Monday, January 31, 2011

WORD OF THE DAY - 31 January 2011 Mykolayiv, Ukraine

Now who is there to harm you if you are zealous for what is good? (1 Peter 3:13 ESV)

И кто сделает вам зло, если вы будете ревнителями доброго? (1-e Петра 3:13 Russian)

І хто заподіє вам зле, коли будете ви оборонцями доброго? (1 Петрово 3:13 Ukrainian)

¿Y quién es aquel que os podrá dañar, si vosotros seguís el bien? (1 Pedro 3:13 Spanish)

Most Kind and Merciful God, our Dear Father in Heaven ~ Thank you for the sparkling gift of life on this new day that arrives with wonderful blessings from your providence. Give us courage so that when persecution comes we will be prepared to endure since we know how Christ suffered and yet He arose triumphantly from the grave. Help us to find great satisfaction in this life by enthusiastically pursuing what is good. We pray In the precious name of Jesus, Amen.

Photo 1: One of our regular guests recently is Nadya who is the grandmother of Zhenya.

Photo 2: Galina was helping Zhenya to stamp some books that our brother Nikolay wants to use in the prison ministry that he works with in cooperation with the Obolon Church of Christ in Kiev.

Photo 3: Zhenya was in our worship services and also during our time of fellowship. His brother Dima came to see us as we were about to leave. We hope to get to know both of these boys better and begin a Bible class with them. They came with their grandmother Nadya. After the worship service and time of fellowship and stimulating discussion on various needs that exists in the very poor prison system, we walked back to town on the very slippery roads. We stopped at one of our favorite little neighborhood stores to buy some supplies since it was Galina's first day to venture out in a few days. We were doing pretty well until we came to the center of town, and had our first fall on the ice. We were crossing a street that was very icy, and we just got in a little too much of a hurry. We both went down together and sort of cushioned each other so we didn't suffer any serious bruises. "Take heed lest ye fall". One nice young boy and his mother quickly came to our aid and helped us get up and regain our confidence. Today we have three people scheduled to study English with us using the WEI lessons and the Bible. We always look forward to this and hope that it will help them grow in their understanding of the Bible and faith in Christ.

Photo 4: Yesterday we had 9 people present for our morning worship. Stepan and Ludmila like to sit downstairs near the entrance to the Palace of Culture where the church meets. This way they can get an eye on who is coming into the building and possibly have a chance to invite someone to our worship services.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

WORD OF THE DAY - Saturday 29 January 2011 Nikolaev, Ukraine

Therefore do not throw away your confidence, which has a great reward. For you have need of endurance, so that when you have done the will of God you may receive what is promised. (Hebrews 10:35-36 ESV)

Итак не оставляйте упования вашего, которому предстоит великое воздаяние. Терпение нужно вам, чтобы, исполнив волю Божию, получить обещанное; (К Евреям 10:35-36 Russian)

Тож не відкидайте відваги своєї, бо має велику нагороду вона. Бо вам терпеливість потрібна, щоб Божу волю вчинити й прийняти обітницю. (Евреи 10:35-36 Ukrainian)

No perdáis pues vuestra confianza, que tiene grande remuneración de galardón: Porque la paciencia os es necesaria; para que, habiendo hecho la voluntad de Dios, obtengáis la promesa. (Hebreos 10:35-36 Spanish)

Most Holy and Merciful God, our Dear Heavenly Father ~ we praise you for making it possible for us to enjoy another day of life with loved ones, good friends in the faith, and friends in our communities. Give us wisdom and patience so that we will be joyful even in times of severe hardship, and be faithful in carrying out your will for our lives so that we will enter our heavenly home as we trust and obey Christ our Lord. In Jesus name we pray, Amen.

Yesterday on one of my excursions through the city, I noticed some young folks having fun with a friendly snow ball fight.

The stamina and dogged determination of the local artists to sell their wares regardless of rain, sleet or snow always amazes me. As I passed this area near the central park yesterday, I overheard some haggling over one painting that resulted in the artist and customer with satisfaction in the end. This always makes me wonder why we don’t have more determined workers for the Lord who will keep up the good fight of faith no matter what the conditions or the opposition. Let us pray for a great revival of evangelism in all countries of the world!

There was a story on one of the local Mykolayiv TV channels yesterday about some boys who wandered out onto the frozen river. They came upon a place that looked like the ice was thin. Then they apparently began tamping on the ice to test how hard it was frozen. Then they fell in the frigid water! They all got out safely and in their frozen and wet clothing made it to their homes and hospital where they were receiving care. After seeing that report, I decided to walk up to the river and see just how frozen it was. From the top of the bank near the location of the regional and city government buildings, there is a street that is winding down to the river. Boys were skiing and sledding down this steep incline and seemed to having the time of their lives. Obviously there is not much traffic of boats or ships up the channel these days. This area is also the location of one of the important shipyards here in Nikolaev. The pedestrian bridge makes it possible for people to walk from a residential area north of the river into the center of the city.  It is also a place where many newlyweds go for photographs.

After the closing bell of the banking establishments, our sharp English student Ludmila was able to take some time out of her busy schedule to resume her studies of English using the Bible and the WEI lessons. As always, she had insightful comments and questions. From the 32 people that we previously had studying with us, so far we have 9 that we can count on to continue their studies. Some of the others will trickle back in. Soon, we will resume our advertising and that will hopefully produce more students who have interest in English and the Bible. Thank you for the prayers.

Friday, January 28, 2011

WORD OF THE DAY - Friday 28 January 2011 Nikolaev, Ukraine

"And if it is evil in your eyes to serve the LORD, choose this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your fathers served in the region beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD." (Joshua 24:15 ESV)

Если же не угодно вам служить Господу, то изберите себе ныне, кому служить, богам ли, которым служили отцы ваши, бывшие за рекою, или богам Аморреев, в земле которых живете; а я и дом мой будем служить Господу. (Иисус Навин 24:15 Russian)

А якщо зле в очах ваших служити Господеві, виберіть собі сьогодні, кому будете служити, чи богам, яким служили ваші батьки, що по тому боці Річки, та чи богам аморейським, що ви сидите в їхньому краї. А я та дім мій будемо служити Господеві. (Исус Навин 24:15 Ukrainian)

Pero si a ustedes les parece mal servir al SEÑOR, elijan ustedes mismos a quiénes van a servir: a los dioses que sirvieron sus antepasados al otro lado del río Éufrates, o a los dioses de los amorreos, en cuya tierra ustedes ahora habitan. Por mi parte, mi familia y yo serviremos al SEÑOR. (Josué 24:15 Spanish NVI)

Dear LORD God, our Merciful Father in Heaven ~ Thank you for this new day that arrives with stimulating reminders of your presence in our daily lives. Grant us courage like Joshua to remain faithful to our stand for Christ our Lord so that we will always be good examples for our families, co-workers and friends. In the holy name of Jesus we pray, Amen.

Yesterday, Galina agreed to follow her doctors' suggestion. So, after we went to visit the laboratory and a pharmacy along with some other shopping, she decided to stay home and try to allow her strength to return after all the constant coughing. We also hopes the rest, along with various medicines will drive away the lingering effects of this bronchitis. Of course as we pray, we trust in the power of Jesus the Great Physician for healing and recovery. We made one stop at our local neighborhood Post Office where we still receive our letters even though the place is upside down due to the remodeling. We were pleasantly surprised to discover two pieces of mail that contained several new lesson books from Truth for Today. This is a most valuable resource since we receive lessons that are suitable for teaching those in the church who desire to learn how to teach others. The church in Magadan has been using this excellent material for many years. We are very thankful to all the Christians who make this work possible. Thank you for your fervent prayers as we continue to scatter the precious seeds of the Gospel of Christ the Lord.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

WORD OF THE DAY - Tuesday 25 January 2011 Mykolayiv, Ukraine

“For I have chosen him, so that he will direct his children and his household after him to keep the way of the LORD by doing what is right and just, so that the LORD will bring about for Abraham what he has promised him.” (Genesis 18:19 NIV)

ибо Я избрал его для того, чтобы он заповедал сынам своим и дому своему после себя, ходить путем Господним, творя правду и суд; и исполнит Господь над Авраамом, что сказал о нем. (Бытие 18:19 Russian)

Бо вибрав Я його, щоб він наказав синам своїм і домові своєму по собі. І будуть вони дотримуватися дороги Господньої, щоб чинити справедливість та право, а то для того, щоб Господь здійснив на Авраамові, що сказав був про нього. (Битие 18:19 Ukrainian)

Porque yo lo he conocido, sé que mandará á sus hijos y á su casa después de sí, que guarden el camino de Jehová, haciendo justicia y juicio, para que haga venir Jehová sobre Abraham lo que ha hablado acerca de él. (Génesis 18:19 Spanish)

Most Holy and Righteous God, our Dear Heavenly Father ~ Thank you for the joy we experience on this new day as we recall how privileged we are to call upon you as our Father. Give this generation of believing fathers the wisdom to realize their number one responsibility is to pass along to their children, the sincere belief in being an obedient follower of Jesus Christ, your Son whom you have appointed over us. In Jesus name we pray, Amen.

Photo 1 above: The sunrise greeted us yesterday morning as we prepared to leave for Galina's appointment with the doctor. This was a beautiful sight after the period of snowfall.

Photo 2: The busses were more overcrowded in Mykolayiv than usual yesterday due to the slippery sidewalks.

Photo 3: Galina is heading to the doctor with hope of some good advice. We are heading in a northerly direction on Pushkin Street that is the main highway into the city from the north. The clinic we went to is close to the river bridge. We adopted a rule long ago in Magadan that if you have to stand and wait for a bus, it’s better to keep moving. You can freeze to the sidewalk if you just stand there! In this section of sidewalk, a smart and thoughtful merchant cleaned the sidewalks. That is a rare thing, but much appreciated. Galina's doctor advised her to take it easy to which Galina responded "that is impossible" and the doctor replied, "I understand." She was diagnosed with acute bronchitis along with a couple of other itis's.- pharyngitis and laryngitis. That called for a trip around to a couple of pharmacies to find the medicine the doctor prescribed. Thank God, even after one night of this medicine, Galina was able to sleep better and should start to mend.

Photo 4: This building belongs to the Lutheran church and they originally built it in the 1800's. We walked past here on our way to the central Post Office from the doctor's office.

Photo 5: We went to the central Post Office since our neighborhood Post Office is closed for remodeling. Before we left the USA, we shipped several boxes of items that we need here for our work. There was one surprise package from Charles Campbell that contained several goodies for us to share with the boys in the Boys Home and other people we work with. There are several very thoughtful surprises. Swiss mocha cream chocolate! Creme cookies! Two boxes Christmas candy canes! Homemade cookies (by Sara Taylor)! Danish cookies! Russell Stover candies... Galina wondered with a grin, since she is sick, if she had to share the Russell Stover chocolates. It is wonderful to have thoughtful people who want to work with us in showing God's love. For several days, we have not been able to use our electric appliances very well. Last night our neighbors called for the help of an electrician who spent several hours going over the wiring until he finally discovered and fixed the problem. We all laughed as we remembered the way old early Soviet apartment buildings like ours used to have the wires just hanging from the ceiling. Then the influence became strong for European standards and nearly all such buildings like ours now have the wiring hidden. It has an aesthetic appeal, but when you have a problem there is much more work involved. But, we got to meet a new person and that is great. We also got to spend much time with our neighbors. They noticed that I had most of my books on the floor. They realized that they had left four shelves of their books here. They immediately went back to their apartment and came back with some bags and carted off all their books. Vladimir also redid the shelves so that I can make better use of them. God has been very good to us with such neighbors as our landlords. (What a word!) It is colder here today -14 C / +5 F. Thank you very much for the prayers for the work that we are involved with in this great city of southern Ukraine. Due to the doctor's visit and shopping for medicines, we were unable to keep our appointment with our friend Natasha. She was disappointed, but we have her rescheduled for tomorrow afternoon.

Monday, January 24, 2011

WORD OF THE DAY - Monday 24 January 2011 Nikolaev, Ukraine

Remind them to be subject to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready for every good work. (Titus 3:1)

Напоминай им повиноваться и покоряться начальству и властям, быть готовыми на всякое доброе дело. (К Титу 3:1 Russian)

Нагадуй їм, щоб слухали влади верховної та корилися їй, і до всякого доброго діла готові були. (Тит 3:1 Ukrainian)

AMONÉSTALES que se sujeten á los príncipes y potestades, que obedezcan, que estén prontos á toda buena obra. (Tito 3:1 Spanish)
Dear God, our Most Holy and Kind Father in Heaven ~ Thank you for the exceedingly precious gift of life on this new day that greets us with the sunshine of your love. As the blessed recipients of your grace, give us wisdom to use every opportunity for glorifying Christ in our daily affairs. Help us to be quick to do good deeds that will glorify Christ and the world may see Jesus living in His Church for which He died. In Jesus name we pray, Amen.

We had nine people for worship yesterday in spite of a heavy snow that blanketed this region.

Following the worship, as is our custom we had a time of tea with snacks. This is primarily a time of prayer and fellowship with the opportunity to become better acquainted. It is also a good time to discuss any questions that arise from the sermon as well as other aspects of the work of the church.

After we had been at the church meeting place for about five hours, we needed to go out and scrounge up some necessary items for the home. I have been doing some of this shopping while Galina has remained inside to help the healing. Yesterday, she insisted she wanted to be out in the fresh air that might help her breathing. She seemed to do very well after a long day of translating what I was not able to communicate properly in Russian. We are very thankful for your kind thoughts and prayers for this work for the Lord Jesus Christ.

WORD OF THE DAY - Sunday 23 January 2011 Mykolayiv, Ukraine

For as often as you eat this bread, and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord's death until he comes. (1 Corinthians 11:26)

Ибо всякий раз, когда вы едите хлеб сей и пьете чашу сию, смерть Господню возвещаете, доколе Он придет. (1-е Коринфянам 11:26 Russian)

Бо кожного разу, як будете їсти цей хліб та чашу цю пити, смерть Господню звіщаєте, аж доки Він прийде. (1 Коринтяни 11:26 Ukrainian)

Porque todas las veces que comiereis este pan, y bebiereis esta copa, la muerte del Señor anunciáis hasta que venga. (1 Corintios 11:26 Spanish)

Almighty God, Everlasting Father in Heaven ~ Thank you for the mysterious gift of life and especially the expensive new life in Christ on this new Lord’s Day. As this day dawns around the world, Kind Father bless all faithful Christians who make time each week to gather around the Table and honor the huge sacrifice made by Christ so that we may have positive hope of eternal life as we walk by faith. Renew our commitment as we watch and wait for the glorious appearing of our Savior and reigning King. In Jesus name we pray, Amen.
When we arrived back to Nikolaev about ten days ago, we could hardly see any snow on the ground. There were only a few patches of snow that had not yet melted. Today, our weather looks more like all the forecasts we have been receiving lately. Snow began falling late yesterday afternoon, and continued through the night. It is a very gentle, fluffy and friendly snowfall, compared with the howling wind blizzards that can come at this time of year. This means that people will have some inconveniences getting to our worship services, but it should not be a “providential hindrance.” We don’t expect visitors in such weather, but we are always hopeful and prepared. Yesterday, our neighbor brought Galina another home remedy that includes a hot water bottle filled with hot water and laced with eucalyptus herbs. She spent time last night breathing this vapor. We feel like we can publish a guide to home remedies for the cold or bronchitis with all this information that people have been sharing with us. Thank you for your kind thoughts and prayers for our well being and most of all for success in reaching lost souls with the true message of salvation that gives hope and cheer to the most downtrodden of people.

WORD OF THE DAY - Saturday 22 January 2011 Nikolaev, Ukraine

Put to death therefore what is earthly in you: sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry. (Colossians 3:5 ESV)

Итак, умертвите земные члены ваши: блуд, нечистоту, страсть, злую похоть и любостяжание, которое есть идолослужение, (К Колоссянам 3:5 Russian)

Отож, умертвіть ваші земні члени: розпусту, нечисть, пристрасть, лиху пожадливість та зажерливість, що вона ідолослуження, (Колосяни 3:5 Ukrainian)

Amortiguad, pues, vuestros miembros que están sobre la tierra: fornicación, inmundicia, molicie, mala concupiscencia, y avaricia, que es idolatría: (Colosenses 3:5 Spanish)

Most Awesome God, our Dear Father in Heaven ~ We bring you thanksgiving from the depths of our hearts for your matchless grace and love on this new day. Give us wisdom as we consider how we may effectively throw off the vices of this world that keep us bound to the earth and the evil that daily confronts each person. Help us to grow daily in our faith and love of things righteous and eternal. In the name of Jesus we pray, Amen.

Our appointment with Natasha, one of our friends and English students was possible yesterday morning. This turned into a very stimulating discussion of the meaning of evil and other important spiritual topics. She continues to make progress in her usage of English and knowledge of the teaching found in the Bible. Galina made sure that her son who came along felt welcome in our environment.

Friday, January 21, 2011

WORD OF THE DAY - Friday 21 January 2011 from Mykolayiv, Ukraine

Now the parable is this: The seed is the word of God. (Luke 8:11)

Вот что значит притча сия: семя есть слово Божие; (От Луки 8:11 Russian)

Ось що означає ця притча: Зерно це Боже Слово. (Лука 8:11 Ukrainian)

Es pues ésta la parábola: La simiente es la palabra de Dios. (Lucas 8:11 Spanish)

Dear LORD God, our Heavenly Father ~ Thank you for the precious gift of life on this new day that abounds with fresh opportunities to sow the seed of the Kingdom of Christ so that souls may be saved. Give all who teach and preach the gospel a revival of faith and trust in the absolute power of your word to germinate in the hearts of men and women and produce Christians in people who were once far away from Christ. Grant us courage to seize every opportunity to help people have their own copy of the Scriptures, and be with us as we help them understand your message of salvation through faith in Jesus Christ who died for our sins and the sins of all people. In the precious name of Jesus we pray, Amen.
 In spite of her struggle with this respiratory problem, Galina helped our first appointment understand an important lesson from the Bible. Katya is one of our very first English students who studies English using the Bible along with the WEI lessons. Galina arose this morning with the announcement that she only had two coughing attacks during the night. She thinks that will keep her from going to the doctor. She better not count on that. Our neighbor came over last night and provided information about a pulmonologist that she knows. 

 We had a good visit with our friend and student Katya who is a music teacher. Her knowledge of English and the Bible continues to grow. 
Just as we were ending Katya's appointment, Elena the director of the facility where the church rents our space, dropped by for a meeting. We discussed the possibility of renting an adjacent office that has recently become vacant. We can use this now as an office, classroom, and Bible resource center. We are hopeful that she will accept our offer that she must present to the organization that oversees this property. She also gave us the rights to a large sign board that no one is using and the stanchions out in front of the building. This is a great opportunity for us to advertise the Church and our English classes using the Bible in the area of a busy public bus stop. Thank you very much for taking time to pray about this evangelistic effort in the country of Ukraine which was a part of the former Soviet Union.

WORD OF THE DAY - Thursday 20 January 2011 from Nikolaev, Ukraine

“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?” (Matthew 6:25-26 NIV)

Most Holy and Righteous God, our Dear Heavenly Father ~ We offer thanks this morning for our faith that makes it possible for us to depend upon You for everything we need in this life and in the life to come. Give us wisdom as we consider more effective methods of reaching lost souls who are fretting over earthly bread that quickly becomes stale and useless. Help us to be good and faithful stewards of whatever blessings are showered upon us realizing that the world is observing how sincerely we follow Christ as Lord. In the blessed name of Jesus we pray, Amen.

Посему говорю вам: не заботьтесь для души вашей, что вам есть и что пить, ни для тела вашего, во что одеться. Душа не больше ли пищи, и тело одежды? Взгляните на птиц небесных: они ни сеют, ни жнут, ни собирают в житницы; и Отец ваш Небесный питает их. Вы не гораздо ли лучше их? (От Матфея 6:25-26 Russian)

Через те вам кажу: Не журіться про життя своє що будете їсти та що будете пити, ні про тіло своє, у що зодягнетеся. Чи ж не більше від їжі життя, а від одягу тіло? Погляньте на птахів небесних, що не сіють, не жнуть, не збирають у клуні, та проте ваш Небесний Отець їх годує. Чи ж ви не багато вартніші за них? (Матей 6:25-26 Ukrainian)

Por tanto os digo: No os congojéis por vuestra vida, qué habéis de comer, ó que habéis de beber; ni por vuestro cuerpo, qué habéis de vestir: ¿no es la vida más que el alimento, y el cuerpo que el vestido? Mirad las aves del cielo, que no siembran, ni siegan, ni allegan en alfolíes; y vuestro Padre celestial las alimenta. ¿No sois vosotros mucho mejores que ellas?. (Mateo 6:25-26 Spanish)
We had our usual faithful two or three for the first Wednesday night Bible study and prayer meeting since we have returned. Stepan and Ludmila are so very faithful that their example is and inspiration to anyone who pays attention to their habits. They travel a long distance to our meeting place arriving on time using public transportation in all kinds of challenging weather. Moreover, they bring a good positive attitude expecting the church to grow as we continue to teach the Word that builds faith.

The New Year's "yolka" was still standing last night in the entrance foyer of the large building where the church meets in an upper room. Yesterday, people in the countries that come under the influence of Orthodox Christianity were celebrating a holiday that commemorates the baptism of Jesus. I have never understood how they determined the date, but they seem to agree on this as the proper date. One of the common ways to celebrate this date is for people to jump in the cold water that has been made holy by a priest sprinkling holy water in an otherwise ordinary basin of water, a lake or sea water. Then people jump into this hoping that they will receive healing from diseases. When we were visiting Inta in the Komi Republic during January 2009, we were invited by some new friends to go and jump in the frozen river for this healing. We politely thanked them but declined this offer. The New Year's tree may come down soon, but it is evident around the town that people continue to celebrate the New Year with gifts of chocolates and toys for children along with parties. I'm not sure when the trees come down and things get back to normal. We'll just watch and see how it goes. Thank you for your prayers for this work of evangelism here in southern Ukraine.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

WORD OF THE DAY - Wednesday 19 January 2011 from Nikolaev, Ukraine

From one man he made every nation of men that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he determined the times set for them and the exact places where they should live. God did this so that men would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from each one of us. (Acts 17:26-27 NIV)

От одной крови Он произвел весь род человеческий для обитания по всему лицу земли, назначив предопределенные времена и пределы их обитанию, дабы они искали Бога, не ощутят ли Его и не найдут ли, хотя Он и недалеко от каждого из нас. (Деяния 17:26-27 Russian)

І ввесь людський рід Він з одного створив, щоб замешкати всю поверхню землі, і призначив окреслені доби й границі замешкання їх, щоб Бога шукали вони, чи Його не відчують і не знайдуть, хоч Він недалеко від кожного з нас. (Деяния 17:26-27 Ukrainian)

Y de una sangre ha hecho todo el linaje de los hombres, para que habitasen sobre toda la faz de la tierra; y les ha prefijado el orden de los tiempos, y los términos de los habitación de ellos; Para que buscasen á Dios, si en alguna manera, palpando, le hallen; aunque cierto no está lejos de cada uno de nosotros: (Hechos 17:26-27 Spanish)

Almighty God, the Architect and Creator of all that lives and exists – Thank you Dear Father for the precious gift of life that resides in our earthly bodies until the day when our body is put to rest. Renew within us a sense of awe and wonder about the place where you dwell and where we are invited to come and live for all eternity. Give us wisdom to grasp the oneness of the entire human race so that we will be extra careful to focus upon our mutual needs and longings as we tell the lost about Jesus our Lord and Savior. In Jesus name we pray, Amen.

Yesterday afternoon, Galina felt like she needed to breathe some fresh air to help ward off whatever bug it is that has her under its grip. We needed to do a little shopping for some basic necessities, so we took a walk around town. We walked down our Sovietskaya Street which is the street that the city only allows pedestrian traffic so that people may stroll along the shops as a mall atmosphere. Near the central park, many local artists display their wares throughout the day. We also noticed yesterday that even when the temperature is around the freezing mark, the aficionados of chess and dominoes are always enjoying the company of their peers. Wouldn't it be wonderful if more folks had the same devotion toward activities that promote the will of Christ and His church? Thank you for the fervent and faithful prayers for Galina and for our work of teaching the Gospel of Christ here in Ukraine and God willing - later in Russia.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

WORD OF THE DAY - Tuesday 18 January 2011 from Mykolayiv, Ukraine

Beloved, I pray that all may go well with you and that you may be in good health, as it goes well with your soul. (3 John 1:2 ESV)

Возлюбленный! молюсь, чтобы ты здравствовал и преуспевал во всем, как преуспевает душа твоя. (3-e Иоанна 1:2 Russian)

Улюблений, я молюся, щоб добре велося в усьому тобі, і щоб був ти здоровий, як добре ведеться душі твоїй. (3 Йоаново 1:2 Ukrainian)

Amado, yo deseo que tú seas prosperado en todas cosas, y que tengas salud, así como tu alma está en prosperidad. (3 Juan 1:2 Spanish)

Most Kind and Holy God, our Dear Heavenly Father ~ Thank you for the prosperous blessings that we cannot begin to count on this new day. We are especially joyful that we can honestly sing, “It is well with my soul.” Give us good health as we do our best to make intelligent choices regarding our eating, drinking and exercise habits. Give us wisdom as we fill our minds with spiritual food from the Scriptures. In the blessed name of Jesus we pray, Amen.

Earlier this morning, on my walk around town, these workers were already out on their street clean-up detail. The city usually does a good job of tidying up after major holidays such as the long New Years' celebration that seems to have finally waned into history. Around 08.00, I met our friend Chuck at the local McDonalds for our little coffee klatch that usually includes some Bible talk along with talk of events in America.

Yesterday I spent time shopping around for some cold remedies that have been suggested by our kindly neighbors and other well meaning folks. While I was doing that, she was busy cooking a delicious pot of borsch. The best suggestion came from our fellow worker for the Lord, Jim Mettenbrink who suggested the timeless remedy of chicken soup. Today, I'll purchase ingredients for that, and with a pot of borsch and a pot of chicken soup, hopefully Galina will get well and I'll stay well. I finished sending out all my invitations to people who were previously studying English with us using the Bible and the excellent lessons by World English Institute - WEI. By the way, WEI is always looking for teachers. If you are retired, or just have some spare time available, jump in to this important work and your soul will be satisfied as you help lead people to a better understanding of English and most importantly to have faith in Jesus Christ. Just write to Bob or Jan Towell at

I recommend that you visit the WEI website for more information about the worldwide scope of this evangelistic work. Once there, you will notice a link “Teachers needed”. Just click on there and you will learn what is expected of you as a teacher. Even though you may work from the comfort of your own home, you will be involved in the front lines of mission work because you will be helping people from many different nations to learn the truth presented in the Bible as you help your students progress in their knowledge of the English language.

Monday, January 17, 2011

WORD OF THE DAY - Monday 17 January 2011 from Nikolaev, Ukraine

This man came to Jesus by night and said to him, "Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher come from God, for no one can do these signs that you do unless God is with him." (John 3:2 ESV)

Он пришел к Иисусу ночью и сказал Ему: Равви! мы знаем, что Ты учитель, пришедший от Бога; ибо таких чудес, какие Ты творишь, никто не может творить, если не будет с ним Бог. (От Иоанна 3:2 Russian)

Він до Нього прийшов уночі, та й промовив Йому: Учителю, знаємо ми, що прийшов Ти від Бога, як Учитель, бо не може ніхто таких чуд учинити, які чиниш Ти, коли Бог із ним не буде. (Йоан 3:2 Ukrainian)

Este vino á Jesús de noche, y díjole: Rabbí, sabemos que has venido de Dios por maestro; porque nadie puede hacer estas señales que tú haces, si no fuere Dios con él. (Juan 3:2 Spanish)

 LORD God, our Dear Heavenly Father ~ Thank you for this new day that greets us with solid reasons to have confidence in our hope of an eternal home that waits those who follow Christ. Give us wisdom as we study the scriptures so that we will not be wise in the world and misunderstand the simple requirements of Jesus who came to offer us a pardon for our sins. In Jesus’ blessed name we pray, Amen.

We had 12 people for worship services yesterday here in Nikolaev, Ukraine. It was our first Sunday to joyfully be back with the church. We had a visitor from America also. We met Chuck during our last tour of work here and he just returned to the city for a visit. In addition to our regulars - Luda and Stepan, we had several guests who have been attending while we have been away.

Following our worship services, we had a period of "tea". This invovled some snacks and lots of conversation that helps us get to know people better. Before we left for our apartment yesterday to go to our church meeting, we had a call from Katya, our first WEI English student. She will resume her studies tomorrow. We had a call from Alex and he had some distressing news that he has taken a job in another town about 3 hours away, so he will not be able to attend church meetings or WEI classes. He promised to continue his on-line studies. Today we will be on the phone and using the Internet to encourage our English students to choose the time for they prefer to study with us since we know the slots will fill up very quickly. Thank you for the prayers for our work and especially regarding Galina's health. She continues to battle this bad cold virus. Yet, she was able to translate my lesson yesterday in spite of much congestion. Today we will contine to pray, load up on vitamins and thinking good health.

WORD OF THE DAY - Sunday 16 January 2011

“Why do you call me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and not do the things which I say?” (Luke 6:46)

Что вы зовете Меня: Господи! Господи! --и не делаете того, что Я говорю? (От Луки 6:46 Russian)
Що звете ви Мене: Господи, Господи, та не робите того, що Я говорю? (Лука 6:46 Ukrainian)
¿Por qué me llamáis, Señor, Señor, y no hacéis lo que digo? (Lucas 6:46 Spanish)

Most Kind and Loving God, our Dear Heavenly Father ~ Thank you for the precious gift of life on this new Lord’s Day that marks the beginning of a new week of opportunities and blessings from your bounty. Bless us with more of your wisdom as we consider the teachings of Christ our Lord and allow them to sink deep into our soul so that we will always be under the guidance of your Spirit. Forgive us for those weak moments when we have rationalized away the plain teaching of Christ in favor of our own opinions or that of some earthly sage. In the name of Jesus we pray, Amen.

We are in a mood to celebrate that we have finally returned to Nikolaev, Ukraine and an absence of two and half months. Along the way, we constantly reminded ourselves of how God continues to look after us even while we go through some temporary and minor discomforts. When we arrived in Kiev, it was not the original time that we had planned, and this meant we had many hours to spend there. We decided to stay put at the train station. This place was built during the era of the monumental style of architecture. It reminds me of the beautiful old Union Stations in some of America’s cities. There is one spacious hall that has been turned into a lounge area. It is furnished with many comfortable leather sofas. This was a comfortable place to spend our time waiting for our train to Nikolaev. We are very happy to be back in our apartment home. The owners decided to upgrade the curtains while we were away. Today we will carry an extra space heater with us to our church meeting since it is below freezing and the room where we meet is not hearted very well. Thank you for remembering us in your prayers.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

WORD OF THE DAY - Saturday 08 January 2011 from Montgomery, Alabama

“She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.” (Matthew 1:21 NIV)

родит же Сына, и наречешь Ему имя Иисус, ибо Он спасет людей Своих от грехов их. (От Матфея 1:21 Russian)

І вона вродить Сина, ти ж даси Йому йменна Ісус, бо спасе Він людей Своїх від їхніх гріхів. (Матей 1:21 Ukrainian)

Y parirá un hijo, y llamarás su nombre JESUS, porque él salvará á su pueblo de sus pecados. (Mateo 1:21 Spanish)

Dear LORD, our Merciful Father in Heaven ~ Thank you for the reviving gift of life on this new day that greets us with fresh hopes as we continue to follow the Way, the Truth and the Life. Give us wisdom to better comprehend the far-reaching act of atonement accomplished by our Savior when He died for the sins of all who will have sincere and obedient faith in Him. Help us to use the best resources and energy possible to announce this salvation to the entire world. We pray in the name of Jesus, Amen.
This is a photo of the group that attended worship on Sunday 23 October 2010. (WEI student Ludmila took the photo) We are most anxious to reunite with the church and our many friends and orphans in Nikolaev. Thank you for the prayers as we try to remain calm in the face of news regarding a major winter storm that is supposed to bring icy conditions on Monday morning when we plan to travel to Atlanta to catch our flight to Chicago, then Frankfurt and from there to Kiev. We will rest for a while in some rooms at the Train Station then catch the train to Nikolaev. Thank you for your fervent prayers.

Two of our English students (Ludmila and Alexander) escort us to the bus stop following our last Sunday together in Nikolaev on the 4th Sunday of October 2010. We have been staying in touch with them as they continue to study English using the Bible and the World English Institute lessons. We have been receiving some most encouraging news from Dick Ady, President of WEI Tom Langley and some others who are in the planning stages with us for a 4 or 6 weeks English using the Bible campaign in June/July of 2011. Galina will assist them as a secretary/translator during their final planning and after their arrival to Ukraine. We plan to meet the group in Kiev and escort them to Mykolayiv. There is much for us to do in order to make this combined effort a success in reaching more people with the Good News contained in God's word.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

WORD OF THE DAY - 31 December 2011 from Montgomery, Alabama

But to you that fear my name, the Sun of righteousness shall arise with healing in his wings; and you shall go out leaping as calves from the stall. (Malachi 4:2)

А для вас, благоговеющие пред именем Моим, взойдет Солнце правды и исцеление в лучах Его, и вы выйдете и взыграете, как тельцы упитанные; (Малахия 4:2 Russian)

А для вас, хто Ймення Мойого боїться, зійде Сонце Правди та лікування в промінях Його, і ви вийдете та поскакаєте, мов ті ситі телята! (Малахия 4:2 Ukrainian)

Mas á vosotros los que teméis mi nombre, nacerá el Sol de justicia, y en sus alas traerá salud: y saldréis, y saltaréis como becerros de la manada. (Malaquías 4:2 Spanish)

Dear LORD our God ~ Thank you Kind Father for the arrival of another very special day for all who trust in your unsurpassable providential care. Give us wisdom as we close out another year so that we will learn from our mistakes and accomplishments in order to be more pleasing to you and more productive in the glorious Kingdom of Christ. In the blessed name of Jesus we pray, Amen.
Photo: These three young Christians - Dima, Styopa and Pasha have grown up in the Magadan, Russia Church of Christ thanks to their parents - Olga, Anya, Ivan & Nadya. Pasha has the look of one who just returned from a year of duty with the Russian Army. We received this photo recently from Olga by way of our brother Vasily's camera. We have much encouragement for the future of this church with young men willing to spend time learning more about Christ. Now that we have our Russian visas, God willing, we plan to travel to Magadan in the early spring of the year 2011. We are very thankful to all of you who regularly pray for this congregation as well as the young church in Nikoleav, Ukraine and for the struggling church at Inta in the Komi Republic that is part of the Russian Federation. I never forget for one second the church in Khabarovsk that was begun in 1993 with much great struggle and many fervent prayers. If it is the Lord's will, we also want to travel to Magadan via Khabarovsk and assemble for a few days with the brethren in this great city along the Amur River.
Sponsoring church:

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