Friday, December 25, 2009

Ministry Trip to Western Ukraine

Bible trips have always been Jason's passion. Visiting new areas, taking God's Word to needy people and 4x4ing as far off the beaten path as possible, is what Jason loves to do. The second week in Dec. Jason and Josh we able to once again to do just that. This time they were headed to the Carpathian mountains in western Ukraine. They took almost 100 knitted hats and gloves, warm clothes to give away, and Bibles and children's Bibles. After driving all day to get out to the western side of Ukraine, they had to sleep first and then headed out the next day. First they stopped to pick up Stepon, who loves going on Bible trips as much as Jason does, and then headed to the mountains. They prayed for God to guide them to people who are ready and wanting to hear the Gospel message, and to read God's Word. God answered they prayers. Allow me to show you some of the people they were able to meet in the mountain villages.

One of the first stops they made was at a village school. Around 40 children come to this school. The director asked Jason and Stepon to come in and speak to the children. They was able to tell the about God and they gave out children's Bibles and winter hats. Josh and Jason is in the picture with the school children. The director asked them to come back and did a summer program in this school. Josh liked helping to pass out Christian books and Bibles to the school children.

They drove to villages that were so far back in the mountains that felt like you were walking into a working museum. Some of the villagers said that they had to walk about 10 miles to get to a road that had a regular bus that could take them to a market or town.Many people living a simple life, but hungry to know about God. Most said that a priest might come to their village once or twice a year.

Everyone was so nice and this older couple asked them to stay and eat with them. They went and found eggs in the barn and then cooked them up for Jason, Stepon and Josh.

Most of the people in the area used oxen cart instead of cars. They used their milk cows to pull their carts. Some of them even had wooden wheels. Jason and Stepon would work along side of the villagers and talk to them about their life. And then they would ask questions about why an American would come so far back in the mountains, and that would open the door for them to share about Christ. In the end they would usually want a Bible, and another seed would be planted in an open heart.
Pray for all those who heard and that received a Bible. God's Word is powerful!
Stepon is giving some children's literature to some ladies to take to their children and grandchildren. They were very thankful and happy for the used, warm winter clothes. Jason said that not one of them turned up their noses about looking through second-hand clothes.
Josh was excited to go on this Bible trip with his Dad. He is our "little missionary" in training. While Stepon or Jason would be talking with someone about the Lord, Josh would be helping the old grandmas or grandpas with whatever needed to be done. He carried wood, long logs, and rode on an oxen cart.

Everyone was thankful and wanted to give Jason something in return. Many of them gave apples. Here is the winter supply in the barn.( Notice the neat basket)

Many of the grandmas (babushkas) adopted Josh and told Jason, not to come back without bringing Josh along.
God gave defiant help and many were open to the Gospel. Three villages have asked for us to come back in the summer and either hold services or a VBS for the children. Pray that we can return.

Jason and Josh headed home after a good Bible trip. Thank the Lord that they made it all the way home. The van broke down the day after the returned. . Thank God for giving safety on the road. And thank you for praying.

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