August 2001 (Part II) Kyiv Prayerletter
August 2001 Kyiv Prayerletter (Part II)
One of the odd things about writing newsletters is that often the very things I wish I could tell you I cannot. Certainly there is much that can be reported in newspaper fashion (which is what I often do) but the un-sayable is truthfully what the ministry and my life here in Ukraine is about. In ministry, there must be a solid trust and confidence among those involved. And it would be a betrayal of that trust to publicly report those private conversations, those confessions, those moments of growth. And thus, unfortunately, I am forced to tell you what happens on the surface all the while wanting to tell you about what really goes on--how hearts are growing and being melded by the presence of the Divine Fire, how temptation is struggled with, how sin sometimes wins, how often good overcomes, how difficult kingdom choices are made. So pardon once again my news report. But please know—like in all ministry--that behind the "news," there is the un-sayable.
After Cherkassy Conference, life slowed down a little for me. Much of August has been committed to seeing the renovation project brought to completion. We hope that most of the work will be finished by early September 2001 and that we will be ready to use the facility by the first weekend of October. There is still much work to do. Regular updates are posted atwww.uecenter.org.
22 August 2001 we celebrated the baptism of Slavik, a young man who lives near the church building and has been a part of the assembly for about a year. He first became involved through a children's outreach led last summer by Nivki church members and a group from Texas. Slavik was baptized on his fourteenth birthday.
Another exciting development in the life of the church is the writing of the first song by members of the church. Tanya Lokot and Igor Ouglev wrote together a beautiful song about God's love for the fallen world and the song was given to the church the third Sunday in August. Last Christmas, I asked the church to give me for Christmas a song and though this is a little late, we receive it with great joy and look forward to many others. Initially, most of the songs that have been used in churches were translations of English songs. Now, we are beginning to have more songs written by Ukrainians, and I am thankful that there are sensitive and creative hearts in Nivki church who will help build the church's hymnody. We have also formed a group who will revise and edit out current song book.
The weeks leading up to September 1 (the Day of Knowledge in Ukraine and normally the first day of study in schools and universities) are generally characterized by planning for the fall semester. Tonight I have been pounding away at the keyboard writing my syllabus for the University Study Skills class I will teach with more than 100 students. I'll also be teaching one course at Wisconsin International University. I have spent several hours with Katie Boyer discussing plans for the Let's Start Talking follow-up (Monday and Tuesday nights--we hope to involve at least 30 from LST and several church members). We've been planning for our Student Outreach on Saturdays and are expecting 30-40 non-Christian students every week. I've been thinking of how to best continue training old small group leaders and new group leaders. A group of about 10 new leaders is forming, and it's exciting trying to figure out the best way to equip them for ministry. Our small groups continue, and they are preparing to reach out and multiply by the end of the year. And Sunday night, walking away from the church member, Sergey, one of our small group leaders, discussed with me the need to beginning planning for a second church service since it appears our meeting hall will probably be full by the end of the year. Pray for us that God will "enlargen the harvest of righteousness" (2 Cor. 9:10) among us.
Let me conclude by thanking all of you who partner with me through financial support and prayer. I also am very grateful for the continued support of the Acklen Avenue Church of Christ. I am excited about beginning a new school year knowing that God has placed such an outstanding team of support behind this ministry.
in the Lamb,
By Chris Lovingood | EUROPE | Ukraine | Let's Start Talking