This past weekend was a special moment for our family & mission to the Russian & Ukrainian speaking world. A core of selected next generation leaders gathered at our base in Rzyschiv, Ukraine for a time of listening, learning and fellowship.

The purpose?

To begin assembling an international missional community, under the guidance of Mir Ministries, that will come alongside the work of the Holy Spirit in disciple making movement.

Missio Dei (Mission of God) – The Sending Creator

We spent our first session rallying under the mission of God – to make disciples of all nations. Though the modes and means of mission change over time, the mission has not.  There’s no such thing as an ‘un-sent’ Christian. We’re on mission, co-laboring with Christ, empowered by the Holy Spirit, to grow the family of God.

The ‘fellowship’  and resulting ecclesiology of any healthy, biblical community must be informed by missiology. 

The church doesn’t have a mission, the mission has the church!

I’ll quote a close friend and mentor here, “The church and mission are inseparable.”

Small groups working through Spiritual Formation topics and comparing how we each attend to the grace of God in our lives.

No amount of lights, fog, electric guitars and amped-up events will be enough to lure the hearts of this next generation. We need to be salt and light, setting up camp in cultural spaces – let’s take the gospel to the world as our primary mission.

Several furniture & decor trips to Kiev last week in preparation for the new worship room.
Assembling couches after room was painted night before – it was a very long day and thankful for all the helpers!

God provided some extra funding which allowed us to sponsor the travel of our incoming leaders from Belarus, as well as purchase some furniture for the ‘Big House’ larger 2nd floor worship room. Sveta and Lena painted, Deb, Brent and I raced to assemble some couches and create the beginnings of a really cool space!  In two weeks we’re hosting a weekend of prayer/worship as well at the Big House – God be glorified and refresh all who come! 

Widows Teams praying and learning from one another.

Our respective Widows Care teams were able to finally meet one another.  It was a joy to hear them share stories, challenges and dream about growing this ministry in 2019. One powerful moment was during prayer, when Rafael felt that everyone should get on their knees – everyone in unison, without questioning this, adhered. 

The hush of the Holy Spirit fell on us, and several of the leaders were moved to tears, including me as we sensed the intense care of Christ over this ministry ‘to the helpless.’  I saw in my mind’s eye sandals/feet flow through our circled gathering – we left this prayer time with a tremendous sense that Christ has heard our prayer for wisdom and help, that this was His ministry, not ours – that He will sustain, guide and lead us.  It was the most powerful time of the weekend for me personally as it was so unexpected.

Pray for our widows teams, and the 80 widows we are currently serving each month.  We are believing God grow this to 200 widows in 2019 and expanding our teams, mobilizing the church on mission in areas of construction and medical care as well.

Wonderful evening of waiting on the Lord, un-hurried, agenda of the Holy Spirit.

The other times of gathering were around creative arts and worship.  While we have outreaches and events this fall coming up, we’re looking to this leadership core to begin praying, and stepping out in faith as well in new areas.  Our mission with Mir is to surround next generation leaders with the wisdom, community, and resources they need to step into the things of God. This feels right, not that we lead from out front, but from underneath, raising up, giving opportunity for indigenous gifts and callings to emerge.

Calm before the storm.. these weekends are a lot of work! I think the next one needs to be fasting! Thank you to friends Yevtoshenko and Paxa’s for saving us with a few wonderful meals!

We are excited already for our next weekend, which will be Lord willing in Belarus this November during the Lit Worship Event in Minsk.  This group will be growing, pray for us that we move with the Holy Spirit – that our gatherings produce the kind of fruit that impacts each heart involved first, then extends to the ‘tip of the arrow’ projects and ministries that emerge.