Last night we hosted our 2nd welcoming event at Lighthouse Cafe for the incoming 1st and 2nd year college students in our town. These are mostly 15-17yr range students, many from area towns and villages that live during the week in Rzhyschiv.
We never know exactly how many students will come. Last year we had about 80 show up, this year +130! This event is about building bridges early with these precious lives and also sow seeds of hope. Along with our missionary and youth leader partners, we are praying and believing to see a move of God among this generation in Ukraine. Pray with us!
Credit to our amazing staff that started making pizzas 5hrs before the event – by the grace of God we had just enough pizza for everyone. Besides acclimating students to the Cafe, our after school creative courses and making them feel welcome, we were able to also unveil a sneak peak of the skatepark. Though the park is not officially open, we do have an amazing halp-pipe out back thanks to Shane Paxa (helper credit to Josh Neibert and Nazar!) –
After the pizza we setup sound out back and were able to each share about the opportunities available to students to grow in their understanding and experience with their God. Most (maybe 95%) of these students have a cultural religious understanding of God and the Bible through Orthodoxy, but very few know the message of salvation in Jesus through faith or have experienced His life changing power.
I was reading yesterday in John, after Jesus fed the 5,000. The followers witnessed a miracle and wanted to know how they could also perform such amazing works. Jesus reply was this, “This is the work of God, that you would believe in Him whom God has sent, and in Him have eternal life.” Jesus was like, “Guys, it’s not about physical miracles, it’s about faith in me, it’s not about doing cool things, it’s about relationship with the Father through the Son.” May we stay focused on the essentials of faith in Christ, life in the Son, wherever we live. I think God blesses where the simplicity of the Gospel is being shown and shared.
Creative courses start next week. Thanks to Vova for an amazing print design piece that outlined for each student places of engagement through the week from Bible Studies to Club 180, music classes etc.
Last picture, Brent on the halfpipe showing some skilz haha. Many students then joined in, and we are working with Shane to register the park with the International Skaters Association for future partnership and club. It has so much potential! We still need skate equipment however, practice boards and safety equipment if anyone is inclined to help financially – click here.
Also, we just found out our home church has online giving for those wishing to support us one time or regularly but needing a tax receipt – please note you must state on the ‘special instructions to the seller’ link that it’s for UKRAINE MISSIONS – not Bruce & Deb personally. http://www.ccclongview.com/about/giving
Bruce & Deb