14 But thanks be to God! For in union with Christ we are always led by God as prisoners in Christ’s victory procession. God uses us to make the knowledge about Christ spread everywhere like a sweet fragrance. 15 For we are like a sweet-smelling incense offered by Christ to God, which spreads among those who are being saved and those who are being lost. 16 For those who are being lost, it is a deadly stench that kills; but for those who are being saved, it is a fragrance that brings life. Who, then, is capable for such a task? 17 We are not like so many others, who handle God’s message as if it were cheap merchandise; but because God has sent us, we speak with sincerity in his presence, as servants of Christ.
2 Corinthians 2:14-17
Our journey now has taken us to the eastern part of Ukraine, about 20 miles from the Russian border. Our trip to Kharkiv yesterday was much smoother than the previous days for which we were most grateful.
On our past trips we usually will attend and sing at a local church service on the Sunday morning we are here. Because of the distance we needed to travel and the fact we had a 6:00 pm concert we did not do that this time.
Just because you can’t make it to church doesn’t mean you can’t have church where you are. Each bus had their own time of worship and devotion. We all sang the same songs and read the same scripture followed by a brief devotion and then a sweet time of prayer together. The passage quoted above was the key passage for our time yesterday.
What a great thing to know we are a sweet fragrance to the Lord as we go and minister in His name. We are doing our best to not handle this wonderful Gospel like cheap merchandise.
We unloaded and had lunch at our hotel in Khariv and had a couple hours to rest and prepare. We are in a very nice hotel as most of the more budget hotels simply don’t have enough rooms for our group. Our dollar goes a long ways here. While the accommodations are nice, we certainly don’t want to lose sight of our purpose here. As I look right out my window, it’s easy to see the poverty and suffering that still is around. This city is the second largest in Ukraine and is home to several universities and science academies. It does have a different feel than the others we have been to before.
The concert was fantastic last night. The place seats 1,800 and there was every bit of 2,000 there, perhaps even more. God’s spirit was very evident and we have recorded 1,277 who have positively responded to Jesus Christ last night. The crowd hung around and our group enjoyed visiting and taking pictures.
As we came back to the hotel, we took the opportunity to make a video we hope to use in the future. This hotel has a huge foyer/atrium area with all the floors looking into it. There is also a grand piano so we circled up and sang Come To Jesus before we headed to dinner. I’m sure if you look on Facebook you will see it posted.
We were surprised when we got to the concert and found out about the live stream. We really did get the link just minutes before concert time. The link still is working and you can see the replay. It is missing the first and last songs, but you can get the general feel of what we are doing each night. Here is the link again in case you missed it.
We once again load up and head to Poltava (2 hour drive) today for our concert tonight. Following that we drive to Kiev (4 1/2 hours). This puts us at our final hotel and will be nice tomorrow morning. Tonight, it will make for a long day.
Pray for our stamina and strength, we have three concerts left and this is the hardest day travel wise. Pray that we will be able to bring the same energy tonight that we have the previous concerts. Pray that God will once again stir the hearts of people to come to Him.
Thanks for all the comments, prayers and support. Next time I post will be from Kiev.