A lot has happened over the last few weeks.
For those who are satisfied reading headlines:
*A few people have joined the ranks of those who desire to live for Jesus’ glory during the last couple of months.
*We ran a two-day mini-conference which was surprisingly easy at the end of the day (photo above).
*We have chosen to go ahead with opening a ladies rehab centre and hope to buy a house this coming week for a great price.
*A number of the men at rehab have graduated from the initial “phase” and are doing real well.
*There are a lot of kids coming to the youth groups we run who are regularly hearing the gospel.
*Spring has arrived!
People are becoming followers of Christ in Rzhyshchiv. It’s been real nice. A few students have made “declarations” of belief in Jesus the last couple of months. And a number of ladies from the town have been coming to church regularly and meeting with one of our older ladies for Bible study. I was talking with an 80-year old at church on Sunday and she surprised me with her sprightly mind as well as how much she appreciates the church family.
He has shown you, O man, what is good; …to do justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God. Micah 6:8
A new direction is afoot.
One year ago, we started a men’s rehab centre in a small village near Rzhyshchiv. We noted that there are thousands of Ukrainians wanting to be part of a rehab program and so in a sense, there is a big need for places like this. A friend who himself, had gone through rehab about four years ago, had asked me a few times if I would consider starting such a ministry and after a lot of praying, thinking, asking others for thoughts and advice, we proceeded to take in men who wanted help.
We’ve had several men “come to visit” for a day or a couple of weeks even… and decide that they aren’t willing to do what is necessary to be free from their addictions. From those who stayed for longer, less than half have given up. This is a statistic which I’m happy with. I would like to see a 100% success rate, but anything over 50% will satisfy me.
God has blessed us with a few people who have regularly given to this ministry, and even though we have encountered numerous challenges making ends meet, we haven’t felt like we had no option but to close the ministry.
We made a decision early on that we wouldn’t open a second home, (or even seriously consider it), until at least a year had gone by. I’ve had a few ideas float through, and felt the pull from time to time as people kept on calling us to see if we had a free place… but we resisted temptation.
Early on, I considered the option of opening a ladies rehab centre as our second centre, but as I heard testimonies of how difficult it would be with ladies, I felt more and more negative about it. It is actually a bit of a surprise to me that we are moving in this direction now. How did it happen? I don’t know. It just happened!
I just got a call from Mitya. Zhenya is bucking his authority again. The consequence is that he will be sent away. This is the third time it has happened and the other two times he was convinced to apologize, repent and knuckle down. It’s frustrating that he is choosing this course, but more than that – incredibly sad. Zhenya has been with us for over six months now. He hasn’t drunk a drop in that time. The likelihood of him returning to old habits is nigh on 100%. He’s been one of two in this bunch of eight guys who we have felt hasn’t bowed the knee to the Lord Jesus Christ . Our hope now is that he will realize what he has given up and truly repent before His Father.