Ukraine Update #7
Today was our last day of the conference. The attendance was a little lower today due to the fact that a wedding was taking place in one of the churches and many of the brothers needed to be available to attend. Still, the day was full of warmth, hard work and helpful reflections on our conference. The men finished up their small group studies on 2 Timothy 3 and 4 and then we took pictures, lots of pictures. With the help of Yuliya, JD took pictures of the men both individually and as a group. We also took this opportunity to give the each of the men a gift of two books, “50 Reasons Jesus Came to Die” by John Piper and “The Cross and Christian Ministry” by Don Carson, and a couple of pieces of Ghiradelli Chocolate squares. Then we took time to listen to some testimonies and each man took time to share how this week of instruction and workshops impacted their understanding of preaching. It was both humbling and thrilling to hear what God was doing in their hearts and the ways that they had been encouraged by our ministry.
A byproduct of our time with the men was the time that these men had spent with each other. There were many who didn’t know each other, but through this conference have determined to keep in touch and encourage one another as they develop their gifts in Word ministry. Also, there was an eagerness about doing this kind of conference again as they all felt like they were just getting started in using and applying these principles.
At present we have been invited to return to Rivne as well as to host another conference in the city of Kiev. It is humbling to think that God can use Gateway to have such an impact on the church in Ukraine. I really don’t know why God has chosen to use us to serve in His body in this way. I really don’t understand why a pastor of a young church plant can have much to say to these pastors who are so diligent themselves. Still, we want to be as faithful as we can to serve God in the ways he has equipped us.
Thank you for your prayers and partnership in the ministry.