U09 Team on July 29

July 29, 2009

1.15a local time: we can’t believe we leave town tomm.

We were tired today & got off to somewhat of a slow start … But by lunch, we had reunited w/the other 3 teams & all was right in the world again. 🙂

the basic gist of the day: lunch; outreach @ a main street corner in an outlying neighborhood of the city; dinner; outreach back @ the main “central park” of the city.

At the street corner outreach, we performed our skit, the drama team did their skit, and another sasha (having recently recovered from food poisoning) sang some worship songs. It seemed to quite effective, esp to the gaggle of young kids who had gathered; it’s summer break for schools here too, so during the day there are lots of kids outside playing. They are so eager to talk to us, so eager to play, ask questions, answer our questions, etc. They have no walls, just spongy curiosity. One 8yo boy I talked with said he wouldn’t mind reading thru the new testament I gave him, even if it had no pictures (we ran out of those). If the stories were really as interesting as I said they were, then he would give it a try. Then, we talked about his pet hamsters & pet rabbit.  They are so sweet, and interacting w/them reminds me again that Jesus loved & loves the little ones, esp bc of how they come to Him.  And He has no boundaries; nothing stops Him from calling to His side the 8yo, just as He would call a 38yo.  We’ve seen that among us too … Pray we remember to never stop praying for & w/our children, & teaching them the Gospel of Christ.

We got back to our restaurant early (u07 will recall the diner-ish place we ate at tog all the time: YUMMO!!!), so we sat inside singing praise songs — nay, outright WORSHIPING — until the waitresses were done setting the tables.  Can u even imagine that: walking into el dorado diner & busting out a guitar & harmonica, and worshiping for 30mins while your food was being prepared?  It was such a blessed time, singing familiar & beloved worship tog in our respective languages, as well as learning new russian praise songs. One in partic caught our ears & hearts, so we’ll try to convey it to you. There’s no english translation as of yet; y’all will just have to learn some russian along w/us.

“Food poisoning sasha” led us during this amazing time … It’s all on tape so u can hear his gorgeous voice & see his contagious love & enthusiasm for praising the Lord anywhere, anytime, anyhow.

It started to rain during dinner; we were dismayed to think our evening plans might be ruined. Not that we would’ve minded just hanging out @ church, singing & fellowshiping, but we all had really caught the bug for outreach. We WANTED to go, perform, sing, talk … We WANTED (& still want) to walk up to random strangers & know their lives, speak Christ’s love into them.  (Again, we learned how open ppl can be if one simply stops to take the time to ASK.)

The rain went away, a beautiful full rainbow appeared & arced over church, where we had gone to decide whether to load up & go or not. We took that as a sign: God said go, so we went.

The nighttime outreach was more of the same, and ppl were quite moved by all the performances & songs. It’s wonderful how God brought us together: each team reached & touched a diff audience, had a diff hook, gave a diff perspective. In these ways, folks in the audience responded to song, or drama, or flashy show, or poignant testimony … We’re so thankful to have been 1 of God’s channels in the beautiful TV programming of His Gospel (huh, the analogy is kinda eh, but I’m keeping it anyway).

As the night came to a breezy & gorgeous close on the banks of the Dnieper River, we looked up in the sky: the clouds had drifted in such a way that there was a kind of square opening in the middle; moonlite streamed thru this opening & truly, it looked like God had opened the door over kr’chuk & was dropping His Spirit onto this city. I don’t exaggerate the absolute & stunning beauty of what we saw in the night sky. I wish u had been here to see it. The 1st thing that popped out of my mouth upon seeing it: “I knew it, Jesus is coming to kr’chuk.” We pray He be here already & claiming those God sent Him to get. Not one lost …

We said goodbye to the drama team from dn’trovsk. What amazing young ppl… & what a blessing for US to have spent time w/them, to have gotten to know them, to have rec’d so much blessing from them … As well as inspiration. Watch out, nhf: u just might have the formation of a drama ministry team coming your way. Uh-huh, u read that right …

Alyosha (the power guy / muscle man) & his power partner Alek came to the hotel w/us to hang out. Alyosha has a wonderful testimony (as well as a sweet proposal story re: his wife) … They are wonderful men of God to know. They work w/YWAM, and u can check out alyosha’s “routine” on the Team Extreme website (look for something that says they are based in kansas city)…

This morning, we began the spiritual & emotional transition back to ny. Dear friends, it’s going to be so hard … Pls pray for us & indeed, yourselves as u receive us back. There is so much we rec’d by way of blessing, love, teaching, admonition, encour’mt … We want to treasure them, as well as share them.  This morn, we did devotional from 1 peter … We — all of us, ukrainian & american — are a holy priesthood, set apart, etc. Knowing that we have this link across nation & language barriers makes it easier to leave, bc we know that we’re just ferrying back mutual blessings & love in Christ. & next year, it’ll be ferried back this way … This is our comfort & our promise in Christ, from Christ.

Pls pray for us still: we have 1.5 days left in UA, so still need to be of 1 mind, 1 heart as a team … We leave our beloved ukrainian new hopers tomm & are so sad; pls pray the Lord’s comfort over all of us… We must transition back and process EVERYthing; pls pray for protection in this process, a continuing receiving of His joy & the loving obedience to be the blessing @ home that we’ve rec’d here.

U09 is healthy; those who were sick @ nhc r well on their way to recovery. Those from nhc whom we won’t see tomm send you deep love, prayers for your lives hidden in Christ, and petitions for blessings to fall upon our church straight from the hand of the Father. I imagine there’ll be more of that coming your way tomorrow as we officially say our goodbyes.

Keep in prayer will we land … We look fwd to happy reunion w/u!

God’s powerful love to u,
C on behalf of u09

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