Day 12: Sunday, May 23, 2010 – Four Contrasting Churches
was another full day, with services in two churches in the morning and
afternoon, lunch in a local cafeteria, a visit to Kharkov’s central
church and a nearby art and craft market, and an evening youth service
church, called “Bavaria,” was a relatively small congregation meeting in
large theater space, giving them plenty of room to grow. Their music was
conservative, but included the interesting element of dance with colored
as well as a drama featuring the devil tricking people into worshiping
gods, so that they ended up in hell. Within their service, VISION did a
45-minute program, and John Townsend gave a message. Then we had to
to go to the second church.
a small but dynamic Calvary Chapel group with around 20 attendees. Their
ministry model is bilingual, with all aspects of the service presented
Russian and English, so they attract students and others from various
who know English better than Russian. VISION provided the worship band,
including yours truly on electric bass. After sermons by both John and
pastor, Viktor, we did a very short program of our own music—songs only,
there was no space for dramas. We will be working with this group a
days this week in an evangelistic outreach effort in a nearby park.
afternoon visit to the Orthodox church was a reminder of how many people
on ritual and good works to gain favor with God. The church was filled
people moving from icon to statue to shrine, crossing themselves and
each item, lighting and placing candles, and often gazing in
the images before them or high on the walls above them. One little girl,
6 or 7 years old, was most notable, doing all of the above from station
station, but also taking it upon herself to blow out and discard candles
had burned too low, relight those that had gone out, and straighten the
ones. Such a precious young life, seemingly already locked into the
pattern – we can only hope that, as she grows up, she will come in
people who can lead her into a personal knowledge of the Savior, the
only Way, Truth,
walked into the large “Good News Church” in the Metalist area of
Kharkov, we knew we were
in a different environment. Their youth worship team was rehearsing, and
just say that conversation was impossible in or near the sanctuary.
Their playing and singing were excellent, but
there was certainly a LOT of it! The worship was exciting – hoppin’ and
happenin’, and many of the VISION team thoroughly enjoyed it. We plugged
into their system
and they made sure there was a LOT of us, too! After all the hopping and
the young people listened respectfully to VISION and responded
after each song or drama.
Lizzy Byrd is much better! On Sunday, she went with the team all
day, but did not perform. She was on liquids only. Today (Monday) she
has started some yogurt and similar foods, and was able to perform with
the team. It's good to have her back, especially her trademark giggle!
More on Monday's ministry in the next post. Thanks to everyone for
all the prayers!
VISION Faculty Adviser