Wow we are getting pretty busy with stuff going on these days. The next 2 weeks are jammed full of some neat activities.. but ones that require a lot of preparation. Pray for the following… in order of date:
Friday, May 15 / Regional Family Day
– this all day event wasn’t something that we knew about until yesterday evening. The City called us up and asked if we’d be willing to help transport 2-3 families from RZ, along with some city officials to БIЛА ЦЭРКВА (bila tserkva), about 100km east of our town. Dan and visited this morning and found out they really wanted to have RZ representatives at this ‘carnival’ type day for kids and family, but they didn’t have the funds to buy bus tickets for the families involved. We were able to sponsor this for about $100, and our family, along with 20 others from our town will be off tomorrow morning. We will have a serious full day of Russian practice, without any interpreter and a bus full of kids. It’s actually a pretty special opportunity, we’ll be meeting several families from not only our own town, but the entire area, many of which are larger families, and some that are like foster homes for orphaned children we are told. We’ll be learning Ukrainian dances and doing crafts.. here we go!
Saturday, May 16th / Playing hockey in a tournament at the Canadian Embassy in Kiev. I’m really looking forward to that, even if my team is comprised of Rugby and Cricket enthusiasts. This is very spiritual, pray that we don’t break any bones, Australians/Kiwi’s holding hockey sticks can be a dangerous proposition. Ok, it’s not that spiritual but I’m pretty excited.
Sunday, May 17th / Pastor & Wives Dinner: We’ve been meeting each week with the ministry leaders in our town. It’s been a special time and we sense God working for sure, bringing us together and growing our heart for this community. We haven’t met with our wives yet though, and this Sunday evening at the Gollans we’ll be doing just that. We’ve also invited the Orthodox Priest, and hoping that our ‘reaching out’ to him personally will build some bridges. It could be a very huge step for the Orthodox and the Christian ‘protestant’ believers in this town to come together and promote Jesus Christ. We are inviting everyone in the town (or plan to) to our special upcoming service in the center.. we had 130 or so last time, and that was without any advertisement. I am very excited to see what transpires this summer as we continue to meet monthly, and work together with all believers. I’m praying for 300 believers gathering in this town by the end of summer. What would be about a 10 fold increase from the most any group represented on their own, in only 3-4 months time. God is moving, pray for our town, or I should say keep praying, because this IS happening because of prayer and God’s grace.
Wednesday, May 20th / Jacob’s Cafe Outreach: Our Home Groups are meeting monthly for fellowship and worship/prayer at the cafe downtown. We are turning this coming Wednesday into an outreach and have little invitations printed.. and we’re inviting friends, family, co-workers to come and join us. We’ll have some performance type music, and share the gospel. I’m hoping to see some new faces, we’d love to start an evangelistic bible study on Wed nights in place of traditional ‘christian’ gathering. It would be healthy and exciting to keep the focus on outreach as we enter the summer season.
Sunday, May 24th / Rzhyschiv Christian Fellowship: Not really our official name (for all the churches), we don’t have a ‘name’.. but in my head I’ve had that name for a few months so I’m going to start using it:). People aren’t into names here, and that’s fine with me, but sometimes it really gets annoying when trying to communicate things. Imagine trying to ‘not’ have a name yourself… that’s sort of what it’s like here sometimes (IE, we’re the Christians over there). Back to the meeting. We will be planning who’s speaking, giving testimony, doing music, greeting, helping with food/coffee… all those church things. With different churches represented, styles of music, and age groups, pray that we hit the mark, and provide a time that really glorifies God and doesn’t offend unnecessarily. The town is going to start noticing these monthly gatherings, and we really want them to be Christ centered and attractive in the sense of our enthusiasm and love for God and one-another. Pray that our unity continues to grow.. we do have an enemy that isn’t pleased with what is going on.
Saturday, May 30th / Paintball! This is a men’s event that we are hosting, Lord willing right in the forest next to my house. The guy from the Paintball business is coming to survey our forest tomorrow, I think it’s perfect but we’ll see. This will be an outreach as well, we’ll be stopping half way through and sharing truth with the men. We want to get to know more guys in the town, and it’s a great way to build friendships when you are taking on fire from the enemy line! We are sponsoring this event so the costs are affordable to the folks we invite. If anyone wants or can give to some of this stuff, we won’t deny you the privilege of participating. It’s about $20 per person that we are covering, they have to pay about $8. Sponsor a dude for $20 so they can play for $8 by clicking here. Remember, these guys make $200-300 per month, so even the $8 is something that will be difficult for some, but we’re making it extremely difficult to turn down, most have never played from what I’ve heard.
That wraps up May, you should see July, there’s a ton going on for that month and the group coming. I won’t even get started there.
Thanks for checking in, hope this gives you a feel for what we’re up to and how to effectively pray. God is working, and we are excited to be in a place where we can be used for Him like this. With all the complaints, we praise Him for the opportunity to serve and for friends and family like you that support us. We’ve been battling the flu off/on the past two weeks, pray as well that we all get healthy soon thanks!