Go about your life focused only on your to-do list and consumed by the constant press of urgent problems and you’re unlikely to take notice of all God is doing!
But don’t think for a second that your overload of activity has rendered God inactive. Sometimes it is the velocity of our lives that blinds us to the work of God.
This past month we had time to do exactly that; slow down! And we saw that God is at work in our lives and all around us.
I want to share with you just a few highlights from the last few weeks with my parents here in Ukraine.
Time with Family
I’m thankful that my parents are godly examples for me and for my children, but they are so much more than that. They continue to actively engage in the life of their children and grandchildren despite the fact that they live half-way around the world.
We spent a day with my sister and her family in Kyiv and then we took my parents to Lviv. For 3 days we did nothing but simply walking around the city and spending time with family.
Now that may not seem like “ministry proper” but it is vital!
I don’t care where your family lives, raising children in the love and fear of the Lord is not easy.
Add a few thousand miles, another language, another culture and the pressures of ministry and family life becomes much more difficult.
Our kids are pretty awesome but they’re not superheroes and neither are their parents!
Caring for my family spiritually and physically is a top priority for long-term ministry survival.
Yes, we have our struggles as a family but we also see God working in the lives of our children.
Please pray for our family
- Pray for wisdom and patience as parents.
- Pray for Christina as she finishes out the year of homeschooling 5 children.
- Pray God would give each of our children a strong faith.
- Pray for Naomi as she starts to think about college.
On the Front Lines of the War Zone
From Lviv, my dad and I headed due East to towards the war-zone while the rest of the family traveled down to Odessa.
For more than a year now we have been partnering with Light of the Gospel Churches in Eastern Ukraine. This small group has 9 churches in the war-zone and 9 just outside the war-zone.
Our goal was to train local church leaders how to more effectively minister to people who have experienced the violence and brutality of war.
About 60 church leaders, including a group that spent 7 hours crossing the front lines to come, gathered for two days of training.
On Sunday we also took part an evangelistic outreach on one of the Ukrainian army’s forward operating bases.
We sang and shared the Gospel through testimonies. My dad told the story of my brother-in-law Gabe who was KIA in Iraq 10 years. He used his testimony of faith and hope to share with these soldiers how they too can have hope in Jesus.
I even met one soldier who was in Iraq at the same time my brother-in-law was. He was touched by the story.
Please pray for Eastern Ukraine
- Pray for these soldiers on the front lines for their safety and for their salvation.
- Pray for the church leaders we ministered to as they continue to serve in a difficult place.
- Pray especially for those who are still in occupied territory and are much more limited in their freedoms.
Outreach to Disabled Refugees
My parents finished off their time with us here in Odessa. On Sunday visited our sister church, Tabernacle. From there we headed to our outreach for disabled refugees.
Since the weather was good we decided to meet outside. This was a good choice making us visible and heard throughout the territory.
As my father preached about proofs of the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead people listened intently. The music drew some in for a closer look and the Gospel drew others closer to God while yet another small group sat a distance away in the grass, not wanting to get too close yet.
This ministry continues to draw in new people who have never heard the Gospel. A man came towards the end who said he felt strangely like something was pulling him our direction, we talked about the gospel and he said he wanted to pray and repent, which he did, I also prayed for him that God would give him real faith in the real Jesus!
We are now seeing regular fruit from this ministry, people who are coming to us on their own asking us about how they can put their faith in Christ!
Pray for our refugees!
- Pray for continued heart change and true repentance.
- Pray for faithfulness and growth of those who have already believed.
- Pray for our team who ministers there a few times each week.
- Pray for our Easter service coming up this Sunday.
What About You?
So how is God working in and around your life? Have you taken time to notice his work?
I’d love to hear from you, so send me a note or leave a comment on this blog post.