We apologize for not posting anything sooner. The ship we are on is great in every way, except access to the internet is not what we had expected or hoped for. This is being posted from the church in Kremenchug that has good wifi.
Today has been a day spent on the ship as we travel on the Dnieper river toward Kremenchug. We departed last night while we ate dinner in Kiev.
Our morning devotional time is an integral part of our time here in Ukraine. Michael Gott is leading these and is sharing great things with us. Today was simply amazing.
Here is a quote that he shared from David Shibley a Mission Strategist,
“Our great challenge is to be sensitized both to the Holy Spirit and the culture we are trying to reach. Somewhere within the culture there is a key that will unlock their hearts. The art of missions and the heart of missions is in finding that key”
Our mission here in Ukraine these 12 days is simply not to come and sing concerts, preach a gospel message and hope some get saved. We very much are trying to fit into the culture here and to present Christ in an authentic manner.
Michael introduced us to a member of his Ukraine team on board the ship with us. Her name is Victoria. She shared with all us this morning about the hardships of her life. Of not having a father, of living in a one room flat with her mother that had a very alcoholic boyfriend. She told us of being all alone at the age of 16 when her mother left her. She went to a local church because they were teaching English. She wanted to learn English very badly. This is where she met the Michael Gott team. More importantly this is where she found a relationship with Jesus Christ.
She is a very beautiful young women now, working hard on an education in foreign languages. She is attending college on scholarships. She is committing herself to a life of purity and excellence before God.
Michael then shared how in our concert settings, with packed houses each night, it’s easy to loose focus on the individuals that are there. But in every place we sing there will be many many Victoria’s there.
Our goal is show in our faces, in our body language, in our song, that we serve a living Christ who offers real hope. We are working hard each night to accomplish this. An evidence that we are making real contact is when we sing How Great Is Our God. We start off singing in English and then on the second chorus we sing in Russian. The entire audience lights up as we switch. And without fail, they sing along with us. We are also singing two other songs in Russian.
Tonight our concert is in a Philharmonic concert hall in Kremenchug. A much smaller city than Kiev, but still with a population of 400,000. As Michael Gott explained it is in the heartland of the country, a place where tourist don’t go. We are hopeful to sing and give a message of hope in this place tonight.
With our three concerts in Kiev we have seen over 800 people indicate a response to Christ. We praise God for this harvest. Last night was a standing room only packed to the ceiling audience. Pray for the follow up that will take place in each church with these that have made decisions.
Today we learned that we will have an opportunity to minister on board the ship. The crew always performs a talent show on Friday night, as we sail on, they have invited us to share with them what and why we do what we do. It is a great opportunity to tell these that are working all around us this week about the love of Christ as well. Pray that many crew members will find Christ this week as well.
We are including some pictures in this post. They aren’t tagged and don’t have descriptions of who all are in them. They are a sampling of the two churches in Kiev as well as some views on board the ship of various team members. Pictures were taken by one of the Ukrainian team members, Antonina Kreposniak. Stephen Passmore also is contributing some photos as well.
We hope the internet gets better, so that we can continue to post. If you don’t see a daily post, just keep praying for us and know we are doing well. Many of the men are enjoying keeping up with the Texas Rangers and are looking forward to hear of them clinching the ALCS.
Thank you for your prayer support back home, it is our lifeline, keep praying!