16 March 2009

Canoe Trip, Kid's Camps, Volodya Ponomorov

The following is a letter from one of our young BMA missionaries in Ukraine. I think you will rejoice with us in the way the Lord is using this young family.

"God especially blessed us in several summer projects. In one of these, my wife and I took part in a 10-day canoe trip for college students. We paddled down the Vorskla River in Ukraine’s Poltava oblast. 40 students made the trip of which 10 were still unbelievers. I was there as a spiritual counselor and spoke at the seminars which we held every evening. What an exciting time we had getting to know one another, having fellowship, fun, and experiencing the extreme!

Also, in our local church we held a youth camp and a children’s camp.

This year God has led us to develop our needs-based community evangelism. We began to work with handicapped people in our region. A sister began to come to our church who had been saved in a charismatic church. Her son is handicapped and she is the director of a cerebral palsy association. We are starting a small group among the mothers of children with that disease. Often the husbands abandon such mothers, and they find themselves in need and often depressed. In loneliness they have a great need for fellowship. Small group fellowship is just what they need. A few such mothers are now regularly visiting our church.

In addition on June 1 we are planning to hold a “Banquet of Hope” for handicapped and otherwise challenged children. For this we are planning to rent a facility in our area.

This summer we want to have a children’s camp for the handicapped. However, we have come face to face with some complications. This is very specific and delicate work. It is work, which demands a special love, compassion, and a total dedication to helping such people. Therefore we are trying to form a ministry team for just this purpose. Please pray for us and for this ministry.

We are progressing with our plans to start a rehab center for drug and alcohol-addicted people. Our prayer is that the Lord will send us dedicated leaders for this ministry. The Lord has already given us a property in Tetievo in the Kiev oblast(state), which needs repair.

There in Tetievo, by the mercy of God we were able to plant a new church. Each Sunday we are gathering a group of about 10 people, who also meet during the week. The Lord sent us a missionary family in Sergey and Natasha, who are leading this ministry.

A couple words about my family. We are well, and for me this is a great joy, help, and support in the ministry. I have two boys, David (12) and Ruvim (11), in the 6th and 5th grades, respectively. David is studying piano in music school. Ruvim is learning the guitar. They love soccer and enjoy playing on the grade school team.

The financial crisis has not left us untouched, and therefore we are praying and seeking additional support for our family in the amount of $150 - $200. This is related to the rapid growth in prices for gas, electricity, telephone and other utilities in Ukraine. My support does not yet cover these expenses.

We also are want to finish the restoration and repair of our home for which we need about $2,000. Such are our needs. We are praying about this and believe that the Lord will answer them."

If you would like to contribute to the needs of this young couple you can send your donations to the Baptist Missionary Assn. of America, Box P.O Box 30910
Little Rock, Ark. 72260 making note for the Jeff Franks work fund, "Volodya Ponomorova"

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