Last Saturday, I traveled to Krasnoarmiisk and Dimitrov. These sister cities lie about 60 km west/ northwest of Donetsk. Several coal mines are located in or nearby these cities and so many of the people who live there either work at the mines or in related businesses.
I had been asked by the pastor to visit an English Club they host in Krasnoarmiisk each Saturday. There were about 12 people in attendance and we had a great time visiting in English and Russian. I tried to speak in English and Russian so that everyone would understand. They had at least one person who was visiting for the first time (she heard that an American was going to be there!) and so she knew little English.
After the club dismissed, we enjoyed a dinner of Vireniki (potato and mushroom). Then we drove over to Dimitrov where they have a home group meeting on Saturday nights. There are almost 20 people at the meeting, but the thing that impressed me the most was that the men outnumbered the women almost 3 to 1. This is rarely the fact in most churches/ home groups.
I had a great time sharing about why I live in Ukraine and it afforded me the opportunity to know more about what God is doing in the area where I live. The young pastor and the two young missionaries helping him receive little pay.
Additionally, they will soon open a rehab center nearby. It seems that many churches are seeing the need for these centers and are being proactive in organizing and staffing centers. Their success rate seems to be fairly high.
So, I learned much more than I could have shared with those I met on Saturday. I drove back to Donetsk late that evening and all the way home I sang songs of praise for the people in these two cities who are making an IMPACT for the kingdom.