Monday, March 26, 2012

Smiles & Angels Rejoicing
Luke 15:10 Likewise, I say unto you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God 
over one sinner that repenteth. 

     For the past several months a couple of older teens have been coming to church.  Sometimes there are even three or four but two have remained faithful.  They are always dressed in black, their hair is black, their nails are black – and they NEVER smile. We believe that one of the men in our church which owns several second-hand stores may have hired them and then required them to be in church. 
     Several of our young ladies have tried to befriend them, tried to witness to them but they didn’t seem interested.  They slip in after church starts and leave as soon as the last amen is said.  However, last week the two girl – Ilona & Diana hung around and told one of our young ladies that they were interested in being saved but not today.  These two girls have been heavy on our hearts and we have been praying for them but now we began to pray more earnestly.
    Sunday came and we began looking – hoping.  About 10 minutes into the service, the two girls – dressed in black slipped into the back row.  During the invitation one of our young ladies went to talk with them but she came back and shook her head to me – as if they are not ready.   After church was over, I saw them in the back talking with Mesha.  I approached them and asked if they wanted to be saved today.  They both shook their heads yes. Hallelujah!  I felt like shouting.
     We went into the back room and I began going through the Roman's Road with them.  I had them read each verse out loud.   As we wandered down the Roman’s trail… I noticed the girls had tears in their eyes.  I saw a change in each face.  We read John 3:16 and I told them of God’s love for them individually.  Tears dropped down Diana’s face.   I had chill bumps up my arms… and I just kept praying that God would work a work that only HE could do.  A few minutes later, both girls bowed their heads and asked the Lord to forgive their sins and come into their hearts and save them.  They raised their heads and smiled - SUCH beautiful smiles.  These girls had never smiled before in our church.  We hugged.   
     They came back into the auditorium and told my husband what had happened.  Bob asked if they had died yesterday, where would they go.  They both said, “Hell”…. And if you die tomorrow where will you go? “ HEAVEN !”.   And they smiled again. 
     Praise the Lord that Jesus saves and changes.  I know that Satan will be on the attack for these two girls this week – they have been in his clutches way too long!   Ilona & Diana needs your prayer.

Saturday, March 24, 2012


   Yesterday my husband and I had a same-page meeting with two other national couples in our church: Dema & Marina Serenkovi (on the left) and Igor & Lena Kobzevi (center). 

     It was fun sitting with these two couples mapping out our strategy for the church -- hearing their ideas and suggestions.   We talked for two hours and it seemed like we were only there for only 20 minutes.  We praise the Lord that our church has faithful, dedicated men such as these two men - with supporting, loving wives.
     Dema preached on Wednesday night and asked when he could do it again.  Dema is our song leader and his wife plays the piano. They also help in the auditorium SS class.  
     Igor and Lena live at the church.  They work with our teen ministry and Igor has been doing most of the remodeling in our restrooms at the church.
    We plan to have same-page meetings with these two couples over the next several weeks.  Over the past year, our church has permanently lost three American missionary families for one reason or another -- one left to start a new ministry on the north side of Simferopol (Praise the LORD) - but two others have gone back to the states to work in other ministries.  Now, another missionary has left for three months because of visa problems  - - this leaves us.  
    I know that Satan is working hard to remove the Christian influence as he knows his time is limited.  However, I do believe that God does things for a reason and one of these reasons may be to draw nationals out of their comfort zone so that they will stand in the gap! (Eze 22:30  And I sought for a man among them, that should make up the hedge, and stand in the gap before me for the land, that I should not destroy it: but I found none.)
    God also wants us to be on the same-page with Him.  He wants to meet with us not only weekly but daily -- so that we will be in total agreement with Him - what His will is, what His thoughts are, and what His way is for us. 

Thursday, March 15, 2012


    I was reading a post by Dee Dee Sterling about five empty seats... and my heart is broken.  I wanted to re-post part of it below.  But first a little background:
    Matt & Catherine Hudson have been in the Ukraine for over 10 years and are doing a wonderful work.  Just over one year ago, they finished building their new church building -- so much excitement and so much to do. 
     For over 80 years, Satan had full control over Ukraine and the former communist countries.  He is not happy about the souls that are being saved by the thousands -- lives that are being changed that were once bound in darkness, and the Baptist churches popping up around Ukraine teaching nationals how to become leaders.  Satan is working frantically discouraging missionaries through trials, making it difficult to obtain visas - and even attacking the health of missionaries and their families.  
     Another missionary wife, Natalie Tuttle, is battling cancer.   Bruce & Natalie have been in Bela Tserkov for years. Bruce is the director of the Bible college there - training pastors and leaders.  This is the same college that Bob worked in for two years - after the founding leader (Doug Emr) died. Natalie is currently in Switzerland receiving a new treatment - please pray for her.
    Over the past few months, several missionaries have given up hope of staying in Ukraine because of new visa laws and have left Ukraine permanently -- three Baptist missionaries have left our city alone. Some missionaries have taken unexpected furloughs to deal with these new laws - the Sloan family is one of these.

 Five Empty Seat: Today, Wednesday, March 14th, 2012, there will be a plane taking off on its way across the Atlantic Ocean towards Kiev, Ukraine. Five seats on that flight should be taken by a faithful family on their way back to Ukraine where the Lord has allowed them to serve as missionaries for over 12 years.
Instead of being in their places on that flight, Matt and Catherine Hudson will be spending their day at a cancer hospital in Mesquite, Texas, where Catherine will receive her first chemotherapy treatment.
After a recent visit to the doctor, Catherine found out her liver was enlarged and contained many lesions. Testing and a biopsy were done and cancer was discovered. However, the doctors told her that the cancer did not originate in her liver. Further testing revealed that Catherine had Stage 4 breast cancer.
Their children are now eleven, thirteen, and fifteen. Below is a photo of the Matt Hudson family. 

Matt wrote on Tuesday:  This last week has been a whirlwind of emotions and we certainly appreciate all of the prayers. At the same time tomorrow (12:00 pm), which we were previously prepared to board a plane and return to Ukraine, we will now be going in for Catherine's first treatment.  We don't understand this, but we do know that God is in control, and that His way is perfect.  Thank you for praying.  Matthew


Tuesday, March 13, 2012

8th of March - International Ladies Day Banquet

This is my first attempt at blogging - so please 'bear' with me as I learn this new challenge.

THEME: I got the theme this year after reading Mrs. Chappel book on "Choices".   Each year we have a special speaker and this year, the speaker cancelled one month before (due to surgery).   So the Lord placed in on my heart to use our own ladies.... which I did.  So I choose five chapters out of the book and gave each lady a title with some verse to use.  Each lady was given five minutes and the topics were: "Choose to Live by Faith", Choose to Let Go", "Choose to be Strong in the Lord", Choose to Have the Joy of the Lord", and "Choose to Speak Wisely".
CUPCAKES:  I had a cupcake party with some of the young women at church and we had a blast decorating the cupcakes. Last year when we were stateside, we bought some cupcake tiers but it really wasn't enough.  However on 'Pinterest', I found this cool idea to make cupcake tiers by using a saucer and a cup. I bought some metal looking 'throw-away plasticware' and we hot glued the plate to the top of the up-side down cup. 

DECORATIONS:  Finding the right mural to go with the theme was quite the task - but praise the Lord -- we found a beautiful bakery photo!   There is a printer here in town that blew-up the picture and put it on vinyl (like a window shade material).  We purchased an inexpensive table and chairs for the front of the bakery.  One of the ladies in the church sewed an awning. She had left over material from the table cloth covers (pink) and hung the matching pink material down each side to make it pop - out like 3-D ... it really looked real. 
 THE MEAL:  The men were dressed in white shirts and black bow-ties.  (My husband is on the far right).  They served Chicken Cordon Bleu (already cooked - only had to be re-heated). Jolene & Lena made baked potatoes. Alla made crab salad and that day, cooking for 70 women was a breeze!
PROGRAM:  The skits were hilarious.  We even had a visit from Granny Bella-Donna (Dema dressed up as a babushka).  The ladies all said it was the best ever.