Monday, March 21, 2011

WORD OF THE DAY - Monday 21 March 2011 Nikolaev, Ukraine

For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and him crucified. (1 Corinthians 2:2)

ибо я рассудил быть у вас незнающим ничего, кроме Иисуса Христа, и притом распятого, (1-е Коринфянам 2:2 Russian)

бо я надумавсь нічого між вами не знати, крім Ісуса Христа, і Того розп'ятого... (1 Коринтяни 2:2 Ukrainian)

Porque no me propuse saber algo entre vosotros, sino á Jesucristo, y á éste crucificado. (1 Corintios 2:2 Spanish)

Dear God, our Heavenly Father ~ Thank you for the new sparkling vistas that appear with more signs of eternal hope on this new day. Give us wisdom so that all who attempt to persuade others to obey the gospel of Christ will not rely upon our own human intelligence, but solely upon the wisdom of love that is contained in the message of the sacrificial death of Christ on the cross. In the precious name of Jesus we pray, Amen.

When we arrived at the meeting place of the church, a larger than normal crowd gathered outside in the sunny weather to trade many interesting antiques mostly from the Soviet era. Eight people were present yesterday for our worship service here in Nikolaev. We enjoyed a great period of fellowship that included Q and A that mostly dealt with my sermon of the day that was taken from John 14:1-3. The theme was about the second arrival of Christ. Pavel works with a friend doing moving of furniture and other items for people relocating apartments and offices. So, that means he has some free time. He agreed to study with me on how to lead souls to Christ. He is very zealous, and humbly admitted that he lacks enough knowledge of the Bible to carry on a Bible study with someone. He is regularly inviting people to the services of the church. Our brother Nikolay recently works more in Kiev than he does in Nikolaev. He was leaving yesterday afternoon to catch the overnight train to Kyiv and didn’t think he will return for several weeks. The congregation here wanted to make a special collection to help Christians who are suffering in Japan so that they can receive some relief as they share with their non-Christian neighbors. We had our largest collection at this small church. (2,570 hryvnia equals approximately $324).  Now we must get $300 to the people who will put it to immediate use to bring relief and comfort so that Christians there will be able to let their lights shine in this country with a miniscule population of believers in the God of Heaven and His Son Jesus Christ. On our walk home yesterday, we decided to stop at a little pizza place. There were no seats inside so we decided to sit outdoors even though it was a bit chilly. Today we have four appointments with our English students. Thank you for the fervent prayers of faith regarding this work and other works of evangelism going on around the world.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

WORD OF THE DAY - 17 March 2011 Mykolaiv, Ukraine

So then each of us will give an account of himself to God. (Romans 14:12)

Итак каждый из нас за себя даст отчет Богу. (К Римлянам 14:12 Russian)

Тому кожен із нас сам за себе дасть відповідь Богові. (Римляни 14:12 Ukrainian)

De manera que, cada uno de nosotros dará á Dios razón de sí. (Romanos 14:12 Spanish)

Almighty God, our Holy and Righteous Father in Heaven ~ Thank you for the peace and comfort that fills the hearts of all people who trust and obey Christ as Lord. Give us wisdom so that we will always accept our role in life as individuals who must someday answer before the great Throne of Judgment. Help us to teach personal accountability in all things to  the next generations by our own example. In the blessed name of Jesus we pray, Amen.
We had several studies yesterday. We almost, but not quite had too many sessions for the two of us. It is difficult to turn anyone away because we want to spend time with every person who wants to study English using the Bible. We continue to hope and pray for some additional worker(s) who will join us in this important work for the Lord.  Our desire to pay attention to each student was realized with God’s help.  Katya was able to be with us yesterday and she even brought us some vegetable juice for the good health of the teachers. Next we spent time with Oksana who works in a local restaurant and has not been able to find time for her English studies. Right after that, we spent time with Pavel who is a most diligent student and pays very close attention to the meaning of the text. As he was walking out the door, Dima our good friend from the University came with his fiancé Nastya who also studies at the same institution. He agreed to repeat the Introductory Lesson with her so they would be on the same page. They taught us a new word – Surzhyk which is a type of dialect that uses Ukrainian and Russian words interchangeably. We are very familiar with many people of Ukrainian descent even in Magadan who speak many Russian words with the Ukrainian sounds – such as H for G in Galina that becomes Halina as in Ukraine. But Surzhyk is something different and they took time to partially explain it to us. After we finished with these wonderful young people, it was almost time for our Wednesday night Bible study. We had 8 people present which is the same as we had Sunday. Those numbers make you think that perhaps it is better to think small. Wednesday night attendance in large churches tends to be small fraction of those present for Sunday worship. We had another great time together in the Word, with prayers and songs. Our brother Stepan always amazes us with his strength and stamina. He fell this week while walking and had to have stitches around his eye. He didn’t let a little think like that deter him from going out again in the dark and walking a distance to catch the bus and then a streetcar. Zhenya, the young son of Pavel is responsive to Galina’s instruction to read from the children’s Bible and draw something that he finds there. When we sing, he sings along with the rest of the group, and when we pray, he prays with us. We learned yesterday from the director of the Boys Home that we can come today since the boys who have some family will have a spring break. We are rearranging our schedule today to be able to spend time with the boys. Thank you for the fervent prayers.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

WORD OF THE DAY 05 March 2011 Nikolaev, Ukraine

Behold, my servant shall deal prudently, he shall be exalted and extolled, and be very high. (Isaiah 52:13)

Вот, раб Мой будет благоуспешен, возвысится и вознесется, и возвеличится. (Исаия 52:13 Russian)

Ось стане розумне робити Мій Отрок, підійметься й буде повищений, і височенним Він стане! (Исая 52:13 Ukrainian)

He aquí que mi siervo será prosperado, será engrandecido y ensalzado, y será muy sublimado. (Isaías 52:13 Spanish)

Dear LORD, our Merciful Father in Heaven ~ Thank you for the many unexpected mercies we receive from your vast treasure on this new day. Give us wisdom to discern even more about our glorious Savior who suffered as a substitute for our sins and was still able to respond with love to those who didn’t understand the vital importance of his mission here on earth. Help us to extol our Lord Jesus Christ to the highest place in our hearts as we struggle to trust and obey His perfect and wise doctrine. In the blessed name of Jesus we pray, Amen.

Hopefully, most who want to read this message will be able to as I send it out from Nikolaev, Ukraine this Saturday morning. Galina put me on the sidelines yesterday when my nose began to bleed profusely as it did once in Montgomery a couple three months ago. Thanks to the attending doctor in the Baptist East emergency room, I now know how to pinch my nose and stop the bleeding. Of course I wasn't doing it the proper way in the beginning and it wouldn't stop until I followed Dr. Galina's detailed instructions. Today we are making preparations for our time with the boys at the Boys Home.  Only one photo is sent from our Thursday evening Bible study. Thank you for the many prayers as we labor to spread the message of eternal salvation through faith in Jesus Christ here in the former Soviet Union. We also think about your activities for the Lord and pray for yours and our success at being faithful followers of Jesus.

Friday, March 4, 2011

WORD OF THE DAY - 04 March 2011 Mykolayiv, Ukraine

I form light and create darkness, I make well-being and create calamity, I am the LORD, who does all these things. (Isaiah 45:7 ESV)

Я образую свет и творю тьму, делаю мир и произвожу бедствия; Я, Господь, делаю все это. (Исаия 45:7 Russian)

Я, що світло формую та темність творю, чиню мир і недолю творю, Я Господь, Який робить це все! (Исая 45:7 Ukrainian)

Yo formo la luz y creo las tinieblas, traigo *bienestar y creo calamidad; Yo, el SEÑOR, hago todas estas cosas. (Isaías 45:7 Spanish NVI)

Dear LORD, our Father in Heaven ~ Thank you for the scintillating gift of life on this new day that arrives with even more certain evidence of your presence in all creation. Give us more of your infinite wisdom so that when we see great calamities or unusual periods of peace and prosperity, we will not think that we are totally responsible for all events that impact our daily affairs. Give us stronger faith in your perfect plan to reunite people of all nations through Christ. In the blessed name of Jesus we pray, Amen.

We are having much longer periods of daylight here in Ukraine, and that means the temperatures are going up above freezing during the day. Freezing reappears very rapidly following nightfall. We continue to be amazed at the strong interest in God’s word that is exemplified in the commitment to attend each and every meeting of the church by our dear Stepan and Luda. Now, we add Nadya to that list. She is our new friend and seeker after Christ. She lives on the same route taxi route that we do, and we enjoyed getting better acquainted with her on the way home last night. During the day, we had an excellent and rewarding study with Dima who is one of our friends from the University. He is the first person from the group to come to our English classes using the Bible. He is a very serious student and we look forward to working with him in the weeks and months ahead. We also met with our new friend Natalya who is studying web design at another institution here in the city. She had finished the introductory lesson at home and we went over that together and worked with her on Lesson One of the WEI course. We were surprised this week when we checked our mail and found a Bible that was sent to us from Charles Campbell. It is a very nice cross reference Bible in the English Standard Version. We will add it to our library here in Nikolaev and perhaps give it to some English student with the most promise of becoming a faithful servant of the Lord. We never have too many Bibles. Galina nearly always has a freshly made pot of borsch on the stove. I doctor it up to American standards with a dash of Tabasco which she frowns upon but graciously allows. Thank you for the many fervent prayers.