Saturday, October 20, 2012

WORD OF THE DAY - Saturday 20 October 2012 from Nikolaev, Ukraine

 Desire without knowledge is not good, and whoever makes haste with his feet misses his way. (Proverbs 19:2 ESV)

Нехорошо душе без знания, и торопливый ногами оступится. (Притчи 19:2 Russian)

Теж не добра душа без знання, а хто наглить ногами, спіткнеться. (Притчи 19:2 Ukrainian)

Dear God, merciful and gracious Father in Heaven ~ we shout the highest praises from our hearts and voices on this new day that is certain to bring victorious news to all who trust in Christ as Lord. Help all believers to have an insatiable appetite for more knowledge of your inspired word that contains the message of eternal life. Give us more of your perfect wisdom so that we will have greater ability to enthusiastically lead souls to salvation by utilizing our knowledge of the truth.  Help us to pause occasionally and carefully consider the direction we are going in order to make sure we are indeed following your perfect plan for our own lives. We plead in the precious name of Jesus, Amen. 

Yesterday we did some shopping for goods and services around the city since it was our first day to begin getting used to being without our dear friends in Christ from Montgomery, Alabama USA. As we walked down one main street that has a tram rail line in the middle of the street, we came upon a man lying in the street near a bus/tram line stop. One young couple had witnessed the man fall into the street and saw that they could not help him and called Emergency Services. They had already been waiting for several minutes when we walked up and Galina called the local police and they came and used their phone to call the ambulance. It was 15 minutes after we called until the ambulance finally arrived. We saw once again the harshness of life here in Ukraine and many other parts of the world. So many people need to know God's love and put it into practice in their daily lives. The man was finally cared for and taken home since they determined that he was drunk. Later when we went to our mobile phone company to add some money to our plans, we ran into our friend and WEI student Zhenya who is the manager of this company. He was very happy to see us and we both look forward to our next study with him. Today we plan to visit with the boys at the Boys Home. We were so thrilled that our men were able to experience this joy with us on a first hand basis. We hope they will have the same opportunities to become familiar with the Lord's work in Western Ukraine since we would also like to know more about those successes so that we might do a better job here of reaching lost souls for Christ. Thank you for the prayers.

Friday, October 19, 2012

WORD OF THE DAY - Friday 19 October 2012 Mykolaiv, Ukraine

And he made haste, and came down, and received him joyfully. (Luke 19:6)

И он поспешно сошел и принял Его с радостью. (От Луки 19:6 Russian)

І той зараз додолу ізліз, і прийняв Його з радістю. (Лука 19:6 Ukrainian)

Dear heavenly Father ~ we thank you for another spectacular day that greets us with the dazzling brightness of your abiding love. Help us to have the same sense of obedience as Zacharias, so that we will always rejoice about welcoming Christ into our hearts and invite others to do the same. In the blessed name of Jesus we pray, Amen. 

Yesterday - Thursday, was our last day to enjoy the company of the three brothers in Christ who were with us from the Dalraida Church of Christ. They were only able to spend four and a half days with us. Even though their visit was far, far from being long enough in duration for them to experience all aspects of the work here, at least they had a sampling of our mutual work here in Nikolaev, Ukraine. This congregation is the sponsoring church for our efforts to proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ and plant a Church of Christ here in southern Ukraine.
When we are in the USA due to problems involving the duration of our stay in Ukraine, we spend most of our time in Montgomery and worship with the Dalraida congregation. So, they know us in that way, but now these three men know us as working missionaries and not just people showing pictures and giving reports. When they are back with their home church, they can tell people firsthand about our work for Christ.
In the morning, we were able to take them with us to the Nikolaev House of Babies and met briefly with the Director who was on her way to a meeting at some other place. However, before she left, she gave instructions to the chief doctor to show our guests all around the facility. Ludmila the doctor took us into every nook and cranny of this pristine facility.
Not all such homes in the former Soviet Union are so well maintained. This is in large part due to the tireless devotion of the Director and staff. Also, this particular facility has been the recipient of help from some of the adoptive parents who became familiar with this orphan’s home when they came here to arrange for the adoption of their child or children. We were able to photograph a few of the children. But, in most cases we were not allowed to take pictures since some of the children are already involved in the adoption process, or they are part of a special department that helps local parents with caring for their children with various birth defects. They only come during the day and at night are home with their families.
For the children who are not adopted, this is their home until they reach their 4th birthday at which time they are transferred to a facility that takes care of children up until the age of 17 unless they are adopted – or run away as some of our boys at the Boys Home had done.
There is always a great amount of emotion that usually leads to tears after such encounters with children who have been rejected by their parents or were orphaned due to some great tragedy. In one room, there were a few children playing and as usual, I like to get down and talk with the kids. One curly haired little boy, grabbed one of my fingers and we talked a little while the others were listening to our guide. When we had to leave that room, he would not release his grip from my index finger. I had to pick him up and carry him over toward the woman in charge and even then it was very difficult for me to let him down. For some reason, God is constantly giving me personal reminders of what it means to have “pure and undefiled religion”.
The three brothers – David, John and Will surprised Galina with some beautiful flowers that they purchased with the help of our sister Nastya. They brought them to her as we were taking care of some last minute details at the church office/meeting place. After that we went to the hotel so they could fetch their things and had a little company meeting in the café situated on their floor of the hotel. John and Will witnessed our signatures on our absentee ballots and agreed to mail them for us when they arrived back in the States. We were so relieved about that since we had mailed absentee ballots from Magadan, Russia in a previous election and our votes never made it to the election office.
We watched the men leave Nikolaev with our friend Maxim who has a nice car that he can use for this purpose, and he took them to the airport in Odessa. They were scheduled to arrive last night in Ivano-Frankivsk to spend a few days observing the mission work that the Dalraida church is also involved with in that city of western Ukraine. They will only be able to spend 3 days there before they return to their homes in Alabama.
Nastya walked with us back to the church office where we had things to pick up on our way to the University for our weekly session with the Master Degree students. On the way there, we received a call from Lesya and she explained that they were involved with some other activities. So, we spent some time visiting with Nastya and then went shopping for a few things for home since we had not taken care of that for the days we were hosts – or hostess would be more to the point, considering how Galina was so involved with all of the interpreters making sure they were doing a good job, and she was very concerned as a mother hen about the safety and welfare of the three brothers while they were in our city. We sincerely appreciate your prayers.