Gaining New Ground

The September/October issue of our newsletter, Overseas Field Report, is now available. You can read the text of this issue in its entirety here in this post, or download the PDF version by clicking the link below.

OFR-Sep-Oct-2015Download the PDF here » September/October (2.1 MB)

If you subscribe to Overseas Field Report by regular mail, you should be receiving a printed copy of this issue in the next week or so. As always, we greatly appreciate your prayers and support for our ministry.

 


Gaining New Ground

Several of the CMO 2015 team hike towards a new set of buildings during a literature campaign.

Several of the CMO 2015 team hike towards a new set of buildings during a literature campaign.

This summer marked our 9th CMO project! When we first embarked down this path back in 2006, I had no idea how far the Lord would take it. Each year, He continues to bless this outreach, bringing new laborers into the field and new fruit for His glory.

One of the things I look forward to most during CMO is visiting new cities. While our team always spends a fair amount of time ministering in our home town of L’viv, we are focusing more and more on branching out to establish beachheads in other towns.

Before CMO began this year, we had our eye on a mid-size city called Khmelnytskiy. This city, with its population of nearly 300,000 people, is an oblast center located about four hours west of L’viv, and one that we’ve not previously visited. When I checked our database at the beginning of the summer, we had one student in Khmelnytskiy. Now, after conducting a three-day literature campaign there in mid-July, we have five.

But what are five people among 300,000? Maybe not much in terms of numbers, but they are a start. Over the years we’ve learned that we don’t necessarily need to reach everyone up front. We just need a foot in the door, so to speak. Once we establish a presence in a city or village, there is significant potential for our student base to grow.

Year after year, our stats continue to demonstrate that around 40% of all our Bible students enroll via word-of-mouth recommendations. These are people with whom we never had any direct contact who are now reaching out to us with a desire to study the Word of God. And as Paul reminds us in Romans 10:17, “…faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.”

38-20150620_175158

New Fronts
In addition to the growth we are seeing in Ukraine, there is another type of multiplication that we are equally excited about. The men who come to CMO each summer are going on to establish their own ministries in the US and even in other countries.

For example, James Slice, who served with us last year, has just returned from several months of Gospel ministry in Egypt. In addition, he and his brother are operating their own Bible First! course in their home state of Georgia.

Men from the CMO 2015 team are also moving forward in ministry. Emanuel Schrock has already conducted literature campaigns of his own since returning from Ukraine, and he is currently studying linguistics in preparation for mission work overseas. Adam Hall is getting ready to spend a year in northern Africa with a mission work that’s previously been established there. The Henderson family continues to build their Bible First! course in Minnesota, and they’ve been involving other believers in outreaches in their community.

The CMO 2015 team. From the left: Isaiah, Emanuel, Caleb, Ben, Nathan, Joshua, Joe, and Adam.

The CMO 2015 team. From the left: Isaiah, Emanuel, Caleb, Ben, Nathan, Joshua, Joe, and Adam.

As always, your prayer support is greatly needed! Pray not only for our team here in Ukraine, but for these who are entering new fields, proclaiming the Lord to men and women who do not yet know Him.

How You Can Pray

  • Praise the Lord for new ground gained this summer in the advancement of the Gospel!
  • Pray for the CMO men as they continue their ministries in the US and around the world.
  • Pray for the Day family as they prepare to travel to the US for the birth of their third child.
  • Pray our staff here as we deal with the large quantities of mail we are receiving from our Bible students.
Nathan Day and Adam (a young man from the east of Ukraine) distribute Good and Evil books in a gypsy village in the Carpathians.

Nathan Day and Adam (a young man from the east of Ukraine) distribute Good and Evil books in a gypsy village in the Carpathians.

One of our larger film showings this year in the mountains

One of our larger film showings this year in the mountains

Preaching the Gospel after the showing

Preaching the Gospel after the showing

Happy to have a Good and Evil book!

Happy to have a Good and Evil book!

News from the Front

OFR-Jan-Mar-2014The January-March issue of our newsletter, Overseas Field Report, is now available. In this issue, we’ll give you the latest news on the developing crisis in Ukraine, including how current events will affect CMO 2014. Also in this issue, meet Nathan Gregson, our newest missionary intern here in Ukraine!

Download the PDF here » January - March 2014 (860.9 kB)

If you subscribe to Overseas Field Report by regular mail, you should be receiving a printed copy of this issue in the next week or so. As always, we greatly appreciate your prayers and support for our ministry.

CMO 2013: A Summary

OFR-May-Jul-Sep-2013The July-September issue of our newsletter, Overseas Field Report, is now available. In this issue, you’ll read a report of all that was accomplished during this year’s CMO project.

Download the PDF here » July - September 2013 (1.89 MB)

If you subscribe to Overseas Field Report by regular mail, you should be receiving a printed copy of this issue in the next week or so. As always, we greatly appreciate your prayers and support for our ministry.

230K

OFR-May-Jun-2013The May/June issue of our newsletter, Overseas Field Report, is now available. In this issue, we’ll give you the very latest on our preparations for CMO 2013, including an interesting look at the importance of numbers in evangelism. Also in this issue, meet the guys who are coming for CMO this year, and learn how you can stay connected with our team throughout the project.

Download the PDF here » May/June 2013 (1.63 MB)

If you subscribe to Overseas Field Report by regular mail, you should be receiving a printed copy of this issue in the next week or so. As always, we greatly appreciate your prayers and support for our ministry.

Our Love Story

The November/December issue of our newsletter, Overseas Field Report, is now available. In this issue we discuss the recent publishing of our courtship testimony! We shared our story at No Greater Joy’s conference in October, and we’re happy to announce that we will also be publishing this account in written form right here on our blog. (Finally!) Be sure to read this month’s issue of our newsletter for details.

Download the PDF here » November/December 2012 (1.41 MB)

If you subscribe to Overseas Field Report by regular mail, you should be receiving a printed copy of this issue in the next week or so. As always, we greatly appreciate your prayers and support for our ministry.

A Sinner Has Come Home

There have been relatively few times during my missionary career when I have had the joyful opportunity to witness a person actually coming to Christ. Ultimately, only God can see the heart, but there are times when a person’s outward response to the Gospel leaves little doubt that they have been born again.

Today I witnessed just such a rebirth in my own living room.

Several months ago, a man named Vasyl began attending our English Club here in L’viv. It was evident from the beginning that God was working in his heart, and he asked lots of questions about the Lord. On two prior occasions we had extended conversations during which I explained the Gospel to him in detail. Although he seemed very open, it just didn’t quite penetrate.

Last night after English Club, Vasyl, who works as a taxi driver, drove Jessie home since Jessie’s van is currently in the shop. Jessie called me later that night and said that they had had a great conversation and that Vasyl seemed to really be searching for answers. Due to the language barrier, their ability to communicate was limited so Jessie suggested that Vasyl come and meet with me today. I later called Vasyl and we agreed that he would come to my house.

He arrived around 3:30 or so, and we talked for over three hours. During the course of our conversation we read many passages of Scripture including Romans 4:4-5, 2 Corinthians 5:17, Romans 10:1-10, Philippians 3:9, 2 Corinthians 5:19-21, and others. He hung on every word, and after about an hour or so, the lights came on. As I went through the basics of imputed righteousness and the contrast between faith and works, his eyes lit up. He exclaimed over and over how he had never understood this before, how a weight had suddenly fallen from his shoulders, and how he could barely keep from weeping.

Finally, when I was convinced he had really understood, I gave him the test questions.

“Vasyl, if you were to stand before God today, and He asked you on what legal basis you should be admitted to heaven, what would you say?”

Without hesitation he replied, “Because Jesus died for me.”

I pressed further, “Yes, but you’re a sinner. What is to be done about your sin?”

“Jesus paid for my sins and has given me His righteousness.”

Now I was the one who could barely keep from weeping. With great joy in my heart I said to him, “Vasyl, if you have believed what you just told me sincerely from your heart, then on the authority of the Scriptures, all your sins are forgiven and God has granted you everlasting life.” We talked for a while longer and towards the end we prayed together, thanking God for His provision of salvation through Christ.

The Vasyl that walked out the front door of my house today is not the same one that came in. I started out to have a chat with a friend, and I ended by embracing a brother. Rejoice with me today: a sinner has come home!

“Either what woman having ten pieces of silver, if she lose one piece, doth not light a candle, and sweep the house, and seek diligently till she find it? And when she hath found it, she calleth her friends and her neighbours together, saying, Rejoice with me; for I have found the piece which I had lost. Likewise, I say unto you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner that repenteth.”

Luke 15:8-10

Doors Opening in Skole

This past week, our team held a four-day English Club in the Carpathian town of Skole. (pronounced skó-leh) This outreach was actually begun by a Ukrainian friend of ours, Sergiy Chepara, who is native to Skole.

Every morning, Jessie, Denise and I made the 1.5 drive to Skole for the meetings which began at 11am. These usually lasted until 1:00 or so, after which we would drive back to L’viv. It was a rather tiring ordeal, but God certainly blessed.

After our last meeting on Thursday, the whole group went for a walk in the woods near Skole.

We had a wonderful group of enthusiastic students. Our main goal was to build relationships with them as well as with the school administrators, and all indicators point to a very successful outcome. As always, English is merely a door to greater things to come, and we would appreciate your prayers for Sergiy, for our team, and for the advancement of the Gospel among the Ukrainians in Skole.

Jessie explains with the chalkboard.

Sergiy Chepara organized this outreach and was also an active participant in the classes

Denise Hutchison teaches vocabulary words.

We had many engaging group activities!

Some people never get old.

See the full Skole English Club photo album here »