Music Blog - "Friday, May 14, 2010 8:50 PM : Outside Dnieperzerzhinsk, Ukraine"
 
> Music Blog: Friday, May 14, 2010 8:50 PM : Outside Dnieperzerzhinsk, Ukraine

Friday, May 14, 2010 8:50 PM : Outside Dnieperzerzhinsk, Ukraine

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Day 3: Friday, May 14 -- Hitting the ground running!School: Liz Converse Converses

The VISION team’s first day of ministry in and around Dnieperzerzhinsk, Ukraine on Friday was a very full, but rich experience.

We began with an hour of shared prayer with the students of the local Bible college, in anticipation of the upcoming Global Day of Prayer. The Lord’s name was lifted up in both English and Russian, and the language barrier didn’t keep us from sensing the Holy Spirit who “bears witness with Himself” in all believes, no matter what nationality.

After that, we headed into a busy day with our first three ministry opportunities.

A Rehabilitation Center Making a Difference

Our Farm Conversationshired minibus took us out into the beautiful green countryside, mostly flat with some gently rolling terrain, with many trees and croplands. We arrived at a small farmhouse with several outbuildings that serve as a Christian rehab center for recovering addicts of drugs and alcohol (both big problems in Ukraine).

After a tour of the facilities, including the rabbit hutches and poultry pens, we presented our first program of the trip in the shade of a giant tree for both the residents of the facility and several Christian workers who came along with us. It was clear that the dramas we presented depicting how Jesus Christ can liberate a person trapped in sin and redeem even the worst sinner who looks to Him in faith were deeply moving to those who attended.

Following the program, we had opportunity to hear some of the testimonies of former addicts who have now come to Christ and are growing in Him, and even serving in outreach ministries or nearby villages and other rehab facilities. What a blessing that was!

A Government School Open to the Team

Group Sings at School

One of the most amazing aspects of VISION’s ministry over the years has been the openness of public schools in various countries to allow us into auditoriums, classrooms, and gymnasiums to present to students of all ages the message behind the gospel of Jesus Christ. Regrettably, we’ve never been able to do this in the USA.

In some places, we are instructed to come in with a cross-cultural approach, often emphasizing the universal youth problems of drugs, alcohol, and immorality, but nearly without exception we are given the privilege of singing any song or performing any drama we have, and often we can couple that with testimonies about the impact Christ has had in our own lives.

We had such an opportunity here in Ukraine today, before about 40 well-dressed and respectful high school juniors, who not only absorbed every detail of our presentation, but asked significant questions afterward. We pray that the seeds planted will be watered by the local Christian workers, and that God will bring forth the fruit for His kingdom.

Loving the Father- and Motherless

While VISIONs past have visited orphanages in several countries, that kind of ministry will be a very large part of this year’s trip. Orphans – mostly kids abandoned by their parents or taken out of troubled homes by the State – are a heartbreaking statistic in Ukraine. Each represents a soul that, in addition to the lack of parental love, has the same need of salvation as all of us.

It was our privilege Friday afternoon to visit a church-run orphanage and provide a bit of love and care for a group of about 60 orphans ranging from about 6-16 years of age. Valerie, supported by other team members in colored T-shirts, shared the story of the “wordless bracelet,” with colored beads representing the various aspects of the gospel message, providing such bracelets to all the children as a reminder. It’s so sad to see the children in this situation, but we are thankful for the concerned Christian workers who invest in them day after week after year!

As the day drew to a close, the warm muggy weather dissolved into a light shower of cool rain, reminding us of God’s ability to refresh us and make us ready for a new day on Saturday.

Thanks for supporting and praying for VISION XVIII and Ukraine 2010.

Larry Wilson
VISION Team Faculty Adviser

 

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