The image below is a picture of the map hanging in our ministry office here in L'viv. Each pin represents a town or village where we have students enrolled studying the Bible. Denise Hutchison recently gathered this info from our student tracking system and set up the map. (Thanks, Denise!) At present, we have 406 students in active enrollment, and with CMO approaching, we're expecting that number to rise!
Here's another interesting statistic from our database. We track how every student enrolls in our course: some via pamphlets we pass out, some via the web site, some through the invitation of their friends, etc. Each of our lessons has cut-out invites in the back and we encourage existing students to use these to invite their friends. Right now, this is by far our largest enrollment type - 46%! In other words, nearly half of all our students were invited to start studying the Bible by another Ukrainian student!
Late in last year's CMO project, we visited a town called Chervonograd (Red City), about an hour or so north of L'viv. We passed out several thousand invites for the correspondence course while we were there. As of this writing, we have 47 students in the city of Chervonograd, and 40 of them (85%!) were signed up by friends!
Bottom line: there are lots of people out there who are open to studying the Word of God and ultimately hearing the message of Christ. It's just a matter of finding them, and breaking through the cultural barriers that so often separate missionaries from the people they are trying to reach. Most people aren't closed to the Gospel, they're just closed to what they perceive as a foreign cult trying to convert them to a strange new faith. Find a way to break through those walls, and often you'll find people on the other side who are starving for the truth of Scripture. That's what Paul did. (I Cor. 9:19-22)
CMO 2010 begins in just over a week, and we are excited about finding new people this year that we can involve in the study of God's Word. We are also very excited about the great team of guys that God has brought us this year. In addition to our full-time staff, we will be joined by six other men this summer, three of whom have been here for past CMO projects.
- Bryan Shufelt - CMO 2006, 2009
- Benjamin Anna - CMO 2008
- Daniel Courter - CMO 2009
- Nickoli Morrissey - First time
- Seth Watson - First time
- Christopher Sayre - First time
In addition to our normal excursions into the Carpathian Mountains, our team has also been invited to come and minister in an eastern Ukrainian city called Dnipropetrovsk. We will be putting out thousands of CBC invites in Dnipropetrovsk and several smaller towns in the area. This trip will take place in July. Please pray with us that many Ukrainians would enroll in our course and begin studying God's Word. Sinners who begin to study God's Word have the greatest chance of becoming believers, and believers make the best building blocks for churches. "For we are labourers together with God: ye are God's husbandry, ye are God's building." 1 Corinthians 3:9