Saturday, June 15, 2019

Summer Has Come on June 1st

Summer arrives early in this part of the world – they don’t go by the solstice but from June 1 to the end of August is summer!

On Monday, June 3rd, Artur Litvinenko arrived to begin his work with us! He stayed with me until Friday as he hunted for an apartment. He found a nice apartment on the 9th floor in a building across the river, about 15 minutes or so from where I live. It will give him another opportunity to reach out to people in another part of the city.

We have ordered extra Bibles and evangelistic materials from EEM for outreach to the city. Artur did this kind of street evangelism often in his work in L’viv before coming here. Artur preached his first full time Sunday here and will preach the next 2 Sundays as I finish up our Bible Class on “God’s plan to save us.” Then we will switch off every 2 weeks between preaching and teaching. We’ve had 16 in attendance the last 2 Sundays.

We began mid-week Bible Class with singing, study and prayer time at 5:30 on Wednesdays. We had 11 our first night out! I was very pleased!

Other activities have been going on for me. On June 1st, I went to the village where our Orphan family live and spent the afternoon and evening with Olya (a Christian sister and her family), Sasha (my translator Brother) and of course the family. It was very nice! One of the things I love about Ukraine, if people can, many times the meal is planned outside and is ALWAYS very good! This was a combination of 2 birthdays and 2 graduations. Another activity just happened yesterday and was the result of another birthday celebration. My next-door neighbors invited me to a village dacha (a 2nd home in the country) to celebrate. We arrived about 2pm and were there until about 9pm. It was very relaxing, great company and a little swimming as their place (actually a fairly rich uncle’s place that they are caretakers for) is next to the Dnieper River.

We will be taking 15 people to an all Ukraine Bible Camp called Amerikraine designed to strengthen Christians.  This will be July 1-5. We all are excited about going! I’ll tell you all about it when we get back!

In Christian love, Doug

Saturday, June 1, 2019

Who Held the Ropes?

by Steve Higginbotham
May 31, 2019
Who was the U.S. President that was shot on March 31, 1981? Surely, most people reading this would be able to correctly respond, "Ronald Reagan." But what if I were to ask for the name of the Washington D.C. police officer who stepped in front of President Reagan and took a bullet that was intended for the President?  Could you tell me his name?  I'm guessing that most people would not be able to recall his name.

This is just one example of countless individuals who have made notable differences in the world, but who have all but been forgotten by history. The Bible records one such example in Acts 9:23-25. The Jews in Damascus were so angry with Paul, they plotted to kill him (Acts 9:23). The Jews had all the exits to the city watched, day and night, to catch Paul. But learning of the plot, some nameless brethren let Paul down through the city wall in a large basket (Acts 9:25). Had these nameless brethren not been willing to hold the ropes for Paul, his ministry may have been snuffed out before it even started.

Then there's your story. You may never be in the limelight. Your name may never become a household name, but you can make an eternal difference in the lives of countless people. You may not be the next "apostle Paul," but you can hold the rope, can't you? May I encourage you to stop focusing on what you can't do and your limitations, and look around you and "grab a rope!"