Friday, April 4, 2014

Update on Where We Are



It has been a busy few weeks for us.  The first two weeks was spent tending to sick kids.  They all picked up a stomach bug somewhere.  Then Jess’ parents came down to visit for 2 days.  On Tuesday, we headed down south.  We are now in Blackstone, VA and are keeping busy and filling up our schedule.  We are trying to keep in contact with our people in Ukraine and are excited to hear that they are still meeting together to encourage one another.  As far as the country situation, things still don’t look good and they have advised us to wait a little longer.  We are anxious to get back but know the Lord has a plan.  He has already blessed us so much this past year.  We think particularly in that we did not have to leave the country last year so had money for tickets.  Please continue to pray for the people of Ukraine and us as we minister here during our visit.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Update



I am sure many of you are aware of the situation in Ukraine, at least to some extent.  In the past few weeks, the violence has only been increasing.  Less than 25 miles from us, on the Russian border, Russian troops were gathering and about 10 miles from us the Ukrainian military was training.  From our home we could hear the explosions and even feel a slight rumble.  At night, the sky lit up and looked on fire.  Many of the Ukrainians believed that if war was to break out in the country, it would be in our front yard.  There may be no danger of a major war there, but there was still the threat.  Even the locals were becoming more bold in their threats toward us.  After much prayer and counseling with the locals, Pastor Scoggins (from ANTBM, our mission) and Pastor Rhew (our pastor), we decided that for the safety of the family we should come back to the States for a little while. 

We are keeping in close contact with people there and want to get back to them as soon as the Lord allows.  We want to make sure that we keep you as informed as possible and that we have an open line of communication.  To do that, we will be trying to email out a weekly update.  We also look forward to visiting with some of you during this short mini-furlough.  We understand that many of you may not have the extra finances for an surprise missionary visit, and we do not wish to be a burden to you.  We greatly appreciate your support over the years.  If we are in your area we may stop in just to be a blessing to you and if you would like, we would be more than willing to share an update with you as well.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

God Answers Prayer!!!

Shortly after we sent out our prayer letter, God greatly answered a few of our prayers.  We had mentioned that Vasily and Olea were completing their Bible lessons.  Olea's last lesson was on Friday evening. 

Following her lesson, we asked her if there was ever a time in her life when she had been born again.  She said no, then prayed and asked Jesus to forgive her of her sins and be her Savior.  We were all very excited and praising the Lord with her!  As she was leaving, she began listing off people she was going to call and tell about her salvation.  Pray for her as we continue to disciple her.

Sunday after services, we had the last lesson with Vasily.  It seemed like the closer we got to completing his lessons, the more God was working upon his heart concerning his need of salvation.  What a blessing it was when he said he wanted to pray and ask God to save him.  He had said at one time that he did not think he could get saved because he could not give up smoking.  Continue to pray for him that he will grow in Christ.  We will be continuing to do discipleship lessons with him too.

Another person many of you have been praying for is a man named Ruselan, the same Ruselan that I did Bible lessons with while he was in prison.  He is now out and living just down the road from the church.  He expressed an interest in doing Bible lessons again as he did not understand everything since the lessons were given through the mail.  But besides coming to a few services, he has been too busy to do them.  Friday he rode with me to the nearby city of Chagooiv to buy cement.  While there, his son, Bogdan, did not want to go with him anywhere.  Ruselan admitted to having gotten drunk the night before and was not feeling very well.  When he returned from the market, he also came carrying a bottle of beer.  I told him he was not going to get into my car with that.  So he said he'd drink it.  For me, that was not an option.  The only option if he wanted a ride home was to throw it away.  He was angry with me at first, but did it.  Later he apologized and said that he needed help.  He admitted that his son is scared of him when he is like that and wanted to start doing Bible lessons.  I have talked with him since then and he is still very serious about Bible lessons.  We will be starting this upcoming Wednesday.  Please be praying for this family.  The boys are very faithful to Sunday School.  We would love to see all of them saved.

Prayer Letter


March 18,2013

Ministry
Since our last prayer letter, we have been busily preparing for our ladies’ meeting/banquet.  March 8th is a big holiday here called Women’s Day.  We planned our banquet for the 9th.  The Lord really blessed the meeting and about 12 ladies came.  Almost all of these women are not saved.
We are continuing with the Bible lessons.  The young lady, Nastia, has not been coming for her Bible lessons because she said she can’t get out of work in time but has continued to come to Wednesday evening services.  She says she is interested in continuing.  Her sister also hasn’t been allowed to come back to church in a few weeks. 
Olya and Vasily have continued with their Bible lessons and only have one lesson left.  We are earnestly praying that they will be saved.  They both seem very sincere.  Please pray for them.  Olya’s lesson is on Friday and Vasily will have his on Sunday after services.
Ruselan and his wife Katia have not been coming very frequently to services.  I have visited with him a few times, but they don’t seem very interested in Bible lessons at the moment because of her new job.  Work is the biggest reason most people either don’t finish their Bible lessons or never start in the first place.  You may remember Valodia.  He almost finished his lessons, then got work.  He still faithfully attends services when he is not working.
We have had two new ladies start coming to services.  Their names are Zoya and Sveta.  Sveta has stated that she is searching and very interested in learning more about the Bible.  Zoya has brought her granddaughter to services last week.  Pray that God would work in the hearts of some of these people and save them.
The Sunday School class has been doing pretty well too.  In the past two months we have had 6 visiting kids come to Sunday School...just not at the same time.  Two of those are our neighbors, Nastia and Masha.  Some of you may remember Anna asking for prayer for their salvation.  Anna has been praying for them constantly that they would come to church and get saved and she has been very excited the few weeks they have come.  Pray that their parents will continue to let them attend Sunday School.  Bogdan and Nikita, Ruselan and Katia’s sons, have continued to be regulars.
During Sunday School, I have been teaching the adult class in Russian.  This has been challenging, but I feel like God is allowing the message to still be clearly presented. 

 Family

Everyone is doing well.  Jessica has had a few doctor’s visits and even though I know they are exhausting, she doesn’t get as discouraged by them as she has in previous pregnancies.  Thank you all for your prayers concerning the visits and the pregnancy.


Monday, January 14, 2013

Prayer Letter


January 14, 2013
 
Ministry
  
We have only been here 2 months but already there is so much to fill you up on!  Since returning to Ukraine, the Lord has opened up the doors for us to do 3 Bible lessons.   A young lady named Nastia has hers on Wednesdays.  She listens intently and has started sharing what she is learning with her grandmother.  Her grandmother wasn’t very happy when she first started attending a “cult” and I think she was even more unhappy.  Even with that, Nastia said her grandmother almost came to church on Sunday with her!  Be praying for this family.   Nastia’s mom comes to church, but Nastia and her sister live with her grandmother.  This past Sunday, Nastia’s sister was allowed to come.  We think this is mostly because Jessica started an English class after church.  That may be, but she will be hearing the Gospel from Sunday School, church and in Jessica’s English lesson. 
The second person who asked for Bible lessons was Olya.  She comes every Friday afternoon.  A man named Vasily is the third.  His lesson is Friday afternoon before Olya’s.  Both of them seem interested, but especially Vasily.  He always has questions and he has talked to me about how he feels God is working in his life. 
We have had a good group of adults and kids coming to the services, most of whom are not saved.  Please be praying that those coming to services and to Bible lessons, who are unsaved would be convicted of their need of salvation.
New Year’s Eve we had a special service.  Ruselan, the man I did Bible lessons with, and his wife Katia both came.  Their sons have been attending regularly, but they have only come once.  Katia also came to our Christmas service.  The boys, Bogdan and Nikita, were in our Christmas skit and also played in our bell choir.  She has said she would like to meet with us as she has some questions about salvation, but she has just started a new job so said she is too busy now.  Pray for the salvation of this family.  What a testimony it would be if they were saved and serving the Lord!

Family

The Lord has greatly blessed our family since we have returned.  We received our registration with minimal problems.  This means we are free to stay here in Ukraine for a year.  Our passports expire soon after so we most likely will not be given another year extension.  Another big blessing is a VAN!  After living here years without a reliable vehicle, we were greatly appreciating the little, blue car the White’s left us, but our family is quickly outgrowing it.  Also, I was having to make several trips before and after services to transport everyone.  The van has saved me many trips.  Even with the van, sometimes I have to make more than one trip.  The Lord provided the van at the perfect time!  After paying for the church building, we have been saving most of our love offerings for a van.  We greatly appreciate the many sacrifices you made! 
Shortly after we arrived in Ukraine, we found out that Jessica is expecting!  She is now over 13 weeks and the morning sickness has lightened up a lot and she is not as exhausted now.  She will be visiting the doctors soon and I know would appreciate your prayers.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

A New Van!!!


As you know, for some time now we have desired to get a van...one that would work regularly.  We have been saving and started looking around.  A neighbor, who knew we were looking, found out about the perfect van and shared the information with us.  Today, we finalized the purchase.  What a blessing and answer to our prayers!  This will make transporting people to and from services much easier as it will reduce the amount of trips I need to make.  Thank you all for your prayers for this over the years and your generous love offerings when we were stateside as much of that was used in the purchase of this van.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Prayer Letter



October 27, 2012
Church


“I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase.” 1 Corinthians 3:6  What a blessing it is to be able to be used of God!  He definitely does not need us, but chooses to let us take part in His plan.  Over the past few weeks, multiple people have come forward acknowledging their need of salvation.  We are unsure how many have prayed, but among those were Valodia (the man we did Bible lessons with and who came faithfully for years), Ruselan (the man we did Bible lessons with in the prison) and Baba Maroosa!  Slavic has grown abundantly over the past year and the others who came forward were a result of his witnessing.  One lady in particular seemed to be greatly burdened over her need of salvation and Slavic himself had the opportunity to lead her to the Lord!  Her name is Olya.  Although we had met her and given her tracts a few times, she did not start coming to church until recently.  She has been quite faithful during the time the Whites were there and appeared 
greatly convicted after every sermon as Mike White clearly presented the Gospel each week.  The others that came forward were Olya’s sister, Nastia and her daughter Naomi, Tonya, Olya’s friend, and Arteum and Sergay, friend’s of Slavic.  We are excited to get back and talk with these people.  Since the Whites were required to leave the country, the church is without a Pastor for two more weeks.  We praise the Lord that He allowed Brother Mike to stay there two weeks longer than expected!  Do remember to pray for our little church.  Especially with so many newly saved, we know that Satan will try to hinder their growth.  Even with no one there, the church is continuing to see around 20 people in attendance.
We also ask for you to pray for Slavic as Yuri has sent his nephew to persecute him, trying to get money from him, threatening to beat him and throw him in prison.  Satan does not like Slavic’s witness and we are praying for God’s protection on him during this time.  They will think that without a missionary there, Slavic will be more vulnerable, but God is still there!

 Family

We have our passports, visas and plane tickets and are ready to be home.  We fly out of Washington, D.C. November 8th at 5 pm!  We have said goodbye to our family and friends, though Jessica’s parents may be making one last trip up to see the kids before we fly out.  You all have been a blessing and encouragement to us.  Some of you knew about Daniel’s ER visit due to 3 days of fevers around 105 and we greatly appreciate the gifts you sent in for that.  We also appreciate the money sent in to replace our transmission.  I don’t know if we could begin to express our gratitude for the blessings you all showered over us during our furlough.  We came, intending to be a blessing to you and leave overwhelmed by your love.  Thank you all for your prayers and support over the years!
“Finally, brethren, pray for us, that the word of the Lord may have free course, and be glorified, even as it is with you.” 2 Thessalonians 3:1