"And I have other sheep which are not of this field: I will be their guide in the same way, and they will give ear to my voice, so there will be one flock and one keeper". (John 10:16)
Thank you very much for your deep interest in our ministry and prayer support! We praise the Lord for His grace, which He has poured out on our church as well as for His blessings throughout the winter holidays.
At the end of December, the youth hosted the Christmas Mandarin Party, and on January 13, they held Ball Masquerade. The main focus of these two events was a proclamation of Jesus Christ, an explanation of the purpose of His coming to earth. The youth had a great opportunity to fellowship and to have a little bit of fun. Well, how can they go without a holiday like this? The pastor conducted two very interesting meetings with the youth of the church, where they heard the testimony and discussed some issues of a bachelor life.
Every Sunday, there were parental meetings in the church, because any upbringing supposed to be initiated in the family. The participants discussed the God's purpose of marriage, the biblical understanding of happiness and the worship to God, and how the right understanding of these things affects our children.
Worship to the Begotten
For the first time Ukraine celebrated Christmas on December 25, along with the whole Christian world. We were very excited to hear the chamber choir "Dominus," who came to visit and serve us with their singing. The newborn Christ was glorified in poems ... and in prayers. Andriy Bortniychuk had the opportunity to share the Word with us. And the topic of the sermon was “The Amazing Glory of Christ,” in which the preacher has unfolded the matter of human nature of the Savior. On January 7, the feast of worship continued.
There were poems and songs about the birth of Jesus Christ, Nativity plays, performance by the chorus of bells and contests for children. At the end of the holiday, all the kids received gifts. This time we had a guest-speaker Alexander Kalinsky, who offered the congregation to consider the birth of Christ from a different angle, as the climax of Son’s fulfillment of the Father’s will. “Thy will be done” is the major tenet of the victory of faith. The Son of God proved that the will of God is the best scenario of life.
Three sisters and a brother from our church took part in the all-Ukrainian English camp. There were 100 participants, mostly unbelievers and youth, who studied 1John, under the title “How Do You Know that God Is Your Father”? As many as15 people came forward and openly stated that they want to become children of God and that God would become their Father. Many also testified that their view of life had changed and that they had never heard about what they were studying here. God demonstrated His overwhelming power! Thanks to God that we can participate in His big plan of redemption! In mid-January, the Christian floorball team along with friends and acquaintances went to the camp in the Carpathians.
God has created a good team and entrusted people, both young and older ones. Please pray with us for the people who heard the Word that it will challenge them and cause the conflict in their hearts so they would reconcile with God!
Ministry to Women and Moms of Special Needs Kids
Recently, there was held a women's meeting in the church on the subject "The Choice that Provided the Future," as well as the first church Christmas celebration for a large group of mothers who raise children with special needs. Sisters of our church are actively involved in the ministry of these incredibly resolute and brave moms. These women, oftentimes on their own, are supposed to take care for special needs children, basically around the clock. For most of them, this is a great challenge to come together and stay for long. For some kids, this can be a real trial. However, we were overwhelmingly grateful to God for this short time that we had together with these people. We pray for the further development of these ministries.
Thrilling Events in Families
This winter, there were engaged two young couples of Oleksandr Mariuca and Olga Syroochenko, Andriy Kazmikur and Kateryna Alyonova in our church. The first couple held their wedding on January 12th in Chernivtsy. Another exciting event happened on January 7th, and it was the birth of the daughter Alicia into Alexander and Katerina Vashchuk's family.
We thank God for His wonderful design of the family! We turn to the Lord with prayer that His grace and truth will preserve marriages and protect the children that He gives.
Blessed is our God who gave us the opportunity to make friends and to fellowship with brothers from the city of Mariupol, during their temporary stay in Rivne owing to the outbreak of hostilities at the east. Well, it did not take long for the Lord to call Stanislav and his entire family back to their hometown for the purpose of spreading the gospel there and planting a new church. After returning home, there was created a small group of the Bible study, and then four people were baptized last year. Now, many unbelievers come to the worship meetings. We ask you to pray for the registration of this religious community, for pastor, and for the conversion of those whom he serves.
We thank God for the 23rd missionary conference, which is traditionally held in the Rivne’schurch Community of the Good Shepherd, in the last week of January. The topicof the conference was based on the Scripture verse: “... so that I might preach the Good Newsin its entirety for all the Gentiles to hear...”