U09 Update: July 27th in Kremenchuk

July 27, 2009

11.10p local time: early nite for all – we’re exhausted, some in good ways, others by sickness.  First, the bad news (for it will always be conquered by good news): james was feeling quite badly this morning, & tho he feels much better now, he’s still battling a sore throat. I have full-blown fever & chills; believe it’s just a cold so will take some meds & knock out. For both of us, a good nite’s sleep might just do the trick. We rely on your prayers & the miraculous will of God.  Sveta’s g’father (she & her husband hosted u08 for dinner last year) died; he was not a believer; funeral was today. Another funeral for the brother from nhc’s mother church who drowned in the river last week. One worship tm member got food poisoning, & his daughter is sick in the hospital (2yo). It’s so obvious, it’s almost stupid … But we resolve to fight a very real enemy.

It’s so clear that nhc has God’s favor here & will win souls for Christ here; satan just can’t stomach it. Ppl respond to nhc’s outreach, and nhc has found favor in eyes of govt authorities & lawmakers. So duh, the enemy will scratch back; but we & nhc have God’s armor. Pls help us to put it on & keep it on, empowering us w/ your petitions on all our behalf.

And now the good news: God is good. Today, we met up w/”the power man,” aka “the strong man,” aka “the muscle man” (his real name is alyosha) and the Christian drama team from dnepripetrovsk. Alyosha demonstrates physical strength by bending enormous steel bars, breaking steel chains, forming huge nails into crosses. He tells how satan will break us in 2 to weaken us (breaks a bar in 1/2) but Jesus puts all the parts of us together to make us strong in Him (bends 2 thick nails tog to make a cross). He’s w/YWAM and is quite a lovely bro in Christ.  Very effective too, esp when talking afterwd w/ young ppl.

The drama team is lovely: a bunch of young ppl (ages 16 to about 30) who perform Gospel-cent’d skits (long, short, mimed, spoken) all over UA.  Such a joy to talk w/them & see the power of Jesus work thru them.

We drove around kr’chuk today to look for prime places to set up & outreach. 1st stop: TB hospital right outside the city. Bob gave very effective & blessed testimony, talking about the healing of the blind man from physi & spiritual blindness.  Then in evening after delish dinner, went to main park (by dnipro river) and performed there. After ea stop & performance, we spread out to talk w/ppl.

It’s amazing: they just get on a bus & drive around looking for ppl to reach w/ the Gospel. There’s no “logistics,” no plan, except to tell ppl that God loves kr’chuk & God loves them. The vision & mobilization of this church … It’s both extremely humbling & extremely inspiring.

Today @ lunch: my translator & I talked re: small grps. She said that ppl @ nhc can’t live w/o their small grps. Hers hasn’t met in 10 days & they r missing ea other so much. I was … What’s the word? So happy for them, so longing for that myself. Nhc moves as 1 big blob. They pray tog, they need ea other, they turn out in droves for outreach events big & small. They live for Jesus non- stop. It is beautiful.

Our team was so blessed today by this jt teamwk. Normally the idea of bringing 4 teams together who don’t know ea other is sheer insanity & a logistical nightmare. But pr sasha wanted it done to spread the Gospel in his city … And so it was done, and it went so smoothly: we have a mtg of the minds in the mind of Christ.  Our 4 grps worked well tog & get along swimmingly. It feels great to part of a puzzle like this & have the benefit of seeing the completed puzzle picture.

At the end of the day: we are so very tired. We don’t know how they do it, this nonstop ministry (& it truly is nonstop, I asked what they’ll do when we’re all gone & they looked @ me like I was a dodo: they do this all the time. If it’s not one ministry, it’s another; if it’s not one neigh’hd, it’s another. Nhc’s love for their city & the ppl in it does not fade, does not weaken, does not allow for rest when the lost need to be found.

Pls pray hard for us; it’s hump day for our trip & boy are we feeling it. Shoot, we didn’t even have late-nite delirium today (altho we did wash a watermelon in the bathtub so we could have some fruit during evening sharing & prayer).  Even as I type, my hands shake from exhaustion & fever.  Others r feeling some variation of the same, if not in their bodies, then in their souls. There’s a lot to take in; if we’re not careful & if not protected under the Lord, we could easily be overwhelmed.

Pray for our team (unity & health & protection), nhc (all its members, blessing of their love outreach), the other 2 teams, and this beloved city.

I wish I could say more … But I think I actually will sleep tonite.  We started this day with Joel’s prophecy re: the last days, repeated again by peter in Acts 2. We pray for God’s dreams & visions tonite as we sleep, both for us & for u all.

His powerful love to u,
C on behalf of u09

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