Monday, May 7, 2012

WORD OF THE DAY - Monday 07 May 2012 Slavyansk, Ukraine

For if I preach the gospel, that gives me no ground for boasting. For necessity is laid upon me. Woe to me if I do not preach the gospel! (Corinthians 9:16 ESV)

Ибо если я благовествую, то нечем мне хвалиться, потому что это необходимая обязанность моя, и горе мне, если не благовествую! (1-е Коринфянам 9:16 Russian)

Бо коли я звіщаю Євангелію, то нема чим хвалитись мені, це бо повинність моя. І горе мені, коли я не звіщаю Євангелії! (Коринтяни 9:16 Ukrainian Bible (UKR)

Dear Heavenly Father ~ Thank you for your infinite wisdom that lifts our spirits as we consider who we really are in your eyes. Grant us wisdom as we struggle to be obedient followers of our Lord Jesus Christ. Help all who preach the gospel, or those who are contemplating this great task, to exercise moral courage and wisdom so that they will always present the truth withthe same love that you have for all mankind. We pray in Jesus name, Amen.

We had 20 in our worship yesterday. Pasha brought Roman who became a Christian while in a nearby penitentiary. TheObolon church has been involved with this ministry for several years. They also help the brothers who leave prison to readjust to life outside prison. After our worship, we asked Roma if he would please share his experiences and how he became a Christian. He gave details about his life prior to prison which was filled with alcohol and drugs that led to crime. We heard how he scorned the approaches of those trying to tell him about Jesus Christ. Then and older brother who also came to Christ in prison began to write him and encourage him to attend meetings where they studied Bible. It was a most uplifting day as we heard Roman tell about his faith, repentance and baptism. He will soon go to Kiev where he will be under the guidance ofbrothers there and his older brother Ruslan has already found him a job. Pasha volunteered to go to the prison and meet these inmates when they are released. Nastya , who will be graduating from the University soon with her 5 year degree in English, was with us and helped comfort Roma during his difficult time. It was his first time to do this before people outside of prison. Natasha, our WEI Advanced student was with us even though she works in Odessa. Pasha's two boys brought two of their friends. They all listened attentively during the sermon. We presented Olena a Certificate of Baptism and honored her for her birthday during the  period of fellowship. After the worship and fellowship, we ran home and put things together for our bus ride here to Slavyansk. The trip here took a little less than 15 hours. This morning, we took Mama to the cemetery where Papa is buried. He died two years ago, so Mama Elena is still talking this afternoon about their times together. 

Sunday, May 6, 2012

WORD OF THE DAY - Sunday 06 May 2012 Nikolaev, Ukraine

And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. (Philippians 2:11)

и всякий язык исповедал, что Господь Иисус Христос в славу Бога Отца. (К Филиппийцам 2:11 Russian)

І щоб усі уста проголошували, що Ісус Христос — Господь на Славу Бога Отця. (Филипяни 2:11 Ukrainian ERV)

 Almighty God, our Dear Heavenly Father ~ Thank you for the brightness of your loving presence in our affairs on this new Lord’s Day. Give us greater understanding of Christ our Lord as we gather in sweet communion at the precious feast – the Lord’s Supper. Receive our sincere worship as Christians around the world read and study the Word, pray together, sing praises to our risen King and bring our offerings. In the blessed name of our Lord Jesus Christ we pray, Amen.
 Saturday morning we were out on the town doing some last minute shopping for our boys at the Boys Home. As it drew closer to the time we needed to get out the door, we had a call from Natasha, our dear friend and the boys "Mama". She asked if we could come at 1.00 instead of 2.00. That meant we had to speed things up with our preparations.
We had two helpers who went with us - Tanya and Nastya. They live in two different areas, so we hired a taxi and picked them up, and then headed out to the peninsula. Everyone had a thrill when the taxi bottomed out on the pontoon bridge and passengers in the back seat had to exit the car. That is Reason number one why we often have difficulty getting a ride out there.
The boys were very happy to see Nastya again and have the chance to talk with her. She gave good comments to the boys on our theme of being an industrious person. The boys were also very happy to meet Tanya, who has raised three boys and knows boys as only a mom can experience. She was an engineer during the Soviet days and told of the great difficulties she encountered at the collapse of the USSR when her job and others suddenly evaporated into thin air. She explained how their family had to start all over again after losing almost everything. This is a common thing you hear in the former Soviet Union. Since over twenty years have elapsed since the collapse of that empire, many young folks have no personal experience about this subject and many if not most schools still use Soviet era text books for economic reasons. People are slowly getting their lives in order, but for some the clock has been ticking faster than their ability to adjust to the current new world order. 
One thing that was the most encouraging yesterday – the boys reciting their memory verses and commenting on the meaning. Thanks for the sincere words of encouragement and the fervent prayers.