Podil UBF News

by WMD   12-05-2014   0 reads

Podil Report for November (December 3, 2014)

“I have not stopped giving thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers.” (Ephesians 1:15)

On the last Saturday of November we celebrated Thanksgiving and the next day Paul Bateman gave a message on Ephesians 1:15-23. Paul, who is a Canadian, is a seasoned teacher at the international school where John teaches. Every week, when school is in session, John and Paul along with another teacher pray every Thursday. He often visits our church and gives a message. His thanksgiving message was heart-moving. He mentioned that the Thanksgiving holiday is really an American holiday. In his experience teaching abroad, he noticed that if there is one American there is always a thanksgiving celebration. It is a time to give thanks to God. It is a time to share and have an abundant and amazing meal. Ephesians 1:15-23 was his prayer for our chapter. Though our chapter is small, we are so thankful for coworkers who pray, support and visit us.

In the middle of November, Ravi Zecharias a famous American/Canadian speaker of apologetics came to Ukraine. He told us that we are not alone and that millions of people all over America, Canada and the world are praying for us. He said that we will have the “VICTORY.” He was invited to come to Ukraine two months ago but because he had been traveling the world for 200 days in this year alone he only had one week available. He always took the American Thanksgiving week off to rest and be with his family. When he received the letter, he gave it to his wife to read. After reading the letter she responded, “How can we think of a vacation when a whole country is fighting for her existence.” She told him to go. He had 5 speaking engagements in Kyiv and I attended 3 of them with some of our church members. I am forever grateful that I did. Here is a link of his speech on “God and violence.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A0wVy_e95WM

This semester we have been focusing on KMA students through our English club. Several of them have been consistently coming and we are forming friendship and relationships.

For example Polina and Yulia (KMA students of marketing and law), came the night before our thanksgiving celebration to help make the (apple, walnut and pumpkin) pies as well as peel two pots of yellow potatoes. They helped Natasha and Grace and I prepared the meal. At the same time we were able to talk and have fellowship. Nate made his Alabama dressing (stuffing) and Kate made delicious homemade banana nut bread. This couple also invited 6 young people for the dinner. Natasha brought two of her co-workers from work. Yulia invited one of her classmates. We had 26 guests who came and all brought juices and fruits, some cupcakes and cookies. Before eating John gave a Thanksgiving presentation based on Colossians 1:12-13 and 1 Thessalonians 5:18 about giving thanks to God in all circumstances.  The food was abundant and delicious. Several people thanked us saying it was the first time they had thanksgiving dinner or have eaten a turkey.

After the meal each person shared their thanksgiving topic. Some were moved to tears. Giving thanks to God really helps us come out of our self-absorbed problems and look up to God. When we have a thankful heart, we can see what we have and thank God for it. Exactly one year ago the Ukrainian revolution began. Since then Ukraine has had a difficult year. So many people have died and are suffering tremendously in Donetsk and Lugansk region in the Eastern side of Ukraine. One student thanked God that as a result of the revolution we have a new president and a new parliament. Yana, thanked God that her parents are alive because they live in Lugansk region. Lena’s mom, Maria thanked God that she was able to escape Kramators’k (Donetsk region) with her life. It was very meaningful to hear all the thanksgiving topics. Grace commented that their thanksgiving topics were very deep. We are so thankful for Grace who got accepted to Yonsei University in South Korea. It was her dream university. It was a long shot for her to get it because of the heavy competition. Grace experienced God’s amazing grace. There are so many things to be thankful for. John and I are very thankful to God who led us to Ukraine especially at this crucial time in her history. 

After the dinner 9 of us went to play our traditional American flag football game in the snow. Sunday morning, John and I visited the homeless tent and met with Misha. He lost both of his legs from frostbite when he was homeless three years ago. There were about 4 people living there. We gave them the leftover thanksgiving meal. We also gave some to two more families. One family has 4 children and the grandmother just escaped from Donetsk city. She had been living in the basement of her apartment complex because of the bombing and shooting. When I saw her, the first thing she said to me was, “I’m alive!” We have prayed for her to come out but she could not get out earlier. To see her face was to see God’s amazing answer to prayer. May God help us and end this war soon and restore some sense of stability in this nation. May God make Ukraine a nation who claims Jesus as their Lord and Savior.

Please pray for our upcoming Christmas Worship Service on December 20. We will be focusing on Christmas passages for Sunday Worship Services until then. We are also praying to find proper key verses for each person. On December 22 to January 9, John and I, will be visiting Chicago and attending the Well conference in Michigan. We also plan to visit John’s parents in Florida, because his mother is suffering from an advanced form of dementia.

Nate Knapp will be our messenger on December 28 and Nataliia Khmelovska will be the messenger on January 4th. John will be a guest speaker at Westloop UBF on January 4th. May God give His Holy Spirit and His word to them.

Thank you for all your prayers for us.

In Christ,

Maria Peace