Was great to Skype in once again to our church in Texas. We are so appreciative of having a caring, loving community of believers that support us and value what is happening for the Kingdom in this part of the world.
We have continued to meet with some of the students from the men’s retreat 3 weeks ago, as well as meeting with new students weekly in a variety of ‘formats’. The new believers have been reading their bibles, as well as meeting with Dan in a more personal environment to ask questions (they’ve had a lot too!) and grow in their faith.
For the past 2 Sunday evenings we’ve opened our home to the students to come and hang out. We were originally thinking the guys from the retreat would come, however many of them go home on the weekend. Instead, we’ve had a good group of new students, some we know, some we are just meeting. About 10-13 of them have come, we’ve watched some videos (Passion-Louie Gilgio translated into Russian), eaten hot dogs, played some games, and been able to share the gospel in a very down to earth, challenging format. I believe we are seeing some hearts open up for the first time to the gospel, and it’s just too bad that school is about to close down next week and many of these guys will be heading off to different villages. It’s going to be a neat fall, building so many new relationships and momentum with these young men, they are hungry, they are open for truth that is being lived out, and we are simply loving these guys with the love of God.
I can’t remember the last time I have shared the basic gospel message so frequently as this past month. It’s been so wonderful to remember myself the basics of God’s great love and plan for salvation through Christ. I love God more because I’ve been literally daily thinking upon the gospel, it’s a message for me today as much as it was 20 some years ago when I gave my life in surrender to Him. I thank God for the privilege, along with my Ukrainian brothers and missionaries here that we are being given this great opportunity to sow eternal seeds into open fields right now, and ask that you pray with us that these fields remain open, and that we remain faithful moving forward… because the fields are truly ripe for harvest, and God is not willing that any would continue a life lived without knowing Him.
Please pray for Dan. This past week he had another minor stroke. I’m not sure if there is such a thing as ‘minor’ when it comes to your heart. He is in stable condition, although his motor skills are a bit sluggish. He has been to the clinic in Kiev, and I believe to be getting good medical attention (though at home and under house arrest.. to rest!). The body needs this brother, not to mention his wife and 4 growing kids, pray as well for the Gollan family.
This week a precious couple in our church is getting hitched. Sergei and Lena will be married on Saturday, lots of last minute preparation going on. Deb is the official driver, I’m running sound with Tom, and playing a Ukrainian love song with Tanya and Larissa. Sergei Susidko is the preacher man, doing his first wedding I think. Cheryl is heading up decorations, so many people doing lots of things, there will be several families there from both sides that don’t know Christ, we are praying that we will all be a light for Him during this event. Sergei (getting married) is a local policeman with our town, but unfortunately can’t help us with our continual (all foreigners) road police problems, it seems every week someone is getting into document or ticket issues with these road bandits and their magic sticks.
Kids have planted some things in the garden. We just finished today planting about 150 sweet corn seeds, have another 100 or so left, but it was too hot out there! I’m used to air conditioned tractors, this real farming is not easy stuff, especially when you’re stupid enough to do it in the middle of the afternoon. I planted it today in tribute to my dad, who is at present unable to plant his several 1000’s acres of corn because of too much rain. This was for you dad!
Thanks for checking in, and especially for praying with us. Our battle together is a spiritual one, and our weapons are not of this world.
Bruce & Deb