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Monday, November 13, 2017

This Week on the Field

How can it keep getting better? We have had a fabulous week! During the last week, we have been involved closely with a mom and her daughter who had surgery. The mom is not a believer but has really clung to our group this week. I have been able to speak about God's love and nearness to her several times. A huge sign of movement toward the Lord is that she showed up for church last night! Her daughter was released from the hospital on Thursday. The mom fell on Friday and broke her wrist. Yet, she came last night. And what a service it was! I was shocked and so thankful to see her last night.

I'll tell you about last night's service in a moment, but another exciting(?) event this week was our first snow!
 

When we were in Lutsk at the Beyond Suffering conference, we met a man, Oleg, and his wife. During a medical procedure, a mistake was made, and he ended up paralyzed from the chest down. (We have had that story over and over here. It's terrifying.) He works in a ministry to about 30 people with various disabilities in Kyiv. We invited him to come to our service last night and give his testimony of coming to know God through the terrible tragedy. (Interestingly, he no longer considers it a tragedy because all that God has done through it.)
 

We expected him to arrive on his own with his wife, but he brought a whole group. Among them were two men we met two years ago during the Family Retreat in Zhytomyr and then Mary met them last summer at a camp in Zhytomyr. Both of them live in an "orphanage" for adults. 
 

 
Igor and Andre. Both of these men have Cerebral Palsy. Igor (on the left) is much more severe. They also gave their testimony. Igor is unable to speak in a way that people can really understand. And while he speaks, he "seizes" with every word. Andre interprets for him. He knows him so well since they have lived together for so long, that he can understand Igor. 

Their story was heartbreaking from the earthly standpoint. But miraculous from the spiritual side. Through the very difficult time Igor had when his family "threw him away" to the orphanage, he no longer wanted to even live. He didn't feel like a person. He was truly hopeless. A young lady began to visit and gave him a Bible. He really liked talking to her because he was so lonely. She finally told him she would talk to him again after he had read the New Testament she gave him. He gave his heart to Christ and began evangelizing immediately.

His story was amazing. It is truly an honor to know both of these men. Andre's story is just as powerful, although, he didn't get to share it last night. They will be coming back and he will share. I'll tell you more about him at that time.

Igor spoke very openly to the parents who were at the service. He reminded them that their children were gifts from God and to never throw them away. He encouraged them to help their children make the very most of their lives and to push them and to believe in them. He was told so much that he was stupid and could not learn that he began to believe that. He reminded he parents that if they do not love their children, then no one else will. If they don't encourage their children, then no one else will. His strongest encouragement was that the parents need to teach their children about the love of God and teach them to love God. 

There were lots of tears. It was a hard night emotionally. To see these two men who have practically nothing loving the Lord so freely and telling about Him without reserve. And they would both have reason to be shy about talking to people if anyone does. It was a rich blessing for these parents at our service. 
Our dear Oksana gives a short Bible lesson each week. It's for the kids, but the adults participate, too. In this culture, the stories you and take for granted that everyone knows are mostly new. It's exciting!
This is Oksana and her daughter. Thank you for praying! The surgery was a success and she is home and recovering. Continue to pray for the very long rehab and recovery. Also, Oksana fell and broke her wrist. It is another additional difficulty in an already difficult time. 

Thank you for your continued prayer and financial support. None of this is possible without you. We understand that and are very grateful to God and to you, our supporters. Your support matters and it makes a real difference.

  • Chris is fighting a hemiplegic migraine that has been going on for a while. The effects of that are very difficult.
  • Chris' brother is home and on medication to help break up the clots. Hopefully, this will work.
  • The ministry of the Gospel here in Ukraine. We have sowed a lot of seeds lately. We will continue to water them and, hopefully, harvest them soon.
  • An American co-laborer here is actively sharing the Gospel with her family. Pray that the seeds of the Gospel will find receptivity. 
We would LOVE to hear from you!
You can reply to this email or email us directly at chris@umok.org or mary@umok.org .
Would you pray and consider joining with us financially in the work in Ukraine as we begin these new ministries?
We have several "mercy" ministry needs that are new and completely unfunded.
Visit umogiving.com

Thank YOU for your prayer support, your financial support, and your encouragement.
We could NOT do this without you.

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