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Four guys


1. Yuri

It’s always nice when you hear that someone you know has made a decision for Christ… but especially when you know that they’ve been on the verge of doing so for some time.  Three years ago, we took a group of students away, (about 20 if I remember correctly), for a week end.  It was sponsored largely by a couple from Sydney who had received a retirement package and wanted some of it to go towards evangelism to youth.  (Thank you, G&A.)  During the weekend, I noticed two of the young men seemed to be more receptive to the message than the others.  As we shared about the cross and its significance, all of the guys listened intently, but it was Yuri who hung around afterwards and asked questions.  And it was Yuri who began coming to youth and then Bible study and church on Sundays.  Six or so months back, he told us he believed that Jesus was God but he wasn’t ready to be baptized or to entrust his life to God.  Last night, we celebrated the Lord’s Supper and he took part.  Afterwards, Shane was talking with him and he shared that he was “ready”.  Praise the Lord!  He is at work in the hearts of men.  (Yuri is the one crouching in the middle of the photo.)  Pray that he would seek the rule of God’s kingdom in his life.




photo2. Oleg

Another pleasant surprise has been Oleg.  Oleg is a pleasant young man who has blossomed in his faith this last few months.  I’m willing to bet that he’s put his faith in Jesus, but know that he hasn’t publicly announced it yet.  He also was someone we took away for a night camping about a year ago.  He’s one of those “beautiful people” who seem to be continually making our world a more pleasant place in which to live simply through their demeanor.  “Nice guy” aptly describes him.  Pray for God’s blessing on this special young man.


photo3. Roma (to the right) is another guy who has seen some interesting changes in his life during the past year.  I recall about 10 years ago talking with him on the river-bank following a 6-day camp.  I asked him if he thought of himself as a Christian and we had an interesting conversation.  He came to church for a couple of months, but never repented of his sin, and never put his faith in Christ; and at the end of the summer moved back to Kiev.  Fast forward 10 years and now he has expressed that he needs Jesus in his life.  He’s been coming down to Rzhyshchiv from Kiev each week-end and spends time in Kiev with Vitya, (the guy stabbed by his brother last year), who also works near Kiev.  He’s a chef and has the responsibilities for cooking the meat at the church bbq tomorrow.  Please pray for Roma’s faith.  He has a bright mind and has started listening to sermons online.  Pray that God would develop his knowledge and wisdom.


IMG_05764. Kolya

The fourth young guy I’d like you to pray for is Kolya.  Kolya has been away from the Lord for some time now….  He was trying to live two lives while being enrolled with YWAM in Kiev and it all came unraveled for him a couple of days before the big overseas mission trip YWAM does with their students.  He was released by the college and called to repentance but chose to go another way.  His dad died this last week and while we haven’t stopped praying for him, we prayed more knowing that quite often, God uses painful times in our lives to call us to repentance.







IMG_4539Last Friday, I had students sitting on the knees of students who were sitting on the knees of students in the back of the van.  I had to laugh.  Three deep!  Each week at 7:00, I pick them up to come to Friday nights.  At times over the past year, we’ve had just 8 or so.  Lately though, we’ve been getting over 30 some nights.  I took a photo through the side door of the van while most of the kids were still waiting outside.  They love it if I give a little swerve and half of them fall into the other half!  Much laughter!

Natasha gave us some army food last week – dried borsch.  Just add water and bring to a boil… and you’re good to go.  We might be saving it for a special occasion…  I’m not sure. 


And I’ll close with a photo of my four girls.  Elle is well.  She just came in from beautiful weather playing with some neighbour kids.  Pris is fine.  She’s jogging again which she’s decided helps her back muscles.  Angel is dragging a sick spell out.  We’re wondering if she has glandular fever… and if she doesn’t recover this week, we’ll take her to the docs.  Marie is fine and has been cooking up a storm for Easter.  Celebrating Christ’s resurrection is a big event in Ukraine.  I love it. 

We went away for two nights earlier this week to a house about 2 hours south of Rzhyshchiv.  God blessed us on the classical post-winter-road down and back.  I must say that it was nice to be in this quiet spot by ourselves and relax.  We found one of the old wooden boats that can still be found on the banks of rivers in Ukraine.  The tar that was used to seal the cracks clung to the hull and the old nails could be seen sticking out of the wood.  The girls decided that my instruction to sit down would probably be rescinded once I took a closer look.  It was.