Tuesday, April 11, 2006

46.7 Million

Yesterday we officially decided to go to the Ukraine on missions. We have been kicking this around in various forms for the past couple of months. Pastor Wally and Pastor Jeff have done a great deal of background work on the different scenarios of the trip. Finally, we all feel a peace that we should go and share the gospel in Ukraine.

We will depart on Wednesday, August 23, and return Saturday, September 2. As they say where I grew up... Yall come!

Pastor Wally and Pastor Jeff will be talking to our church about opportunities to go, very shortly. It will be a good trip. Begin now to pray. Pray for the arrangements (which I understand are pretty complicated), the people we will be ministering to, and your own involvement. We are going to ask that everyone in the church be involved in some way. Some can go, some can help prepare, some can give, some can fill in for missed responsibilities while others are gone...

There are 46.7 million people in Ukraine. Most are lost. God has been slowly opening the door for the gospel and for churches in the last fifteen years. In 1991 the country broke away from the old Soviet Union. That event began the lifting of restrictions on the protestant churches. In December of 2004, due to the 'Orange Revolution,' a reformer named Viktor YUSHCHENKO became the president. (You may remember the news story of the man who was poisoned with dioxin while he ran for president. He lost the election, but then there were mass demonstrations. They held a new election, and the previously poisoned man won. That was Ukraine.) This new president has further opened the door for visitors and missionaries to share the gospel.

I think this will be a very good trip for us. I believe God will use us there in a significant way!

Pastor Noel Dear