Friday, 27 April 2012


Is it not in your going with us, so that we are distinct, I and your people, from every other people on the face of the earth?”-Exodus 33:16 

Singing "My Redeemer Lives" in Russian in Calodisnaye
Moses after pleading for God's wrath to be calmed and his presence to come upon the people of Israel asks/states this powerful question. He knew that the presence of God that made the Israelites distinct amongst all people. This passage was the focus for my sermon this last Sunday at a church in Calodisnaye, which is a town in the area of Crimea. For there are people around the world that are doing great things for people in need and they are doing it all without showing the love of Christ, so how are my good deeds different than theirs? The Israelites asks to be like the other nations, they created a golden calf while Moses was on Mount Sinai to lead them out to the promise land, and they asked later in 1 Samuel 8:5 for a king to rule over them. They were wanting not to be different but to mold into living in a lifestyle like everyone else...but followers of Christ are called to be DISTINGUISHED! The presence of God in our lives has called us to be the lights in the world that are not hidden but standing out,  "In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven."-Matthew 5:16. Not only am I called to be a light but also I am called to be the salt of the earth. Salt as we all know is a very bold taste that adds flavor to many different things. Let us be distinct, let us fulfill what it says in 2 Corinthians 2 when it calls us to be the fragrance of God and the aroma of Christ. Let me carry the presence of God with me everywhere! Lets not live empty lives apart from the presence of our living all powerful God, I need him to make me DISTINCT.

Teaching Guitar at Orphanage 3
This has definitely been on my heart recently as I have been here in Ukraine. Our team is different than the people here in physical, social and cultural features but we still are all human beings. I needed to read and have that confirmation that if I follow God diligently, His presence will flow in and through me in everything that I do. No matter if I can speak the language or not, because if I carry the aroma of Christ, no words need to explain it. If these past weeks we have been doing a lot of work in the orphanages in Zaporozhye and also in Volnyansk. We had the great privilege of being asked to make an Easter presentation for both of these orphanages. In Volnyansnk we sang songs that Jesus has been risen from the dead and that he lives in our hearts, we played games, gave out candy and had a huge easter egg hunt over the whole property. The relationships that we have been building at the orphanage are very encouraging and our team is told that they are so excited for us to come every Saturday.

Another great ministry that our team has been doing is what we call Games Night. Every Thursday night at 7:00 we have people come over to our apartment and we hang out together. We have snacks and dessert and of course we play a variety of board and card games together. A lot of students that we teach from School 40 have been coming for the past few weeks and they say that they absolutely love it! Apart from playing games, we also have a short 5-10 minute testimony given by one of our team members and we talk about what God has been teaching us in the past week. This ministry builds friendships with the students and evidently leads to us inviting them to talk about God and to come to the New Hope Church on Sundays. Some names to pray for are Kristina, Karina, Ann, Marina.

Please Pray for a girl named Alona. We have been praying for the healing of her tailbone which has given her trouble for the last 2 years and she has already been feeling much better since we have started praying so pray that the LORD will bring healing and through it her father Olek will come to know Christ. Also for a guy named Vasiliy, I have been meeting with him every week and I have been inviting him to church, pray that he will see that God can be the orchestrator of his life. God is moving amongst the students that we are teaching at School 40 and pray that we may see a harvest of believers spring up from these kids. God is good and together let us continue to pray against spiritual darkness amongst these students and also the orphans in Ukraine that the light of Christ may shine through all things and that they may come to know Christ!
Many Blessings and thank you so much for your support!

Friday, 13 April 2012

Spreading Easter's TRUE Meaning

"If the church does not go out and make disciples, the culture sure will"

If we do not go out into this world and spread the gospel and tell others about Christ, the ways of our world will grab them and mold them into its warped and twisted views. As we are told in the Great Commission, in Matthew 28 from the mouth of the Son of God...make disciples & preach the GOSPEL to all nations

Playing Easter games and eating a traditional meal with my students
Our team had such an opportunity to go out and spread the good news of Christ and Easter (celebrated this coming Sunday in Ukraine) at the school in which we teach English. Our theme for the lesson was Easter traditions and what we believe. After hearing so much about the culture in Ukraine and the way that they live out this season, legalism binds the people to the church, not a relationship with the God who defeated death and not by faith. So to put it in the simplest terms, we each gave a full GOSPEL presentation in each one of our classes. In my classes, I went through the main points of the truth of Easter with a picture to explain each main point and a few verses from the Bible. I started with saying that I know that I am a sinner and I am not perfect, and because of His love, God sent Jesus to come and live in the flesh and He lived a perfect life.

Jesus paid a debt He didn't owe because we had a debt we couldn't pay

I explained the word "debt" and told them that I deserved death for my sins, but Christ through his life, death and resurrection has saved me from this payment. Another picture I showed was stating the verse
John 11:25-26 Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, 26 and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die.” Something that I stated with great importance was the fact that this is a belief of FAITH, we are saved not by good works of through baptism but through confessing our sins and declaring our love and allegiance to Jesus Christ.

The students and the teachers we very curious at what I had to say and the response was so great. We brought invitations for the Easter service being held at The New Hope Center this Sunday and all of the papers were taken! I am praying that God will bring some of the students and hopefully some of the teachers to come and see the truth and the faith that they can have in Jesus. One of the teachers spoke to me and said that she can see such passion inside of me and that I have been given the gift of teaching and of being a pastor. I was at lost for words, this was not a believer speaking to me but just a bystander to the powerful message of the love of God and she noticed and could see the Lord working through me...All the glory to God!

Earlier in the week I was blessed to speak in church in a village two hours out of Zaporozhye on Palm Sunday (Willow Sunday in Ukraine). It was such a loving congregation of about 20 adults and about another 15 kids that were so excited that a group from North America would come and share with them.

We also went to a town called Tokmak to visit the local orphanage. We put on a presentation of games/songs and a message about Jesus. The kids were so active and very welcoming to our team and they were excited to be able to play soccer with us and listen to our songs.

Please pray for a harvest amongst the non-believers coming to our Easter service this Sunday that we may see people come to know Jesus and that they will have faith in the living God! Evil will try to attack and deceive both our team and the non-believers into a lack of faith and pray with the authority that we have in Christ that this will not be so and that they will be bound and forced to the feet of Jesus for judgment. I am asking also personally that you will pray for me that I may have a peace of mind and that all my focus will be directed to Ukraine and not focusing on the things I will confront when I come home. 
 God is good, He is faithful and His love is beyond anything we could ever imagine...JESUS let us see the lost come back into your loving arms! Thank you for your prayers, many blessings from Ukraine.
-Mitch (aka Meesha) 

Friday, 6 April 2012

Seeking and Building Relationships

Last Sunday, our team had the great opportunity to go to a village called Nikolipolia and help run their local church service. David, Megan and Katie-Sue shared a little bit of what God is doing in their life, we sang two songs and I had the privilege to preach. The congregation consisted of fifteen 40-80 year old men and women and we had so much fun. We stayed for tea and pieces of bread lathered in mayo with a little piece of sausage on top. The LORD put on my heart to talk about his great power and how he is living and dwelling inside of us, and because of all of this we should not limit His power in the church and in our daily lives. We should all dream big for the church, for a harvest of new believers and unity among the Bride of Christ (all-Christians). I also am speaking this Sunday at another church that we are visiting, and Easter is one week later in Ukraine this year than in Canada, so I will be speaking about Palm Sunday.
 Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion!
        Shout aloud, O daughter of Jerusalem!
    Behold, your king is coming to you;
        righteous and having salvation is he,
    humble and mounted on a donkey,
        on a colt, the foal of a donkey.(Zechariah 9:9 ESV)

 Well David and I finally got to see the gem of Zaporozhye this last Monday, Hortitsa Island. A lady from the English Club that we help at invited us and how could we decline? We did not know who all was coming or what we were going to do but we just went for it and it turned out to be amazing! It ended up being our English Club friend Ann and her two daughters, her friend named Lienna, a man named Dima, another missionary John Charlier, David and myself. We were told in the morning that we did not need to pack a lunch because Ann was going to bring chicken....we did not know how she was planning on bringing chicken but it is Ukraine, so we just rolled with it. We ended up touring around part of the beautiful island and having a picnic along the Dnieper River. Out of Ann's little mickey mouse backpack came a pot filled with fresh chicken wings that she cooked that morning, a homemade thermos with tea and a pan with an apple cake, it was a delicious picnic meal.
The bridge to Hotitsa Island

The most exciting part of this day was just the fellowship and conversation that we had together. They are not believers in Christ but I was able to have a very good conversation with Dima. We talked about a very large range of topics, starting with me trying to explain the fact that legalistic/political churches are just buildings and not a strong community of believers of Jesus and we went all the way to the question of why Christians disagree with having sex before marriage. He says that he believes in God but he hates "religion" and he wants freedom, so I did explain the true freedom that I have through the LORD and it was a great conversation. We exchanged phone numbers and tonight he came to the English Club and we talked more and plan to meet this week and talk more. Please pray that God will reveal to him the freedom that he can have through Jesus and that he will come to know Christ.

I was also able to have a great conversation with another youth named Vasiliy. He speaks very good English but would like to get even better, and he enjoys talking with me and says that he would like to be my friend and show me around the city. He is not religious and says that he does not need a God in his daily life. I am just building a relationship with him and I am sharing the gospel when I feel that the Holy Spirit is leading me. I enjoy talking with Vasiliy and it is great to learn more about the city through him. Please pray that he will see that God is a living and loving God that desires a relationship with him and that he will enter into relationship with Christ.

Praise God these past few weeks for his financial provision. We have found out that roughly $40,000 dollars has been given to The New Hope Center and now they can begin working on some of their bigger building projects! Also please pray for the healing of a girl named Alona, an unusual pain in her tailbone is not allowing her to sit and this has been going on for quite a while now and we believe that God wants to heal her of this and He is the only God that can bring healing to her body. I have really been sensing the presence of spiritual warfare and darkness in the last few days so prayer that God's light will shine through and that we may see a harvest of believers come to know the love of JESUS CHRIST in this Easter Season.