Thanksgiving Day – or just Turkey Day?
Bob Glaze in his “Pastor’s Letter” gives us a pertinent reminder to help us check on our own priorities:
“President Abraham Lincoln signed a proclamation on April 3, 1863, asking ‘all Americans to ask God to commend to His tender care widows, orphans, mourners or sufferers in the lamentable civil strife’ and ‘to heal the wounds of the nation.’ Our nation has lost much of our thankfulness for the blessings that God has given us. We must return to being thankful, or those blessings may be withdrawn. Let’s not wait until Thanksgiving Day to be thankful, but remember to be faithful each and every day of the year for the privilege of being an American and being special in God’s eye. It was not until 1870 that Congress declared Thanksgiving Day a national holiday.
“On this November 22, let us be thankful for the love of our Father in Heaven, and for His salvation provided to us by the death, burial and resurrection of His Son, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Remember that ‘every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.’ (James 1:17)”.
Highlights of my Fall 2018 Mission Trip
Sergei Golovin opened the opportunity for me to teach an all day seminar on Biblical Worldview on Saturday, September 22nd, on the campus of Youth with a Mission (YWAM) Kiev. This campus is also the main base for all of eastern Europe, and the leaders of YWAM have a huge vision of developing the School of Biblical Christian Worldview/University of the Nations campus into a highly functional and recognized University of Biblical Christian Worldview. They have an aggressive vision – but lack the funds to develop the property and buildings – so please pray for Almighty God, Who owns the cattle on a thousand hills, to have a cattle sale for them!
The students for the seminar were eager and attentive – and their testimonies were heart touching. Please pray for God to extend their influence beyond their fondest dreams. Lena Lavrishcheva was my interpreter for the seminar, and she did an excellent job. In fact, she is one of the best interpreters I’ve ever had. She is also one of the leaders of YWAM – Kiev, and she invited me to return next spring to teach for a week during their 12-week School of Biblical Christian Worldview.
Katie Hartrampf from Nampa is one of the team members for YWAM – Kiev, but was sick on Saturday, September 22nd , so I didn’t see her that day, nor did I get to meet her fiancé, Arthur. However, when I returned to Kiev on October 8th, I had opportunity to spend the day at YWAM and to treat Katie and Arthur to dinner at a nearby restaurant. Now Katie is Mrs. Arthur Sokolobsky, and what a neat couple!
Another highlight was the opportunity to spend a week with Love Cradle, International, in outreach to the orphanages in the middle of Ukraine. It is a joy to see the open and eager faces of both the kids and the workers at the orphanages as we bring them useful items like clothing – but even more, the love, joy, peace and hope of the gospel through our Lord Jesus Christ.
In Lviv, I had opportunity to meet twice with Alex Zhuk, who is both a pastor and a paleontologist, who has founded Planet Earth Creation Center. We shared ideas for outreach to unbelievers and skeptics with a creation museum. Alex bought a piece of property big enough to build a building for the creation museum on the lower level and an assembly room for the church upstairs, but now he doesn’t have the money to build. Please pray! He also shared that through their field trips to train young aspiring paleontologists, the word got out that he collects bones. Many people have been donating bones to him, and since their current museum location is already full, the bones are stored in his house. He told us: “We have bones in our closet, bones in our kitchen, bones in our living room, bones in our bedroom… My wife told me, “No more bones! The bones have to go! Or I go!” One of Alex’s co-workers, André, asked “Well, what did you decide?” Pray for Alex and his wife! Also pray for Pavel. I told him that he may save a marriage and get displays for his creation museum at the same time! Please see his story in the “Prayer Requests”.
Another highlight on this mission trip came to me on Friday, October 5th, when I was wrapping up my teaching on Biblical Worldview and Biblical Relationships for the linguistics students at Christian Open University in Odessa. That Friday was teacher appreciation day, and about noon a group of my students presented me with a huge bouquet of beautiful flowers. (In Ukraine, flowers are not just for females!) I enjoyed the flowers and the appreciation before passing the flowers on to my friend, Sergey Bezvershenko, to give to his wife, Svetlana. Later that afternoon when waving “good-bye” to a group of my students, I was asked, “Are you leaving already?” I replied, “You students are wonderful! But my grandkids are more wonderful! Also, in her emails, my wife told me that she is missing me – and I miss her! So, yes, I am leaving!”
You Students are Wonderful!
Now for you to understand more of the essence behind my statement, “You students are wonderful!”, I want to share with you my three exam questions for them and a few of their written answers. (Remember that English is the third language for most of my students.)
- What is the most important lesson, truth, or principle you have learned from Rick Deighton’s worldview lessons?
- Why is it important to you?
- What do you plan to do with it?
- Listening to these lectures, I once again made sure that the world was invented by God, there was no explosion on earth, and that humans did not come from a monkey, as Darwin claimed, but God created them. He also talked about relationships in the modern world, about same-sex marriage, about how people neglect the rules of the Lord.
- For me it is important because I believe in the Lord and I want to serve Him, whatever happens to me. I trust Him in every situation. I love Jesus and do not want to break the rules and commandments that He left us.
- In principle, I use it all in my life. I will try to fulfill all the commandments of God even better and will try to be like even more gentle, and also tell people about our Savior.
- All people want to have some sense in their lives. We have two main worldviews and one of them gives the sense of our life, to our existing and the hope. So the creationism tells us about God and his creations and we are his creations. But also we have evolutionism worldview that tells us we are useless, we were apes many years ago, and there is no hope. But how do we know it is true? Is there any evidence?
- Well, now I know exactly why evolutionism is wrong, and I can make people to think and not just follow the wrong teaching.
- I want to share it with everyone.
- I was pleased to hear lectures of creationism. As a Christian, much for me was not new. It is interesting to hear new or more accurate facts of disproof of evolution, but the most significant became lecture of true love, and again I decided for myself to approach my look onto God.
- In my life I frequently sought different things to try to block void in my heart, but it can only God. Parents told me frequently about it, but I did not trust them. Now each time I am convinced in this truth.
- In my life I am going to follow God and to serve only truth.
- For me, the most important is the voice of God. “Therefore God again set a certain day, calling it Today, when a long time later he spoke through David, as was said before:
‘Today, if you hear His voice, do not harden your hearts.’
For if Joshua had given them rest, God would not have spoken later about another day. There remains then, a Sabbath-rest for the people of God;” (Hebrews 4:7-9).
The rest of God is Jesus Christ, the rest in Him. Everything else is fake. When we read the Word of God, worship Him, pray, then we rest in peace. Peace is our permanent state. The voice of God emanates from His presence.
- This is important to me because it matters to me what He thinks about me.
- I plan to listen to the voice of God and to do what He says.
Now to conclude this section, I want to share Galina’s response to my first question:
- To remind us how awesome, amazing, majestic and mighty is our Father in Heaven – yet He loves us unconditionally and is committed to providing for each of us exactly what he or she needs at the right time and in the right way.
Now do you understand my comment, “You students are wonderful!”? Isn’t it uplifting and inspiring to read the responses of young people in Ukraine who “get it” – and want to apply God’s truth and share His truth?
Reminder – My Goal
On my exam paper for the students, I also included this reminder of my goal and this quote from James 3: 13-18. My goal for teaching is not to inform the students – but to train disciples! Jesus said to His apostles “make disciples”! James wrote “be doers of the Word and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.” James 1:22.
Two Kinds of Wisdom
“Who is wise and understanding among you? Let them show it by their good life, by deeds done in the humility that comes from wisdom. But if you harbor bitter envy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast about it or deny the truth. Such ‘wisdom’ does not come down from heaven but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic. For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice. But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere. Peacemakers who sow in peace reap a harvest of righteousness.” James 3:13-18.
This is good, not just for students in Ukraine, but is a valid reminder for each of us to discern true wisdom from the false, Satanic, so-called “wisdom” – and to remember that Jesus’ own commission and goal for each of us is to “make disciples”! Therefore, please evaluate how He has gifted you and how diligently you are using His gifts and applying His truth in making disciples for His Kingdom and for His glory.
From Our Mailbox
“…..thank you so much for sending me a complimentary copy of your book. I reread it and after reading the 2nd time want to thank you again and compliment you for your marvelous book. It is truly a masterpiece. I pray you will have success in spreading copies of it everywhere.”
Note: You can have a copy of this book, “Is the Bible Without Any Errors?” for a donation of any amount to Overseas Outreach. – Rick
“Hello, Rick and Della!
We are happy to share a good news with you. The new rehab center, that had been just in our plans and prayers, opened its doors to the lost people, who can’t find the way out of the addiction slavery.
As we have told Rick, the Living Hope Church provided a part of their ministry building, which can accommodate 8 people and there are 3 people already.
Our church is excited that God gave us this opportunity, but it can provide money only for 3 people. (This is the minimum for their food. It’s 14 00 UAH or $ 50 US for a person per month). There are also medical and transportation expenses that we are not able to cover. But believe that God, who helped us and led us to this point will provide everything needed. That’s why we are looking for people, who would like to be a part of the ministry of and to help financially. Note from Rick: The financial strain is the combination of the devaluation of their currency, high inflation rate and floods of refugees (IDP) from the war zone.
There are also 3 ministers, who take turns and serve these people at the rehab center. They dedicated their lives to reach such people, to disciple them and to teach them to serve others. We also would like to support them (at least partially) in this financially difficult time for Ukraine.
We will be very thankful, if you share this information with other people. We pray that God would touch the hearts of His generous and faithful people.
May God bless you and your ministry,
Volodya and Maryana Vakula”
- My friend, Pastor Pavel Lugovoy is very interested in starting a creation museum in Odessa, so I put him in touch with Alex Zhuk, who has started Planet Earth Creation Center in Lviv. Please pray for God’s guidance and wisdom about co-operation.
- Pavel’s brother, Sergei, and his wife and children are now in Odessa visiting Pavel and his family. Sergei was paratrooper in the Ukrainian Air Force and was wounded in the battle zone in eastern Ukraine, so Sergei and his family are in transition. He is also a medical doctor (surgeon) and the military wants him back, but Pavel says that is not possible for him. Sergei and his wife Sasha may be interested in helping start a creation museum. Please pray!
- One of the most brilliant and attentive students I had at Open Christian University this trip was Eduard Pintia. He wants to become a pilot, and he wants to delve deeper into the Word of God, so when I told him that Mission Aviation Fellowship is based in Nampa, Idaho, and Boise Bible College is only about 20 miles from our home, his eyes lit up. I said, “Maybe you could get a job at MAF and take classes at Boise Bible College. He responded, “I would love that!”
- My friend, Roman Babichenko, fell from a roof and has internal injuries. Please pray for God’s healing touch.
- Please pray for the continuing effective outreach of the rehab ministry by Volodya and Maryana Vakula, and please pray for the funds to take care of the residents in the process of breaking their addictions. (If you wish to donate to this vital outreach, I will take the donations to them when I go to Ukraine again in the Spring. – Rick)
“Which is more dangerous – the dog with his bone or the (evolutionary) paleontologist with his bone? Not the dog! He doesn’t use his bone to make up theories!” – G. K. Chesterson
“Have you considered the poverty of the atheist who feels grateful – but has no one to thank?”
“I’m not waiting for the undertaker – I’m watching for the Uppertaker!”
From “HAVE YOU CONSIDERED”
“Evidence Beyond a Reasonable Doubt”
by Julie Von Vett and Bruce Malone
(Used by permission).
“My Grandchildren Are More Wonderful!”
As one documentation for this assertion, I asked Della to include the heart-shaped hand print message that Trinity Hope made and presented to us on Grandparents Day at Nampa Christian School. – Rick