Live stream now

Just got word this concert is live streaming. 

Here is address. 

Edit after concert

We found out about that live stream just minutes before the concert started and then got the link literally a minute before the band started. 

The link may still work and show it as an archive. We as SMOT didn’t have anything to do with it. It was a local deal. Hoping that many back home can go back and watch. 

Concert was great!  Place was beyond packed. More later. 

Ministry Day 4 – Dnipro

 

 

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We had another lengthy travel day on hopefully the last really bumpy road. But that I’m sure is very wishful thinking. We arrived into Dnipro and unloaded at the Central Baptist Church where we had our devotional meeting and lunch served to us by the church. It was very good.

Central Baptist Church is special in the history of the Singing Men. We were scheduled to sing there on our inaugural trip to Ukraine in 2010. The day before the concert the church burned nearly to the ground. The concert was quickly moved to another place. Through MGI, Singing Men members and several of their churches, as well as churches and individuals around the world, money was given to this church and it has rebuilt a very attractive and functional building. The statewide SMOT group sang a concert there in 2012. It was a sweet time to hear from their pastor yesterday as he greeted us and thanked us for the support over these past several years.

Michael told us that out of the tragedy many good things had come. The church received much good publicity and has seen lots of good growth. They have an evangelistic hearted pastor. In fact he encouraged his people to not attend our concerts yesterday so that lost people could have a place to sit.

We made our way to our hotel and quickly unloaded and changed and reloaded the buses to make our way to the concert venue. Another very cold hall greeted us, but the atmosphere that we were greeted with was warm. Each time we enter a hall the local church and volunteers stand in lines to greet us enthusiastically.

The hall did not fill up as we expected for both concerts, but the crowds were very enthusiastic. We are estimating that between the two concerts there were about 1,400 in attendance. The hall sits 1,200 and was 60-70% full both times. Please understand our attendance numbers are not exact at all.

Though it was cold, though there was still snow on the ground, and the room was not as full as we have seen, God still did amazing work in many peoples lives. We have cards and have recorded names of 626 who made a positive decision for Christ. The Lord is still working here in Ukraine.

After the concert we were treated to a wonderful meal at a restuarant that sits right on the banks of the Dniper river. It was good time of fellowship together.

Many of us are tired and growing weary but that does not stop us.

We load out of Dnipro in a few minutes with another 3 hour trip ahead as head to Kharkiv. We will be about 20 miles from the Russia border. This is a city we have never been to. Pray for us as we travel and for our 6:00 pm (10:00 am Texas Time) concert.

Our thoughts and prayers are with our home congregations today as they gather to worship around the same time that we will be in concert tonight. May God be praised both here in Ukraine and in our Texas churches.

Ministry Day 3 – Kyryvi Rih – Concert Report

IMG_0075Good morning from this wonderful city in Ukraine. We are about to load the buses with luggage and bodies and head to Dnipro for two concerts tonight.

God is at work and continues to bless the Singing Men of Texas and Michael Gott as we minister here. It is rather hard sometimes to estimate the attendance each night. Our attendance numbers are not hard and fast, yet we don’t want to over inflate them either. Our best guess as to last night is that 1,400 attended. We praise God that last night that 774 responded positively to have an encounter with Jesus Christ. To God alone be the glory.

The snow has stopped here and there is some blue sky peaking out. Another full day for us. Lord go before us and with us today as we proclaim you King of kings and Lord of lords.

Blessings on your Saturday back in Texas. Enjoy some more pictures gleaned from several of our team member’s Facebook pages.

 

Ministry Day 3 – Kyryvi Rih, part 1

FullSizeRenderHey everybody, not a lot to share tonight since my post this afternoon. We have our main meeting/devotion tomorrow once we get to Dnipro so I won’t have the complete report on the concert tonight until then.

Our concert tonight was well attended. It was held in the biggest indoor place the churches could get in the city. It was a different type of building than what we have been in. Sort of reminded some of us Texans of a rodeo arena. All the seats were not full, but there was a very large crowd that was glad that we came.

The churches in both of these towns the past two days have been so excited that we came to their part of the world. They are off the beaten path. The roads are bad in and out, so not many groups come here. There is very little SBC IMB work done in this region. We are so glad we came to sing and share the love of Jesus with them.

It was the type of place that was not fancy, it was a little more crowded on stage and being our third concert it would have been easy to just mail it in. But we didn’t. Our director Don Blackley challenged us before the concert to not mail it in, but realize that these people have never heard us. We know that there are so many in the audience who are seeking answers, who have little hope for a safe and secure future. Don shared of a conversation he had the night before with a young man who is truly searching and sensing God in his life, but struggles to understand and hear God. He said he was touched to the point of tears at our songs and didn’t know what to think to it. Don simply told him, through some tears himself, that was God speaking and working in his life.

Kseniya Bondarenko

On an another quick topic, we need to say publicly what a great job our Ukrainian staff does that Michael Gott International (MGI) has assembled. They do all the heavy lifting and detail work for us and all we have to do is concentrate on singing a concert every night. One person in particular to mention tonight is Kseniya Bondarenko or Ksucha as many call her. She is the main leader here in Ukraine and has done much of the legwork in the administration and logistics for this mission. She is a seminary student and a wonderful godly young lady. We are blessed to have her leading our team alongside Michael and Jan.

One example of the great work that has been done was putting us in this hotel these past two nights. It’s off the main area, it’s quiet and peaceful. I usually stay away from commenting about the food we eat. (Our focus of this blog is prayer updates and simple reports) But sometimes . . . You just have to bend the rules a little. This hotel and restaurant threw it down for lunch and dinner today. You can say a prayer for us that we didn’t over eat and go into some type of meat comma. Let’s just say we have bulked up on protein today. It has been a wonderful day to recover, fellowship and serve the Lord here in this place.

It’s time to call it a night as we have an early start tomorrow with a three hour bus ride to Dnipro followed by back to back concerts at 5:00 and 7:00 (9:00 & 11:00 Texas time).

Please pray for good rest tonight, stamina for the drive tomorrow, strength and engery for the two concerts. But most of all pray that God works through us, that He is glorified and that when we finish up tomorrow night, the people who came can say that they were in the presence of Jesus.

Once again, you are a vital part of this mission. I had a chance this evening on the bus to read through some of the comments. Keep them coming. In time our guys will be able to read through them and find encouragement. You are also called of God and are his polished arrows.

Good night from Kyryvi Rih Ukraine.

Polished Arrows and Various Snowy Pictures

 

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While there is time here are some photos I swiped from several team members Facebook pages today. Of course everyone has enjoyed the snow. There is also a shot of the road from last night to help you feel our pain so to speak.

Had a great devotional with Michael this morning. He spoke to us from Isaiah 49:1-3. He challenged us to see ourselves as God does, his polished arrows.  God’s purpose in us being in Ukraine is like the choice arrows, the polished ones in the archers quiver. The special ones that were used in key battles.  God has gifted us all and has placed us here at this very moment for this very reason,  To penetrate the hard, cold hearts of those we minister. We are commanded to use our weapons to bring down the enemy. That is our prayer today.

Something else he encouraged with is this statement about the importance of prayer and where the victories come from; “How many victories that we have seen on this trip are the result of one of the senior adult ladies at your church with arthritic knees that agreed to pray daily for this trip?”

We leave the hotel in about 45 minutes to head to the concert hall. Enroute we will see some of the city and its people as we take a brief city bus tour.  Pray that our arrows will be used of the Lord tonight.

 

Ministry Day 2 – Krapivnitsky, Full Report

It is now Friday morning here in Kyryvi Rih, Ukraine and there is a dusting of snow on the ground and more coming down. We arrived here to the Park Hotel about 12:30 am and settled into our rooms. Our ride was pretty bumpy last night, but we endured and are grateful to have had the chance to sing in Krapivnitsky last night.

Michael Gott’s devotion yesterday was a time where he shared his heart about being an evangelist and his simple strategy to share a simple gospel. He told us of why our travel plan was what it was because the city of 500,000 didn’t have a hotel large enough to accommodate us all. It is a somewhat forgotten city here in Ukraine. No one like us ever comes here. The local churches wanted us to come and had worked hard to organize the event. So we came and sang and then endured a three hour bumpy bus ride to the next city Kryvyi Rih, all because we wanted to share the simple message of Jesus so with the people of Krapivnitsky.

As Michael shared with us yesterday morning, he shared his heart’s desire to make the Gospel simple enough for everyone to accept it. He challenged us and reminded us that our purpose here is to share the simple Gospel message of Jesus Christ so that people can say when they leave, Jesus has become real to them.​ 

The Regional Philharmonic Hall seats 900 and we were told just before the concert that the churches had arranged overflow seating in several other rooms and areas of the hall. They also had set up to videotape the concert and message to produce a DVD for all their churches in this region to use again and again for the purpose of evangelism in this region.

The hall filled up quickly as they opened the doors and from the stage there were no seats left and many people standing in the back. Our best estimate is that 1,200 were in attendance.

One of the songs that we are singing on this tour is Untitled Hymn otherwise known as Come to Jesus. I could not help but think of Michael’s words as we sang this last night. 

“Weak and wounded sinner, lost and left to die, O raise your head for love is passing by. Come to Jesus. Come to Jesus. Come to Jesus and live.”

Our prayer every time we sing is that the people here in Ukraine will only see Jesus and that they He will become very real in their lives.

In last night’s concert we have response cards that 651 made a positive step toward Jesus Christ. Praise be to our God.

Today our team gets a chance to recover a bit and have our devotional time together and some free time here at the hotel before leaving for tonight’s concert here in Kyryvi Rih. God is at work and is answering your prayers. Thank you to the hundreds back home who are praying for us.

Pray for our concert here tonight at 7:00 pm (11:00 am Texas time). 

Pray that the weather will not hinder people from coming.

Until next post . . . Blessings.

Ministry Day 2 – Krapivnitsky Part 1

I had hopes of being able to type while we were in transit to Kryvyi Rih but the ride/road is much to rough and bumpy. 

Our concert tonight was well attended and the presence of the Lord was was again very evident. It was an overflow crowd who were very happy we came to there city. 

The weather held off and we have not seen anymore snow since noon in Cherkasy. The forecast though for Kryvyi Rih is for snow overnight. 

I will have time in the morning as well as details of tonight’s concert and will post then. 

Keep praying for us.