20 April 2008

Sacrifice of Love

A special thanks to the Women's Missionary Auxiliary (WMA) of Bethel Baptist Church in Cabot, Arkansas for their generous gathering of materials for a new ministry direction I have undertaken. In southern Ukraine on the 28th and 29th of April, then again May 3rd, I will do three separate seminars entitled "Heritage of Faith." These are for ladies to document their walk of faith through pictures, photographs, and story. They will be creating a scrapbook album that will be a witness of the steps along the path of Christian growth. It will be something they can show their unbelieving friends that will help them understand their faith. You see, in this culture, when friends get together, they often bring out the photo album to help break the ice. We have seen many photo albums when we have gone to visit in homes. So now I am helping people to make albums they can use to witness and will be a legacy for their children to understand their mothers Christian journey.
Thank you WMA of Bethel for your support in this. May the Lord bless you for your giving.

13 April 2008

Jeff Returns from U.S. Prison Mission

Those who have prayed I give my heartfelt thanks. Jeff and the whole delegation of prison officials returned today tired, but well. Jeff is rejoicing over the whole affair and the state of the men who went. He said he saw some real changes and open hearts to the idea of ministry in their prisons.

Jeff also enjoyed a short visit with our two granddaughters Julia and Jordon, well and of course their mama, Sarah. Sarah was a real blessing to help Jeff run around and renew driver's licenses and other such mundane, but necessary tasks.

08 April 2008

A Room for the Little Ones

Well, it has been a long time in coming, but at last we are starting to see the work turning into a children's nursery. Bethany Baptist Church of Bucha will soon be a place where young mother's can bring their little ones and still attend services. In the past when a new baby arrived usually no one would see the baby or the mother for at least the first 6 months. That has been the norm. Now that is changing. The walls have been painted in green and yellow like giant puzzle pieces and sub-flooring has been put down. Now there are two very important items needed for which we pray the Lord would provide. One is the need for a bio-toilet. This is needed because the nursery is located in a basement room too far from any plumbing and a bio-toilet is the least expensive and most logical answer. Bio-toilet is what you have in motor homes or sometimes at camp sites. It is all self-contained. The second item needed is flooring for this room.

If you would like to participate in this need you can mail contributions to the BMA of America, PO Box 30910, Little Rock, Arkansas 72260, labeling your check as "Bucha Nursery Room."

Little Church in the Village

A few weeks ago Leah asked me to accompany her to the church in Nova Zelesya where she has started a craft ministry. This is a tiny church in a tiny village. On the way in through the village we started praying for the church, the children, the ministry and the village. Leah said there could be just a couple kids or even up to 12. There is an orphanage in this village, but the teachers don't always want to bring the children to the church. Services started with two little girls. I always told Leah it didn't matter how many you had, work with what God gives you. Just before time to excuse the children for Sunday school in comes the orphanage group.

I enjoyed watching the Sunday school class. They did games, Bible story and crafts. The orphans are rather rowdy with no mom or dad to discipline them, but they all had a good time and went home with a craft that would be a reminder of Jesus.

Easter in Ukraine will be the last Sunday of April. Pray for this small church and the young pastor who leads it. He wants to see it grow and Leah has been helping with the children's ministry for over a month now. She is excited about helping a small church to grow. Lord bless.

Ukrainian Prison Delegation at Breakfast

Starting on left front is Bill Gothard from Institute of Basic Life Principles with Jeff Franks next to him. Beyond that is a mix of Americans and the Ukrainian prison delegation. While at the Chicago area institute Mr. Gothard gave a talk about the Seven Needs of All People. Afterward he led them in a prayer of salvation. They all prayed as Ukrainians are very obliging and would never refuse their host's request, but God knows who may actually have made a sincere prayer.

They have visited several prisons. Please pray that their hearts would be open to bringing the prison ministry they have seen back to each of their area prisons and that they would actually come to know God themselves. They will fly back to Ukraine on the 12th, arriving on the 13th.

06 April 2008

Ukrainian Prison Delegation in Chicago

All these men are Ukrainians with the exception of the second from right on front row who is Bob Holyfield the host of the group. Jeff took the shot in front of Lake Michigan with Chicago skyline in background. Pray for these men as they travel this next week that God would open their eyes and hearts to the value of ministry in their prisons. Please also pray for Jeff's health as he is doing a lot of translating and his voice doesn't always hold up.

03 April 2008

Ukraine Prison Warden Delegation to U.S.

From April 3 to April 12 I am accompanying a group of 9 officials from the Ukraine Department of Corrections to visit American Prisons for the purpose of seeing how Bible Study helps to lower the rate of recidivism (repeat offenders) in US prisons. This opportunity arose through the prison work of our BMA National Missionary Pavel Pochapsky and his work with Lt. Charles Speer of the Little Rock Police Department, then a member of Temple Baptist Church in Little Rock. The visits in the prisons are being coordinated by Prison Chaplain Bob Holyfield from the Institute in Basic Life Principles in Little Rock, AR. Please pray for the Ukrainian officials who are traveling with me and especially for Coleen and Leah who will remain in Ukraine during my absence.
Also, I ask you to pray for me that I will be filled with God's spirit of love, power and wisdom so that all eyes will be on, or in most cases turned to Jesus Christ. The souls of many Ukrainian prisoners await the Gospel. Keep them and the need for new churches in the prisons in your prayers as well. So much seems to depend on how these officials will respond. However, I believe Lord's response to your prayers will truly pave the way!
In His Love,
Bro. Jeff

Blessed is he who has regard for the weak;

the LORD delivers him in times of trouble.

The LORD will protect him and preserve his life;

he will bless him in the land

and not surrender him to the desire of his foes. Ps 41:1-2