31 October 2013


The beauty of western Ukraine shines through in this lovely country shot.  From a distance this could be any where in America or even the world.  I look at something like this and I think....why did God send us here?  It's one of those questions that lingers without an answer, but is part of a bigger plan than I can see and it's his plan.  Several people here have asked us lately if we are leaving to go back to America?  This question always surprises me, but gossip tends to fly around at high speed.  Just like the question of why Ukraine, there is no answer as to when we leave here or even "if" we leave.  Family asks this question every time we return home to the states.  Therefore it is something we've thrown around and discussed.  What we have come down to is this.  We don't know.  When God tells us our time is done then we'll know.  And he'll have to make it quite clear.  As far as we are concerned, until we get clear direction, we are here.  We are at His bidding and if he says we go, then we go.  Where?  He'll tell us that as well.  In the meantime, as God brings us to mind please pray for us that we would be faithful in what He has entrusted.  And for safety.  Know that we pray for you too and we so appreciate everyone who helps with ministry here.  God's blessings abundant to you.

28 October 2013


 I'm a bit behind in blogging, but this is one of the classes from September.  Crafting are L-R, Lyuda, Ericka, Liza (back right) and Valentina.
 Each Saturday we do a craft that they can include in their altered books.  Here Ericka was feeling the part of Indian princess with her new feathers in her hair.
 We also did "Twinchies."  Twinchies are mini pieces of art on 2x2" pieces of paper.  Perfect for including in a book.

I have to say that I love teaching and have come to just love these girls.  This class is being done in English (not my usual class) and came about as a result of our English camp this past summer.  It really is another form of small group ministry but simply around the form of arts and crafts.  My thanks go out to all who have sent supplies to serve this ministry.  It is a blessing.

24 October 2013


In 1994 we came to Ukraine as missionaries for the Baptist Missionary Association of America (BMMA).  We lived a bit more than three years in the Crimea region of Ukraine in the very south of the country before we realized we needed to be closer to an airport for Jeff's work in other countries.  In 1997 we moved to Bucha, located just outside the capital.  We joined the Bethany Church and this lovely group of young people at that time were all young kids.   It's been our joy to watch them grow up for the last 17 years that we've been in this church.  This was a recent meeting (September) that they do monthly.  Jeff spoke to them that night about conflict, a topic of importance for all people.  As we approach our 20th year (2014) we don't know how long God has planned for us here, but we do know that we are so privileged to be a part of the lives of this group.  This is the future of the church and I know they will make a great future for Bethany Church.

11 October 2013


I used to think that in heaven we would be "beyond time" because of the wording of one

verse in the KJV "that there should be time no longer" (Rev 10:6). However, many

years ago I heard a sermon based solely on this phrase, wherein the preacher, having

meditated at length, concluded that the absence of time demanded the absence of

everything linear. Since thoughts are linear, so is all communication, and so is all

movement. His heretical conclusion was that all prayer, all songs, all worship, and all

fellowship will end as our souls will know only joy in perfect unity with the Godhead.

Since I knew many depictions of heaven in the Bible where people praise, worship,

communicate, hold their silence for half an hour, etc., I knew he was wrong. I

discovered that the phrase in Rev 10:6 could legitimately be translated "there will be no

more delay" as in the NKJV, the ISV, the ESV, and many other translations.

Surely one day our eyes will be opened to other dimensions of which we know nothing

now except by faith. But faith, like a true portal to the "great beyond", comes by hearing

and hearing by the Word of God, which shows us not only joy and bliss, but also great

activity in praise, worship, feasting, and servanthood all of which is linear in nature.

When Christ appeared to the disciples in his risen body he spoke and ate with them in

the humblest way, giving us joy and hope that heaven will not mean the loss of time

(blending with godhead), but rather the full enjoyment of it as redeemed souls with real

risen bodies.

07 October 2013


I see the United States today leading the pack in what the Bible allegorically refers to as Babylon,

the center of world trade that according to prophecy falls in one hour. (Rev 18:17)

I am not saying that USA is Babylon, but rather that we exemplify spiritual Babylon by being the

leader in spilling innocent blood through abortion (55 million killed since "Roe vs. Wade"), and by

corrupting the morals of the entire world through our music and movie industry, especially

Hollywood "blockbusters". How are we not like Babylon, "mad upon our idols"? (Jer 50:38)

As "red-blooded American patriots" we become indignant at the anger of militant Islamic fanatics

who cry "death to America!" But we easily forget that just like Babylon we act militarily as the

"hammer of the whole earth" (Jeremiah 50:23) and flaunt our riches and decadence. So how are we

not just like Babylon? Note:

"Babylon hath been a golden cup in the Lord's hand, that made all the earth drunken: the nations

have drunken of her wine; therefore the nations are mad." (Jer 51:7)

"O thou that dwellest upon many waters, abundant in treasures, thine end is come, and the measure

of thy covetousness." (Jer 51:13) Neither ancient Babylon nor modern Babylon can be said to

“dwell upon many waters”. Therefore, this prophecy points to another nation or kingdom, whether

national, multi-national, or trans-national.

Though Islamic hatred of America is Satanic in nature, perhaps we should relate to their cries more

like King David related to Shimei, the man who cursed him when David had abandoned his throne

to rebellious Absolom and was departing Jerusalem in sack cloth and ashes. (2 Sam 16:5-13)

Sadly, I see America's coming judgment as a harbinger of the eventual fuller judgment of Babylon,

for USA's economic empire will likely fall in one hour.

"And they cast dust on their heads, and cried, weeping and wailing, saying, Alas, alas that great city,

wherein were made rich all that had ships in the sea by reason of her costliness! for in one hour is

she made desolate." (Rev 18:19)

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