“Give praise to the Lord, proclaim his name; make known among the nations what he has done, and proclaim that his name is exalted. Sing to the Lord, for he has done glorious things; let this be known to all the world. (Isaiah 12:4-5 NIV)
For over two years this trip was planned, prepared for, and prayed for. The chapters of the Singing Men of Texas have rehearsed, memorized and sung the music for well over a year. Mission Partners were recruited, signed up and registered. Michael and Jan Gott and their daughter Amy Pannell have worked sacrifically over the past two years making plans and preparations. The Treasurers for each chapter served as the recruiters among the Singing Men chapters and handled finances and registrations for over two years.
In the mean time a war broke out in the country of Ukraine. In January 2014 many of us wondered what will all the protests do for this trip. As the months wore on and the conflict grew in the east we wondered if this trip would even happen. The river boats closed down. That original plan was scrapped and another plan was birthed.
For two years we trusted God. We knew we were called to come to this wonderful but desperate country. All along God had a plan. He always has a plan. God knew the cities we needed to come to. If we had done the river cruise we would not have come to western Ukraine and these cities. God knew exactly where we needed to be. He ordered our steps.
Night after night every pastor has told us how much it meant to them and their people that we came to Ukraine during a time such as this. There is great unrest and uncertainty in this country. Ukraine needs a word of hope. We came to deliver that word of hope. That word is: Jesus Christ loves you, he died to pay the penalty for your sin, and Jesus desires to have a personal relationship with you. We find hope in Jesus alone.
God has done an incredible work through the ministry of the Singing Men of Texas. He didn’t need us. He could have used some one else. We are blessed and grateful that he used us.
Tonight’s final concert is done and we are on the way back to Kiev. The people of Belaya Tserkva were a gracious and enthusiastic audience of about 1,200. 705 of them responded positively to the Gospel. Praise be to God!
To the glory of God over 14,000 attended the 12 concerts. We have records that indicate 7,793 people responded to the message of the Gospel over the past 10 days.
Now the real work begins for the many churches where we have been. Pray for these cities and churches that all of these will be discipled and followed up with. Pray that all of these that indicated a decision will find a New Testament Church and walk with God.
For those reading this back in Texas and all around the world, we say thank you for your important role. We have no doubt that there were thousands who prayed for us everyday. God heard your prayers. We all share in what God has done.
In previous trips Michael has taught us that we often reap a harvest we did not plant. This mission has seen a great harvest. We have also planted seeds and watered other seeds. Pray that the work done over the past ten days will continue to take root and grow. Our prayer every night has been, “May God bless Ukraine.”
We now start the journey home. Most of the team will depart the hotel at 3 AM for the airport. Pray for saftey as we travel. We all come back to families that will greet us with lots of hugs and kisses. For many of us we will be back in our churches this Sunday, doing what God has called us to do – leading many of you in worship of our Almighty God. We all come back to the normalcy and routine of life, though a part of our hearts will remain here with these sweet people of Ukraine.
I’m finding it hard to wrap this up and find a way to sum it all up. I don’t think I really can put in words what we have seen God do here and in our own lives as well. Thank you for praying and following us. Thank you for all the encouraging comments you have left here to become part of a permanent record of this mission. (We will be posting a few more times in the coming days to say thanks and recognize many key people and to give a better recap)
To finish this up all I can say is the last part of the passage quoted at the beginning of this article.
Sing to the Lord, for he has done glorious things; let this be known to all the world.