29 March 2009

Nikolaevka, Crimea, Ukraine

Today we attended church in the "House of Culture." That is what the Ukrainians call their community centers in every village. The church rents a small room on the second floor that is unheated. Actually the whole community center is unheated. So we all sat around in our coats and gloves singing hymns and listening to Bro. Jeff and another brother encourage us with the Word.

This is the church I wrote about just recently which is building their church home right in the center of Nikolaevka. This also happens to be the church we started when we came back in 1994. The very interesting thing about this is that in most places, when the town "gives" a piece of land for a church building, it usually is way out on the outskirts of town and is not easily accessible. Yet, this town gave them a "prime" piece of real estate in this sleepy winter village that transforms and swells in summer to a large seaside resort. Land prices have risen astronomically, so we saw this as the hand of God. It wasn't that way when we came in '94, but that is how things have changed. So, they are a church of about 20 to 25 people, planning for a summer influx and building to seat 150 people in worship services. The church collected $12,500 of their own money to begin, and a local builder gave them another $25,000, allowing them to finalize blueprints, fence the property, and dig and lay the foundation. What can a small church do if they serve a great God?

Do you see God at work in all of this? I am wondering how we can help them. What they've built so far has been with their own hands, but they are a poor people with little resources for materials. Nonetheless, God has given them enough to get started so they are a people full of hope. May the Lord cause it to happen!

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