Podil UBF Report
Feb. 1-April 15, 2016
“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.” Matthew 5:9
In the past few weeks we have been studying one beatitude each Sunday. Last week was about the peacemakers. The idea of peace dominates the Bible. But there’s no peace in the world. We don’t have it politically, economically, socially, not in Ukraine, not in Syria or other countries. We don’t even have peace in our homes. How many peace treaties have been broken? The answer: All of them. Peace is that glorious brief moment in history when everybody stops to reload their guns. Desperately does this world need peacemakers and more so here in Ukraine where war is still ravaging the land in the East. Peace became a reality as Jesus died on the cross and became our peace. His title is the Prince of Peace. May God’s peace through our Lord Jesus come to the hearts of many Ukrainians so that they can have peace and become real peacemakers. Amen.
I. Review of February to April.
In the New Year we decided to meet for English club and group Bible study every week and movie night every other Friday. We also decided to do Fitness after Sunday Worship Service. Even though there were only a few of us who serves in our ministry we decided to double our meetings with students. Those who came developed relationships with us and with each other. Through building these friendships the students began to study the Bible one to one like Vika, Ilya, Vitaly, and Katya. Those students who were already studying the Bible began to take responsibilities in serving the ministry and helping us. Yana who studies with Natasha became our message translator and interpreter. She took over Lena’s church responsibilities when Lena went to Bratislava, Slovakia. In Bratislava, Lena had a very difficult and demanding job. But when she joined Bratislava UBF and started Bible Study with Misn. Esther, she told us she finally found peace in this foreign land. Anna began to invite her friends to English club. She and Vika help with preparing the Bible House for SWS and for English club. Anton who met Jesus through Kyiv UBF and now lives with us, remarried in the end of February. Anton and his wife, Yana, will be moving to Poland in the end of April. We pray for God's leading for their family there.
In the beginning of February, John went to Bucharest, Romania for a school tournament. He attended the UBF chapter there and met with Msn. John and Monica Jung and their church members. Instead of English club they are doing Korean club and runs a Korean school. Monica, though she is Romanian, speaks fluent Korean. Students come to join their club and eat delicious Korean food. This club is building relationships and from it students begin to study the Bible. In this visit John Peace was greatly comforted when he met with Ambassador Joseph Kim, who was formerly the Korean Ambassador of Ukraine and now the Korean Ambassador of Romania. He said that the political situation in Ukraine will change after one generation. We shouldn’t expect immediate change. Just a few days ago the Ukrainian prime minister resigned and the Ukrainian President was named in the Panama papers, which politicians, criminals and the rogue industry hides their cash. It is a great shame and pain for the people. We need godly and God fearing leaders in this nation. Only the gospel can make this transformation.
In March, Pastor Ron Ward and Dr. Mark Yang came to Kyiv and gave a Bible seminar on Inductive Bible study. They along with Misn. Peter Kim visited our Bible center and prayed for our chapter. We were encouraged by their visit and prayers. Some of our new Bible students even attended the seminar and were inspired by it. We learned how to let the Bible lead us to God’s truth. After the seminar many asked when they will come back again.
In April, Natasha and I attended London UBF Easter conference. The theme was Feet and Fruits. It was an intriguing title. We usually do not associate feet with fruits. We studied Jesus’ upper room dialogue John 13,14,15, in which we learned about Jesus’ love shown in washing his disciples’ feet. This conference was very reflective and restful. It was held in an English country estate, like the one in the movie of Pride and Prejudice. There were only 4 messages and one life testimony by Natasha. The rest of the time we had deep fellowship by studying the Bible together about 40 of us, personally writing daily bread and testimony and then sharing them in small groups of 3-5. We also played together outside and indoor group games, as well as eating and taking walks together. Ian Kaier and Paul Ridge led the example of feet washing and then we also washed each other’s feet. Jacob Canlas and his family hosted us. We experienced Filipino and Christian hospitality from them. I learned that relationship building and fellowship is what Jesus did and wants us to have with each other.
II. Prayer topics
Recently we receive the news that UBF Relief Committee will be giving us $5,000 for relief work in Ukraine. We will be putting this money in Missionary centers in the frontline in the East of Ukraine to serve children of war and to bring them to know Jesus. This centers are located in Mariupol area, which has been bombed by Russian forces and is on alert for further attacks.
Not only does God wants us to help people in the East but He also moved us to pray for three Loshas. First Losha is a 20 years old KMA student (the university we are pioneering) who has 3 tumors growing in his liver. One American teacher who works with John and occasionally join our service, heard our prayer for him and decided to donate $2,000 for his operation. They raised $10,000 but are still in need of another $3,000. Second Losha is also 20 years old and also the only child of his parents have Cushing disease which is deteriorating. He had surgery in this past December but was unsuccessful and is in need of a second. Now he is losing his sight, developed diabetes and has unstable blood pressure. Third Losha, is about 25 years old with severe knee injury that has not healed for over a year. He also needs another surgery. Our church gave a contribution for them. We ask for prayer support for their healing.
Please pray for
1. Matthew Sunday Messages and Ecclesiastes Group Bible study.
2. Stable politics with godly leaders and Peace in Ukraine. For protection of Ukrainian volunteers who made decisions to serve in the Missionary centers in Mariupol which is located in the frontline in war.
3. Easter conference April 30th-May 2nd with Kyiv UBF.
4. Podil delegates to attend World Mission Report and conference in Korea, June 5-8.
5. Podil Bible retreat in June 17-20 in the Carpathian mountains and in August 20-24 in the Black Sea.
6. We need an English speaking short-term missionary to come from June 12-Aug 25 to help with Bible retreats and to lead the ministry while John and Maria will be in the US in the month of July.
7. Thank God for healing Maria of her diabetes with diet through doing lent with our Bible students.
8. Pray for the 3 Loshas to raise sufficient funds to do their surgeries and for the surgeries to be successful so that they can have complete healing.
9. Three more house churches to be establish in this year.
10. John to finish his Masters in Theology by the end of May 2016.