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Ukraine Update!

October 28 2016
October 28 2016


Remember Jesus Christ, risen from the dead, the offspring of David, as preached in my gospel, for which I am suffering, bound with chains as a criminal. But the word of God is not bound! (2 Tim. 2:8-9)

No matter how you are sorting out this year's Presidential election cycle, if you're a Christian, you're probably discouraged and, at times, have been disgusted by American politics. Even so, I hope that you will exercise your God-established freedom to vote, not taking this for granted, and simultaneously pray that the Lord will establish authorities that will stand for truth, mercy and justice in our country. Moreover, it appears that our God is giving us a powerful reminder that the Christian's hope can and never will strictly align with a this-worldly political party or some charismatic figure, no matter how wonderful, but only with our risen Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

It's in light of this I want to bring you encouraging news from my recent trip to Ukraine. Despite overwhelming odds, God continues to to advance the Gospel in the most unlikely of places. Despite a war in eastern Ukraine that lingers on, continued corruption, a slowing reform movement, massive displacement of inviduals escaping from eastern Ukraine and the Crimean peninsula and depressed wages, where the average annual salary is between $2,000 and $4,000 per year, God is building his church. Just as Paul once declared to easily discouraged Timothy so it's true in Ukraine. "The word of God is not bound!"

This was abundantly clear to me this past week where I was given the privilege to speak to over 100 ministry leaders representing more than 10 churches from all over Ukraine. While exhausting, my time spent teaching, answering questions and discussing what it means to live out our faith amidst cultural challenges was both timely and warmly received. Please pray that the very principles of cultural engagement that we embrace here at Redeemer would be strategically practiced by these ministry leaders in their communities and cities.

In addition, it was such an encouragement to learn about the specific progress that our team in L'viv city is making. Under the leadership of Doug and Masha Shepherd, things keep moving forward. Specifically, Team L'viv was recently able to acquire a building (see pictures below) that will become its future worship location and they hope to begin renovations soon after raising additional funds. Heero Haquebord continues to pastor/plant Holy Trinity Church and discussions are beginning about officer training. Bradley and Sara Cordell, another of Redeemer's sponsored missionaries, are providing excellent administrative support. In particular, they are excited about the launching of a publishing house to get more titles translated into Ukrainian.

I also want to say thank you to Redeemer's Session and the entire congregation for the privilege to serve in Ukraine and for your prayers, which sustainted me during the trip. Below is slide show that will give you a little glimpse of the conference and L'viv!


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