Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Monday 07 February 2011 Mykolayiv, Ukraine

Therefore you also must be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect. (Matthew 24:44 ESV)

Потому и вы будьте готовы, ибо в который час не думаете, приидет Сын Человеческий. (От Матфея 24:44 Russian)

Тому будьте готові й ви, бо прийде Син Людський тієї години, коли ви не думаєте! (Матей 24:44 Ukrainian)

Por tanto, también vosotros estad apercibidos; porque el Hijo del hombre ha de venir á la hora que no pensáis. (Mateo 24:44 Spanish)

Most Kind and Holy God, our Dear Heavenly Father ~ Thank you for showering us with an abundance of blessings on this new day. Grant us courage and wisdom so that we will not only be familiar with your life giving Scriptures, but we will be obedient to the Doctrine of Christ in order to be prepared for His sudden appearance. In Jesus name we pray, Amen.

This picture was from the last Sunday in January. Today we are in Slavyansk after 14 hours of riding busses. We plan to be back in Nikolaev in time for our appointment at the Boys Home on Saturday. We took many good pictures from yesterday’s worship service the 1st Sunday in February. However, in my haste to pack what we need for these few days, I went off without the little USB cable that I need to download photos from the camera to the computer. Technology is great when the users do what they are supposed to do! Hopefully, I will find an extra one lying around here that I left on a previous visit to Galina’s Mama. If not, I’ll do lots of catching up with posting pictures when we return to Nikolaev. No, my camera does not have Bluetooth capabilities.

Before I had announced the first song yesterday, we only had ourselves along with Luda and Stepan. We had decided that no one else was coming, so we were about to begin. Suddenly several more people appeared, and we eventually had 17 people present for our worship and fellowship/Bible study afterward. We are most thankful for your prayers and the way God is constantly challenging us to teach the Gospel to those we encounter in our worship, Bible studies, English classes and Boys Home.

WORD OF THE DAY - Sunday 06 February 2011 Nikolaev, Ukraine

“For the Lamb at the center of the throne will be their shepherd; he will lead them to springs of living water. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.” (Revelation 7:17 NIV) 

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 medio del trono los pastoreará, y los guiará á fuentes vivas de aguas: y Dios limpiará toda lágrima de los ojos de ellos. (Apocalipsis 7:17 Spanish)

Great and Mighty God, our Dear Father in Heaven ~ Thank you for the extreme joy that we experience on this new Lord’s Day. Bless believers all over the earth who meet in sweet communion on this first day of the week, to honor our crucified Lord who rose victoriously from the grave to be our incomparable Savior. Give us wisdom to take advantage of each opportunity for sharing the truth that saves souls from the darkness of sin. In the beloved name of Jesus we pray, Amen.

Yesterday, we were with the boys at the Boys Home. We let them know ahead of time that we wanted to have a time of fellowship (tea) after our Bible study. Since we hadn't seen them in three months, we had a lot of catching up to do. After our Bible lesson dealing with honesty and integrity, we shared some things we had brought with us – shampoo, conditioner and soaps that a few good people at Dalraida collect for the orphans and other needs. We presented them with socks, towels and toothpaste that we purchased locally and shared Danish cookies, chocolates and Christmas candy canes that Charles Campbell mailed to us. We gave them a table tennis set of paddles and balls which we frequently do. Last Saturday the boys participated in a regional Ping-Pong competition of regional orphan homes. Two of our boys (Denis and Pasha) won third place in team competition. We are waiting on some things from the USA that we can hopefully take with us next Saturday. Everyone was so excited that they were practically all talking to us at the same time. We missed them and they missed us. As usual we gave each boy a Snickers bar, an orange and hot wheels type car that we had to buy here since we are out of the real ones from the USA. It was so kind of the boys that they saved their tangerines they received at lunch and gave them to us. We were with the boys for 2.5 hours and they just didn’t want us to leave, but we had to get gone before dark due to the weather conditions. This group will have to leave the Boys Home at the end of this year, so we are already preparing ourselves for that and to assume a new group that will be coming up. Tonight we plan to leave on the bus for Slavyansk where Galina’s mother lives. It is a 12 hour trip to Donetsk, and then we catch another bus to Slavyansk. We plan to return to Nikolaev on Friday. We sincerely appreciate your prayers and other kindly encouragement.   

WORD OF THE DAY - SATURDAY 05 February 2011 Nikolaev, Ukraine

You therefore must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect. (Matthew 5:48 ESV)

Итак будьте совершенны, как совершен Отец ваш Небесный. (От Матфея 5:48 Russian)

Отож, будьте досконалі, як досконалий Отець ваш Небесний! (Матей 5:48 Ukrainian)

Sed, pues, vosotros perfectos, como vuestro Padre que está en los cielos es perfecto. (Mateo 5:48)

Our Dear Heavenly Father ~ Thank you for the perfect way that you constantly provide for your creatures. Give us wisdom and a stronger sense of our purpose here on earth so that we will not give in to the daily temptations that can cause us to lose the prize for which we struggle if we give up desiring to be perfect and sin. Help us to be able to have sincere love and respect for our enemies even as you loved us and allowed Christ to die for our sins when we were your enemies. In the blessed name of our sinless Savior Jesus we pray, Amen.

 Yesterday morning, Galina had her follow-up appointment with the doctor at the polyclinic near the river bridge on the road that leads to Kiev. Her doctor explained that her throat really looked bad from all the coughing connected with the lingering bronchitis. This meant we needed to round up some more medicines. We tried the apteka in the clinic, and they had only one of the medicines we needed. As we walked away from the polyclinic, we were happy that some of the ice was melting on the sidewalks and streets. It was still treacherous and we were extra careful. Next on our list of things to do was to walk toward the center of the city with a stop by the central Post Office to see if we had received any packages. The clerk shook her head no and smiled at recognizing us and our visits to check on packages. We then headed to another apteka and were able to purchase the rest of the medicine Galina needs to take.

Later we went to the church meeting place for an appointment that did not work out. However, we used that opportunity to pay the rent for our two rooms and spoke with the director and made some phone calls. We are very happy that we have the kindness and hospitality from the people at the Palace of Culture. Then, we checked for mail at our regular Post Office. They still send our letters to the old address which is undergoing major remodeling. However, we are able to access our PO Box. This is where we receive notices that we have a package. Since there is no room for the packages at our regular P.O., they are sent to the central location. We didn’t have any mail or notices of packages. We’ll check this morning before we go to see the boys at the Boys Home.

In the afternoon, we rode the bus over to a local discount market that carries a large variety of goods including food and clothing. Two women were working tirelessly shoveling snow to clear a path for customers for which we were very thankful. It always amazes me when I hear men talk about there are no jobs and yet many women just go out and do what needs to be done and get paid for their efforts. We were able to buy socks for the boys that Margarita requested. We also bought some sweets for them as well as some bath towels that they need. We are very excited about our opportunity to be with the boys today. Galina still has this hacking cough, but the doctor told her emphatically that she does not have anything that is catchable. Thank you for the many prayers for this great work the Lord has opened for us here in Nikolaev, Ukraine.

Friday, February 4, 2011

WORD OF THE DAY - Friday 04 February 2011 Mykolayiv, Ukraine

For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. (John 1:17)

ибо закон дан чрез Моисея; благодать же и истина произошли чрез Иисуса Христа. (От Иоанна 1:17 Russian)

Закон бо через Мойсея був даний, а благодать та правда з'явилися через Ісуса Христа. (Йоан 1:17 Ukrainian)

Porque la ley por Moisés fué dada: mas la gracia y la verdad por Jesucristo fué hecha. (Juan 1:17 Spanish)

Most Holy and Righteous God, our Dear Heavenly Father ~ Thank you for the favorable treatment we receive on this new day because of your steadfast love for your people in all ages. Give us wisdom as we study your grace and truth that was revealed to the people of Israel who lived under the Law of Moses. Moreover dear Lord - help us to discover the essence of grace and truth that we see in Jesus Christ who came to fulfill the Law as He lived without sin in a human body. In the blessed name of Jesus we pray, Amen.

Photo: Many people who receive these daily messages have recently not been able to receive them due to the pictures that I have been including. Today, I will send it with only one picture and hope that everyone is able to receive it who wants to receive it. Many people now follow my daily postings on Facebook or my blog and they do not take time to read their e-mail. The times are changing and I'm trying to keep up as best as possible. The scaffolding now greets people who look for our office. We are happy for the temporary inconvenience since the workers are repairing cracks in the plaster and applying fresh paint. We just have to go up some different stairs. This morning we begin the day with Galina's follow-up visit with the pulmonologist. Later, we will stop by the Post Office to see if some packages and mail have arrived. If one particular package comes from Montgomery, then we will not need to go shopping for things we want to share with the boys tomorrow when we meet with them. Thank you for the fervent prayers as God continues to open doors of opportunity for our work of teaching the blessed gospel of Jesus Christ.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

WORD OF THE DAY - 03 February 2011 Mykolayiv, Ukraine

And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him. (Hebrews 5:9)

и, совершившись, сделался для всех послушных Ему виновником спасения вечного, (К Евреям 5:9 Russian)

А вдосконалившися, Він для всіх, хто слухняний Йому, спричинився для вічного спасіння, (Евреи 5:9 Ukrainian)

Y consumado, vino á ser causa de eterna salud á todos los que le obedecen; (Hebreos 5:9 Spanish)

Almighty God, our Dear Heavenly Father ~ Thank you for the precious gift of life that excites our earthly bodies on this new day that is delivered to us with abundant blessings and challenges. Grant us more of your infinite wisdom as we study and do our best to obey the Scriptures that contain the message of eternal life. Help us to be more effective in convincing people that Jesus Christ is the sole source of eternal life for all who will believe and obey Him. In Jesus name we pray, Amen.

Picture 1: Yesterday we were very happy to meet with another one of our former English students. Pavel is well educated and is able to comprehend most written English texts. Like many of our other students, he comes to us with hopes of improving his ability to listen and speak English with native speakers. He is the person who offered Brian and Liz a ride into town in his car on their last hurried day here in Mykolayiv. We look forward to our meetings with our other students as well as meeting new ones.
Picture 2: 
On one of our walks to town from the church meeting place to take care of some errands, we always pass this eating establishment that is currently being remodeled. As soon as it is convenient for them, we plan to get information about this establishment as a possible lunch eating place for our guest WEI teachers who may me with us in June and July.
 Photo 3: This convenient shop is about 3 blocks from our meeting place, and they refill our inkjet printer cartridges for us at a good price. On the walk back to the church meeting place, we saw a familiar face coming toward us on the sidewalk. It was Zhenya, the young woman who works as a sales representative for various products was on her way to a client. We knew that we would eventually meet up with her and we look forward to seeing her again soon.
Photo 4: In the evening, we know from our own personal hazardous experience that is very difficult to navigate the icy streets and sidewalks around this spread out city. Nevertheless, Luda and Stepan always brave any kind of weather and walk for long distances in the frigid cold to attend our Wednesday night Bible study. Last night we sang some hymns, read a text from John 8 and answered some of their questions. Then, we set up the computer and showed them some photos of our trip to the USA. They were very happy to do this together. Thank you very much for your constant prayers and encouragement.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

WORD OF THE DAY - 02 February 2011 Nikolaev, Ukraine

While he was still speaking, a bright cloud overshadowed them, and behold, a voice out of the cloud said, "This is My beloved Son, with whom I am well-pleased; listen to Him!" (Matthew 17:5 NASB)

Когда он еще говорил, се, облако светлое осенило их; и се, глас из облака глаголющий: Сей есть Сын Мой Возлюбленный, в Котором Мое благоволение; Его слушайте. (От Матфея 17:5 Russian)

Як він ще говорив, ось хмара ясна заслонила їх, і ось голос із хмари почувсь, що казав: Це Син Мій Улюблений, що Його Я вподобав. Його слухайтеся! (Матей 17:5 Ukrainian)

Y estando aún él hablando, he aquí una nube de luz que los cubrió; y he aquí una voz de la nube, que dijo: Este es mi Hijo amado, en el cual tomo contentamiento: á él oíd. (Mateo 17:5 Spanish)

Almighty God, our dear Father in Heaven ~ Thank you for making it possible for us to experience another joy filled day as we bask in your overwhelming generosity and kindness. Give people of all religious backgrounds the wisdom to pay closer attention to the teachings of Jesus Christ since He alone came directly from your Throne in Heaven to be a substitute for our sins and to teach us the Way of Salvation. All apostles and prophets bow before Jesus, therefore dear God help us to be truly humble and respectful toward the doctrine of Christ that is revealed in the Scriptures. Give us clear minds and courage to reject the philosophies of mortal men who are so bold that they dare to be diametrically opposed to our wonderful Savior. In the blessed name of Jesus we pray, Amen.

In this photo, you may be able to notice the glaze on the icy part of the sidewalk. That is the zone where many young folks skate down the sidewalk, while wiser and more mature folks see the crunchy area along the sides. This year seems to be the year of snow for most folks living in the northern hemisphere. Maybe we'll just have to develop better systems to deal with it.

Our Post Office is beginning to look like a new place. We will miss the massive old wooden double door system that was previously the portal through which we passed when retrieving our mail. Remodeling jobs often overlook the beauty of the original design. I’m not sure if these European metal doors and windows will stand the test of time like the older wooden ones, but they are certainly providing many folks with work as they replace windows and doors all over Ukraine.

This busy intersection is near the area where we live in Nikolaev. The streetcar is very popular with pensioners who are allowed to ride free. That is why we seldom choose that method of transportation since it is nearly always overcrowded. If we don't walk, there are many convenient busses that will take you to just about any area of the city. The church steeple in the distance belongs to a Roman Catholic Church that has been here for a long time. They have a museum that we have still not found time to visit. We’ll likely do that when we have some guests to entertain.

Very often we see something that makes us pause and appreciate the thoughtfulness of some unknown person. Some nice person cleared out a path where many people take a little shortcut on their way out of our apartment courtyard area. Only a very few wealthy people have snow blowers here, so this kind of work is done the old fashioned way. First, the loose snow must be shoveled out of the way, then you need to use the shovel or whatever you have to break up the ice and remove that off to the side. We thank God that there are kind-hearted people all over the world whose hearts are receptive to the Gospel of Christ. We regularly pray that we will come in contact with such open hearts that will hear and obey Jesus as Lord. Thank you for joining us in prayer.