Friday, July 31, 2009

God gave help on Bible trip!!!

I am finally getting around to telling you about the Bible trip that Jason took to the Ukrainian/ Belarus border. There were 5 other men went with him and the Lord really helped them. Let me show you how. Of course when you get ready to go to an unreached area, and take God's Word, the van brakes down. But God helped Jason find a part that would work and he remade it to fit in. They had to start off a day late.
They headed up to the border and God helped them to met people that were interested in hearing about God. This man was 98 years old and still getting around pretty good.
They met some families that wanted them to come back with children's services.
Many, many people were thrilled to get a Bible and Christian literature.
The guys found many who didn't know how to read. So they took the time to stop and share with them the Gospel message
This man here heard about Jesus and his need for repentance. God was speaking to him.
Right then he bowed and prayed and God came and gave him the forgiveness he was looking for. It was exciting to
hear him pray and see the glow on his face afterward.
For the three night that the guys were gone, they camped in the forest, and slept in tents.
They even cooked their own meals over the fire.Here Roman and Stepon are making the morning tea.
Stepon is taking time to listen to this old Baba (grandma). She had many stories to tell.
Here Pastor Roman is showing this man in the Bible how to repent.
God even worked it out in one village for the guys to preach at a bus stop and many heard the message.
Because there were 3 Americans and 3 Ukrainians it worked out perfect for them to go to 3 villages at the same time. A lot of area was covered and as far as we can tell this as a totally unreached area. No churches except in the big cities. There were a few Orthodox churches in the largest villages.

Even though the water was not always clean.....
And the roads were not the best....
And at night the mosquitoes tried to eat you alive...
It was a real joy to share God Word with those who had never heard. On this trip 11 people prayed and repented and three villages invited them back for services. Thanks for praying!!!!

Sunday, July 26, 2009

A Special Thanks!!!

In my childhood Vacation Bible School just wasn't cool unless there were fun crafts. And as I was planning this years VBSs I realized that I need help to make our crafts fun and easy and something the kids would keep. When I put out the word that I needed help some very special people and churches responded and I wanted to thank them. You made it possible for these kids to make something to help them remember what they learned in VBS. Sandra Miller and the Star Lake Church, thank you for your giving and you willingness to help where ever help is needed.
Brian Withrow and the Wetmore Baptist Church, you have been a blessing to us and now you are being a blessing to many here in Ukraine. May God blessing many times in return.

The wonderful people at Evangelical Faith Fellowship, in Boise ID. We are so thankful for all your giving and being ready to do all that you can. You are an encouragement to us. Thanks for everyone who took part in this project.

Tim DoubleDee, thank you for your willingness to help. It really made a difference in our VBSs this summer. All you sent was useful.
Lastly I want to say a great Big Thank You from the children here in Ukraine. They have had a great time in the VBSs that we have had so far. They loved to make the crafts and were very happy when they were able to take home something very nice that they had made. Thank you to all who have given and may God bless you time and again for your generosity

Soaked to the skin

Sunday afternoon before our VBS started here in Osikova, we thought it would be nice to get out and pass out some flyers and invite new kids to come. We have our Sunday service in the afternoon at 2pm. So after everyone went home we spilt up into three teams and started visiting homes here in our village. Jason took one group and drove to the village next to ours to try and drum up some interest there. We had not been out there very long when we saw some very dark clouds headed our way and it started raining. Now I don't consider myself a whippie missionary, and I thought we could wait out the storm, and our group stopped under a tree. Wrong choice. It started lighting and I knew we had to get out of there. Just about a block down the street was the grandma's house of one of the girls in our group. But getting there was a problem. We were running in the rain and I couldn't even see where I was going. I was wishing for windshield wippers on my glasses. When we finally made it to grandma's house, she brought us in and gave us dry clothes to put on. Most of it didn't fit but we were thankful to be dry. We had a fun time laughing at our grandma outfits. Jason came and picked up in a few minutes and when everyone got back together we all shared our stories. Needless to say not much more calling was done that night. Yes, we were all soaked to the skin but glad to be safe.

A day in VBS

How would you like to come and visit us for a day and go to Vacation Bible School with us here in Osikova? We are getting ready to start (yeah we are a few minutes late because the bus driver had to wait on several children). First we start with a big welcome and prayer. Here my translator and I are explaining my three rules; sit up, smile, and cooperate. All the children received a bandanna and a sticker when they arrived. The bandanna tells what team they are on and the sticker, tells if at the end of our time together, they have obeyed the three rules. If they have they receive an extra treat. In this VBW we usually had between 25-30 children, with 32 being the most. That was exciting to me because we have a hard time getting 10 kids in Sunday school sometimes. So now I know they are out there.

Next is singing time. And the children love to sing. We had some new songs as well as old ones. Our theme was "God has a plan for my life" in Ukrainian. It went along with our jungle theme. God made the animals in a special way and for a special purpose. God made me as well with a special plan in mind. The song we are singing here is " If I were a butterfly". Can you read the words? Remember to sing with all your heart! ( And only the grandmas and grandpas get to sit down)

Next we introduce the animal we were learning about for that day. We had a skit done by Vita and Stepon about which animal it was and how God had made it special. I don't have a good picture of this, but they did a great job acting it out. All of these kids in school are taught evolution. We did our best to show them through how the animal were created that only God could have created them. They would have survived the evolution process. The four animals we studied were giraffe, elephant, lion, and ostrich.
Next we learned a Bible verse. Here Stephannie A. is doing the Bible verse game. The kids were having a great time and learning as well.
Here Mrs. Did You Know was sharing some VERY interesting animal facts with the children. By the way did you know that an ostrich can kill a lion with one kick, and that an elephant has 100,000 muscle groups in its trunk, and that a baby giraffe falls 6 ft when it is first born ( the mothers don't lay down for some reason)? We all learned a lot of things we didn't know. One of the boys, Ela, knew a lot about the ostrich because his parents work at an ostrich farm.
Next came activity time with the teams. Some went to crafts, while another team was writing in their journals and saying their verse for the day. Still others were at game time. The team leaders were very busy at this time. We also had snacks for the children. Now is that too much to fit into 45min? Here are some of the younger ones working on their craft. It as a picture frame and we even took all their pictures and had them back by the end of the week so they could take a picture frame, and picture of themselves to their parents. Thank you to all who gave in this area!
Now Jason doesn't enjoy getting up and telling the stories, or teaching the verse (although he did help act out some of the Bible stories) But Jason does a great job leading the games. All the kids loved the games, especially when the game involved water balloons. Thanks for the great job, honey!
Three legged races were fun! Even Stephannie thinks so.
One of the highlights of the VBS program was the continued story "Run, Ma Run" about Mary Slessor. Sit down with us and listen as Vita tells about the life of this great missionary and how God used a humbly girl from a drunkard's home in Scotland, to reach thousand of people in Calabar.Africa. The children really listened as you can see in the picture. One teenager boy even told me, " It seems like she is telling about my life," when Vita told about Mary hard life as a child. Thank you so much Sandra Miller for getting those to us on time!
Well, after finding out who gets quite seat prize, and closing in prayer and getting our candy for still have a sticker, we all head home to come back the next day for even more fun. So did you have a great time with us? Hope you plan on coming with us tomorrow even if it has to be only in your prayers. There are a few things I didn't get pictures of like the Bible story skit and saying verses and writing in the journals, but over all that is how our VBS went every day. God gave us so much help and we are very grateful. Thanks for your prayers.

Nine reasons why we do VBS

This summer has been a full load of ministry, Vacation Bible Schools, youth camp, and just every day missionary life. There are times when all of us ask ourselves why we do what we're doing. And when you are pushed to the limit, and tired beyond words, it is then you need a reason to keep going. This past week's VBS gave me a reason, actually nine of them. On our forth day of VBS, which is the day before the picnic, I have set in the program to share the plan of Salvation. We try to share as simple as can be how to repent and follow Jesus, so even the little children can understand. In this picture I am going through the Gospel message, using a Gospel cube, with the children from our village of Ocikova. Vita was my translator. Here all of the children are praying, respectfully. Only two children, besides the missionary's kids, are from Christian homes. What a joy to share Jesus, but also what a responsibility.

Here are those nine reasons I was talking about. These are the children that stepped forward and made a decision to repent and follow Jesus. Stepon and I talked with them a little after they prayed. Why do we keep doing what we are doing? It is because of children like these that will spend eternity in Heaven or Hell. What can we do about it? We can love them with all that we have in us,and then show them the way to Jesus. Will they all understand and become great Christians tomorrow? Probably not. But all of us had to start somewhere. And what better place to start than with Jesus.
Please pray for these children and all of the other ones that have made a decision to follow Jesus during this summer's program. This is what's all about!!!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Picnic in Forest

The last day of every VBS we have been having a picnic for the children that have been coming through the week. This last week we had the Ocekiva and Kanyazachee picnic together. We had around 40 children in the forest for games, treasure hunt ( they had to find the pinata), water fight, and picnic. Here is a nice picture of some of the boys taking a look a the near by lake. With God's help and your prayers the 4th and 5th VBSs were a success. Thanks for praying!!!

First Youth Night!!!

We have been having a few young people hanging out at our house in Ocekivia. But I nor Jason felt like we had enough to really do a youth night yet. One day last week, Jessica came in the house all excited. She had made a few new friends that were teens and she said," You wanted teens, well here they are." With all the help God has given us this summer, we felt that we had enough people on hand to start a youth night. So in VBS we announced that the teens could come Fri. night for a special game night, food, and Bible lesson. We were so excited when 14 teenagers showed up for the first night that we had youth outreach. Please that this ministry will go forward with the Lord's help. All the bikes at the gate showed how some of the teens came. We had a great volleyball game. Actually I cheered more than played and Jason, Jeff A, Artyome, and Stepon played volleyball with the teens. Most of the teens were boys. Please pray that some of them will come to youth camp that will be the second week in Aug.
How can you have a youth night without pizza? Yes, we did have pizza although it was homemade. We used Ukrainian bread for the crust and it turned out great. At least the lack of leftover proved they like it.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

And the Lord sent Help!!!

A large part of our ministry, as missionaries here in Ukraine, is work with children. This is what I love!!! This is why God put me here. And honestly I would rather do children's ministry than anything else in the world. But when it comes right do to it, Children's work is just that, Work, and lots of it. The summer is the busiest time of the year and when Jason, Katrina and I sat down to plan out the summer we wondered how we were going to get it all done. And then the Lord sent help. There is something so wonderful in just saying that, " And then the Lord." We didn't plead, or beg. God just sent them, and they obeyed. PTL Thanks for answering His call, all of you. Night before we head to southern Ukraine for our first 3 VBSs. My mom always did say I waited until the last minute to get things done. Well, Mom, we did get it all done. I guess God could tell I needed help.Thanks to all of you who sent craft supplies. It was such a blessing!

Here is Stepon, one of our translators, and Jeff Duddek explaining the plan of Salvation.
Here is Tonya Duddek, Jeff's wife, hard at work. Her and her husband have come from Colorado Springs. They also brought there two children.

Vita is telling a story. She is Stepon's wife. They are a Christian Ukrainian couple that have come to work as translators this summer.
And it look like some of our help needs HELP!!!! Actually Jeff A. you made a wonderful Mr. Did YOU KNOW.
Jeff and Stephannie Appling came here from Colorado Springs, as well. They brought their three children on this trip. Thanks for coming and helping!
Artyom used to be one of our "kids" from Nova Odessa. He has now graduated from high school and is doing his best to serve the Lord. His future is a little uncertain right now, but he will be living with us for a while and has been a BIG help already with the summer ministry.

I don't have a picture of our wonderful friend Katrina, or her friend Faith right now. So I will post those for you later. Thanks everyone that has helped, and is still helping. We are just getting started and I can't wait to see what the Lord has in store for us this summer.

First VBS of the summer!!!

We need to catch you up on what has been happening with us. Our first two VBSs took place June 23rd -27th. No I was not at two places at the same time. Katrina Randolph led one team of workers and they went to a village called Ulanivka. Jason and I led another team of workers and we went to a village called Mikhalovka. We were leaving the house before 7am and getting back in town around 2pm to get prepared for the next day. It was a very busy week but also fullfilling. There are not many children in this village so Jason was picking up kids in near by villages as well. Our theme for this year is God made me special. We learned about different animals every day and cool facts that point to a Creator that made them unique. Then we learned how God made us special with a purpose and a plan in mind. Vita worked as our translator. She also did a great job telling the continued stoy every day.
Artyom was our teen helper and did a wonderful job contecting with the teens in the village.

Jeff A. and Jason filling water ballons for game time. No running water, so they filled them at the village well.

A water ballon toss was a nice way to cool off.

He finally got the apple!
God worked it out for us to get out of the heat and have our VBS inside for the last of the week.

All during the week we were telling the children how much God loved them and made them special. God created all things and made the animals special, but we were made with a soul. On Fri. I explained the Gospel message and one little boy came forward to pray. It was so neat to hear him pray from the heart. Later in the day he said that God had helped him.

Pray for all the teens and children in this village. There are several of the teens that hope to come to youth camp.