Sunday, August 25, 2019

Where We Are & Where We Are Going

We have been blessed by so many in the States and in Ukraine to help the work of the Lord here in Kremenchuk move forward! God be praised! We want to take a quick look at where we have come from to where we are. Then we will look at where we will go with the Lord’s help and those that work with us and support us in this work.

Phase 1: Establish and plant a new church of Christ in Kremenchuk. This has been clearly and successfully begun! Over the last few weeks, even with summer vacations, we have averaged 14. This last Sunday we had 15, the week before 17 – and this is with several out of town. Our contribution has been growing and steady as well. This shows a growth and maturity of the local congregation.

We have been to two Bible Camps this summer with great results and blessings. We have had 5 baptisms in the month of August. Other Bible studies are ongoing with other people as well. A final note is that we have had an online fund raiser to help Inna, the Christian mother of 5 teenager Orphans raise the money she needs to fix her roof. We raised over $1,200.00 in under 3 days for needs for the home.

Phase 2: Find and hire a native Ukrainian preacher to work with us. Artur Litvinenko joined us in the work on June 3rd. Over the last 2 ½ months we are becoming more aware of what a jewel of a Brother in Christ we have! He handles ½ of the preaching and Bible Classes we teach along with working with the youth.

Phase 3: the establishment of a church building to also be used as an English Bible School. We have found a building that we think will fit our needs very well! This is more than what we have budgeted but we do believe that God will provide through the generous support from our Christian family of the Church in the USA. I’ll put the budget plans shortly in an email to everyone on my email list, but not here in the blog. If you want more information about these financial plans and budgets, please let me know.

There are 3 very successful English Bible Schools being run in Ukraine right now by 3 different churches of Christ. In September, myself and 2 others are going to visit 2 of these schools to see what they are doing so we can incorporate their successes into what we want to do here in Kremenchuk.

Friday, August 9, 2019

What Do You Do When You Meet an Atheist?

I’m getting to know a young man through English classes. We started talking about people having different values and I found out he was an atheist. I’m not really surprised because a lot of younger people in Ukraine have come to this same conclusion because of so many reasons. Reasons like evil and pain in the world. Reasons like so many different and confusing religions including so many different Christian types of churches.

So what do you do? I’m definitely not sure of all the answers and I haven’t gotten very far as of yet. I started by getting him to talking about his feelings and values and why he believed what he believed. I didn’t really try to answer all of his objections and reasons for being a atheist. That would have only started an argument. I don’t want to argue, I want to understand so I can find a way to show him the way to Christ. I listened to him and really tried to understand him.

One thing that I did tell him that I think got him to thinking. I told him that a lot of people see atheism as a religion! That really took him back a bit! Then I told him that the early Christians were persecuted by the Greeks and Romans because they had many Gods and Christians had only one God. They said that Christians were atheists because they believed in only one God! Hopefully this will be a place that we can go from here.

When atheists become Christians, they are usually very strong Christians because of the transformation that takes place in their lives. Please pray for my new friend (name omitted for understandable reasons). Please pray for me as I strive to show him the way to Jesus!