Friday, July 15, 2011

WORD OF THE DAY - Friday 15 July 2011 from Mykolaiv, Ukraine

Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, (Ephesians 3:20 ESV)

А Тому, Кто действующею в нас силою может сделать несравненно больше всего, чего мы просим, или о чем помышляем, (К Ефесянам 3:20 Russian)

Y á Aquel que es poderoso para hacer todas las cosas mucho más abundantemente de lo que pedimos ó entendemos, por la potencia que obra en nosotros, (Efesios 3:20 Spanish)

Most Holy and Awesome God, our Dear Father in Heaven ~ Thank you for the invigorating spark of life that awakens our mortal bodies on this new day that is pulsing with fresh opportunities to allow your love within us to shine forth to others. Grant us more of your wisdom so that we will comprehend the exceedingly great power of your Spirit who is working in the church around the world. In Jesus name we pray, Amen.
Anna, one of our Advanced WEI students was the first person to study with yesterday morning. We have become friends with her and she now attends our Sunday worship on a regular basis.
Olamide was our next student of the day. Like Anna, he is an Advanced WEI student and yesterday passed the Grammar Test in Book Two of the Advanced English course. Olamide recently brought his friend Omo (also known as Elijah) and fellow student at the Shipbuilding University. Elijah is currently studying Russian language in preparation to beginning his regular studies in the fall. He completed the Introductory Lesson of WEI course and we gave him Lesson One.

Olya and Dasha came next for their studies. Dasha already completed the Intermediate Course and received her diploma. She is now studying the WEI Advanced Course with us. Then we studied with her friend Olya who has now completed all 7 lessons in Book One of the Intermediate Course.

We had about an hour of free time to make a run down to the mobile phone company to pay our bill so that we can have computer access in the office and also pay for our cell phone usage. Then after we dashed back in the heat, we got back in time to greet Luda who arrived first for our Thursday evening Bible study. Also present were our two new sisters Natasha and Elena who was baptized on Wednesday. She was very happy to show that she has marked the pages of the books of the Bible in the Russian Bible we gave her when we began to study with her. Later, our faithful brother Stepan arrived after he missed the tram that he and Luda usually ride together. We had a phone call in the evening from Pavel whose mother is very ill here in Nikolaev. He said she is not showing much improvement. Thank you for the prayers and encouragement.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

WORD OF THE DAY - Thursday 14 July 2011 from Nikolaev, Ukraine

But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. (Ephesians 2:13)

А теперь во Христе Иисусе вы, бывшие некогда далеко, стали близки Кровию Христовою. (К Ефесянам 2:13 Russian)

Mas ahora en Cristo Jesús, vosotros que en otro tiempo estabais lejos, habéis sido hechos cercanos por la sangre de Cristo. (Efesios 2:13 Spanish)

Almighty God, our Dear Father in Heaven ~ Thank you for the amazing gift of life on this new day that brings more blessings along with trials to strengthen our faith. Give us more of your perfect wisdom so that we will more fully appreciate the glorious nature of the church of God which Jesus purchased with his own blood. Give all believers the indisputable understanding that all people on earth can now be entirely united with one another in the one Body of Christ. In the blessed name of Jesus we pray, Amen.
Wednesday was another blessing filled day! We concluded our activities with the church after we assembled for our mid-week Bible study and prayer meeting when we walked down to the river. We heard Elena make her confession of faith in Jesus Christ as the Son of God. She also confessed that "He died for my sins." There were many spectators down at the little beach near the Yacht Club. We tried to walk to an area where we would not disturb them, but many of them wanted to observe the baptism. Some were even capturing the event on their cameras and videos. One man in the crowd was from America and he came over to tell us how much this scene revived his faith in the Lord. We hope we will have another opportunity to meet with him while he is here.
Elena, between Olya and DB walks down to the river with a joyful heart over her salvation that has everyone rejoicing in the power of the gospel of Christ!
 Earlier in the day we were busy with our WEI students, Kesha and his wife Nadya. They suggested to study with us together, so we met with them in the room we rented for the recent WEI campaign. It is slightly cooler than our regular room, so I used Jon's desk and let them doodle on his pad. Everyone misses each of the 4 teachers we had with us. They all worked with great energy and sharp focus on our mission.
Olamide came by and we worked some with him on his Advanced Course lessons.
Then we had a good time of studies with Dasha and Olya the teenage girls who add so much spark to our daily activities. They wanted to be with us for the baptism and Olya made a video of much of the event.
We had another very productive session with Tatiana and her son Kyrill. While I was teaching them, Tatiana's husband Andrey was studying with Galina. He needs more help with English since he resorts back to Russian in his conversations. Kyrill left yesterday by train to return to his work in Kiev. He is a very bright young man and we will continue studying with him utilizing the convenient World English Institute on-line lessons.
Wednesday night Bible as we prepared for Elena's baptism. Thank you for remembering this rich harvest field in your prayers.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

WORD OF THE DAY - Thursday 07 July 2011 from Nikolaev, Ukraine

Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its evil desires. (Romans 6:12 NIV)

Итак да не царствует грех в смертном вашем теле, чтобы вам повиноваться ему в похотях его; (К Римлянам 6:12 Russian)
No reine, pues, el pecado en vuestro cuerpo mortal, para que le obedezcáis en sus concupiscencias; (Romanos 6:12 Spanish)
O LORD God, our Dear Father in Heaven ~ Thank you for the joy and bliss we experience on another new day as we ponder the amazing gift of life that resides in our frail bodies. Give us wisdom and stronger faith so that we will not allow sin to dominate our lives. Help us to maintain control over our thoughts, desires and plans so that we are engaged in thinking and doing good which is the mark of all true followers of Christ. In Jesus name we pray, Amen.
Yesterday was another day of experiencing the joy of hard labor. The only problem we have with living in an apartment in Nikolaev is the lack of outdoor activities except for our frequent walks which more than makes up for the joy of gardening. We went to the train station here in Slavyansk and bought our tickets back to Nikolaev. We are scheduled to leave tomorrow night and arrive on Saturday in the early afternoon. Many people are going south to the Black Sea, so we had to take this train instead of one that would get us home earlier in the day. It is very efficient that we are able to receive phone calls here in Slavyansk from our fellow Christians, WEI students and prospective students. We continue to schedule people for appointments while we are here. Thank you for the prayers.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

WORD OF THE DAY - Wednesday 06 July 2011 from Mykolaiv, Ukraine

Surely, LORD, you bless the righteous; you surround them with your favor as with a shield. (Psalm 5:12 NIV)

Ибо Ты благословляешь праведника, Господи; благоволением, как щитом, венчаешь его. (Псалтирь 5:12 Russian 5-13)
Porque tú, Señor, bendices a los justos; cual escudo los rodeas con tu buena voluntad. (Salmos 5:12 Spanish NVI)
Dear LORD God Almighty, our Heavenly Father ~ Thank you for the indescribable gift of life that ignites a burning fire within our feeble bodies so that we can rejoice in the knowledge that we are being overseen and cared for by your providence. Give us wisdom so that we will always perceive righteousness as superior to the boastings of the wicked. Surround us by your mercy and grace as we travel through this life on our way home. In Jesus name we pray, Amen.
In this part of Ukraine which is north of the city of Donetsk and south of Kharkov, we have been getting some rain each day. That means the garden is lush with vibrantly growing vegetable plants, fruit trees and bushes along with grape vines. There are also plenty of fresh weeds that I enjoyed culling out while Galina washed clothes the old fashioned way outside in the big wash tub near the well. We spent much time yesterday in long lines at the passport office which seems like something we always do in Ukraine. The old archaic residency requirements that hark back to Soviet days give citizens plenty to fume about when they think about their politicians. We had good news yesterday that our brother Ivan from Magadan, is planning to visit Nikolaev along with his wife Nadya in September. Each time we visit America and I have an opportunity to say something about our work in Ukraine or Russia, I always ask for fresh helpers in this vineyard of the Lord. We are always looking for people who will say, "I will work, I will pray, I will labor everyday in the vineyard of the Lord." The church here benefited greatly from the recent visit of Dick Ady's group which also included Charles Chandler, Jon Rawlings and Mike Soto. Last year we were blessed with the visit of Brian and Liz Wakefield and the love and energy they left behind is still energizing for the church. Brother Ivan worked among us in 2009 in order for us to be away and the church still fondly remembers his contribution. We were also encouraged by a visit from our sister Olga in Magadan. As we make plans for the future work here in Nikolaev, we hope that more people will make their plans to come over here and help us sow the active and productive seeds of the gospel in good and honest hearts that will bring much fruit. Thank you for never giving up praying about this work. As always, it remains our high priority to identify a Ukrainian person who will have a burning desire to work for the Lord here in this part of Ukraine.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

WORD OF THE DAY Tuesday 05 July 2011 from Nikolaev, Ukraine

Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted. (Matthew 5:4)

 Блаженны плачущие, ибо они утешатся. (От Матфея 5:4 Russian)

Bienaventurados los que lloran: porque ellos recibirán consolación. (Mateo 5:4 Spanish)

Dear God, our Father of comfort in this life ~ Thank you for the blessing of joy on this new day as we find fresh reasons to rejoice because of our faith in what we do not see with our physical eyes, but with our eyes of faith. As we witness so much suffering among people we know and love due to the ravages of sin, help us not to be overcome by grief since we know Christ has conquered sin and we shall also overcome this world with our obedient faith. In Jesus name we pray, Amen.

Yesterday after we arrived here in Slavyansk, our young friend Nastya called to greet us for the 4th of July holiday. She is very kind and thoughtful girl and is responsible for us having a Sunday school even though she is often the only one in attendance. We also had calls from new prospective students who want to meet with us next week to begin their World English Institute studies. Olya, our 16 year old friend who will begin her studies next week called to hear our voice. She and her friend Dasha miss us and want us back in Nikolaev.

While we were riding the train from Nikolaev to Donetsk yesterday morning, it was enjoyable to see the beautiful Ukrainian countryside and the homes with fresh flowers, prosperous gardens and numerous fruit trees along with chickens, cows, pigs, goats, ducks and geese. It is a way of life in Ukraine that I hope modern urbanization never changes. We also received a phone message from Ivan in Magadan, Russia. Later we learned from him that our sister Galina Gerkina will be visiting with us on her vacation in a few days. Today we have much work to do here to help Mama Elena with her large garden. She will give us instructions and we must carefully follow them so that we don't disturb the producing plants. She is having kidney problems and refuses to see a doctor. Last night as we talked things over, she said that she will continue to use herbs from her garden that are good for the kidneys and be content with whatever life God gives her. Early this morning we received a message from Mike Soto that he and his wife have been talking things over and they want to come and work with us in Nikolaev for 3 months and then make a decision about a longer commitment. They already home school their children, so that will not be a hindrance. We hope they will be able to work all this out. Mike wants to be able to use his Russian language skills he acquired from Uncle Sam to the glory of Christ. Now he preaches for a church in Portland, Oregon. Thank you for the prayers.

Monday, July 4, 2011

WORD OF THE DAY - Monday 04 July 2011 from Mykolaiv, Ukraine

Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. (Matthew 5:3) 

Блаженны нищие духом, ибо их есть Царство Небесное. (От Матфея 5:3 Russian)

Bienaventurados los pobres en espíritu: porque de ellos es el reino de los cielos. (Mateo 5:3 Spanish)

Most Kind and Benevolent God, our Dear Heavenly Father ~ Thank you for the radiance of your love and the highest joy that brightens our hearts on this new day. Grant us more of the wisdom of Christ as we make choices each day. Discipline us when we feel high and mighty. Help us to realize we are helpless and unable to function as servants of our King without your guidance. In the precious name of Jesus we pray, Amen.
Galina took this picture of our group of 13 who assembled for worship yesterday. We continue to be plagued by a faulty camera; or shall we simply say irritated by our camera that only works when it is appropriately cajoled. We had a wonderful period of worship and time of fellowship following. Of course the main topic of conversation was how much we miss our dear brothers Dick Ady, Charles Chandler, Jon Rawlings and Mike Soto. They worked diligently to help us reach more people with the World English Institute courses that allow us to teach English using the Bible. Anna has been attending each Sunday for several weeks. Two teenage girls Dasha and Olya also came and spent time becoming better acquainted with other people. Olamide brought a friend of his who recently came from Nigeria to study at the Ship Building University. Our new sister Natasha brought her friend Ludmila. Later in the afternoon, we caught the overnight train to Donetsk. The train station in Donetsk is all jumbled around due to construction in preparation for the 2012 Euro Soccer event. The entire city seems to be gearing up for this event that will be hosted in Donetsk. We made it to the local new bus station that is still under construction in time to catch the bus to Slavyansk. We arrived at Galina's Mama's house a little before noon. Not long after our arrival we had a phone call from Olya one of the girls who went with us to the Boys Home on Saturday. She and Dasha are anxious to resume their studies. She had many pertinent questions about our worship and teaching yesterday following the worship. Thank you for the prayers. Included below are some notes that we have already received from our brothers who are already making plans to come here next year for a repeat of this great campaign. They brought us a great deal of encouragement by their visit and tireless work. We ask you to pray about this as we know the time will come very soon. Dick Ady and I were planning the 2011 campaign for over a year and it suddenly was upon us. God willing, we expect that will happen again as we start working on plans for our June/July WEI campaign for 2012.