First Sunday back in Ukraine

My friend Roma called me Saturday night with the information as to which buses I needed to take in order to go to Grace Church.  When I left Sunday morning, it was lightly raining and as I approached the bus stop I saw one bus with a destination I needed.  So I hopped on the bus and we took off.

First of all, let me say he was driving VERY SLOW, which is very unusual.  Then we drove past the street I knew we needed to be turning down.  Then he turned in the opposite direction and I knew I was on the wrong bus.  So I got out at the next stop and wondered what to do.  I had less than 15 minutes to be at church and I was still a LONG way from it!

So, I saw a taxi.  I knew that even in a taxi I was going to be late, but I asked how much and it seemed very reasonable so I got in.  I arrived to my destination about 5 minutes late and waited for someone to show me the new place where the congregation was meeting.  After we arrived, they still had not started!  I saw several people that I knew and so I spoke to several of them.

A few minutes later the pastor, Vova, saw me and came over.  He spoke for a few moments and then he invited me to pray with the brothers before the service was to start.  Then, the music leader, Slavik, asked me to share my testimony in the service and there is no way to refuse.

The band is great!  They have 3 guitar players and a keyboardist.  I’m not sure where the drums were, but they have them!  The music was a mixture of Ukrainian and Russian songs.  It was great to sing in a language that I could actually speak and understand!

The pastor introduced me and said way to many kind things about me!  I was humbled by it all.  I shared a portion of what God has taken me through in the last year.  Ultimately, I closed with the last few words of promise that Jesus shared with his disciples: “I am always with you.”  Those are some great comforting words!

After the service, a young lady that I didn’t know approached me and shared her own testimony with me and it brought comfort to me that God used my words to speak to her!

The service was great and seeing so many old friends was even better!  It was a blessed day for sure, even in spite of the rain…

10 thoughts on “First Sunday back in Ukraine

  1. Glad to hear that you are back on the mission field. Sounds like you are too!! Jerry and I are doing ok. We just watched our oldest grandson (21) get married and now we are preparing to go and visit more of our grandkids. Remember little Sidney? Well, she will be 17 in about 2 weeks. She has turned into quite an amazing young lady, one that we can be proud of. I am looking forward to your ramblings……..I am sure that God will continue to bless you and your work….in God’s love……Jan

  2. Joe,

    It’s good to see the website back up and running. We’ll be checking it often so we can keep up with your work. We have your prayer card in the den to remind us to pray for your work.

    Mark and Terri

  3. Brad, Not much has changed in almost 2 years since I last visited Kyiv. Seems like the economy is rebounding somewhat, even though the exchange rate has inched up this week.

    Phyllis, it is great to be back and I am excited that Grace church is moving forward!

    Mark and Terri, thank you for your prayers! It is good to have up and running again!

  4. Joe, we are glad you have arrived and are getting back in the “swing of things”. We enjoy hearing from you.
    Sammie and Mary

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