Friday, April 26, 2019

What Do You Do with Disappointment?

Many times, and sometimes with me, disappointment leads to discouragement and discouragement leads to quitting. Are we going to face disappointment in life? Of course! Everyone does! At one point in John 6 Jesus had a large crowd of disciples following Him and they all left except for the 12 and Jesus asked them if they would go too. Peter answered, “Where shall we go? You have the Words of Eternal Life.” What about the Garden and Jesus said, “Let this cup pass from me! But not my will but Yours be done!”

 It’s always good to report successes. I like to tell successes and I’m guessing you like to hear them. We’ve had some successes. 2 Sundays ago, we had 14 in attendance but last Sunday we had 5 – a lot of people gone for various reasons. Our Bible Club’s attendance has been disappointing for me. We’ve now gone through 2 weeks of “starting” our Bible Clubs with very small or no attendance. I’m not exactly sure why but I tend to spend time thinking about it. Even in these situations I have to decide how to respond or react. We’ve had some positives even with this – we’ve had some new people to come! We’ve had 1 good beginners Bible Club after Sunday worship where we had 7 in attendance!

What do I choose? First and foremost, I’ve been praying about all of this and the work here. Please continue to join me in prayer! I don’t have the answers, but God does! I’m striving to look at new ways to meet people and reach out to them. I refuse to go down the negative road!

We’ve had one young preacher come and spend the weekend with us and he did a nice job. Pray for Ivan. This weekend Artur L. and his fiancĂ© Mariana from L’viv comes in today and leave Sunday night. Pray for Artur L. Next weekend we have Artur M. come in from Dnipro. Please pray for Artur M and our decision making about a Ukrainian Preacher to work with us here.

There is a LOT to be encouraged about! Satan will NOT win for “If God for us, who is against us!?” Romans 8:31.

Friday, April 19, 2019

Whit Sasser of Appleton, WI posted this. It spoke strongly to me and I wanted to share it with you.

The Lord has given every man his work. It is his business to do it, and the Devil's business to hinder him, if he can. As sure as God has given you a work to do, Satan will try to hinder you. He may present other things more promising. He may allure you by worldly prospects; he may assault you with slander; torment you with false accusations; set you to work to defend your character; employ pious persons to lie about you. You may have Pilate and Herod, Annas and Caiaphas against you, and Judas standing ready to sell you for 30 pieces of silver.
But, keep about your work. Do not flinch because the lion roars; do not stop to stone the Devil's dog. Do your work. Let liars lie, let the Devil do his worst; but see to it that nothing hinders you from fulfilling the work God has given you.
He has not sent you to make money. He has not commanded you to get rich. He has never bidden you to defend your character. He has not set you to work to contradict falsehood which Satan and his servants start to peddle. If you do these things, you will do nothing else; you will be at work for yourself, and not for the Lord.
Keep about your work. Let your aim be steady as a star. Let the world brawl and bubble. You may be assaulted, wronged, insulted, slandered, wounded and neglected; you may be abused by foes, forsaken by friends and despised and rejected of men. But see to it with steadfast determination, with unfaltering zeal, that you pursue the great purpose of your life and object of your being, until at last you can say, "I have finished the work you gave me to do."   
Author Unknown

Friday, April 5, 2019

One Month Today!

 Yes, I’ve been in Kremenchuk one month today! Sometimes it feels like I never left and other times I realize that this first month has flown by!! Rather than try to tell you lots of events, I thought I would share a day – Wednesday to be exact. My days differ a lot, but this last Wednesday was rather busy!

 A Day in My Life

I started with the normal stuff of cleaning up and eating – can’t leave those out. I’m getting ready to go with Sasha R., he’s my translator and fellow worker here, to reach out to at least 3-4 schools and ask if I can be involved with their English programs and also invite pupils (anyone in school of 1-11 grades is a pupil) to come to my Bible Clubs starting April 13 at my apartment.

After breakfast, I’m printing 12 full page advertisement/invitations to the Bible Clubs. I met Sasha and we went just across the street to School #19 (there are about 35 schools in Kremenchuk). The director (directors have a lot of authority in their individual schools) was not available, so we made an appointment to talk to him on Thursday. We walked about a mile to school #11 (this is the school that I had worked with the most when I was in Kremenchuk before). We were able to meet with the director and she remembered me from when I was here in 2008. She was the new director then at School #11 who had told me that we couldn’t teach Bible in the school anymore. She was very polite to me and asked me if I was angry at her. I told her of course not. She was very kind and encouraging! On the way to see her as we walked through the school, I met Tonya, who had been a 9th grade pupil when I first came to Kremenchuk in the summer of 2000. We had kept in touch on Facebook, but I didn’t know she was now teaching at the school! It was a joy and a surprise to both of us. After talking to the director, I met Natalie an old friend and English teacher at the school. She was a 2nd year teacher when I started there in 2002 and I went to her wedding. What a joyous surprise! Such a joy to renew old acquaintances. 

Then we got on a bus (Marshutka – like a large van bus) and went to the north central part of town to school #27. I had met a few pupils from this school at an English school and I had promised them I would come to their school. The director here was very nice and friendly! She, along with the director of school #11 said that there was nothing they could do about letting me teach at all in their schools unless I got the permission from the Minister of Education in the city.

By now it’s about 10:30am and we are a “short walk” by Sasha’s standards – a long one by me to McDonalds. Sasha was hungry since he hadn’t eaten breakfast, so I took him there and fed him. I had a McFlury! Sasha helped buy time for my phone (another story for another time). We parted ways. He went home and I got on another Marshutka and went to Yulya and Sasha’s house (yes another Sasha!) We had a great home cooked meal and a very nice first Bible Study with Sasha. He’s a very smart man and is also very open.

While at their home, I got a call from Serge and he asked me to teach 2 of his classes in the evening. I agreed. I got home about 2:45pm, took a short nap and then left at 5 to go to Serge’s office and classroom to teach. I had 7 11and 12-year old boys and girls, including a set of twin girls for the first hour which was a lot of fun! I don’t think they had ever met an American before! Then I had an adult class of 8 mature adults wanting to learn English. It was a lot of fun and the class lasted for 1 hour and 20 minutes. It was all a blast but by now, around 8pm, I’m hungry and tired. I stopped and ate at a restaurant close by and got home about 9pm. Sleep was very welcome! 

P.S. Sasha R. and I went to the Ministry of Education this morning and he gave us his blessing to do what we had planned to do if the directors of the schools agreed!! Wow, what a great blessing!