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Archive for September, 2012

Your loaves and fishes

When I was a teen, I sometimes struggled with giving just a little part. Like, if someone’s goal was $100, I wanted to be able to give the whole $100, not just $5 or $10 or $20. Maybe it was my pride? Or impatience?Or being a loner? But as I got older, I realized the value of just being a small part of something big.

One benefit of being a small part: Shared responsibility. No one has to do it all.

Another benefit: More things will get done, because very few people have the resources to pay the whole cost of doing something.

Maybe the best benefit: Shared blessing. Being a small part of something greater than ourselves that God is doing is … well, it’s absolutely wonderful.

It’s a lot like the body of Christ—no one is unimportant, but no one is everything either. Each are blessed for doing their own little part, and God is glorified in making something greater with all the combined parts.

So, we’re praying for more small, essential parts for our ministry. I’ll tell you about some parts we already have:

• We have several churches and people in America who are faithfully supporting us financially and prayerfully.

• We have an elder pastor and rehabilitation center grad who are helping with the Center leadership.

Ruslan, a Center graduate

• We have Ukrainians who’ve donated a little here a little there to do much of the new building construction.

• Ukrainians have donated a washer, clothing, a stove, dishes, household items, bedding, goats, rabbits, and chicks, etc. to outfit the Center (Center “Salvation”)

transporting the goats

• Our church in Kiev takes offerings every Sunday which pays for the operating costs of Center “Salvation” (food, medical care, glasses, dental work, travel, etc.)

• I have a small, paying English-teaching job that’s all going into the Center’s fund.

Some parts we need currently are gifts for the building fund and more regular monthly support. Do you want to be a part of something hugely awesome?

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Baptism, September 9, 2012

We left early in the morning to set up at the lovely park near our church where the baptism was taking place in one of the park’s small lakes. Church members starting trickling in, setting up the sound system, the decorations, benches, food.

Then we all gathered, the ones being baptised dressed in white. Vitaliy preached a sermon. 

Then we had a break for picture taking. The people getting baptised take pictures with their family and friends.

These are guys from the rehab center. Very Left–a new guy from the train station evangelism. Second from Left: Sergei–went through program and now rents an apartment in our elder pastor’s large apartment-type house andworks in Kiev. He was baptised earlier this summer. Third from Left: Ruslan–being baptised. He’s been with our center almost a year now. He finished the 6-month program and has stayed on as a leader. Third from Right: Vitaliy. Second from Right: Sasha–he’s almost done going through the program, and at this point, he’d like to stay on as a leader. He still needs to grow. Right: Vlad–Also almost done with the 6 months. He is an Armenian who grew up in a muslim country.

After photos, we had the baptism:

Bogdan

Roma

Ruslan

Zhenya

There was also a teenage girl, Olya.

After the baptism, we sing while they change into dry clothes. Then we gather around them again. They are prayed over individually.

Each one is presented with a certificate of baptism with a copy of the church covenant.

Different church members present them with gifts and flowers. The gift is a book or two. This year, each were given a Bible encyclopedia, I believe, and the older men were given another book along with that.

It’s nice having the baptism outside. Unbelievers walk through, some stop and listen for a while.

“I believe”

These letters say “I believe” in Russian.

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