Sunday I traveled about 1 1/2 hours from Donetsk to a village named Krasnaya Polyana. There is a small church in the village where a group of about 40-50 believers gather to worship.
The bus driver didn’t have a GPS device and so we had to stop often to ask if we were heading in the right direction (since there weren’t any signs) and so we actually arrived about 10 minutes late. Due to this, we didn’t have time to speak to the pastor and I didn’t have a chance to meet him properly.
The pastor, Alexander, speaks with lots of fervor from his heart. It was a joy to hear him preach. And after the service and having the opportunity to speak with him I admire him and his family.
Since the fall of the Soviet Union, thousands of Christian believers have emigrated to the US, Canada, Europe and other places. Alexander and his family moved to Spokane a number of years ago and lived there around 10 years. A few years ago, his family began having a burden to return to Ukraine to share the gospel.
So, they returned to Ukraine with all of his children in their late teens. They didn’t return to the city where they had lived before, but moved to a village with around 4,000 people in it. A village. I can only imagine the difficulty they must have had!
I grew up in a village in east Texas (of course, we call them small towns) and have lived in a city ever since graduating high school. I could not even imagine living in such a small place now. I am definitely a “city boy.”
Alexander kept calling his children heroes for the sacrifices they have made, but I think they are all to be admired for their desire to follow Christ and to do His will. And their passion for this village shows. They will baptize 7 people next Sunday. For a village that is a lot!
Hearing their story caused me to reflect upon my own call. That call is as evident today as it was in May 1992 when I first felt God tugging at my heart to go to Ukraine.
God’s desire is for each of His children to be obedient to the call He has placed on our lives. What is He asking you to do?