Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Nikolaev Update July 19, 2011


After leaving at the first of July, there have been many updates sent from missionaries David and Galina Binkley. They have constantly been on the go, working with the rehabilitation center for boys, conducting bible studies, and continuing the work we began in June.

It is a harvest that is ready for a "combine"!
The Ukrainian flag is composed of two colors: yellow and blue. The yellow is on the bottom for the Grain and the Blue is on top for the sky. Ukraine is known as the breadbasket of Europe. It is now a breadbasket for the church.

This last Sunday (17th of July) was their largest attendance for worship at 23, and this is minus some that have been out of town. Here are some photos of the latest report:
This is a during the the service.

These are photos from the fellowship after services.

There is a plea from David and Galina for someone to come and help during the fall, because there are so many (30+) studies. Andrea and I, along with Isaac, are going to make a trip back to Nikolaev, Ukraine for three weeks in November. We ask you for prayers as we prepare for this work.
I have been studying with six of the students using Skype. They all are so eager to study English and Bible. Much of our Skype sessions are discussing life issues and applying God's word.
Thank you for your support, your prayers are being answered!

Luke 10:2 He told them, “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field." (NIV)

2и сказал им: жатвы много, а делателей мало; итак, молите Господина жатвы, чтобы выслал делателей на жатву Свою.(Russian)

Tuesday, July 05, 2011

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,

As I begin to write this update, there are so many memories and emotions from this trip that it is nearly impossible to accurately and thoroughly present you all the information about what God has done in one newsletter. So, I will do my best and will update more information in the next couple of weeks and months. I will do so on a blog so that you can have more detailed information: hisfollowers@blogspot.com

I will start out by saying that such diligence, love, and devotion to the mission of God from missionaries seen in David and Galina Binkley has challenged me and has given many of our students a new view of Christianity- one they unanimously say they love (John 13:35).

Also, this trip has produced 32 bible studies for David and Galina. It was a trip to teach English using the bible, but our students desired more lessons from the bible and asked that David and Galina would continue studies with them.

I will briefly give a description of some of the students, with whom God has blessed me the opportunity to study. And before I begin, If you have any questions please feel free to call me (503) 804-8775 or email (chelovek@hotmail.com).

Tanya- As we started, Tanya was a student that was very shy when it came to speaking English, but as with all the students, when we discuss important issues such as faith, their English speaking blossomed. Tanya loves the Word and has been a part of a group in Nikolaev that has some teachings that are very charismatic. One example is speaking in tongues. I would ask you to pray for Tanya, she has said that she realizes that many teachings are taken from verses out of context and would like to study the word more clearly. Her hurdle to submitting to theWord is summed upin this phrase “I just know in my heart.” So I ask you to pray for her.

Here is Tanya and hermother visiting the church on Sunday. This was her mother’s first time to be with any church family.

Dasha and Olya- Dasha and Olya are two 17-year old girls who speak English very well, and after the first week began to love the teachings of Christ. Olya had never opened the bible until this course. She had to leave for the first two weeks on vacation with her parents, but Olya was so excited about what the Bible teaches and the walk of Christ that she would call by telephone to discuss these things with Dasha and me. Dasha has been apart of a large (~450 members) Baptist Christian church, but has seen the love in David and Galina that moves her to visit the Nikolaev church of Christ with her friend Olya. Dasha is quiet but very mature and knows much bible. After we left, they spent the weekend studying with David and Galina,visited the church, and asked for more studies. Dasha and Olya both emailed me already and expressed theirexcitement for the church and the love it shows. Please continue to pray for them. Olya needs prayers: her family is going through a divorce, and she is thirsty for hope. Dasha wants to study and be a part of the church, but may encounter some pressure from the Baptist church- we are relieved to know that she may not have pressure from her mother.

Dasha is on the left and Olya is on the right

Pavel (Paul)- a 38-year-old student who came strictly for English, but learned that you can still have joy and hope a midst some trials (Philippians), this is what we spoke about the most together. Please keep him in your prayers he has gone through a tough marriage that has recently ended, it is hard on him as he struggles to find hope and family. Thank you God that hope was brought to Pavel in his studies.

Pavel and I after a two hour study

Sergey- a 43 year-old student who has some health problems with digestion, but is eager to know God. He had a little difficulty in comprehending how God could cause all various forms of life to come into existence in 6 days. He is a historian and has spent years studying evolution. I am thankful to God for the opportunity to have received a B.S. in Biology and the ability to speak Russian – this helped me in studying with Sergey. He is enjoying the word and the passion of God for His people. Another hurdle for Sergey was – if there was a God why all the mess in the world. We looked through the history in the Old Testament and noticed that these problems are when men/women take their eyes off of God and follow their own hearts-so it points more to the need for people to turn to God (Num. 15:37-40; Prov. 3:5-6; Jeremiah 10:23). It also was evidence to Sergey that there is a God, the morals that God has set for man, does not come from man alone (Proverbs 14:12).

Sergey and I after an intense and exciting study. Notice my hair as I leaned on my hand while going through scriptures with Sergey.

There were two students that I had who started out the first week, but had moved or couldn’t come due to work. I had four more students from the last week we were there who will continue with David and Galina. And all four of us workers fell in love with all the students. It was the most difficult mission campaign for me to leave.

The missionaries – Galina, David, Dick Ady (president of WEI), Charles Chandler, ME, and Jon Rawlings.

While in Nikolaev, I had learned that the opportunities are plentiful, and the harvest is ready. There is a rehabilitation home for boys who have gotten into trouble because of homelessness and no love at home. David and Galina are the only ones in the city of 500 thousand that are willing to make regular committed visits (twice a week). They teach the love of Christ and the fruits of the Spirit. Some of these boys graduate and will be living in Nikolaev. It is David and Galina’s desire and prayers that they will continue to stay in contact and join the family of God. I know it is God’s desire. Also, there is a University that allows and will furnish an office free of charge for them to teach English using the Bible. The administration urged that missionaries would teach the moral characters of the bible to their students.

Your support and part in this team effort has bore fruit and continues to bear fruit. I plead to you to continue to pray for David and Galina and those making plans to move and help with this work. I have truly seen God work in one of the most amazing ways on this trip. THANK YOU, and May God bless you as you accomplish his will here in the states as well as abroad.

Please continue to look for the updates on hisfollowers@blogspot.com

There you will see many more pictures of other students and the church and the laughter, the tears, and the joy we have shared together.

What an amazing God we serve,

In Service to our King – Jesus.

Mike Soto