The postal worker's eyes widened as I handed her my 3 large stacks of business envelopes. "So many lovers to write to, eh?", the gray-headed gentleman next to me teased with a twinkle in his eye. I don't usually enjoy trips to the Ukrainian Post Office, but this one was important. Joshua and I had spent all weekend preparing this mail-out for those of our Bible Correspondence students who live in the L'viv area– 228 in all. As I sat and licked each individual stamp, (no self-adhesive here!) my thoughts ran in a continuous cycle: Will this person come? Lord, draw their hearts to you. I wonder how many will be there. Will they come? Bring those who are ready to hear, Lord!
Not long ago, an acquaintance named Roman approached Joshua and asked the worn out question that missionaries hear quite regularly, "Do you teach English?" Joshua gave him his usual answer, "If you can find a group of ten dedicated people who want to learn, call me and we'll talk about starting an English club." While most who ask never call back, it wasn't long before we heard from Roman again, saying he had found 8 people who would come.
About this same time, our missionary team had been making plans to resume the Audio Bible Study that we had carried on over the past fall and winter. Last year, our students could come to hear weekly teaching from the book of John, with each session being recorded on CD for distribution on a wider scale. We did see fruit from this ministry, but only a very limited number of people came to the meetings regularly and it became difficult to continue them.
With Roman's call, the decision was made to initiate "An Evening of Christian Fellowship", combining both the English Club and the Audio Bible Study (ABS) into one effort. Through the mail-out, we invited all our local students to come to one or both of the teaching times. First we would gather for English teaching and discussion; immediately afterward would follow Bible teaching on various themes or from the book of John.
The invites were taken to the Post Office and sent. We waited and prayed.
Tuesday, December 2nd came. That night we had 8 people join us for the English Club! We discussed topics such as terrorism, why bad things happen, and how much governments should be involved in prevention. This led right into the message Joshua had prepared for that evening: Why does God allow evil in the world? All but one stayed to hear the teaching of the Word! Everyone enjoyed coffee and tea afterward and seemed at ease interacting with us. Many were anxious to practice more English. One man in particular, named Taras, told Joshua that the reason he came was because he was anxious to study the Word of God.
We are grateful for this beginning, but our prayer is that more people will be reached through this ministry. English is a powerful drawing card that we hope will attract others. Please pray for Roman, Roman, (there are two men by that name) Dasha, Anya, Bogdan, Evelina, Marian, and Taras, that they would continue to come and be changed by the message of Christ.