaev and spend a couple of weeks with us. We are very pleased that she will be here while Brian and Liz are here since she knows English and can be of some help to them around the city. Thank you for the many prayers and kind words of encouragement.

Hear the word of the LORD, O children of Israel, because the LORD has a charge to bring against the inhabitants of the land: “There is no faithfulness, no love, no knowledge of God in the land.” (Hosea 4:1)
Слушайте слово Господне, сыны Израилевы; ибо суд у Господа с жителями сей земли, потому что нет ни истины, ни милосердия, ни Богопознания на земле. (Осия 4:1 Russian)
Послухайте слова Господнього, Ізраїлеві сини, бо Господь має прю із мешканцями земними, бо нема на землі ані правди, ні милости, ані богопізнання. (Осия 4:1 Ukrainian)
Escuchen, israelitas, la palabra del SEÑOR, porque el SEÑOR va a entrar en juicio contra los habitantes del país: «Ya no hay entre mi pueblo fidelidad ni amor, ni *conocimiento de Dios. (Oseas 4:1 NVI)

Almighty God, our Dear Heavenly Father ~ Thank you for the precious gift of life that sparkles within us on this new day that greets us with even more blessings and challenges. Give us wisdom as study and meditate on your word, so that we will understand how to more effectively combat the increasing spiritual ignorance that is marked by the rising rate of violent acts of crime, hatred, theft and swindling in civilized countries of the world. In Jesus name we pray, Amen.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

WORD OF THE DAY - Saturday 02 October 2010 from Mykolayiv, Ukraine

But let justice roll down as waters, and righteousness as a mighty stream. (Amos 5:24)

Пусть, как вода, течет суд, и правда--как сильный поток! (Амос 5:24 Russian)

і хай тече правосуддя, немов та вода, а справедливість як сильний потік! (Амос 5:24 Ukrainian)

Antes corra el juicio como las aguas, y la justicia como impetuoso arroyo. (Amós 5:24 Spanish)

Almighty God, our Dear Heavenly Father ~ Thank you for the incredible blessings that greet us on this new day that pulses with fresh opportunities for being the good people that Christ insists for us to be as His followers. Bless the people of the great emerging nations of the world such as Nigeria which is celebrating its 50th year as an independent country. Help all people to turn to your Divinely appointed Son as the true pathway to goodness and genuine prosperity for all mankind. In the name of Jesus we pray, Amen.

Our second study with Victor went very well. He had prepared his lessons from both the introductory and lesson one, book one of the World English Institute materials. We had a lively discussion with this scientific minded young man about the creation and the Creator. Thank you for your prayers and constant encouragement.

Now that Russia and Ukraine are two independent countries, everything must be handled the same as any other international mail. That means more postage. Please pray for Olga as we heard from her yesterday that she arrived in Moscow where she will undergo some further testing. The doctors in Magadan recommended that she see specialists in Moscow. We hope that she will be able to come and help us here in Nikolaev during this time of vacation from her work. That has been her desire for a long time. A few days ago Olga sent us the joyful news that the Magadan church has received our letters of invitation that the church issued to us and had to be approved by the local Magadan police department that deals with foreign citizens. Once again, we will receive an invitation to apply for a religious workers visa for one year. We are praising God for this positive development and hope that we will be able to visit with our dear ones in Magadan at least once during 2011.

We stopped by the Post Office on our walk to the church meeting place yesterday morning and discovered a little slip in the box. Olga, our dear sister and helper in Magadan recently sent much of our literature that I have accumulated in Magadan and now need it here in Nikolaev. When it first arrived in Moscow from Magadan, it was returned to her, and they now require that any such packages be individually packed in these new type plastic envelopes. So, she complained a little, but as usual dutifully took care of everything and reshipped what was previously in two boxes.

One of our WEI students yesterday was our new friend Natasha who has a higher education from an institution of engineering and worked for several years at a local manufacturing plant that produces large turbine engines. She has learned English mostly with her own hard work and was referred to us by a fellow student Roman. We both thought after our session yesterday that she has the ability to be a tutor of English in just a short while. She is very interested in the Bible and has no working knowledge of God's word. Her parents are both retired geological engineers who spent many years working in Kazakhstan during the Soviet years.

Friday, October 1, 2010

WORD OF THE DAY - Friday 01 October 2010 from Nikolaev, Ukraine

Yesterday was our first meeting with Victor who works as a free-lance computer programmer with some clients in the USA. He studied English from Kindergarten through High School at one of the two special schools here in Nikolaev. Now, he wants to polish up his skills and be able to communicate better with people he is working with. He had very good comments and questions from our study of the father and two sons in Luke 15. We look forward to more studies with this very bright young man.

Last night we had another great Wednesday night Bible study as we began a study of Ecclesiastes. We only had the usual four of us present, but we had a visitor who showed up as we were finishing. Oksana works at school 22 which is a special English school for children. This school is practically located on the premises of the building where we meet. She had some questions that we answered and have hopes that she will return and learn more about God's love.

We had special prayers for our sister Lyuda since she will be leaving on the bus tonight bound for Feodosia in the Crimea. She will be attending a seminar sponsored by a Church of Christ in Donetsk where Alexander Prokopchuk preaches. This is her first time to be able to meet with others outside of our small group who have the same faith. She is nervous and excited and we are very happy for her to have this opportunity.

Katya met with us yesterday morning at her usual time of 11.00. She is already working in the lessons in Book two. Due to some commitments from her music students, she will not be able to be with us next week. She will catch up with us the following week. Thank you for the constant encouragement and prayers of faith for this work. God is blessing us with numerous opportunities to share the Gospel and we are asking for patience as we watch the seed get set in the good soil.

And there shall be no night there; and they need no candle, neither light of the sun; for the Lord God gives them light: and they shall reign forever and ever. (Revelation 22:5)

И ночи не будет там, и не будут иметь нужды ни в светильнике, ни в свете солнечном, ибо Господь Бог освещает их; и будут царствовать во веки веков. (Откровение 22:5 Russian)

А ночі вже більше не буде, і не буде потреби в світлі світильника, ані в світлі сонця, бо освітлює їх Господь, Бог, а вони царюватимуть вічні віки. (Откровение 22:5 Ukrainian)

Y allí no habrá más noche; y no tienen necesidad de lumbre de antorcha, ni de lumbre de sol: porque el Señor Dios los alumbrará: y reinarán para siempre jamás. (Apocalipsis 22:5 Spanish)

Dear God, our Merciful Father in Heaven ~ Thank you for the dawn of a new day, the arrival of which heralds the pleasure of spending more time living and working under the accurate guidance of Christ as we follow the Holy Spirit inspired written word. Give us more of your infinite wisdom so that we will realize more clearly that as we trust and obey our Lord, we never have to be in dread of eternal darkness. Help us to continue following the Light of this world so that our reward will be to live in your presence forever. In Jesus name we pray, Amen.