Monday, 28 May 2012

Hidden Treasures

    "My son, if you receive my words
        and treasure up my commandments with you,
    making your ear attentive to wisdom
        and inclining your heart to understanding;
    yes, if you call out for insight
        and raise your voice for understanding,
    if you seek it like silver
        and search for it as for hidden treasures,
    then you will understand the fear of the LORD
        and find the knowledge of God." Proverbs 2:1-5

Search for wisdom as if it is as valuable as hidden treasure, it has great worth! This has been the focus of the last week here in Zaporozhye. I do not want the knowledge or wisdom of the flesh to consume me but I want the Holy Spirit to fill me and spill out of me. For what God speaks is of more value than any silver or gold that we can find here on earth. His mind is so great and so wise that he thought of the design of the universe, the earth and all that is in it. He thought out precisely how I shall be made, how my heart will beat, how my blood will flow, how many hairs are on my head...his knowledge is greater than any earthly wisdom. This has especially relevant to me as I preach. I never want to speak out of the knowledge that has been tainted by the evil in this world, the earthly wisdom that promotes impurity, pride and self-reliance. I desire for the words that flow out of me to be prompted upon by the Spirit of the LORD.

But how could I ever be able to obtain this wisdom from above... I must receive the words of God and treasure them, incline my ear to His whispers of knowledge, cry out to the LORD for his insight and SEEK it! I have been convicted of not having spent enough time with the Christ in silence and solitude, I had been asking and calling out for the wisdom of God but I have not been earnestly searching for it as if it diamonds, gold or silver. So that has been something that I have changed and will need to continually work on in my walk with Jesus. I have not been devoting time in the evening for God just to speak to me, I have been trying to tune my ear to His still but ever so present words. I feel comfort and a security more than I ever have before in my God. He has been telling me to just continue to pray...that when I feel that the puzzle of pieces of life just don't seem to be fitting together, he spoke and said "Relax, remember who made the pieces".

These last few weeks have gone by so quickly, and now we only have 5 days left. Five days to be confident that we left the mark of Christ on all of the land that we walked on and all the people that we met. The devil has been persistently attempting to place doubts in the mind of myself and my team in these last days. In the name of Christ these doubts have not right to be believed, be gone Satan and be bound by the blood of Jesus. I am a servant of the LORD, I have been called by the Almighty God to be here in Ukraine for the last 3 months, and our ministry is not and was not in vain. The truth in the Bible and the wisdom of God is able to give me this assurance.

Orphanage 3 Final Bell Ceremony
In these last weeks we have attending the graduating ceremonies for the two orphanages that we have been heavily involved with and landscaping a lot at one of the local dental clinics. David and I were also blessed to be apart of a Bible study held by one of the friends that we have met through our Friday night English Clubs. We have been meeting with people and inviting them to go for coffee and talk about the love that Christ has for them. Our friend Kristina is still very hungry for the power of God to fulfill her life. We have given her a new testament copy of the Bible in Russian and she has been reading through the Gospel of Mark and we are meeting with her a few more times this week. Please pray that the blinders that Satan has placed upon her will be broken off and anything that she is holding on too from the past will be destroyed and she will have no doubt in the love that Christ has for her and that she is a beloved daughter of God.

Please Pray for our final barbeque this coming Thursday. It is our final goodbye and chance to really share the gospel with all the people that we have met, there are going to be lots of people attending, pray that the presence of God will be evident and that people accept His love and relationship! For the healing of Alona's tailbone. We have been trusting and praying that she will be healed before we leave. For the New Hope Church, they have a baptism classes this week and pray that the people that have accepted Christ in the last year will attend these classes. For the Christians that have been attending the church for a long time but have not yet accepted Christ, they are continually in the community but have not made a decision to enter into relationship with Jesus. For our team, please pray for peace and trust as we are leaving our new friends and family in Christ, that we will REJOICE in all things no matter what happens that we will stay focused on our remaining ministry.

Monday, 21 May 2012

We are ENFORCERS, not captives

Reaching an entire it possible? Do you think that through the power of the LORD we would be able to tell a whole population that Jesus Christ loves them and desires to have a personal relationship with them? What is holding us back...Money? God, in whom we trust, he is the one who holds all the finances of the world in His hands. Rejection? It states in Galations 1:10 that we are not here on earth to please man, but that we are here to please God. He calls us and we read in the Great Commission that we are to reach OUR city and then go to the ends of the earth and proclaim His glory. Trials? In James 1:12 it says "Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him.". What is holding me back, what is holding the church of Christ back?

Preaching at New Hope Church
Throughout the last couple weeks I have read through "That None Should Perish"-Ed Silvoso and that is when I really started to think of the best ways to reach people for the sake of Christ. God has been teaching me more and more about advancing His kingdom at all costs. When I left Canada, I came here willing to adapt to the culture and try to think in the mindset of a local, and I desire to do the exact same thing when I get home. At all costs, being fully adaptive to my surroundings, I want to spread the love and grace of Christ to all people. I preached this Sunday at The New Hope Church in Zaporozhye about the body of Christ uniting together and becoming ENFORCERS OF TRUTH. That we may no longer be slaves to the deceiver and captives to lies but to be free as officers of God to claim back that which is rightfully His! Zaporozhye is His, Abbotsford is His, the world is HIS, we need to serve the evil one his eviction notice in the church and in our daily lives.

Playing at orphanage in Volnyansk
Although we only have two more weeks serving here in Ukraine, I am trusting that God will still use us greatly for His name. We are at a stage in ministry that we have built strong relationships and have told many of our english students the gospel. We had a girl come to our house this past week and we did a devotional through John 3 with her and sang worship songs and she is hungry for a Savior right now. Her name in Kristina, so please join me in praying for her that we will see her coming to know Christ before we leave on June 2nd.

Please pray for our friend Alona as well for the healing of her tailbone by June 2nd, so that she may sit on it again with no pain. Also please pray for our team, it is very close to the time that we will be leaving and all of us are not looking forward to saying goodbye to the friends that we have made here. Pray that our hearts will be at peace for leaving and also the re-entry into Canada that we will place God as the provider of our lives. Like I said previously, we have had a great impact on many teenagers lives since we have come and we have a goodbye BBQ which is our last time to tell them about God and why we exactly came to Ukraine. The New Hope Church will be there and we are praying that we can connect these young people to the church and see them have a personal relationship with Jesus. Thank you for all of your prayers!

Sunday, 13 May 2012

A New Heartbeat

Our hearts beat at least 100,000 times everyday. It works around the clock to pump blood throughout our entire bodies and without it we are unable to support our mortal bodies. What is God's heartbeat, what gives life to the King of Kings? Answer: THE LOST. The thing that God lavishes His love over is the lost and seeing them come to know Him. This is not saying that He does not care for those who have faith in Him, but the main focus is on those who do not yet know Him. I have been focused and praying to obtain this desire to see the lost saved. The people that surround us day after day are not just mortal bodies that are going to live for 80 years but they each represent an eternal life...everyday I need to remind myself of this, an ETERNAL LIFE! I want the heart like that of the shepherd that left the ninety-nine to seek the one lost sheep. I have been learning and reading about praying for those who do not yet believe in Christ and through this I have been getting excited to advance the Kingdom of our Living God! I no longer want to just list off a number of people who need to know Jesus and pray the same words for each person. I want to pray for specific ways for the Lord to minister to them and show them how they can find peace in His name. "And whatever you ask in prayer, you will receive, if you have faith.”-Matthew 21:22. It is all about FAITH! God desires for me to put all that I am into His power and His name and lift up prayers for the lost with a healthy expectation that he is going to reveal Himself to the people that I am asking deliverance for. I want God to use the trek team and me specifically to see fruit amongst the people here in Zaporozhye. I desire for each of the beats of my heart to be driving me to see the spiritually blind set free and find rest in Christ's love.

Playing English Games at School 40
Our weeks here in Ukraine have been jammed packed and filled with many different things. Our team had our last day of teaching English at School 40 this week and it was sad to say goodbye to our awesome students. This day was also extremely uplifting from the response of our time there from the teachers. They were so thankful that we came every Thursday and they wished deeply that we could have spent more time with them and their classes. They went around and spoke words of encouragement to each one of us on the TREK team. I was confirmed by a teacher named Lienna that I have been given the gift of teaching and I show a passion in all things I did. She also wished me much luck for my going into church ministry and she said that all the teachers and students were amazed when God blessed the opportunity for the team and I to share the gospel with the students around the Easter season. All of her words touched my heart and I felt so encouraged to hear this non-Christian lady speak with such kindness and sincerity for me and the ministry within the Church that I am pursuing.

Our games night continues to be an amazing way for us to outreach to those who we teach at School 40, those we meet at English Club and throughout our other ministries. We invite those who want to come to play games, eat some dessert food and snacks and then one of the trek team members shares what God has been teaching them that week. It is an easy, fun and productive way to share the love of Christ with those who do not yet know Him. Please pray for a girl named Kristina, she has asked for us to buy her a Bible and she is coming to church next weekend. Pray that she may see again the love the Christ has for her, that He will never leave or forsake her. Also pray for our friend Yefim. I met him at our English Club on Friday nights and he has come to the orphanage in Volnyansk to translate and wants to come again. He strongly dislikes the politics that many of the churches in Zaporozhye facilitate so please join us in praying that he will see the freedom and relationship that is offered to him through Jesus.

With some friends from Feodosia
Our team was also encouraged by joining and worshiping together with a church in Feodosia. We spend the weekend with the congregation and had a picnic and church together and we were very blessed by them and their love for the LORD.

Some other prayer requests would be for our friend Alona. I have prayed with her a few times and we are praying for her tailbone to be healed. She has been unable to sit comfortably due to the pain for over two years and ever since we have started praying, she has been feeling better and better. I am asking to God that He will heal her so that she may sit down with no pain by the time that our team leaves for Canada on June 2nd. Also pray for me this week as I am preaching at two services at The New Hope Church, that God and His Spirit will choose the topic and reveal it to me that I may bring all the glory to Him. Thank you so much for your support and your much loved and needed prayers. I can definitely feel the prayers from home and it is so encouraging to remember that the God that you and I are praying to, across the world, is constant and does not change. HALLELUJAH!