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
- 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
- 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.
- 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.
- The camp was located in Piski (Piskivka), a two-hour drive from the
capital, Kiev (Kyiv).
- 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.
- Church meeting at an Ukrainian home. The women coming to the front
are being saved.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.