Today is Mother’s Day in the U.S.A. and Ukraine has just celebrated “Victory Day” (May 9), commemorating the end of World War II. The TV here showed old war movies all day May 9. Speaking of TV, the first Narnia film was on Friday night and I counted 54 commercials between movie segments! 54!
After settling in at Sasha Savich’s house in Lutsk, I spoke Saturday at the Volin region Youth Conference. Sasha estimated 500-600 youth. From 10:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. there was music, a new film debut and preaching. As “the American” guest, I got some extra time. I spoke on the church as the continuing presence of Jesus in the world, stemming from Saul’s (Paul’s) insight from the Damascus Road encounter. Saul was persecuting the church and Jesus said, “I am Jesus whom you are persecuting.” From this initial revelation, Paul slammed into the reality that to arrest Christians is to arrest Jesus, to vote for the death of Christians is voting for the death of Jesus. Jesus and his Church are one. I developed several missional realities from this core one.
Today (Sunday) I will go to a village about 40 minutes from Lutsk and speak. I am told that because “an American” is coming, lots of unbelievers will be there. I will speak about Matthew’s Party (Luke 5) and present Jesus’ great love and ministry to “sinners.” Sasha’s youngest brother, Volva, will interpret for me.
Later today I will “move” to another place–a young couple who attend Fimiam Church will host me. It is within walking distance to the church where I will teach for a week on New Testament Survey. In the evenings I will teach at New Life Baptist Church on the kingdom of God.
Ukraine is beautiful this time of year. I have come so often in winter that to come in Spring is like coming to another Ukraine.
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