Well it's Tuesday so we must be in Kiev.
The last few days have been a bit of a blur.
I'll start with Sunday.
We drove out to a city of about 40,000 people on the
shores of the lake. We were there to attend church and to give Anya a Ukrainian missionary who works with children a laptop computer that we had brought for her. God showed up big time during the service. I had prepared a sermon on tuesday night just in case I was asked to speak. I chose the passage out of Acts that describes Paul's dream about going to Macedonia. I was going to focus on how God had closed the doors for us to go to XXXXXX, and our call had been to Central Asia. During the praise time led by the pastor's wife we are all very moved. We didn't understand a word, but we felt God's presence and we praised the Lord with all of our hearts. At the end of the singing one of our team members gave a word of prophecy, She said that God had called us to the mountains and the valleys and that we were to go and He would give us the words to say. she said this in english. Ed stood up and translated and then added that he believed that this was a word for the church that were not only to reach out in there city but to reach out into the surronding area into the mountains and the valleys of the region around the lake. Then Ed introduced the team and said that he was sure that I had a message from God for the church.
(This was the first time that he said anything to me about preaching so he
might have meant that he hoped that I had a message). I preached the sermon that I had prepared but emphasized that we had been called and came now they were being called and they needed to go. When I finished the pastor stood up and said that they had been talking as a church for some time about starting a church in a village up in the mountains, and now god was telling them it was time.
He then asked for testimonies and a man stood up and said that he was from a village 200 km away and that God had sent him to this village to learn about him and that in the service this morning he really believed that God was calling him to go back and witness to the people in his village. We were just completely blown away how God had orchastrated everything that morning.
Later at lunch the pastor explained to us that they had been ready for sometime to go out to that village but they didn't have anyone to send. After the testimonies of that morning they now possibly had a worker in that man to send. PTL!!!
We came home down through the beautiful mountains and part of our team who was with our driver Kostia had a real adventure ask them about the bus, it's a bus, it's a bus, it's a big bus.
We arrived back at the mission and said goodbye to everyone, lots of hugs,
tears and exchanging of email addresses. We got up at 2:00am because we had to leave by 3:00am to be at the airport for 4:00am. we flew out at 6:00 and arrived in Moscow 4 hours later. Then we had to wait for 5 hours in the Moscow airport. We staked out a table in one of the cafe's had breakfast eggs and bacon 3.00 us dollars one coffe latte 6.00 us dollars. We slept, we played cribbage, we read and some of us (Kate) shopped, at 3:00 pm we flew out for Kiev all in all our Moscow experiences have been very good compared to other teams experiences in teh past.
We arrived in Kiev and everyone voted for a pizza dinner. We had good old
fashioned north american pizza there was no mutton, dill or excessive oil in sight. It was amazing. After dinner we got settled into the apartments
where we are staying until thursday and then six of us who still had some energy left ( we had all been up now for twenty hours) went with Ed to a
leaders meeting at the church Sunday Adeleja pastors in Kiev. There were about 1500-2000 cell group leaders there. We were told that this is about
half of all of the cell group leaders. We stayed for about an hour while
they prayed and then left the meeting would go on for about three hours.
This is a very dedicated congregation. They are doing great things for God
in Kiev. Then we came home and collapsed into bed. today we are going to
try and get slept up, however I'm awake and writing this now at 9:00 am.
Then we are going to go out and see a children's camp that Ed is involved
with outside of Kiev. Wednesday is a sightseeing day, and shopping day, and we fly home Thursday.
The end is near, we can all hardly wait to see our families again. God has done some amazing things on this trip and while we all will look the same physically when we come home. None of us are the same on the inside.
Blessings from Kiev