Tuesday, September 26, 2006
We had a couple of good visits yesterday with some folks in Gorlovka. It is about 40 miles from Donetsk. The church there is starting bible studies in the around the area. There is one man, Valery, who is just a lay leader in the church who is doing all of this outreach. The first home we met in was Lillians. She is a believer and member of the church, but her husband is not. Alexander is his name. Alexander is retired from the coal mines and has had a very rough life. He is very close to accepting Christ. We spent about 2 hours at their home yesterday. Their son, Igor, is 15 and is in 10th grade. Alexander was very open to our visit and sharing of the gospel. After we left, Lillian told us that she thought he would get saved if she had not been there. He said he believes all of the things we were saying, but he thinks he must clean his life up first, then come to Jesus. I shared about how a coal miner is dirty on the outside and how we can wash that, but Jesus wants to clean the inside first. Both Steve and Hui Cha shared their testimonies and the power of the Holy Spirit indeed worked through them. Then Lillian asked me to preach for them. What do you say? No I can't preach here. Absolutely not, so I shared from John 14:1-6. We went prayer walking through the market and village area. There were bars, apartment buildings, a hospital, many, many people. We were supposed to lead a bible study at Valentina's home, but only Lillian and Valentina, who is Valery's mother, were there. Valentina reminded me a lot of my Grandma Moore. She dug out a whole box full of pictures after I showed her the ones of Kim and kids. Valentina is a new believer as well. She was saved as a result of the group from FBC Heath that came 2 years ago. She was baptized this summer and we got to see pictures of that. That helped me to see that even though we may not see someone get saved while we are here, the work we are doing is still a part of God's process in drawing lives unto Himself!! We will keep praying for those whom we have met. We will go to Gorlovka today and then to the train station tonight for the overnight to Kiev. Our flight leaves Kiev tomorrow at whatever time. Please pray for great timing and connections.
The Ukraine team returns Wednesday night.
Monday, September 25, 2006
We are up, but I am going a little slow. I did not sleep well last night, although Steve and Wally said I snored very loudly last night. My nose is stopped up a lot. There were mosquitos bothering us in our room. It is weird that the lows at night are in the uper 50's but still mosquitos. There are not many, maybe just one or two, but it has been 6 years since fighting mosquitos at night.
We are going to Gorlovka today and Kent will pick us up at 9:45am. Yesterday was a great day as we had church service at the beach by the river. There were 27 people there. Kent said they had been averaging 10 people for church. If you don't include our group of 6, there were 21 from Donetsk. Five came as a result of our English conversations on Friday night and Saturday. The girl, Masha, that I had been talking to on Friday and Saturday came to church, which really surprised me. She is not a believer, but is really seeking. She asked a ton of questions of me and then many more of another Ukraine girl yesterday. Just keep praying that she will be saved.
Everyone in the group is doing well. We went to have pizza with the couple who is next door to where we are staying. They are from Russia, but he is studying at DCU. He will finish in May 07 and will go back to Russia to work in a prison ministry. In the area where they will live, there are 10 prisons with a total of 20,000 inmates. He is a former inmate. He said he was in for 4 years, got out for 6 months, and then went back in for 4 years. He got saved while in the second term. His name is Andrew and his wife is Tonya. They have 3 children Oksana, Abel, and Andrew (small). They say "small" and didn't know anything about "junior" when we asked them. Their ages are 14, 6, and 4.
They live in a two room apartment with a small bathroom. Here at DCU there is one kitchen on each floor that everyone shares. So, approx. 8 families have to use the one kitchen. Ukraine is very poor. The average wage for a business person is $300 a month. The DCU is having financial difficulty because they have relied so heavily on Western (american) money donations, and have not been self supporting in some way. Then when the partnerships end, they just stop what they are doing right in the middle. There doesn't seem to be any long-term planning. There is a building here on campus that is a shell. It was started and then the money stopped, it hasn't been worked on for over a year.
The children's playground is falling apart, because there is no money to replace the boards that are rotten. It looks very dangerous, but the children still play on it. The parents here, just let their children run free and don't even check on them to see where they are. I am talking 3 or 4 year olds too.
We will be going to the train station tomorrow night (Tues.) at 7pm. Then take the overnight to Kiev. Our flight out of Kiev is then on Wed. I can't wait to be home.
Saturday, September 23, 2006
Good morning to everyone. First let me say thank you for praying each day for my trip. The flights were long, but we had little problem with the plane connections and timing. We were met by two Ukrainians in Kiev, one a pastor and another a believer. They picked us up at the airport in Kiev and showed us around the city, took us to eat at TGIFridays (the only american restaurant we saw) and then to the train station. The traffic in the city was horrendous. We finally were dropped off at the station but became very worried when our Ukrainian guide started running through the terminal towards the correct train. Of course all of us tried to keep up with him even with all of our baggage. He found the correct train from Kiev to Donetsk. We boarded the train and about 3 minutes later, it began rolling. There would have been no way to make it without his help. We were met at the train station in Donetsk by a Ukrainian couple, Sosha and Etna. Since the cars are very small here, and we had much luggage, we had to take three taxis to where we are staying in dorm rooms at Donetsk Christian University (DCU). Pastor Wally had a really bad taxi driver, but the rest of us were doing ok. On thursday we went to two locations, a social center (boarding/foster care facility) and an orphanage. The foster care facility is for children who have parents but have been neglected/abused. Different than America where we have many foster care families. This is more like one big facility with a few workers. It was very sad to see these children in both facilities that no one really cares about. The head master said that many of the girls who get older and get out, go into prostitution. They can stay at the facility until they are 16. It was a tough day for me. On friday, we had lunch at McDonalds. much of the very same food. (i.e. 1/4 pounder, Big Mac, fries, Coke) Then came to Kent and Rachel McDowell, IMB missionaries, home. We had an English conversation night with many about 20 youth and young adults who are learning English. This is a good way (platform) to use to share the gospel. I talked specifically with Christina (a believer) and Maasha, a non-believer. We talked about American culture, customs, religions, holidays. The great thing is that you can use Christmas and Easter as a great way to share Jesus. Maasha said she was Orthidox, but was also influenced by Mormonism. Wow, what a mixture of beliefs. We came back to Kent's again on Saturday for more one-on-one conversations in English. I talked with a young man named Sosha who is 17. He has no church background and didn't even hear of Jesus Christ before. He was very receptive to hearing about Christmas and Easter meanings and the gospel. He did not pray to receive Christ, but now has been introduced to the King of Kings. Sosha's sister, Helen was also with us and Rachel, Kent's wife, shared with her. Helen, age 16, wants to be a gynecologist doctor who performs abortions. Kent told us that most Ukrainian women have had at least 2 abortions. Rachel explained God's plan for life and how that God knew us even before we were formed in the womb. Please pray that this young lady will see the spiritual, emotional, and physical realities of abortion. Please pray that both Sosha and Helen will see Jesus. On Sunday, we will meet at Kent and Rachel's home for church. They host a home church with about 8-10 people and are praying for continued growth. Then we will go to a park where we will show the Ukrainian people an American picnic, more time to share. On Monday and Tuesday we will go to another town, Gorlovka. We will meet with Val who is a church planter. We will do some home visits that he has arranged. Thank you for
your continued prayers for our team and for Kent and Rachel, their children Samuel and Tessa. We are seeing some positive conversations, but not a salvation yet. Have a great day in worship as we will worship 7 hours before you.
I'll keep posting information as it comes in.
Friday, September 22, 2006
Just to let you know we are still here. Plenty of stories to tell. Meeting tonight at Kent's house with some English students,most who are probably unsaved. Thanks for the prayers for my grandmother and your visit. All the team is doing well I hope things are going well at church. You can E mail here at Kent's or my Email if you need. See you in a few days. God Bless.
I'll try to also post a Kenya update today.
Thursday, September 21, 2006
we arrived in Donetsk at 7:15am on Thursday morning. Time is 7 hours later here than there. It is now, 7:00pm here. We had little trouble with the airlines, but almost missed the train due to our connection pastor in Kiev. Will explain more later. Most everyone, except Hui Cha, got some sleep on the train. We arrived at our place for lodging, Donetsk Christian University and got showers then went to lunch at McDonalds. Then to two locations, an orphanage and a social center (sort of like a foster care center) run by the same foundation. The children at the orphanage can be adopted, but the social center can not. We had some fun taking pictures of the kids and then showing them on the digital camera. We talked with the director and chairman of the foundation about special needs, sponsorship, ect. more about this when we get home. We then came back to the DCU and ate dinner at the dining hall. We are all looking forward to a good nights sleep.
God bless from Donetsk.
Pastor Jeff Moore
I'll keep you updated as I get more info.
Wednesday, September 20, 2006
I just got this email from missionary Kent McDowell who called me this morning to see if I knew the team's whereabouts . . . he woke me up from a deep sleep and when he introduced himself on the phone, I just started trembling!! It is good to know they are almost there. Just an overnight 12-hour train ride to go that should depart at 1 pm our time today. I am curious to know what delayed them in customs . . . was it all Jeff's junk food he took??
Here is the email Kim received from Kent, who is our missionary contact in the Ukraine...
I just wanted to let you know that I was able to track the team down. They arrived in Kiev nearly on schedule. They had some issues getting through customs, but everything has gone fine otherwise.
They will catch the train to Donetsk later today.
If you would like to read more on the missions work in the Ukraine and in the city of Donetsk that they will be involved with visit http://www.hope4donetsk.org/ .
More info to come.
Tuesday, September 19, 2006
Sunday, September 17, 2006
I am excited about the mission teams heading to Ukraine and Kenya this week. It was good to be able to come together as a church tonight and pray for the teams. It was very encouraging to see so many teens come across from their worship time to pray with the three youth as well as the adults who are going on the trips.
A friend from Anniston, AL, Shane Ferguson, who is training at one of the Ohio Honda plants, visited our service this morning. It was good to see someone from our old stomping grounds.
It's a busy week, as usual. Keep our mission teams in your prayers!
Thursday, September 14, 2006
- The Secret to Beating Temptation (September 17)
- The Secret to Getting Out of Debt (September 24)
- The Secret to Knowing You’re Saved (October 1)
- The Secret to Getting Along with Others (October 8)
- The Secret to Getting Your Prayers Answered (October 15)
- The Secret to Surviving a Tragedy (October 22)
This Sunday night we will be in Matthew 25 for Part V of "The Return of Christ."
I hope to see you all Sunday (my Ohio readers, anyway).
Someone emailed and asked why I never put pictures of my family on the blog. Visit my family page done by Donna and Hannah for pictures: http://dearshomescool.blogspot.com/ .
Wednesday, September 13, 2006
I want to say thanks to all those who worked so hard putting together our 9/11 weekend for honoring the First Responders in our community. I appreciate Pastor Wally's leadership and vision to make this happen. We have had so many good comments from First Responders about how much they appreciated what we did. I was very proud of our church this weekend!
Yesterday I spoke at a funeral for Darwin Brown. Mr. Brown was a back-up quarterback to Bart Starr at the University of Alabama many years ago. It is amazing how many connections back to Alabama I bump into each week. We had a couple visit our worship service this past Sunday that had just moved from Birmingham, AL, and one of the families attending tonight's New Member Class just moved from Montgomery, AL.
This coming Sunday we will begin a six week series of messages on "The Secrets to Good Living." Be in prayer as all of this comes together.
Tuesday, September 12, 2006
Today is the day of our monthly 6:00 a.m. leadership meeting here at the church. Who in their right mind would plan a meeting for six in the morning? What kind of hair brain would try to get people together an hour before the sun comes up? O.K. I did it, but it makes me feel better to blame it on someone else.
I mentioned in yesterday's blog that I would post my study notes on the question, "Does God Hear The Prayers of the Lost?" Here it goes... Let me know if you agree or disagree with my conclusions.
Does God Hear the Prayers of those Who Aren’t Saved?
Yes and No...
Let’s see the Bible Facts...
I. God hears everything and is omniscient.
- 1 John 3:20, ... God ... knows all things.
II. The Bible gives instances where God has answered the prayers of those who are not saved.
- Acts 10:31, ...and said, 'Cornelius, your prayer has been heard, and your alms are remembered in the sight of God.
- Acts 11:14, ...who will tell you words by which you and all your household will be saved.
- 1 Kings 21:25-29, But there was no one like Ahab who sold himself to do wickedness in the sight of the LORD, because Jezebel his wife stirred him up. And he behaved very abominably in following idols, according to all that the Amorites had done, whom the LORD had cast out before the children of Israel. So it was, when Ahab heard those words, that he tore his clothes and put sackcloth on his body, and fasted and lay in sackcloth, and went about mourning. And the word of the LORD came to Elijah the Tishbite, saying, "See how Ahab has humbled himself before Me? Because he has humbled himself before Me, I will not bring the calamity in his days. In the days of his son I will bring the calamity on his house."
III. Children are certainly heard from in the Throne Room of God.
- Matthew 19:14, But Jesus said, "Let the little children come to Me, and do not forbid them; for of such is the kingdom of heaven."
- Matthew 18:10, Take heed that you do not despise one of these little ones, for I say to you that in heaven their angels always see the face of My Father who is in heaven.
- Matthew 21:15-16, But when the chief priests and scribes saw the wonderful things that He did, and the children crying out in the temple and saying, "Hosanna to the Son of David!" they were indignant and said to Him, "Do You hear what these are saying?" And Jesus said to them, "Yes. Have you never read, 'Out of the mouth of babes and nursing infants you have perfected praise'?"
IV. The Bible teaches that God is unlikely to hear the prayers of the wicked and sinful.
- Proverbs 28:9, One who turns away his ear from hearing the law, even his prayer is an abomination.
- Psalm 66:18, If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear.
V. The promises of God hearing and answering prayers are only given to the saved.
- Proverbs 15:29, The LORD is far from the wicked, but He hears the prayer of the righteous.
- Matthew 7:7-11, Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened. Or what man is there among you who, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will he give him a serpent? If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him!
- James 5:16b, The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.
- 1 John 3:22, And whatever we ask we receive from Him, because we keep His commandments and do those things that are pleasing in His sight.
- Hebrews 4:16, Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.
- John 14:13, And whatever you ask in My name, that I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.
- The special relationship with God by which we pray is only available to those who are saved.
- The prayer that God most wants to hear from those who are not saved is a prayer of faith, confession, and repentance (the prayer for salvation).
- While it would be wrong to say that God will not ever respond to a prayer for assistance from an adult who has refused to accept the Lord as Savior, those people should not feel they have the right to come boldly before the throne of Grace nor should they expect to receive the same comfort and relief as a child of God would receive through prayer.
Monday, September 11, 2006
With our lunch on Saturday to honor area First Responders and our 9/11 remembrance Service yesterday we had a great time. Thanks to all who worked so hard to make those events go so well. Several of the first responders both on Saturday and Sunday expressed how thankful they were for our church and our support.
Great crowd in morning and evening services yesterday. If you weren't in the evening service you missed a first. I had prepared one message on Matthew 24:4-34, but on Sunday afternoon after doing some research on whether or not God answers the prayers of the lost, I wanted to preach on that. So... I preached both messages. I'm not saying that was a good thing, but it was a first. I will post my outline on the second sermon on the blog today or tomorrow. I would be interested in your theological comments.
Next week, both our mission team to the Ukraine and and our mission team to Kenya will board their respective planes and head out for a life changing adventure. I encourage you to to be in prayer for them as they prepare to go.
On a personal note... yes, Donna and I did survive another Auburn // Mississippi State football game. (My wife pulls for MSU, I celebrate with AU.) We were able to watch half the game before we went to the church for the meal with the First Responders. I recorded the second half and pretended I didn't know what the final outcome was (I had followed the score on my cell phone during the lunch. Don't tell anyone.) Donna stuck it out and watched the second half with me when we got back home. I've got to say, she is a loyal fan... a sad loyal fan.
I don't think I ever blogged about my experience a week ago at the OSU game. WOW! I didn't think any school could measure up to the game day experience at Auburn, but I was wrong. Three hours before the game I went to something called the Skull Session, which essentially is the warm up session for the marching band. They closed the gates of the volleyball arena when the crowd reached capacity at 12,000 people! After that, we wondered over to the stadium and watched the game with 104,000 of my closest friends. I've never been somewhere with that many people. The Baptist preacher part of me kept thinking we should take an offering. The game was exciting, but the real excitement came when someone fell from the upper deck to the lower deck about ten rows behind me. They had to carry two people away in stretchers. If you were ever looking for a reason not to drink, you just found a good one!
Enjoy your day!
Friday, September 1, 2006
--- Homeschool started back this week. The kids are excited (one of them anyway). We're going to a new homeschool schedule next week that I think will help keep them motivated and the days organized.
--- Sunday morning we wrap up our walk through the book of Nehemiah. If you want to read ahead, read chapter 13. As you read, try answering the question, "Why did they do the obviously wrong things they did?"
--- This Sunday in our morning service, we'll be baptizing four adults who have recently made professions of faith. We've gone four or five weeks without baptizing anyone after baptizing nearly every week for months. It will be good to get back to the baptistry. I'm really looking forward to this Sunday!
--- I'm going to my first Ohio State University football game tomorrow at the SHOE. I'm considering this a scouting trip for the upcoming Auburn/Ohio State national championship game.
For my Ohio readers, I'll see you Sunday!