Podil UBF Mission Report
Podil UBF’s Wall Repairing Ministry
July 1- Aug 15, 2015
“When I heard these things, I sat down and wept. For some days I mourned and fasted and prayed before the God of heaven.” Neh 1:14
Nehemiah was a cupbearer for the King of Persia. He had a cushy job but when he heard that the walls of Jerusalem were broken and the gates burned down, he sat down and wept. What could he do? He mourned and fasted and prayed before the God of heaven. Then God moved him to go to Jerusalem and rebuild the walls. After finishing the book of Acts, we decided to study Nehemiah to build a spiritual wall in our church and the nation of Ukraine.
July 1 began with John leaving to go to the USA to attend the Midwest regional conference. When I came back home after dropping John off at the airport, I found Misha, the orphan boy who left our home, waiting at my gate. He had disappeared for about a week and no one knew where he was. His mom told me that she has been hearing commercials everyday about “Teen Challenge” a Christian rehabilitation program to help Teenagers and adults from drug and alcohol addictions. There was also a program in Kyiv. I told Misha about it. He refused to join. He wanted to run away again. I explained to him he had a choice. Live as he likes, in drunkenness, sex and drugs with no commitment to God or to anyone else much like a dog. Or he could give his life to God and follow Jesus. God gave us freedom not to abuse it but for us to grow up into the adults God wants us to be. With this advice, I drove him to the train station and left him there. Three hours later, I heard him calling my name by the gate. He decided to come back. I took him to the program and committed him for six months. His mom came from America to adopt Misha’s younger brother and another boy. She was able to visit him. Misha told his mom he had been a stupid boy and that he will never run away again. They were able to attend our SWS and Misha celebrated his 20th birthday with our church. He also recited by memory Ephesians 6: 10-17 at our service to put on the full armor of God. He is studying and reading the Bible every day at the rehab center. We pray for him to finish the program. His mother is also trying to find a way to bring him to the USA. I pray for Misha to give his life to Jesus.
Not only did Misha come back to us but Nate and Kate started coming to our SWS again. We pray for their family to be strong in the faith. They plan to return to the USA at the end of this year.
Another wall that needed to be repaired was Ira. She is Natasha’s cousin who lives in Capetown, South Africa. She came to have a vacation in Spain and meet up with Natasha in Lisbon, Portugal. In the last European conference, Shepherdess Sarah from Lisbon, Portugal invited everyone to visit her city. No one took her up on it except for Natasha. She went and visited their church and even read her life testimony. They had a sweet fellowship of mutually encouraging one another. Ira didn’t attend the service. In the past Ira was very passionate about her Christian faith and even attended a Christian seminary college in South Africa. But along the way she had lost her enthusiasm for anything Christian. After their European trip, Ira went to visit her family by the Black Sea. Yulia, Sarah and I also went to spend a week by the sea with Yulia’s family and Ira. After the week, Ira came back to Kyiv with us. She attended our Daily Bread meeting and Sunday Worship Service. When she prayed, it was so sincere and heart moving. I knew that the love of God was still in her heart but it is being choked by many worldly weeds. I pray for Ira to come back to her true love and Savior, Jesus.
The job of building the walls of our church is not so burdensome because we have coworkers. At the end of June, Yulia graduated from KMA. She wanted to prolong her studies for her master’s there. But when she took the entrance exam for a graduate course her score was not high enough. By faith, we prayed and the next day she appealed to the board of examination. When they reviewed her test scores, they found out that she actually had scored higher. Yulia chose to get her master’s in Social Work with the hope of using this degree to help with the national situation in Ukraine.
Last month, Alyona, who has been translating our messages for five years, told us she can only translate every other week because of her heavy workload. Lena stepped up for the job and volunteered to help us with translation work now. She will be moving to Slovakia in September and will continue translating our messages there as well.
Sarah Peace came for three months to help us build a worship band and help with worship and Bible study. Because of her, Timur learned to play the guitar and is leading our praise music. She led our Tuesday group Bible study with the theme, of “The New Rules of Love, Sex and Dating.” It was an interesting weekly discussion group. In the beginning of August, Sarah and Natasha attended the European Summer Bible Conference called “Encounter.” There she helped with the activity center while Natasha shared her life testimony. I heard that they were a source of blessing there. We are so thankful for Sarah’s visit and pray that she may return again to Ukraine.
Natasha is also growing as a Bible teacher. Yana began Bible study with her. She is from the East of Ukraine. Yaroslava, a KMA student, also studied with her last semester for one lesson. Then at our barbecue for Sarah’s going home party, she approached Natasha and asked to resume their Bible study again in the fall semester. We pray for Natasha to be a good Bible teacher and shepherd for many young people in Kyiv.
Next week, both Yulia and Natasha will be visiting the East to help encourage one church there. This home church started with only ten people, and now after two months about 180 people come. Please pray for their safety and the delegation going. I will write about their visit in the next report.
Please pray for us to continue with our study of Nehemiah, John Peace’s safe return to Kyiv this week and Natasha and Yulia’s visit to the East. Also, we will be beginning our English club in September with the return of students. Please pray for the war to end at the East of Ukraine. May God help us build a spiritual wall in Podil UBF and in all of Ukraine!