We are down to our last two weeks here in Ukraine! It feels surreal that we will be packing up our family and moving away. Our emotions are up and down; excited yet sad. We are enjoying our last days, visiting friends and saying goodbyes, reminising about old times, dreaming about what lies ahead. All this reminds us that this is not our home!!! Just as we are awaiting our departure from Ukraine, we have an even greater departure ahead when we go home to be with the Lord. Hebrews 12:28 says, "Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us have grace, by which we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear." We want to continue to press forward, with our eyes on Jesus, with our hope in His future promises. The Lord's love for us is so great and so amazing! His mercy has taken us this far because of Christ, so it is with full assurance that we will press on trusting him for whatever lies ahead. We thank you for your partnership in our mission and ministry here!!!
Here is an update of the happenings this past month...
A few of us from the youth group celebrated early in the morning as we have the past few years. We gather on an old gravesite on a hill overlooking the lake. It was cloudy so not a good sunrise, but we enjoyed our time together rejoicing in the finished work of Christ! Later at church Wayne preached an Easter message and we enjoyed a church potluck afterwards. We truly love gathering with our church body here. They have enriched our lives and grown along with us in our faith. God has really blessed us with so many wonderful memories!
Samaritan's Purse Outreach
It's been six years since we started distributing Samaritan’s Purse Box Christmas presents. In cooperation with local government social services, we make a list of children with special needs, orphans, children who lost a parent and needy families. To start with we had 40 kids. This year we had 203 children come! For this event we split them up into different age groups and sing songs, read Bible stories, do crafts and games. After having some snacks they get their presents. As usual, there is a lot of excitement amongst the kids. We serve coffee and cookies to the parents while they are waiting for their kids. It is a big step for them to even step into our building! So, by serving them and blessing their kids, we are are trying to breakdown barriers. We pray that the seeds we sow will grow. And all glory be to God!!!
Bibles for Orphans
We would like to share with you about a project our friends in Chernigov are involved in. Since it deals with orphans, it is close to our heart. In Lumine Media is a Christian Publisher located in Chernigov, Ukraine that prints gospel-centered Christian resources in the Russian and Ukrainian languages. They have started a project to print and distribute The Jesus Storybook Bible to all of the orphans in Ukraine. In Lumine, in partnership with Ukraine without Orphans Alliance, will print the bibles in the Ukrainian language and distribute them through the Alliance’s network of over 100 churches and 30 Christian organizations already working in orphanages in every state of Ukraine. For only $3 you can help them print and distribute 1 bible.
Visit www.biblesfororphans.com to find out more...
Wayne gets his bowling machine!
While in the States, Pastor Wayne was given money to purchase a bowling machine for the Cricket Ministry he has started in Ukraine. Say What??? For most Americans, the sport of cricket is not very familiar. But for our pastor who is Australian, it is a passion. And he has started a cricket club in our town that competes in Kiev against other foreigners, mostly from India and Pakistan. The Kaharlyk Cricket Club proudly boasts of a team comprised of mostly Ukrainian players, something unheard of in Ukraine. Wayne's vision is to use the sport of cricket to gain access to many young peoples lives in our town. The mayor of Kaharlyk has caught the vision and has given a plot of land for a cricket field. It will be exciting to watch what doors God opens and how He can use sports for kids to bring glory to his name!!! Check out Wayne's blog for more information. http://wayne.calvarychapelkaharlyk.org/
1. Our house to sell. (There is a lady from our church who has agreed to buy our house, although it will take a few months to close.)
2. Our van to sell.
3. Traveling mercies (We leave Ukraine May 1)
4. Adjusting to life in America
5. Grace and Peace during this transition
Here are some fun pictures from way back when...