Often people ask me what a typical day is like… well, there really isn’t a “typical” day. Every day tends to bring something new or ‘unexpected’.
Last Wednesday, I traveled to a village with my former pastor, Valodia Omelchuk. Vova has started several new churches in Ukraine in the last 10 years that have grown quickly. Recently, his church has started 2 other churches in the area where his church is located and they hope to start another church in another part of Kyiv in the near future.
It was the first time I had the opportunity to visit with him for an expended time and I thoroughly enjoyed it. We caught up on his family. He and his wife just recently had their third birth child and adopted a girl since I last saw him almost 2 years ago. So, now they have 2 sons and 2 daughters.
We talked about his purpose in going to the village. The church started a drug rehab center a couple of years ago and it has (unfortunately) outgrown its present building and they recently agreed to purchase a second house in the village. I say unfortunately due to the extreme abuse of drugs in the country that such a facility is needed. However, praise God that the church is responding.
We arrived at the house and spoke with all the guys there. We decided to load up the van and visit the other house. After looking it over, Vova decided to explore the village some and we found a creek or river that runs through the village. We stopped and had some great time just talking and relaxing there. After praying, we decided to head back to the original house as it was getting time for them to have their prayer and Bible study time.
Voval sets aside every Wednesday for driving to this village which is about 75 km (46 miles) from Kyiv. He spends the afternoon with the men at the center, praying with them, teaching, breaking bread…
This afternoon, Vova spoke on potential. He began by speaking from James. He shared from a leadership book that he had read (I can’t remember which one…) that “successful people spend 80% of their energy on their strengths and only 20% on their weaknesses. I found this interesting and understood the concept.
He continued to talk about character and how it is important for one to not trust their emotions. Vova can relate to these men and knows how to speak their language to help them understand. He shared with them that they needed to find their strengths and work on them! They needed to develop discipline in their lives! Build their house upon the Rock! (Matt 7)
I could tell that Vova is well read. He shared from leadership books and then shared the story about Fannie Crosby being blind from birth and some of things she went through, but most importantly, she didn’t dwell on her “weakness” (blindness) but worked on the gift God gave her: her ability to write meaningful songs and poems (she wrote more than 8,000!!).
As I sat there, I watched these men writing down every word Vova said. They were thinking, analyzing and taking in every word. I watched in amazement. I have known Vova for 7 years and truly appreciate him in many ways.
After the two hour Bible study, we had dinner around the table. A simple meal of one piece of bread with some sliced summer sausage and a bowl of macaroni. The men sat around the table reflecting and asking more questions. I felt honored to be there.
After dinner, we got back in the van and traveled back to Kyiv. Not many words were spoken as Vova took a nap and so I sat in my seat thinking about life in Ukraine and the task before us. With men like Vova, the future of the church is truly bright. Not a bad day in the life…