03 April 2009

The Church the Lord is Building

The Nikolaevka church members are very dear to us, and have a lot of faith for such a humble group of believers. They have spent all of the $37,500 they have raised by God's grace. This went into drawing up plans, digging, and laying the foundation. Just getting the official grant from the town involved hiring an architect, surveyors, drawing detailed blueprints, etc. Most of the money they raised on their own went into this bureaucratic process. The builder then contributed twice that, and did the work to this point. Therefore, they are without funds to continue at the moment.

One might think the Nikolaevka saints are like the man in Jesus' parable, who began to build a tower, but failed to count the cost..."lest, after he has laid the foundation, and is not able to finish, all who see it begin to mock him, saying, 'This man began to build and was not able to finish.' " (Luke 14:29,30)

BMA Ukrainian missionary Pavel Pochapsky has built several church buildings on faith alone, several of them fairly large and others out of more humble village homes. His goal is to "Plant 62 churches in 62 villages", the number of villages in his region. Having developed a strong team of leaders, 14 churches have been planted and several groups have been started in other villages.

One time in early summer as Pavel's crew had completed a foundation, an American believer, a businessman, challenged him with Jesus' parable of the tower. Pavel desperately needed bricks and had a full work crew returning in the morning. He was unable to answer the American's question of where he would find bricks. He had called all the brick factories in the region with no success. The businessman shook his head and said, "Now look at you, having started, are unable to finish!" Pavel responded, "All of what you say would be true of me if I were the builder." He pointed to his Father in heaven and said, "I'm just the foreman here, serving the Master Builder. Please return next year in May for our building dedication service."

As the sun was setting that evening and Pavel was looking over the site, his deacon walked up, very troubled. "Why didn't you dismiss them? They will have to take the bus here tomorrow for nothing." Pavel shrugged his shoulders, unable to answer. Just then a large truck lumbered around the corner and stopped in front of them. "Is there a Pavel Pochapsky here? Can you use a few thousand bricks?" asked the driver. A sister from another region, who worked in a brick factory, had heard of Pavel's need and told her Christian boss who had donated the bricks. Less than a year later in May, they held the dedication service for the building, which is in Gorodishche, one of Pavel's 62 villages.

So, we are joining the Nikolaevka believers in serving the Master Builder who is able to do all things perfectly, and who has proven better than anyone that he is able to count and bear the highest cost.

Bottom line: Unless the Lord builds the house,
They labor in vain who build it. (Ps 127:1)
(Written by Jeff)

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