Michael Gott tells of his wife asking the question, “Why are we leaving?”. When you see people coming to the Lord daily, why would you leave.
The last three verses of Matthew:“And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen.” Matthew 28:18-20 NKJV
We all know the verses but for most of us, these past 12 days have the most perfect example of following the commandment of the Great Commission. When you find yourself in the middle of God’s directive, it’s tough to stop. It’s time to make more tents so we can go back out again. I look forward to the 2017 trip with Singing Men.
Concert #8 – Kiev
Decisions last night were 106. The least amount at any concert but put in perspective, imagine 106 people making a decision in your church at one service and you’d make the news as having a massive revival. If only one person made a decision for Christ over the whole trip, would it be worth the amount of money spent? To that person and to God the answer is a resounding yes.
The crowd last night was the most energetic and involved of any of the concerts. We even had one of the English class students down front engaged in “Baptist interpretive movement”. Okay really, she was boot scootin’ boogie. I tried to shoot video of her and run words at the same time. We’ll see when I get back how I did.
I’m on the plane in Kiev waiting to back out from the gate, so I’m cutting this short. I’ll write more later when we land in Amsterdam.
Oh, total decisions? 2891!
Praise the Lord!
Thanks John Bell for the reports from a fantastic mission. Prayers for all the team as they begin their travels home.
Today we traveled 3 hours from Kiev to Cherkassy. The Philharmonic was a beautiful hall with lots of seats for the lost to hear of Christ. There were very few empty seats tonight – perhaps just 30 or so. (UPDATE: John reports there were 326 who responded to become a follower of Christ. Praise the Lord!)
As with every concert so far, the singing of the Ukrainian National Anthem fills me with respect and empathy for Ukrainians and for the ordeal they continue to endure. Pray for Ukraine.
As with all the concerts, there has been a wide range of ages and the audience has been very attentive. Tonight we even had a person yell out “Thank you” after one song.
At First Baptist Canton, our pastor has a challenge he uses often: “Don’t just be friendly; make a friend.” Today a friend of the Gott’s and Singing Men came to the concert tonight: Victoria Samoilenko. Victoria traveled with Singing Men on The Dnieper River in 2010 & 2012 and helped with projection. We got to meet her fiancé Den. There is no date yet for the wedding but it will be before the end of the year. Congratulations to Victoria and Den and we pray for them to have a strong, Christ-centered marriage. As with previous trips, we are forging friendships here and encouraging to each other.
Thank you again for your prayers. One more concert tomorrow. It’s here in Kiev and then we fly home on Friday.
I struggle with what to write first. Part of me wants to share about the local culture and the concert hall in which The Country Boys sing and where volunteers hand out Bibles and CD’s. (To be sure, The Country Boys are volunteers as well) I decided to lead with the number. It’s the bottom line. It is why we are here. It is why we team with an evangelist.
It was a national day of mourning in Ukraine yesterday marking the 30th anniversary of the Chernobyl incident and we were only 60 miles from the former nuclear reactor. We began the concert differently than any other with a moment of silence for all those who died as a result of radiation poisoning. Valeriy, our stage manager, is also a youth minister and a voice teacher. He sang a powerfully moving song in Ukrainian to close out the moment of silence.
The Country Boys sang their normal concert but added the song “God Blessed Texas” but changed the words to “God Bless Texas” and on the end to “God Bless Ukraine”.
Michael’s sermon has been all week on Revelation 3:20, “Behold, I stand at the door and knock…” He lays out the plan of salvation simply and plainly. A prayer is posted on the screen in Ukrainian and English: “Come into my heart Lord Jesus. Come in today. Come in to stay.” It is not a blanket prayer that everybody recites and then we pronounce everybody saved. Far from it. Michael makes absolutely sure that when they fill out a decision card, that they check the box that they actually did pray the prayer for themselves and accepted Jesus into their life. The decision cards are then turned in for the concert goer to receive their free CD and Ukrainian New Testament. The local Baptist Church is following up diligently with each decision made. They are not inflated numbers. The number represents souls that requires discipling. Pray not only for decisions to be made but for the follow up that happens with these young Christians.
I hope you all had great worship and Bible study at your church today. Last night’s decisions were 364 – I received that number on the bus this morning as we left for Chernitsvi to a church service at Kamianets Podilsky. We joined their service already in progress. The Country Boys sang in the service (including an extra music minister from Canton singing bass…) and then Michael challenged them with a very direct sermon. We then headed to Central Baptist Church in Khmelnitskiy – the members there were amazingly gracious and exceedingly generous with their portions!
The concert went incredibly well today and was probably the easiest setup yet. Our stage crew has been phenomenal and Rockey has been doing an astounding job on sound. I have help on projection with a local team member, Artem. His hometown is Khmelnitskiy so he was recognized tonight and received a rousing round of applause. Artem has been a great help to me.
The concert hall today was probably the nicest hall so far. The decisions today – an amazing 550. The crowd was also the most engaged. Praise the Lord!
Tomorrow (Monday) we leave for Kiev. It’s a travel day and night off from a concert. Thanks for everyone’s prayers.
We got to experience a few bumps in the road today. Okay, a lot of bumps and even more potholes! The road between Ivano Frankivsk and Chernivtsi was challenging but we have a phenomenal bus driver who is deft at missing as many potholes as he can.
The concert tonight at Chernivtsi Regional Center was amazing – the Country Boys were game on tonight. The crowd clapped and hooped and hollered more than any other night so far. Once again, it was a full house with many people standing. No decision total as of yet, but hopefully I can send that out tomorrow morning before we head to Central Baptist Church in Khmelnitskiy. Praying you all have blessed services tomorrow as you pray for us as well.
John Bell has emailed overnight and updated his report from the Friday night concert in Ivano Frankivsk. There were 532 that checked yes and responded to Michael’s appeal to become a follower of Jesus Christ.
As we have stated in the past we are very careful with these numbers. Michael’s team is very meticulous as they count the cards that are turned in. As people are invited to respond they are asked to make a check mark on a blank panel in their program. Michael prompts them with a few other questions for response as well. Then he asks them to put a check in the third box if they are responding to become a serious follower of Christ. The MGI team then subtracts 10% from the total number to just cover those who may have already been Christ followers. The slips are counted three or more times. Michael is very humble and careful with the reporting of these decision numbers as are the Singing Men of Texas.
God is once again moving among the people of Ukraine through the ministry of the Singing Men of Texas and Michael Gott. We praise God for all these who are taking steps of faith to know Christ.
Pray for the local churches who get these cards and do the important work of following up with each person that gives us and email address.
Continue to pray for The Country Boys and Michael Gott as they minister today (concert is at 11:00 a.m. Texas time) in Chernivtsi. This is a city and region that Singing Men have not been to before.
Thanks to all who are keeping up and praying for The Country Boys ministry.
Along the right hand sidebar we are adding pictures as we get them. You can see the great crowds and many faces of those who are hearing about God’s great love for them.