Tuesday, March 27, 2012

New Beginnings: Back to L'viv

Many things have changed in my life over the last few months.  After eight wonderful months in the states visiting old friends and making new ones, I was brought on as a GBGM standard support missionary and sent back to L'viv Ukraine.  It has been my dream since I was 12 years old to work as a GBGM missionary and it is a great joy to be serving in that role.

It was a joy to spend two months itinerating and raising money for The Advance.  We raise money for the entire missionary community.  My way has been paid for by the last generation of missionaries and I raise funds for the next generation.  Thomas Kemper, the leader of our United Methodist mission board, continues to be a huge advocate for young adults in missionary service.  The money raised for The Advance continues the tradition of empowering young adults in mission service.  This is a great time to be a part of GBGM.

Everything is going well with the University student ministry, Molod' do Isusa.  The students are out in full force as spring begins to bud.  Everything is beautiful and the students are taking full advantage of this warmer weather.  We will be moving into the new Student Center soon, as we have simply outgrown the current space we occupy.  It has been a big campaign to raise the necessary funds and there is still a need as we look to renovate the new, larger space.

I always enjoy nice emails and communicating with supporting churches and individuals back in the states.

Thank you, Michael Airgood. 

St. John's UMC

First steps toward a youth ministry: Lviv's first United Methodist church, St. John's, has experienced many important milestones.  Beginning with seven committed young adults; it has become a community filled with people of different ages and backgrounds.

Valodiya Prokip (serving communion, on the left) has been brought on to begin a youth ministry.  We have many teenagers who come to the student center for English activities, for the University student worship services, or just to spend time with friends.  Our hope is that St. John's will be able to harness some of their energy and begin ministering to the specific needs teenagers in Lviv have.  Valodiya and his wife, Ira, are a wonderful Christian couple - and St. John's is lucky to have them worshipping and working with us.  If you would be interested in pledging a monthly amount toward his salary - please email me for details.      

Happy 2nd Birthday!

St. John's UMC: One of the big milestones this church has reached is its second birthday.  Many new church plants don't survive to see this milestone.  Many people came out to celebrate this happy event and we all shared two cakes together.  This community has come together to send out a young couple to begin a new community in a smaller town, has started a giggle-filled children's ministry, and is beginning to reach out into the community to serve its needs.  St. John's is so blessed to have a wide range of backgrounds represented.  There are students and professors, rich and poor, and children and older folk.  It is truly a blessing to be a part of this community.

Please be in prayer for Valodiya and Gregory - two young men who are beginning seminary and explore God's call on their lives.

Also, pray for our community as we continue to grow and reach out into our community and into the rest of Ukraine.

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