The Simple Things
Dear Friends & Prayer Partners,
As I was having my devotions a few days ago I read a quote that just brought one of those “Ahhh moments”.
“When we take time to notice the simple things in life, we never lack for encouragement. We discover we are surrounded by a limitless hope
that’s just wearing everyday clothes.” Wendy Moore
I took a few quiet moments to just sit and think about those simple things that bring me joy:
• A baby’s smile
• A butterfly softly settling on a flower
• A beautiful ocean scene
• A good cup of coffee
• A twinkle in my husband’s eyes
• A note from a friend
• A colorful sunset
• The bright and cheery tulips and daffodils as they tell us, “Spring is coming!”
Look around! What do you see? Savor these little glimpses of God’s goodness and His majesty and thank Him. You’ll find that it makes your day much more enjoyable!
With joy in Jesus,
Notes from Rick in Ukraine
Today the opportunity Tatiana set up for me to speak to the law students at the institute where she used to teach was the best – or at least one of the best I’ve ever had. They combined three classes into one big classroom, so every seat was filled, and the students were bright and attentive. (I know they were bright because they laughed at my jokes.) God gave me fluency of speech and thought and gave them listening ears to understand without an interpreter – even when I was speaking very quickly. I did stop and explain a couple of words to make sure they were understanding. After I finished with my 50 minutes allotted time and told them they could go, the teachers said, “No – we can take more time and they can ask questions.” They asked some good questions, and Alek, who asked the most questions, stayed, along with several others, to ask more questions after the others left – so my 50 minutes turned into nearly double time.
Alek accepted my book and booklet and promised to read them. He also asked if I will come back to speak to them again. I told him I will be glad to, but that is up to his teacher to decide. She said, “Anytime!”
This afternoon I had a good visit with Sasha Rudenko, and he invited me to preach this evening, so I went “home” and prepared a sermon, ate a late lunch, took a power nap, and went back to the church. We didn’t get back here until after 9:45 or so, and Natasha had dinner waiting for me.
Thank you for your prayers. Today Tatiana took me to an elite, newly-remodeled high school, where I had opportunity to speak to two classes of juniors. They were very attentive and asked good questions. I only had about 15 minutes in the first class, but the response was very good. In the second class, I had about 45 minutes, and the response was even better. The students clapped, and the teacher was enthusiastic in her appreciation. I only had a few of the booklets with me, but I left all of the rest of them with the teacher, as well as a copy of each of the English papers so she can make more copies for their students. God is giving me favor with both students and teachers and opening more opportunities to plant the seed of the Word of God in the public schools and universities here. My heart is glad and I praise Him for this.
By the way, the new booklets look great. I’m glad Sergei was able to get them published in time. One side reads, “Is the Bible Without Any Errors?” and the flip side reads, “The Foolishness of the Cross.”
Open Christian University had a special pre-Easter celebration and award ceremony on Wednesday afternoon, and they gave me and other volunteer professors special awards. It was really nice.
Also on Wednesday evening I ended up at the “wrong bus station” because I didn’t know that there are two bus stations in Odessa. I missed the bus I was scheduled to take and had to buy another ticket for the next bus from that station (which was only a bit over 5 dollars). However, I was at the right place at the right time to meet two young men and their father, who were very helpful. Igor is a seaman and speaks good English. He helped me get my new bus ticket and they both helped me get the luggage to that bus. He also said he is looking for a church and for more English lessons. I gave him Sergey Bezvershenko’s card and told them that he was a youth pastor and now is a chaplain for the navy. I think the $5 was a small price for such a good contact. Pray
for their salvation.
I will be staying another day here in Crimea because I couldn’t get a seat on the train or bus for this evening, so I will be going tomorrow evening to Odessa – to arrive
at 7:10 am. Sergey B. plans to pick me up with his car and take me to the guest house at the Baptist church. I am to teach interpreters at OCU on Thursday and Friday, then preach at two Messianic congregations on Saturday and at two Baptist congregations on Sunday. In the morning will be at the big congregation and in the evening at the new congregation where Sergey serves. Please thank John and Pam and everyone else who is praying for me. Keep it up! This evening I am to teach at the elders’ meeting for Simferopol Christian Church.
I had a wonderful visit with the Schalbyetski family. Lena thanked me (us) for the whole family for our support through the years. She said their family was going through a very hard time when we started helping them, and our help and encouragement have lifted them up and meant so much through the years. When we started, Vika was the youngest one, and she is now a lovely young lady – 16 years old. They now have several new little ones – the youngest is only 3 months old and the next one is about l6 months. (Thank you, dear donors, for making this possible! D.D.)
From our Mailbox
“After receiving your April 2011 Overseas Outreach newsletter, I decided not only to pray for all efforts and safe travels of Rick in the U.S.A. and abroad, but also to follow Rick’s schedule very closely. In fact, if I could leave Elsbeth at home (which I cannot) I would want to accompany Rick from place to place and participate in the events.
This morning I visited the Crimea via google and looked at the various locations listed in Rick’s schedule – it was amazing to see maps, locations, etc.
God bless you in our Lord Jesus Christ in all His ways!
Sincerely in the love of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ,
“Your newsletters are so encouraging. It is refreshing to learn how God is at work throughout the world and how the spread of the Gospel is growing at such a fast rate. May God continue to bring more and more people into right relationship with Him throughout the entire world! We continue to lift your ministries and those of your overseas colleagues to God for the task of spreading seed, watering, uprooting weeds, and harvesting the crop. We are praying that Satan will be unable to interfere as the Truth of God’s Word is shared. Stay strong in the Lord.
Tim and Joy Coppess”
“Thank you for the blessing of your example. Thank you for the good news you share with others; and for the good news about them that you share with many of us.
Sometimes there are misspelled words that add emphasis to the point of writing. When you concluded your letter wanting to say, “May the Lord lift his countenance upon you.” It was spelled, ‘life’ instead of ‘lift’. They both fit. May the Lord’s life always be your countenance.
Love and prayers,
“A belated thank you for allowing me to preview your expose on ‘Baptism in Spirit, in Water, in Fire.’ It is well-written, easily understood, and most importantly, true to the Scriptures in every detail. I pray it will have an impact on all who read it – a reaffirmation of belief to those who already agree with Christ’s command and the apostles’ teachings; and a means of opening the eyes of those who don’t agree to the truth, to the end that they willingly obey in order to be in Christ; free of sin and indwelt by the Holy Spirit. This teaching is sorely needed in our own brotherhood, as well as the denominational world, since many are too willing to go along with the evangelical stance in order to gain numbers…..
Thank you for all you do in making the gospel known around the world and encouraging us at home to a closer walk with the Lord.
God be with and bless you as you travel to Ukraine, Rick, and with you, Della, as you do the hard job of waiting for his return.
Love in Christ,
“Needless to say, Rick has been staying quite busy with speaking and visits with lots of people while here in Crimea and Simferopol. It’s been nice having him with us since he returned here from Feodosia Saturday. Thank you for sharing him with all the people and with us. We know you are an important part of his ministry there in the States and here as well. Thank you for the partnership you and Rick have here – through your prayers and financial support.” (Thanks again to you, our donors! D.D.)
“With gratitude through our Lord,
“We would like to thank you for being part of our ministry for Kingdom of God. We appreciate so very much the prayers, help in many ways and shared finances of you and Rick. Your lives make our lives richer and ministry possible. Recently we’ve planned and held a Worship celebration outreach for Mospanovo village.” (Note to our donors: “See how many you are helping with your generous support to Overseas Outreach!” D. D.)
“Please, read our short report. The event was very blessed.
“Mospanovo village, located as it may seem so far from the city, but only 70 km in reality represents a hardly reached community. The lack of public transportation (bus comes in only two or three times a day max) cuts people from many things that common people have today without thinking of them. There is no hospital or any medical care in the village, no drugstore, regular utilities and clothes shops. The absence of the major necessities is often compensated by use of available alcohol, drugs and tobacco. At the same time more than 1,000 people live in the village, go to school and work for a very low payment of 50 dollars a month, whereas in the city the general needed living wage must be at least 400 for a family to get by.
“However there is elementary and high school in the village and recently opened kindergarten. There is also the small community church planted by Christian Life Church several years ago and keeping on sharing their good news of Jesus Christ. Thus, there is hope. There is hope for the future life of the village residents.
“The worship celebration ‘The House of Mercy!’ has brought joy, hope and encouragement to people of Mospanovo. The celebration was organized in the local ‘Palace of Culture. Those of you who have been traveling overseas know what heritage was left from the past times in a sense of such places. But this is different story. Today these places are widely used for different events including Christian gatherings.
Palace of Culture
“More than 120 people came to celebration, heard the good news of the Lord Jesus Christ and the story of the resurrected Lord.
“Students of School without Walls prepared games for children and teens. Milana, author of Christian songs, signed many gospels with her own words of encouragement and shared her life story. ‘Faceless people’ showed bright, serious and healing drama “The House of Mercy”.
“At the end our team was able to share the drinks and pastry with everyone and had the opportunity to share the testimony, fellowship, or give a New Testament or Christian literature as a present. Participants of the celebration took New Testaments provided by Association for Spiritual Revival back home to their families (about 60 NT), as well as life changing stories and impressions of the event.
“At this point we are praying for regular monthly meetings with people at Palace of Culture and to take some children and teens to camp this summer, which is to be organized by Christian Life Church at the end of July.
“Please, keep in prayers our summer projects. Pray for our family, financial provision for outreach and camp in summer, family needs. Pray for protection and health issues.
“We are praying for you and look forward to see Rick soon.
“In Jesus loving grace,
Zhenya & Natasha Molodchy”
1. Please pray for continued safety for Rick as he travels and for wisdom as he teaches that he will share in such a way that those who do not yet know our great and wonderful God will understand and accept the invitation to know Him.
2. Pray that those who do already know Him will be encouraged and strengthened in their faith.
3. Remember all of those who are ministering in Ukraine, with whom Rick works, that their ministries will continue to be fruitful and faithful.
4. Thank God for the funds that you and others have been able to send through Overseas Outreach to help these ministries.
5. Pray for our good friend, Gary Strubhar, in Roseburg, Oregon, who had triple by-pass surgery this month. Please ask God for a quick and complete recovery for this special man of God.
“You have a unique message to deliver,
a unique song to sing, a unique act of love to bestow.
This message, this song, and this act of love
have been entrusted to the one and only you.”
~ John Powell, S. J.