Adventures in Travel
I left home very early on March 15th, flew from Boise to Chicago, and had an overnight flight from Chicago to Frankfurt, Germany, where I experienced beautiful sunshine and springtime. The morning of March 16th when I flew from Frankfurt to Kiev, Ukraine, I traveled back into winter. As the plane was taxiing to the airport from the runway, snowflakes were beginning to fall. They continued throughout the day, but I didn’t know they would keep coming day after day, along with freezing temperatures. Almost all traffic and commerce in Kiev was shut down for days – some areas for two to three weeks because side streets and roads were blocked with snow that didn’t melt. This was worse than weather conditions for 100 years, and there were many deaths from bad accidents and freezing cold. Please pray for those grieving.
On the flight from Frankfurt to Kiev, my traveling companion was a young businessman named Sergey. He was very pleasant and open for conversation, but of a secular mindset. I had one Russian copy of “Ready to Give an Answer”, which he accepted graciously and said he would read it. Please pray for Sergey to repent and accept the Lordship of Jesus over his life.
On Wednesday morning, April 3rd, as I was praying and looking at my airline stub for Kiev to Tbilisi, Georgia, it dawned on me how truly amazing and wonderful has been my travel schedule on this trip in view of all the cancelled flights in America before I left and my travel schedule going through Chicago – then Kiev. And amazingly I didn’t miss my train when Roman took me. The lady had already put up the steps for the train to take off. If I had missed that train, I may not have been able to make it out of Kiev – but God had wonderful opportunities for me to share in the classrooms in Nikolaev. Pray for Dasha, who started coming to the Christian Church, and for a 10th grade student, Alexandra, with health problems, who thanked me for sharing Della’s story.
My Republic of Georgia Experience
On Saturday, March 30, I flew from snowy winter in Kiev to beautiful spring weather in the Republic of Georgia. Nika met me at the airport in Tblisi, along with a friend who has a car, and took me to his grandfather, Anatoly’s home to stay overnight. There I also met his beautiful and gracious sisters, Tamara and Kathrin (Katie). All of them were very hospitable and went out of their way to make me feel at home. The next morning we walked together to the market before going to the afternoon church service where Nika’s sisters sang and I preached “More than Conquerors.” Good responses!
After the service we loaded our luggage in Ivan’s van and a group of us went the long journey (about 2 ½ or 3 hours) on winding roads through hill country to Kvareli, which is nestled in a valley under the majestic snow clad mountains in the background.
Monday morning, just before our classes began on Christian Evidences, I noticed at the sink where we wash up that there was one big, solid bar of soap, but around the edges of the soap dish were little broken pieces of soap too small to use. I gathered them up, warmed them in warm water, and then squeezed them together into one useful bar of soap. In my introduction to the course I used this “transformed” bar of soap as an illustration. God found us when our lives were broken and shattered by sin – of no useful purpose to His kingdom and worthless – ready to be discarded and washed down the drain. He forgave us by His grace through the blood of Jesus, warmed us in His love, pressed us together and bonded us by His Spirit into one Body – the Body of Christ. Now together we are useful and productive by being bonded together in Him in His one Body, and empowered by His Spirit – no matter what country or circumstances we come from.
During our week together teaching, learning, questioning, feasting and laughing at mealtimes and tea times, sharing both smiles and tears during testimony times and prayer times, we came to recognize how true it is that we are bonded in Christ. The guys even invited me to play football (soccer) with them, which I was very happy to do on two evenings. (I am 69 years old – but not dead yet – and pretty lively.) I love the game, but did not grow up with a soccer ball between my feet during most free times, or next to my pillow at night, so I am amazed at their superior ability to manipulate that ball quickly and effectively with feet, knees, shoulders and head. Still I put my best effort into it and even scored a couple of times (I’m sure the opposing team was gracious). We had fun, got tired, and they even congratulated me on being a good player (They are so gracious!)
In the requirements for the class I told them they should read at least two chapters each evening of Ready to Give an Answer, and answer the questions at the end of the chapter, plus pay attention in class and make notes on the extra material not found in the book. Also, each student must write down his or her testimony to share orally and present in written form. The testimonies were stirring and some were dramatic.
Gogita Tshiboshvili, director of TCI extension in Georgia, interviewed me for over an hour one evening for internet radio broadcasts on the subject of “Creationism vs. Evolutionism.” He told me that my book, Ready to Give an Answer, is the first creationist book published in the Georgian language, and he wants to greatly expand the influence of Biblical creationism in the Republic of Georgia. I told him about Sergei Golovin’s prayer and project to get creation science books for children in Russian. Three years ago it looked like an overwhelming, very expensive, and impossible task – now it is a reality. With God, nothing is impossible!
Here are Gogita’s prayer requests:
1. For students to develop in creationism.
2. Funds to publish a second edition of Ready to Give an Answer in Georgian.
3. To develop a radio studio.
4. For God to raise up a creation scientist from Georgia.
To summarize – this second trip to teach Christian Evidences for TCI students in Georgia was a wonderful experience of bonding in Christian love. I look forward to the next opportunity.
After we arrived back in the capitol city of Georgia, Tblisi, following the week of teaching at Kvareli, Nika told me about a tragedy he learned from a phone message from Nino. A friend from the church, also named Nika, hit and killed a man who walked or ran in front of his car after dark. Please pray for the man’s family and that Nika will not be charged with manslaughter.
1. Please pray for funds for a second printing of “Ready to Give an Answer” in the Georgian language.
2. Arnold Lastinger, Director of the Theology Seminar where Stas is studying, wrote a recommendation for Stas to transfer to Southern Christian University in Florida, but he needs $5,000 to get his visa and move his family. Then he will need a grant or a sponsor for his education. This would be a good alternative to being sent back to the middle Asian nation to be persecuted. Please pray.
3. At the TCI (Tavrisky Christian Institute) home campus near Kherson, both Valentin, Director, and Sergey, Director of Extension Branches, asked me to pray for their two middle Asian branches. God is at work in the hearts and lives of people dominated by secularization and humanistic atheism on one hand and Islam on the other.
4. Pray for more students for all the Christian campuses in Ukraine.
5. Three sets of servants of God, who are my personal friends, have stepped out in faith to take on powerful projects far beyond their capacity to perform. Please pray for God to provide the finances, friends and fortitude to complete them. They need our Majestic Master’s mighty miracles!
a. Georges and LaVerne Carillet have invested their retirement funds in the new building for CIU (Commonwealth International University) to make the down payment deadline. The old building is no longer an option. I helped move some furniture to the new building while in Simferopol.
b. Sergei and Olga Golovin and team now have the property and plans for the Training Center/Creation Museum on the Crimean coast. They have just enough
funds to begin the work, but not enough to finish. I was privileged to take part in the groundbreaking ceremony on Sunday afternoon, April 21st. Sergei told me, “I’m scared to death!” (concerning launching this project without enough funds to finish). But three years ago he was “scared to death” by launching the huge project of getting multiple and colorful children’s books on creation science published in Russian. Now these books are reality as practical and powerful tools for training the next generation in former Soviet Union nations.
c. Anatoly and Larisa Schalbyetski and children are still in half their old house while building their big new house, where the front part of the old house used to be. They have made lots of progress since last year, but still have a long ways to go. Anatoly told us (Inga was interpreting for me) that they only had $10,000 on hand to start the project. Now the unfinished house is worth about $100,000. They launched out in faith, and God has been providing. Please pray for the finances to finish in order to provide a very good home and the truth and love of Christ for many, many more orphans and neglected, hurting children in Ukraine. I believe there are 17 of them living in half of the old house.
6. One of my students in the Republic of Georgia, loves our book, “Ready to Give an Answer,” and wants to translate it into the language of a Middle Eastern nation. Please pray about this too.
7. Steve Bragg, one of my former students at Boise Bible College and now a missionary in the Philippines, has invited me again to come to present Creation Science for a conference of churches in November. I told him I will pray about it and seek God’s leading. Please pray for wisdom and clarity. I had to turn him down last year, and I did not make a second trip to Ukraine because we were short on mission funds.
From Our Mailbox
“Rick, I was really thrilled when you told me about Natalia’s response to your lessons, how they changed her worldview.
I was reflecting on your ministry this morning and praise the Lord how He has used you. Your ability to share the gospel with strangers is exemplary, and I think your example brought out the same gifts in Zhenya Molodchy.
You continue to support by teaching, encouragement and finances many ministries in Ukraine and beyond. Sometimes your gifts for CIU have been so timely that our praises to the Lord rose immediately to the Father. Just wanted to commend you for your ministry while thinking and praying about it, and thank the Lord in prayer and in this letter.
Della, thanks for sharing Rick — these are long weeks away from each other for the sake of the gospel and Christian worldview. And you have the business to keep going … but maybe you do that when Rick is there making sales calls anyway.
Blessings on you and Della,
Georges (and LaVerne)”
“Hallo, Mr. Deighton, how are you? How was your flight to the Ukraine? I am Nino, your interpreter from Georgia. 🙂 Everybody loved you so much in Kvareli, that they were asking if you would come back in the future :)….. With respect, Nino”
I loved the poem your friend wrote. It brought tears to my eyes. What a sweet thought- to be part of reaching others for Christ by being willing to stay and pray and support your husband. I haven’t written a poem, but I have been praying for both you and Rick during this trip. Good to read the report.
“That account of the Missionary in the jungle……….took my breath away!!! Thank you for sharing. Good to hear of Rick’s travel update.
God is good!
Thanks for the update in your newsletter from Rick. It means so much more having been there and met some of the people he mentions. Pass along this note that I’m praying that ‘the truth he is teaching will reach many hearts, that the Lord blesses his trip in unexpected ways and keeps him safe’.
“I am so glad.))) Thank you for your wish) I’m thanking God with my whole heart for our friendship and father-daughter relations. It is one of the most precious God’s gifts! May God bless you and Della and your whole family and especially – this small and cute ‘chocowit)))’” (She means Trinity, our youngest granddaughter.)
“Glad you made it home! We so much loved your stay with us! Hope to see you again this year!!
Ruslan and Sharyn”
It’s great to hear that you are safely home. I was very glad to see you in Kharkiv and be a witness of your ministry for the glory of our Lord Jesus.
God bless you
The text for my message, “Touching Tender Hearts with Triumphant Truth” is Colossians 1:27-29. “Christ in you, the hope of glory. Him we preach, warning every man and teaching every man in all wisdom that we may present everyone perfect in Christ Jesus. To this end I also labor, striving according to His working, which works in me mightily.” I believe that this is Paul’s own life purpose statement, and I decided to memorize it and adopt it for my own life purpose. Do you have a life purpose statement? This is a good one!
Thank you for your love, prayers and support.
Yours & His, Rick