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UKRAINE

 

Once part of the Soviet Union, the Ukraine was under communism for about 75 years. 
(We have obscured the identity of the Ukrainian Church for their own safety)

 

 

  1. John tries a little open-air preaching in the historic "Independence Square" in downtown Kiev, the capitol of the Ukraine. In communist days, this was known as "Lenin Square". After the fall of communism in 1992, they brought down the huge statue of Lenin and chipped it to little pieces.
  2. This river was a place of quiet and study. The temperature was in the 60ís and 70ís during the day. Bro. John & Bro. G. had to "go hide" by this river a couple of times because of the police. Though they are free to worship, their "freedom" is still very controlled.
  3. John preaches with the interpreter from Faith Missions, Bro. V. They speak either Russian or Ukrainian and their alphabet has several extra Greek characters. In the Ukrainian "Brotherhood" Church, the women sit together and the men sit together. The women wear the head-coverings and they still observe "holy kissing" as a form of greeting among themselves (most are understanding about Americans not having this custom). Men should not put their hands behind their backs or in their pockets (during communism, they could be concealing a weapon), or cross their legs. They do not clap and rarely raise their hands during worship, because this would have drawn attention during the years of communism when they had to meet in the woods or other strange places.
  4. The camp was located in Piski (Piskivka), a two-hour drive from the capital, Kiev (Kyiv).
  5. This was a Baptismal Ceremony of the new converts of two churches. They do not get immediately baptized after conversion, but wait for a year to test their commitment to Christ. Their Baptismal Services draw much attention from the local population. Boats pulled over to watch it and many sinners attended just to see what was going on. Seven of them were saved during this event. Three preachers shared a word, there were special songs, a choir, testimonies etc. Above, right: This lady gives a testimony of how she was saved out of witchcraft.
  6. Church meeting at an Ukrainian home. The women coming to the front are being saved.
  7. The government paid for several orphans to come and be treated because of the Chernobyl nuclear accident years ago; they just "happened" to be at the same campgrounds as the Youth Camps. Some prayed through to salvation.
  8. Faith Missions brought 10,000 tracts which were distributed on the streets and to church members. It was wonderful to see their eager hearts reaching out for the gospel literature.
  9. Senior Youth Camp 2001 - This group of young people were very hungry for the Lord. Bro. John was gone to the Ukraine for 28 days, preaching two youth camps and several church services. This had to be one of the most challenging experiences of his life. The youth camps were ten days a piece with two lectures during the day and a sermon each night. The lectures covered such topics as holiness, prayer, repentance, the Gospel, the Blood, modesty, worldliness vs. holiness, the false teachings of the modern "church", etc. We saw the simplest truths of the Gospel touch the hearts of the young people.
  10. Being vague and general never satisfies the young minds and hearts, but I found that if we set the standard high, the young people will rise to the challenge. It's a great mistake not to expect much from young people. Challenging your young people to pray long and hard, and to live the Bible standard of holiness will bring them up to it, whereas if you entertain them with games and feed them a lot of sweet food just to come to church, you will loose them to the world.