Today we had OSCE (Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe) election observers in our town. This is the international organization that was called in immediately following the MH-17 disaster and has been actively involved during the war to the south.
I saw this ‘new’ car in town and recognized it didn’t belong 🙂 I then noticed the OSCE sign in their window and took them a Coffee. They came inside and visited our Cafe for lunch. We were able to enjoy some conversation – the coolest part? One of the ladies was from Ottawa, Canada, and had visited the small town where I grew up. Small world! They were interested in our perspective on things as the elections heat up – as well as our gas situation – we had lots to share:). I would find their job fascinating, although it also sounds exhausting.
Last night we hosted a ‘free pizza party’ for all 1st and 2nd year college students in town. Keep in mind the average age of these ‘college students’ is 15-16yrs old – it still blows my mind that under the communist system they found it wise to ship off kids into dorms, away from their families at this age.
You can see more photos from the evening at https://www.facebook.com/lighthouseukraine
Also we have a short video for you!
We had over 130 students come and eat during a 1hr period. Most stayed for 2hrs, and many (about 50) joined us upstairs to learn about a new student club we are starting next week. For the next few months we’ll be hosting weekly, focused gatherings among students to learn how to live for God.
It will be called Club 180, ‘a generation living for God’ – the 180 represents the radical degree change of purpose that Christ brings. Against the backdrop of corruption, selfishness and greed, a Christ-centered life is swimming upstream for all those that believe – especially where the reality of a living God is re-emerging.
My heart burns to share the reality of the love and grace of God. For too many here (young and old), Christianity is heavy, it’s religion, do’s and don’ts, try harder. This generation in particular has a tremendous opportunity as the cultural, economic and political powers shift beneath their very feet. I believe God is already opening hearts to believe on Him, and will empower many in the coming days to experience the reality of God’s love, weaving it into their new paradigm.
We’re praying for a core of young people to build around, to pour into and help them ‘see’ the greatness of God. We’re also daily praying and trusting God, if it’s His will for Lighthouse Ukraine to continue to develop ongoing evangelism and discipleship, that He send us the laborers. It’s kind of neat to test Him in this.. I sense He wants us to keep moving forward, to structure and plan for the next 3-5yrs with some things, but I don’t see the team around us to accomplish those things yet.
God seems to lead us into vulnerable places, asking us to trust and obey before we totally understand. He’s really into the expressed faith of His people. The moment we sit back and stop stepping out, I think God starts looking elsewhere. He’s a dynamic, moving, seeking and loving God.
The nature of student ministry is it’s brevity. A few years, then they’re gone – into their world, shaped by ideas and worldviews. Our town has 1000’s flowing in and out. Most will never have any significant connection with the good news. We aim to, by the direction and power of the Holy Spirit to join what God is already doing here, influencing and changing the spiritual climate among the student population.
We’ve also started a Jr. English club that meets each week after school and has about 10 regulars. It’s a neat little group that Sveta is leading. Additionally a Jr Youth Club, led by some friends will begin to meet in October. It’s cool to see the 2nd floor being used –
Speaking of the 2nd floor, our new windows should be here next week, they will greatly help keep our heat IN.
We also have new heating system coming next week Lord willing.. I’m excited about that, but I’m not excited about the increased bills that will follow.. but we have to move forward and trust Him.
Thanks for checking in, please continue to remember us and the work of God in this part of the world – pray and believe with us.
Bruce & Deb